Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Bellwether

Our dining-out friends recently bought a new home, but we didn't make it in time to enjoy their rooftop deck during the fall weather. Since the chillier temperatures showed up so quickly, we were forced to try a new restaurant near them instead. I think it worked out just fine...

When a restaurant closes, after the sadness fades, we can't help but hope something tasty moves in next. We were definitely rewarded for our wait!

I was happy to see they made good use of the space in front of the bar, with booths lining the wall, and plenty of regular seating in the open area that used to be the lounge. This means the servers have to bring up all the dishes from the second floor kitchen though. (To sound old, they could have brought up the lights a little bit more too. No reason to hide these beautiful dishes! And yes, I did make this suggestion to the restaurant directly.)

A magazine article raved about their pastas, so that totally affected my menu choice. Hopefully we'll be able to go back to try a regular entrees.

Patience saw the Goose Ravioli Doppio on the appetizer menu online, but it got promoted to full entree status. Yet, our server allowed us to order it as an appetizer, although still priced as a regular item. Still delicious nonetheless as the fresh pasta with braised goose was quite rich.

Goose Ravioli Doppio
I had seen a Short Rib Ragout on the menu, but by the time we got to the restaurant, it was now a Short Rib Stroganoff. I guess this makes sense since tomatoes are now out of season. This was still a winner with the large noodles and hunks of beef. This dish was so filling, I had to take some of it home.

Short Rib Stroganoff
Patience ordered the Basil Pesto Campanelle, which quickly disappeared.

Basil Pesto Campanelle
Jamie ordered the English Pea Ravioli, which was also devoured.

English Pea Ravioli
I would love to go back and try some entrees, but honestly, I'd love to try more pastas too.

Cocktails were top notch as well.

Resources:

The Bellwether = https://www.thebellwetherstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Saturday, November 9, 2019

PW Pizza Center Ice Beer Dinner 2019

We actually have never been to Center Ice (even though it's not that far away from us) so we were happy to try their beers!

Of course the hockey-themed brewery was over the moon with the Stanley Cup win and I'm sure it'll be even more festive there now.

I love how the chef encorporated hockey into the menu as well since we started off the night with Risotto Arancini "pucks". I could have easily eaten ten of these and skipped over the pizza. This was well paired with the Checkerdome Pils.

Risotto Arancini Pucks and Checkerdome Pils
The Chicken Nacho Pizza was "the spicy pizza", which is now expected ate every beer dinner at this point. Of course it was paired with the Hop Shelf IPA. I did love the extra cheese though!

Chicken Nacho Pizza
This is not the first time for a Poutine Pizza and french fries on a pizza is totally awesome. The Double OT Winner Strong Ale was still too hoppy for me, but paired well to cut through all that grease on a pizza.

Poutine Pizza
My second favorite course was dessert since it was chocoletey! A soft baked chocoalte pretzel (it was huge!) was paired with the Peanut Butter Cup Stout. Of course Patience loved it, but I could have used a stronger peanut butter flavor since the coffee flavors overpowered the beer.

Soft Baked Chocolate Pretzel
I probably need to put this on my "to visit" list to taste more of their beers, and they offer up a shuttle on Blues game nights from the bar.

Resources:

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Center Ice = https://www.centericebrewery.com/


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

INDO

Patience had been bugging me for WEEKS wanting to try out this new restaurant, but I knew it would be so pricy, even with the a la carte menu.

But then I found out Zac Adcox had started working there after Reed's closed (moment of silence), and then next thing I knew, Patience had slapped a date night on the calendar.

While I try not to go too early to new restaurants, this one totally lived up to the hype.

We decided to just order all the things we were interested in, but then we also wanted to order from each section of the menu. We chose a bunch of hot tastings, then a couple of cold tastings, and last we picked out sashimi and nigiri to cover all the bases.

You can order everything all at once, like we did, and then just wait to see what comes out next, or just order a few things at a time, gauging your hunger.

Hot Tastings

The Tom Yum Pork Skins were basically pork rinds, but came with a slightly spicy shrimp topping, along with a chive aioli to help cool things down. This is probably a dish you can skip since all the other dishes just stood out so much more.

