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Mar 25, 2018
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Hit List: 6 new restaurants to try this month

April 3rd 12:04pm, 2015


1. Público: 6679 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.833.5780, Facebook: Público

The kitchen is on fire at Latin American gastropub Público where the wood-fired grill is responsible for everything from apps to sweet endings. Get in the Mexican mood with guacamole arepas, corn pancakes topped with fresh guacamole and served with queso and house-made salsa. Move on to oysters (pictured) served with piquant red and green salsas, then go for the colorful plate of beets with crisp quinoa swathed in white chocolate mole. Keep the party going with an order of tacos al pastor – three house-made corn tortillas each filled with slices of spit-roasted pork shoulder, pineapple, guajillo chile pepper, crema and charred onion salsa. Tequila, rum and mezcal take center stage among the spirits at Público’s modish, wood-meets-metal 18-seat bar. Try Night on Fire (rum, cava, Creole shrub and both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters) or a boozy slushy from the frozen drink dispenser. No quieres alcohol? No hay problema. The house-made horchata has you covered – and doubles as dessert.


2. The Gramophone: 4243 Manchester Road, St. Louis, 314.531.5700, gramophonestl.com 

This longtime concert venue in The Grove recently underwent a makeover, transitioning from music nightspot to eatery with a menu of monster sandwiches not for the faint of heart or appetite. Order a whole or half of meaty offerings like the Mississippi Nights Club, a fresh Fazio’s baguette piled high with turkey, roast beef, bacon, pepper jack cheese, spicy roasted red pepper cream cheese spread and the salty crunch of smashed Billy Goat chips. Go a tad lighter with The Frenchy, a classic chicken-bacon-Swiss combo dressed up with mushrooms and a sweet, tangy red wine aioli. If you’re really hungry, dig into The Danimal, a carnivore’s dream of ham, turkey, roast beef, salami and bacon piled on sourdough slathered with pepper mayo and avocado spread. Antacids not included.



3. Lascelles Granite City: 1324 Niedringhaus Ave., Granite City, Illinois, 618.709.7375, lascellesgc.com 

In a town of steel mills and mom-and-pop diners, chef Eric Brenner aims to bring American comfort food with a twist to Granite City, Illinois. We’re happily making a meal of snacks, like dense yet flaky biscuits glazed with salted honey butter, a gooey dish of four-cheese mac-n-cheese and deviled eggs (pictured) dotted with maple-glazed bacon chunks. Heartier appetites should dig into the Farmhouse Burger, two diner-style patties with crisp edges and juicy centers stacked with bacon, smoked Gouda and a sunny fried egg on a toasted English muffin.


4. Monty’s American Grill: 15850 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.220.3333, magstl.com

From the minds behind Monty’s Sandwich Co. downtown comes Monty’s American Grill. Co-owners Joel Williams and Steve May have shipped their signature sandwiches to Ellisville and added plenty of starters, entrees, sides and desserts. If the decor and dish presentation are modest, the flavor is anything but. Case in point: the Kuban, pretzel bread stacked with house-made pulled pork, ham, Swiss, pickles and spicy brown mustard. Even if you decide on a more health-conscious black bean salad or shrimp po’boy wrap, go the full monty and pair it with one of 13 mostly local beers on tap, a similar number of bottled brews or 14 wines by the glass.



5. Lucky Buddha: 3701 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.4568, luckybuddhastl.com

The menu of Asian-inspired comfort food at Lucky Buddha draws from Japanese, Thai, Korean and Chinese cuisines, to name a few, married together in harmony. Entrees are divided between banh mi sandwiches, steamed buns and noodle bowls. All are customizable; don’t miss the sake-braised mushrooms tucked inside billowy steamed buns or the quadruple power of the Porkapocalypse, which features pork liver pate, gochujang-braised pork, char sui pork and braised pork belly. Save room for dessert, such as sorbet (pictured) in tropical flavors like lychee, passion fruit and chile mango. If you’re making an afternoon of it on the back patio, kick back with a Buddha Collins, a refreshing sipper made with Pinckney Bend gin, lemon juice, lemon grass syrup and Creole bitters.


6. Vincent Van Doughnut: 40 N. Central Ave., Clayton, 314.899.9500, vincentvandoughnut.com

Doughnut shop-on-wheels Vincent Van Doughnut has opened doors at its Clayton storefront. The shop carries a dozen rotating options made from scratch daily, including popular doughnut flavors like chocolate-salted caramel and French toast (our favorite), and spring seasonal flavors like lemon-lavender and peaches and cream. Keep an eye out for new pastries, such as a maple-bacon cinnamon roll, plus specials like Doughzels‚ doughnut-pretzel hybrids finished with sea salt and served with a rotating dipping sauce.


-photos by Michelle Volansky

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