Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Annie Gunn's

As a native St. Louisan, I have driven by Annie Gunn's a countless number of times on my way to Chesterfield Mall. It wasn't until I got the chance to meet Glenn Bardgett, that I realized that I needed to make time for this West County landmark.

Looking over their history, I didn't realize the restaurant had been completely ruined by the flood of 1993 and was totally rebuilt. But that famous "piggy" Smokehouse sign is still out front!

On a Wednesday night, the restaurant was packed and I am guessing you must need a reservation for every night of the week! We were seated in the "extension" area, which looked like it could be an outdoor area if you pulled up the canvas walls. I was thankful for the addition so we could get a chance to try it. This "patio" area also was good for holding larger parties since there was a birthday party going on nearby. I think it also helped to make me feel a little more comfortable as it wasn't quite the snobby steakhouse I had feared.

Patio area or not, we still had excellent service from the moment we sat down until we left. Our server and server's assistant were teasing each other from the start, which allowed us to join in on their fun. I also must commend our server because she was very patient while having to deal with or complicated ordering and splitting.

Part of the complication comes in from the size of the wine list as well as the menu. I wasn't quite sure where to start and even though I studied the menu ahead of time, I still struggled.

I was quite overwhelmed by the wine list although most of the list are wines by the bottle. It helped to narrow it down to wines by the glass although I still needed my server's help in deciding between Riesling and Gewurztraminer. I knew this was the kind of place where I could trust my server with the wine selection, so I stopped worrying about the list.

I had messaged Annie Gunn's on Facebook ahead of time to find out if they had any fish specials and they were so kind to explain that they had several fish specials nightly, but they couldn't put them on the menu because they change so frequently. What I didn't realize was that this also applied to the appetizer selection!

Before I knew it, I had almost made a meal out of the BBQ shrimp (a little small) and several oysters to start out with. Then my friend Curt ordered their famous potato soup as well. Luckily, we all shared to give us a chance at having room for a main course.

Burger with home made potato salad
Burgers were a popular choice at the table, but the birthday boy, Curt, ordered two huge chunks of lamb chop served with VERY blue cheesy au gratin potatoes. The lamb just was pink and tender how I prefer, and the blue cheese was very much in your face, but was a great side dish pairing.

Lamb chops with blue cheese au gratin potatoes
As much as I would have loved to have order a filet or prime rib, I went with the fish special...which was actually quite special. I couldn't resist the King Salmon from Copper River, and it too melted in my mouth, served over a potato puree. Not to mention garnished with my first morels of the season. Nothing but creamy goodness all around.

King Salmon with morels
Even though that might have been one of the best pieces of salmon ever, I managed to restrain myself and ate only half of my dinner.

Since we were celebrating a birthday too, the apple pie a la mode (cinnamon ice cream at that) was another amazing dish that we probably could have made a meal out of if we hadn't shared.

If you live out west or over in St. Charles, this is a great location for a special occasion or if you're looking to enjoy a good bottle of wine. I saw a lot of stops by the hotel shuttle, so definitely a good place to impress clients or out-of-towners as well.

Resources:

Annie Gunn's = http://www.smokehousemarket.com

Photos by Patience Scanlon