Tom Yum Pork Skins
Both Patience and I love Gyoza, so it's almost a tradition for us to order it at different Asian restaurants. This version did not disappoint!

Gyoza
The dumplings (about eight of them) are hidden under the crust.

Although not fish-based, the Lamb Ribs had to be one of the best dishes they offer!

Lamb Ribs
Another personal favorite, because it's lobster, the Lobster Thermidor is a winner. Quite rich!

Lamb Ribs
While not in the Hot Tastings section, we also ordered the special of the night, Hamachi Kama, which is fish cheek. There is a thin breading on it, and we both dug out all the white meat. Also spectacular!

Hamachi Kama
Cool Tastings

Am I allowed to have more favorites? The Sake Sashimi (salmon) was amazing. I think this is also a must order dish.
Sake Sashimi
Our other "cool tasting" was a Vegetarian Hand Roll, which was served in a shot glass. Adorable! Patience and I took turns taking bites.

Vegetarian Hand Roll
Last but not least, we had our server pick out nigiri for us since there are always quite a few on the menu, and they prefer serve what has been flown in fresh that morning. We had a Saba nigiri, better known as mackerel.

Saba Nigiri
No room for dessert after all of this, but we did manage to find our way to Olio across the street for a night cap. (They were still slammed.)

Special thanks to Zac Adcox for all the delicious wine that perfectly paired with our meal.

Indo Menu
Resources:

INDO = https://www.indo-stl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Pieces Board Game Bar

If you are one of those board game nerds, you will totally love this place!

Patience and Amy playing "Cat Lady", of course
And if you're not, there are so many things to eat and drink!

I was actually very impressed with the game selection AND the menu selection. You definitely need to get there as early as you can as the tables fill up fast. Luckily, you can wait in the bar (to start the eating and drink part) while you wait.

In the mood for Mexican? You can order quesadillas or soft tacos! I just had two Chicken & Cheddar soft tacos.

Chicken & Cheddar soft taco
In the mood for Asian? You can order one of several rice or noodle bowls! Patience order the Midwest Poke Bowl with pulled pork.

Midwest Poke Bowl
Just want regular ole American sandwich? Amy ordered a BLT.

BLT with a side of chips
My favorite part of the whole experience is that you can raise one of three "plastic flowers" to indicate you need a drink, food, or help with a game. The "game assistants" are always quick to come over and help you pick, which was actually the hardest part of the whole trip.

We finally solved the issue by each of us taking a turn to pick the game. The servers will even help you pick out a drink or menu item too. If only the place were bigger...

Resources:

Pieces = http://www.stlpieces.com/

Thursday, October 3, 2019

PW Pizza Schlafly Beer Dinner 2019

I've never told anyone this story and I doubt my friends would remember this, but I had just gotten back from college and I met them at this new place called "The Tap Room". Well, it was new to me since I had recently turned 21 and there were a lot of places (bars) I had never been before.

When the server asked me what I wanted, I went with my recently learned automatic answer: "Bud Light".

The server and my friends looked at me like I had three heads.

"We don't have that here."

Let's just say I have never made that mistake ever again.

Schlafly was the first beer dinner I ever went to at PW Pizza and they always come back around every few years. I always have to tip my cap to them as they were "my first" craft beer I learned about. This time was special again as it was the first time for Eddie Corno, now a "long time" Schlafly employee and a personal friend, giving the beer presentation.

While I was in the minority at my table, I loved the first pairing since it was a cider! Ciders are very rare at these beer dinners and it was so easy to drink and not too sweet. It was paired with a fall harvest salad and the rosemarry ranch dressing made me want to lick the plate!

Fall Harvest Salad
I was looking forward to the Smoked Chicken Pizza, although I had to pick off the candied jalpenos. Since Kirkwood Brewing has shut down, Schlafly has taken over brewing the St. Louis Football Club Ale D'or. Considered an APA, this was a little hoppy for me. Yet it made sense to pair this with the pizza since it had a little kick to it.

