Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bar Le Freres

With Billie-Jean opening up recently, Patience wanted to try out all the other "Zoe" restaurants since she has never gotten to visit them before. Luckily, our anniversary and my birthday fall together in January so it was just a matter of waiting until "special occasion time".

Bar Le Freres is definitely a special place for special occasions. Quite fancy. Quite French. I love the red walls and portraits from the 1800s where all the paintings are staring at you.

We were smart and made a reservation about a month in advance. Not only did this help us get a table away from the door in the dining room during the recent cold snap, but I feel it helped us to land one of the best tables in the dining room separate from the bar. The restaurant overall is small with limited seating so I have no doubt the place is booked all the time. At least in the summer, they can expand to the patio and our server bragged about their happy hour, which is probably more affordable.

I think we were at one of the best tables because we were sat in these huge armchairs. Between that and the large tapestry next to the table, I thought we were royals! hehehe

Perhaps that is what lead us to order a crazy amount of food, although it was hard not to with so many tasty choices. Just the hors d'deuvres alone... Baetje Farms Cheese Plate, Gruyere Souffle, Steamed Mussels, Lobster Tail...and then our server said the magic word: scallops. Not just any scallops, but GIANT scallops!

Giant Scallops
I had my eyes on the Lobster Bisque since I sat down, but they don't do cups. I ate the WHOLE bowl.

Lobster Bisque
And then the server brought out these delicious Gruyère gougères that were perfect for dipping into the soup. I wish I had saved one to clean the bowl with at the end!

Gruyere Balls
At this point, I really didn't need to eat anything else.

I played it safe by ordering the Halibut for my entree, the crispy outside was a little tough to cut through, but the inside was perfect. (You know the potatoes underneath were amazing though!) I did manage to stop halfway this time at least.

Patience went all in with the Duck Confit. So much flavor! Perfectly paired with a Chateauneuf du Pape!

Duck Confit
Still in celebratory mode, we finished off the meal with chocolate mousse, which also went deliciously with the wine.

Chocolate Mousse
Patience drank her dessert as well with a Caffe Amaro. So pretty.

Caffe Amaro
I cannot WAIT to take Patience to Zoe's next two restaurants...


Bar Le Freres =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Monday, January 1, 2018

STLCheesegirl Top Posts 2017

I admit that I did not post as much last year due to a reduced amount of dining out and I now have a personal chef living with me full time!

While I may not be having as many food adventures these days, it is wonderful that there are so many new places to try here in St. Louis!

Readership is up overall so that makes me feel good too. So here are the top posts from 2017!

Tapped -
This post may have benefited from being new and my last post of the year. I'm sure everyone is curious about it, and I hope it lasts longer than "A Pizza Story", which I loved dearly. We tried to go a third time this past week, but they were full! I hope they can keep it up.

Evangeline's -
I finally took Patience here for her birthday since it is a NOLA/Cajun-themed restaurant and we needed to go since she hadn't been since it was the Brazilian restaurant. They nailed it. Great owners, great wait staff, great food, and a great birthday. I hope everyone who read the review also went themselves.

Ludwig Farmstead Creamery -
This was a "sponsored" post as I was approached by one of their representatives and given free cheese in exchange for a review. It made me happy to support a small cheese company located in Central Illinois. This situation was really a "dream assignment" and I hope there will be more in the future!

Vicia -
I'm sure it's no surprise that the top-rated new restaurant for last year made my list as well. You need to go there. I can't wait to go back again. No further discussion necessary.

Snax Gastropub -
I am guessing folks were curious about the strangely-named restaurant, but I really do enjoy this new version of the restaurant as I had reviewed it once before. Now, it's a lot more casual and everything on the menu is a hit. Although I recommend going later in the evening when the kids aren't around.

Louie's Wine Dive -
While this is a chain, I see that it is a well-loved wine bar and I think they hit the jackpot by placing it in downtown Clayton. I find it to be a little high-priced, but I love how knowledgeable the staff is when I go in there.

Modern Brewery PW Pizza Beer Dinner -
We made it to (almost?) ALL of the PW Pizza Beer Dinners this year and we just love them. (Which is why most of my posts are from these dinners.) We sign up for the whole year now so we don't have to worry about reserving a spot as they do sell out quickly. You only pay that night for each event. I highly recommend them and feel free to call PW Pizza or email me for more information. It's been a great way to try each brewery's beer and have tasty food pairings as well! By the way, Modern Brewery is looking for a bigger location so hopefully they can have more serving days!

Cleveland-Heath -
We finally made it there for a regular sit-down dinner and had the best service. If the restaurant was closer, we would have definitely gone a lot more. Jenny Cleveland is so wonderful and she and her husband will be missed as they move to Utah. The restaurant will still be there, although in my heart, it won't be the same without them.

Old Baker Beer PW Pizza Beer Dinner -
A local favorite! We drove by the brewery while on the "Great River Road" and hopefully we can make it a destination one of these days soon.

Two Brothers Brewing PW Pizza Beer Dinner -
Since Two Brothers Brewing is based out of Chicago, we were able to stop by their brewery while up in the area visiting for Thanksgiving. Great beers and hopefully they'll be more beers available in the St. Louis area soon, but check on the east side for now.