Tuesday, May 29, 2018


This trip was definitely "a food adventure" as I had no idea what to expect at the new restaurant, Bao.

I was a little bit familiar with Korean steamed buns, but these are not in your typical format. Instead, the Korean buns are used in all kinds of ways and I have a feeling that someone had a lot of fun making this menu!

Since we recognized the always-dapper Ben Bauer behind the bar, we immediately went to the cocktail list. Both drink and food menus were printed on long pieces of paper, almost as if you were at a sushi restaurant, but no pencil is necessary.

I knew I wanted a gin drink and I appreciated the pictures of the drinks as if it helped me envision what it would taste like. hehe

Cocktail Menu
I ordered The Dough of Existence and of course Patience ordered something a little stronger, Shadows of Words, also a gin drink, but with Amarao as well.

Dough of Existance

Shadows of Words
As per usual, we wanted to try everything on the menu, but we'll need to make at least one more trip before we accomplish that feat. hehe

We started out ordering a couple of things from the small plates and one item from the entrees to see if that would be enough.

I had to get the Taiwanese Dumpling since I'm a huge fan of dumplings in general and I had never seen this version with it served "upside down" and all connected. It easily breaks apart with a fork and they were amazing. The dumplings were chicken (not pork, yay!) and included vegetables, soy, vinegar, and scallions.

Taiwanese Dumpling
I was most curious about the Little Bao and ordered the Wagyu one...which looks like a baby hamburger! Just adorable! They also come in a tofu and pork version as well.

Little Bao
The Wagyu came with havarti, romanie, and truffle mayo. The bao buns were perfect as the "burger" buns!

Our main entree was Patience's pick: Lobster roll!

Lobster Roll
A large bao bun was used to hold in the lobster creamy goodness! The lobster roll was Maine-style with brown butter, poached lobster, celery, fennel, and mayo. It was hard to share this one as it was the most expensive item.

We thought we could each do one more small plate, but since the restaurant got busy, we had to wait a little longer for the second round of dishes, and I wasn't as hungry by then.

I tried the Crab & Avocado, which was served with cute lotus root chips. Delicious!

Crab & Avocado
Patience wanted to try the Korean Street Corn, which was unfortunately overwhelmed by the mozzarella and smoky bacon fat.

Korean Street Corn
Since the ice cream came from Serendipity in Webster Groves, we had to order dessert and we shared the most popular flavor, Mango Sticky Rice.

Mango Sticky Rice
It's just like an ice cream sandwich and a little tricky to eat. Don't be afraid to get messy with this one!

If you enjoy food adventures, be sure to bring some adventurous friends so you can try everything!! I was really impressed with the chef's creativity and don't be afraid to ask your server questions.

Menu - Small Plates
Menu - Bao

Bao = https://www.thebaostl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Clover and the Bee

Since we're huge fans of Olive + Oak, we couldn't wait to try The Clover and The Beer, as they have the same owners. Luckily, our friend Julia had a birthday and that gave us all an excuse to try it out!

We were hoping The Clover and The Bee would be easier to get into than its sister restaurant, but since they don't take reservations for dinner, we attempted to use the No Wait app. Unfortunately, Clover is on the small side, and while there were a couple of tables open, there weren't too many four tops to accommodate all of us.

We decided to wait at the skinny "rail" bar that runs down the middle of the restaurant. Even though it wasn't the most spacious, it allowed the four of us to sit close together and share appetizer plates until they could push together a couple of tables. I'd really recommend this place as a date night for two for better chances of getting a table.

Of course we went right for the cocktail list...gin for me, bourbon for Patience!

Gin cocktail

Bourbon cocktail
The two starters we selected were actually quite similar since both included bread for dipping.

Check out all the goodies that come with the Housemade Naan! Olives, ricotta, tomato relish, toasted hazelnuts, and pickled green beans! We enjoyed mixing and matching the different toppings and of course the ricotta was my favorite.

Housemade Naan
The Pistachio Dip included whipped goat cheese and radishes along with the toasted pita, which was a little more simpler than the Naan.

Pistachio Dip
We probably should have stopped at one starter since I was beginning to feel full even before we ordered. Yet, the dinner entrees are a reasonable portion and we still had enough to share bites.

I was immediately drawn to the Braised Lamb with polenta and poached egg! It was really a hearty dish that probably would have gone better in the winter time. (I probably should have had less appetizers too!)

Braised Lamb
Patience and Julia finally agreed to order the Flank Steak and Smoked Brisket after much bartering.

The Smoked Brisket was laid on top of a buttermilk-cornmeal waffle, oddly enough, but definitely my favorite of the two beef dishes.

Smoked Brisket
Flank Steak
The Flank Steak arrived on top of fingerling potatoes and greens with a red pepper butter on top. It was all quite rich!

Our youngest member of the group had an easy winner with the Pasta Al Forno and I highly recommend it if you prefer a pasta dish. This too was weighted down with red sauce and mozzarella. So cheesy!

Pasta Al Forno
After the heavy entrees, we then had to "force" ourselves to eat birthday desserts.