Smoked Chicken Pizza
Surprisingly, the highest ABV of the night went to the Pumpkin Ale at 8%. That was my second favorite although this year's version has a high cinnamon punch to it. This was paired with the Honey Pulled Pork Pizzza, which was a lot milder, and I had to knock off all the shaved fennel slaw as it was a bit overpowering.

Honey Pulled Pork Pizza
I think everyone loved the Banana Bread Pudding with caramel drizzled on top and Oktoberfest pairing the best. Definitely always a winner from Schlafly.

Banana Bread Pudding with St. Louis Football Club Ale D'or beer 
Menu
Resources:

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Schlafly = http://www.schlafly.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Blue Duck

I am grateful that I have good friends who enjoy celebrating birthdays...or rather, who are willing to use their birthdays as an excuse to get together, catch up, and try new restaurants!

I still hadn't been to The Blue Duck and it came with great recommendations. The restaurant has an upscale name, but has more of a neighborhood feel on the inside. There is a cute bar area and plenty of open space in the main dining room. You're greeted by a baked goods display case made by the owner herself, so be sure to save room for dessert!

I was surprised by how many burgers and sandwiches there were on the menu so that also gave me a hint that there was a more casual feel to the place.

Menu
Gail ordered The Classic burger, although there was a ginormous eight ounce Slamburger special of the week called the Luke Fry Walker, the regular burger was plenty for one person.

Classic Burger 
I definitely wanted to try something duck and the Duck Fried Rice hit the spot. A quarter leg of duck as well as "duck ham" mixed in with the fried rice. I am glad that we skipped the appetizers so I had room.

Duck Fried Rice
We barely saved room for dessert, but we kept it small with Gail's pick of the "blue duck" sugar cookie. Isn't he cute? Although, not quite big enough for a candle.

The Blue Duck
Now that I know what to expect, I can't wait to go back in and try a few more things as they have a variety of dinner salads, appetizers, and unique duck dishes. Or just grab sandwich during lunch.

Resources:

The Blue Duck = http://blueduckstl.com/

Thursday, September 19, 2019

PW Pizza Best of Missouri Beer Dinner 2019

Unfortunately, Uinta had to pull out from their beer dinner and PW Pizza was able to put together a "Best of Missouri" beer dinner in its place. We didn't mind one bit and was looking forward to being surprised!

The first course was a little heavier as we started out with a small bowl paella paired with Six Mile Bridge's Pilsner. We were used to a salad or small appetizer, but this was a healthy portion. This was one of my favorite pairings as the flavors were the most mild out of what was to come next!

Paella
The chefs went over the top on spice with the Shawarma Pizza and even though it was smartly paired with the Urban Chestnut Fantasyland IPA (IBU of 60!), my mouth was definitely on fire. So many tables didn't want their "seconds", so they ended up at our table! GAH! I couldn't even finish off my second piece.

Shawarma Pizza
Luckily, the next pairing was a little more calm with the Lasagna Pizza paired with a Public House Bierleichen, which was similar to an Octoberfest style beer. The pizza didn't remind me too much of lasagna as it was more of a sausage pizza.

Lasagna Pizza
For dessert, the 4 Hands Ripple, a white ale, was light, fruity, and easy to drink...another winner for me, although it got overwhelmed by the Pear Strudel. That was adorable!

Pear Strudel
Maybe they'll put one of these on the list again next year! It's so nice to have all these great local breweries near by!

Best of Missouri Menu
Resources:

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Six Mile Bridge = http://sixmilebridgebeer.com/

Urban Chestnut = http://urbanchestnut.com/

Public House = https://1764pub.com/

4 Hands = https://4handsbrewery.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Midwestern Meat & Drink

I know that it feels like there is a lot of BBQ around town lately, but this one is definitely worth traveling downtown for! Yes I'm talking to you, county folks!

Hopefully by now you know that the chef is from Big Baby Q, where he got many accolades. And he has one of the top bartenders in the area as well. So be sure to get a cocktail while you're there.

We may have had a few...

I went with gin as usual (Hendrick's) with this Sweet Summer Lovin'.

