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Nov 17, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Best New Restaurants: No. 10 – Retreat Gastropub

December 10th 10:12am, 2015

Opening a restaurant isn’t easy. Each year, hundreds give it a shot – and not everyone succeeds. Some, however, aren’t just surviving; they’re killing it. In the last year, we ate our way through newly opened restaurants from Alton to Ballwin, compiling a list of places that serve the food and drinks we can’t get out of our heads. They bring something different and exciting to the scene – and they do it damn well. While technical excellence was a must, the service and ambiance also had to win us over. Office debates nearly came to fisticuffs, but at last we agreed on St. Louis’ 11 best new restaurants of 2015. Clear your schedule and book your reservations; you’ve got a lot of eating to do.

 

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Retreat Gastropub in the Central West End is our getaway of choice these days. Owner Travis Howard opened the corner bar in October to serve as an outdoors-inspired refuge, day or night. Pull up a stool at the poured concrete bar or get comfortable on a handmade cedar bench and sip a creative house cocktail from bar manager Tim Wiggins, who is reason enough for a visit. He’s the mind behind such drinks as the smoky-sweet Oaxaca Flocka Flame, made with Vida mezcal, blanco tequila, lime juice, passion fruit puree, curacao, ancho chile liqueur and mole bitters. And forget sweet dessert wine; Wiggins hooks diners up with a selection of aged rums for sipping after dinner.

Not to be outshone by the bar program, Retreat’s kitchen does fresh comfort fare right. The menu is solid straight through dessert (Order the decadent bread pudding, which swims in caramel sauce.). Crispy, flavorful flatbreads and fried fingerling potato poutine served with a rich mushroom gravy are small plate standouts. Don’t miss the addictive Farmhouse Burger with two smashed beef patties topped with cheese sauce, candied bacon and an over-easy egg. But be warned: Repeat visits for this brinner burger will occur, and the congenial staff may comment on the love you and Farmhouse Burger seem to share. You are not alone.

Is Retreat your favorite new restaurant of 2015? Click here to vote for this Central West End gastropub in the People’s Choice Facebook contest

-photo by Carmen Troesser 

By Heather Hughes

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