Hit List: 4 new places to try this November
1. St. Louis Soup Dumplings
8110 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.445.4605, Facebook: Soup Dumplings STL
If you’ve tried the xiao long bao at Private Kitchen, you probably freaked out as much as we did when owners Lawrence Chen and Emily Yang opened a soup dumpling shop a couple doors down. And St. Louis Soup Dumplings does not disappoint. We like the unctuous, almost-sweet beef dumplings, swimming in a rich broth and hand-folded in perfectly thin and tender wrappings. Pull up a chair and wait for a complimentary bowl of broth before your bamboo steam basket of bliss arrives. If you’re new to xiao long bao, don’t worry. Yang may check that you’re correctly consuming your dumplings: first, scoop a dumpling into your spoon, then break it open and sip the broth before eating the rest.
2. The Capital Grille
101 S. Hanley Road, Clayton, 314.725.0930, thecapitalgrille.com
From flawless steaks and perfectly cooked fish to, yes, a creamy blue cheese wedge, The Capital Grille offers exactly what a steakhouse should. The service is impeccable; the decor is luxe; the lighting is dim. But what really delivers is the food. The classic wedge salad was equal parts fresh and rich, and a dry-aged Kansas City strip came gorgeously pink and tender. The savory seared halibut with sake-braised mushrooms and miso butter fell into flakes at the mere suggestion of a fork. A steakhouse should feel this expensive – and this one is worth every dollar.
3. BLK MKT Eats
9 S. Vandeventer Ave., St. Louis, 314.304.8420, blkmkteats.com
The coastal trend of sushi burritos has finally hit St. Louis at BLK MKT Eats. Each menu item can be made as a burrito-sized sushi roll wrapped in nori or a bowl with seasoned rice and greens. First-timers should try the OG Fire with a choice of spicy salmon or tuna, Persian cucumber, crispy shallots and tempura crunchies, masago, jalapeno and a creamy, slightly spicy sauce. Lox lovers shouldn’t miss the Swedish Fish made with Scandinavian cured salmon and served with a lemony Yuzu Gold sauce. Ravenous? Order Seoul Delicious Nachos with sticky glazed chicken bites atop addictive house wonton chips with a jumble of greens, kimchi slaw, carrots, house-made BLK MKT pickles, crispy shallots and tempura crunch, scallions and a gochujang mayo. With rapid assembly-line service, we’ve found our new grab-and-go lunch spot.
4. Extra Brut
16 S. Bemiston Ave., Clayton, 314.669.9170, extrabrutstl.com
It’s nearly impossible to screw up a Champagne and oyster bar, but Extra Brut makes most look shoddy in comparison. Next door to sister restaurant Louie’s Wine Dive, this Friday- and Saturday-only hideaway sports no exterior signage. Grab a seat at the swanky, candle-lit bar and order a bottle of the Slovenian Rubela for an interesting, balanced bubbly with savory notes from the diverse list of international sparkling wines. Along with a mixed dozen from the rotating raw oyster menu, do not miss the charbroiled umami-packed oysters Bienville. These shockingly rich shells stuffed and baked with bechamel, shrimp, bacon and cremini mushrooms will carry you through to another bottle.
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