Sweet Summer Lovin'
There is even a Manhattan of the Month! This is The Company You Keep with Espolon Reposado.

The Company You Keep
You can still keep it traditional with Yellow Roses or a 9 to 5 Mule (modeled by Laura).

Yellow Roses

9 to 5 Mule
All the appetizers looked tasty so we picked a couple out...make sure you save room for the meat though!
Fried Green Tomatoes

Smoked Deviled Eggs
Both of the appetizers were winners and this is definitely the time of year for those fried green tomatoes! Lightly battered with a sweet tomato jam, aioli, and ricotta on top.

If you share the apps, then you'll still have room for the main courses. It's hard to pick a platter with just one kind of meat though...hopefully they'll add a "pick two" at some point. There is a huge sampler platter, but that seemed to be enough for four people so we decided to just get our own.

We all got platters, which is the best deal since it comes with two sides AND cornbread. We almost got all the sides between the four of us!

I played it safe with my turkey...don't judge! Definitely had to get the Mac 'N' Cheese though. Also, the pit beans.

Turkey Breast Platter with Mac N Cheese and Pit Beans
The beef rib is only available on the weekends so be sure to get it if you can!

Beef Rib Platter with Creamy Coleslaw and Collard Greens
The St. Louis style ribs still look good though, although the potato salad wasn't what I expected.

St. Louis Style Ribs with pit beans and Candied Bacon-Jalpeno Potato Salad
And check out the rings on that Brisket!

Brisket Platter with Fresh Dill Pickles and Potato Salad
The dill pickles were tasty, but I'm not sure I'd use up a side for 'em.

I also highly suggest you go when the Cardinals are not in town or in the off season because I have no doubt it's packed on game days!

Resources:

Midwestern Meat & Drink = https://midwesternstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Oaked

Unfortunately, this restaurant has closed. I am quite sad.

I actually have been twice so far. Because yes, it's that good.

Although the real reason I didn't post earlier is because I went without Patience and I have not heard the end of it. Luckily, we celebrated Bethfest at Oaked so we could all try it out and now I can post ALL the pictures.

Please note that the menu is seasonal so not all the items will remain, but all the food is just gorgeous. I really don't think I'll be writing much... and just let the pictures do the talking. But really, just go. Although, I should note that it probably is a special occasion kind of place. Yet, you could still make a casual night out of it hanging in the bar area sharing a few starters.

You could probably just make a meal from the starters, but there are just too many tasty items. Try to go with a large group so you can try a good variety...or go more often.

Avocado Toast

Baked Burrata

Cheese and Charcuterie Slate
I loved that there were a couple of cheese items to choose from, and I really could have used more avacado. Five crustinis are not enough!

Pork Belly
Smoked Trout Cakes
If you're a piggy fan, you definitely have to get the Pork Belly. It's one of those melt in your mouth kinds of dishes. And the Smoked Trout Cakes could easily be a main course. (You can add on any scallops!)

Now that you're warmed up and stretched, how about a salad course?

I loved the Tomato Textures...tomatoes three different ways!

Tomato Textures
Patience got her favorite green thing: Brussel Sprouts!

Brussel Sprout Caeser
If you're still possibly hungry, check out the Duck with Foie Gras...I felt fancy.

Duck with Foie Gras
The second time around, Patience and I were smart and split the 14 ounce Ribeye, but we added a scallop so we could take advantage of the add on as well. The Ribeye rested on top of a bed of corn and fingerling potatoes. You can also add on foie gras butter too!

14 ounce Ribeye 
Not full yet? Save room for dessert... you're going to want to. The desserts change frequently, but hopefully there will always be something chocolate and something cheesy!

Chocolate Mousse

Dessert plate with chocolate bark, fruit, and cheese
Or perhaps a lemon tart instead?

Lemon Tart
I didn't even have time to mention the wine list. With a name like Oaked, you're probably expecting a lengthy list. Let's just say it's of biblical proportions! Luckily, a sommelier is on staff to walk you through it so have no fear.

I can't wait to go back.

Oaked Menu from August
Resources:

Oaked = https://oakedstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon