Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar

Thanks to a friend’s birthday, I got to try out a new brew house downtown called Bridge on Locust. (http://www.thebridgestl.com) It was a little hard to find since the door was dark and right next door is a store with “Bride” in the name!

The restaurant looked like a loft with the bar on the ground floor and a large flight of stairs leading to a small dining area. The wall behind the bar had hundreds of beer bottles lined up…any beer lover’s dream! Hehe

I definitely recommend “studying” before you go to Bridge because their menu, especially the beer list, is lengthy. Try seven pages long. According to their web site, they have over 200+ beers and 55 are on tap. I didn’t pay attention but they also have a large wine selection as well.

At the table, you are given a clipboard with so many pages that tabs at the bottom are necessary. With so many beers, I got a little overwhelmed and finally just asked my waiter for the kind of beers I would like. The best part is that you can order however many beers you like in four-ounce pours so you can try as many as you like…and share!

My friends have a lot more beer knowledge than I do so they were able to pick out their favorites from the list and we all tasted and shared.

Since I am always more concerned about what pairs well with all these fancy beers, I quickly turned to the food tabs. There are actually separate sections for snacks, cheese, and charcuterie so I was very impressed. I was about to order a simple cheese board but then I flipped to another page and there was a full “a la carte” page. You can select your cheeses by price or mix and match all over the page to get your favorites, which is what I did.

My friends prefer heavier beers so that allowed me to select cheeses that were more full flavored. I chose a variety of textures as well. I started with a soft, Camembert that contained raw wild mushrooms and butter. I was tempted by a Spanish Mahon but instead went with the Ossau Iraty, a French goat cheese. This one was my favorite because they cut large chunks and you got a strong, nutty flavor in each bite. Then I picked out a French Comte, which was tasty, but cut in thin slices so it was hard to get a lot of flavor with each bite. I have a feeling it was sliced thin since it was in the highest priced column to select from.

The only section of the menu that was small was the actual meals and they only offer a few salads and sandwiches. Since I knew I was going to fill up on cheese, I chose the Chilled Beef Tenderloin salad and the beef was very pink and sliced thin. Just delicious. My friends ordered the Cuba, Missouri (pork sandwich) and the Smoky Strip Club that was quite tall! We also shared a pot of their house mac and cheese that we all loved, containing poblanos and tomato. I had to research “poblano” and it is a mild chile pepper from Mexico, but the dish was not spicy at all.

The other advantage to ordering smaller meals is that there is room for dessert!! We picked the “Tipsy Granny” mostly for the name, which was just a sliced apple served with a caramel dipping sauce. According to the menu, the apples were tossed in pomegranate vodka but I couldn’t tell. The best dessert, of course, was the chocolate truffle cake.