Birthday cookie for the birthday girl!

Chocolate Cookie
Patience and I split the Triple Layer Cake and it tasted EXACTLY like the Boston Creme Cake we both used to get as children from Pepperidge Farm!!

The chocolate mousse and ganache made it amazing.

Triple Layer Cake
(Apologies for the cake telling you that you're number one!)

If I had been on my own, I definitely would have ordered the Chocolate Pot de Creme and eat it like an ice cream cone. At least I was allowed to have one bite, but it wasn't enough.

Chocolate Pot de Creme
(You know it was the best dessert!!!)

While the dishes were a heavy for spring, everything was delicious, and they are just like their sister restaurant with some of the best cocktails and service in town! I didn't realize I was missing out on the desserts...

Brunch or dinner, definitely make time to go soon.

Main Menu

Dessert Menu

The Clover and the Bee = https://www.thecloverandthebee.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, May 18, 2018

PW Pizza Brooklyn Brewery Beer Dinner

I really don't know much about Brooklyn Brewery beers, but I first spotted them a few years ago while up in Chicago. Patience and I were beer shopping for new items and we found their chocolate stout over the winter.

At the other end of the spectrum, I am familiar with their green and black logo of the Amber Ale, but that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge, so I was happy to try some new things from them!

Without Patience in attendance, I forgot to capture the first course, but the Fried Shrimp Taco Salad was delicious along with the Sarachi Ace Saison. I normally don't enjoy this style, but it was very refreshing with the light salad.

The Sarachi Ace is a reference to the hops in the beer.

On to the good stuff...pizza! The Korean Chicken Pizza had some hot peppers on it to give it a kick, but I just picked those off and was fine. This pizza probably could have used something sweet to cut the heat, but I enjoyed their most popular American Amber Lager.

Korean Chicken Pizza
I know I said I don't normally take pictures of the beer can labels, but I had to again this month because I love the style.

American Amber Lager
Now I know that you can't top the Prime Rib Pizza as the best PW Pizza of all time, but the Poutine Pizza was just as amazing as it sounds! This is definitely in my top three!

I even took a picture of the whole thing so you can appreciate it's beauty. You bet this baby is covered in mozzaerlla, cheese curds, and FRENCH FRIES!!!!

Poutine Pizza
The Defender IPA was very citrusy and a good pairing with the heavy pizza to cut through all that grease and I didn't mind the hops at all.

Check out this "superhero" type label! Bad ass!

Defender IPA
Since I had extra Poutine Pizza, I really didn't have much room for dessert and the Chevre Cheese Cake  was way too rich for me. Luckily, it was small, but we were all so full by that time we reached the last course.

Dessert was well paired with the Bel Air Sour, matching tart flavors, but everyone puckered at this beer. You really have to be a sour fan to drink it. But, the label reminded me of Miami Vice!

Brooklyn Bel Air Sour
And special thanks to Dr Anne for filling in at the last minute. My table mates liked her a lot so it looks like she'll be joining again next month!


Brooklyn Brewery = http://brooklynbrewery.com

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Rack House and Big O Cocktail Dinner

My buddy Curt invited me out to the Rack House and the reason I agreed to drive ALL the way out there was because it was a Big O cocktail dinner! Spirits of St. Louis were also partners for this dinner as well.

I have actually eaten at the Rack House before since it IS a wine bar! Yet, I thought it was very cool that they were open to hosting a cocktail dinner and apparently they have also expanded their bar with over 100 whiskeys as well!

I love the name of the "welcome" cocktail, Tasting Stars, perfect for a drink with sparkling wine. This was probably my favorite since it was the lightest cocktail of them all.

For the first official pairing, the Chili Rabbit was also easy to drink and I felt like I was drinking a boozy "V8" since there was carrot juice! It went well with the Carrot and Ginger Soup, which tasted just like a butternut squash soup...I could have had a big bowl and been done for the night.

Carrot and Ginger Soup
Man O Man was named for a Manhattan-style cocktail and of course this was too boozy for me, but they were smart and did a smaller pour. The clams were delightful though!

Ginger Steamed Clams
A Movie Star's Three Hour Tour was appropriate for a Rum drink and I didn't mind all the boozy flavors since it was paired with a duck breast. This duck was cooked perfectly. I wonder if they have it on their regular menu? If so, you definitely have to order it!

Smoked Honey and Cumin Lacquered Duck Breast
The dessert pairing had Big O mixed with Compari and I'm not the biggest fan. Plus I was a little boozed out by this point. The dessert itself was amazing.

Strawberry, Rhubarb, Ginger, Basil, Honey
Then we finished off the night with my favorite, the Big O reserve! It's the only drink I finished. It's not really a cocktail since you drink it straight, but it's like liquid candy.

Big O Reserve
I was so glad that I paced myself and the courses were sized correctly so I wasn't overstuffed. The manager there knows his stuff so if you need a drink in St. Charles County, you should definitely stop in for dinner and join the wine club.

Cocktail line up

The Rack House = https://www.therackhousekww.com/

Big O Ginger Liquor = http://drinkthebigo.com/