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Hit List: Three new restaurants to try this month

July 1st 04:07pm, 2013



Hiro Asian Kitchen: 1405 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.612.5640, hiroasiankitchen.com

Asian comfort food is the focus at Hiro Asian Kitchen, newly opened on Washington Avenue downtown. Appetizers like lotus-leaf wrapped sticky rice, pork belly-filled steamed buns and edamame seasoned with togarashi are the perfect pair for the restaurant’s quality selection of sake. Among entrees, pick from ramen, fried rice and banh mi offerings or try one of the house specialties, such as Malaysian-style Bak Kut Teh, a steamy bowl of soup studded with meaty pork ribs and served with strips of fried dough for dipping. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch, an upscale dinner or a late-night bite, Hiro looks to be a serene Asian oasis from the hustle and bustle on Washington Avenue.



Table: 1821 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, 314.449.1888, tablestl.com

From chef Cassy Vires and her husband Josh Renbarger, the team behind Home Wine Kitchen in Maplewood, comes a new restaurant in Benton Park. There isn’t a two-top in sight; instead, long wooden tables bring people together to dine communally on creative, new American cuisine. Try the pork cheek ragu with smoked tomato, fresh ricotta and grilled bread, or the Ozark Forest Mushroom “escargot,” a mushroom paste stuffed into snail shells and given a flourish of flavor with a hit of lemon juice, briny capers, parsley and garlic. With a sundae bar featuring toppings like strawberry-rhubarb purée and cookie crumbles to spoon atop a bowl of house-made ice cream, you bet we’re saving room for dessert.



Tree House: 3177 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.696.2100, Facebook: Tree House Vegetarian Restaurant

Vegetarians are giddy for the arrival of Tree House, the newest addition to South Grand. The culinary crew at this restaurant seeks to push the envelope with meatless fare, offering house-made vegetarian charcuterie – terrines, pates, nut cheeses (A vegan sausage is coming soon.) – as well as meat-free takes on typically carnivorous chow like sliders, burgers and Asian bao. Whether in a small plate of fried beets garnished with Japanese spice mixture togarashi and served with a vegan garlic aioli, or in a heftier bite like a bahn mi smeared with house-made mushroom pate, Tree House uses a global pantry to showcase fresh, seasonal produce at its peak. The love for fruit and veggies carries over to the bar, where we’re sipping on the beet-centric cocktail The Roots.

-Photos by Michelle Volansky


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