the dining room at barrio photo by michelle volansky

3 new St. Louis restaurants to try in June

1. The Boathouse
6101 Government Drive, Forest Park, St. Louis, 314.366.1555,

The Boathouse is worth a trip even if you stay on dry land. When Sugarfire Events took over management this year, it updated the menu and upgraded the beverage list. Bud Light is still there, but now you can opt for something like a Stillwater Insetto dry-hopped sour with Italian plum if you prefer. Even the chardonnay on offer is interesting – like the unoaked version from A to Z Wineworks in Oregon. The full drinks menu, which rotates frequently, is also available at the bar attached to the boat rental building. If you’ve ever had to wait for your paddleboat turn on a busy day, you know the importance of this news. 

If you’re also ordering food to go with your duck watching, start with the Szechuan sticky pork spare ribs. The tender meat falls off the bone, shellacked in rich, sweet and spicy Szechuan sauce and stacked around a pile of al dente noodles. Try the surprisingly meaty roasted portobello Reuben from the selection of sandwiches, or opt for a more composed entree like the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with sweet potato asparagus hash or the classic New York strip steak with roasted potatoes. Just be sure to wait an hour before going on the water.

the boathouse // photo by michelle volansky

2. Twisted Roots Brewing Co.
3690 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.449.6363, Facebook: Twisted Roots Brewing

With stints at 4204 Main St. Brewing Co. and 4 Hands Brewing Co. on their resumes, Twisted Roots owners Kris Wangelin and Adam Patterson were expected to turn out tasty beer. Their brewery delivers with a mix of classic styles like Kingsman, a malty ESB, and more unique creations like Kali, a summery “saturated pale ale” filled with juicy mango notes. 

We didn't expect such tasty and creative pub fare. The Reuben version of the house-made Twisted Rolls packs the flavors of our favorite sandwich – chopped corned beef, gooey Swiss and pungent kraut – into a flaky, crispy egg roll and serves them with house Russian dressing. A basket of addictive, poppable calamari is easy to share among friends. For hungrier, more selfish appetites, try the Spicy Thigh Sandwich. A flaky breaded thigh is drizzled with Mike’s Hot Honey and topped with Sriracha cheddar, pickle and onion and served with wide, flat house fries that satisfy both our french fry and potato chip cravings.

barrio’s chile relleno // photo by michelle volansky

3. Barrio
740 Demun Ave., Clayton, 314.725.0322,

When Demun Oyster Bar reinvented itself as Barrio in April, a restaurant specializing in Latin American, Mexican and Spanish flavors, some local foodies were worried. Changing concepts is a tricky business for a restaurant, especially when the original version has proven to be such a popular proposition. 

However, diners need not fear – the concept may have changed, but the food and drink remain top-notch. Tasty takes on staples like street corn, tacos and chile relleno have replaced oysters, and the beverage program is no longer centered on wine but on agave spirits – in cocktails and solo – along with a rotating selection of agua frescas and sangrias. Combine the stellar menu with the restaurant’s much-loved patio, and summer dining never looked so good.