from left, bulrush sous chef justin bell, bar manager chris voll and chef-owner rob connoley photo by meera nagarajan

3 new St. Louis restaurants to try in May

1. Bulrush
3307 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.449.1208,

Bulrush, the long-awaited restaurant from James Beard-nominated chef Rob Connoley, creates a reality that seamlessly melds past, present and future. The cuisine has origins in the food of the Ozarks circa the mid-1800s, reimagined in a fine-dining context. Along with an a la carte bar menu, Bulrush offers a $100 seven-course tasting menu for four seatings a night. 

Dishes feature local, ultra-seasonal ingredients, many foraged by Connoley and sous chef Justin Bell. On a recent menu, fermented persimmon made an appearance in a vinegar pie as well as an ice cream with white bean miso, while paw paw appeared as “caviar” atop a bluepoint oyster and as a component of a cocktail syrup. 

Everything is used to its maximum effect, and virtually nothing is wasted, an old idea born of necessity that finds resonance in the “modern” idea of the zero-waste kitchen. At Bulrush, everything old is new again.

2. The Dubliner
2733 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.781.4607,

Fans of high-quality Irish pub food shed more than a few tears when The Dubliner closed shop downtown in 2015. Well, dry those eyes because The Dubliner has found a new home in downtown Maplewood, and its menu of favorites is back and every bit as good as the original incarnation, from shepherd’s pie to bangers and mash

And you’d be hard-pressed to find a better plate of fish and chips in town: The ultra-fresh battered cod is fried to a glorious golden brown with nary a bit of grease to be seen (or tasted).

3. Bagel Champ
3422 S. Jefferson Ave. (inside Byrd & Barrel), St. Louis, 314.875.9998,

Instagram: @bagelchamp

There’s an underdog vibe at Bagel Champ, perhaps built on the feeling that a renowned fried chicken restaurant (Byrd & Barrel, which houses the bagel pop-up Saturday and Sunday for brunch) shouldn’t also serve great bagel sandwiches. But now it does. 

We were blown away by the sausage, egg and cheese, which featured absurdly good house-made sausage, and we also enjoyed the fried chicken bagel, which included hearty slaw and a tasty kimchi spread. The bagels, soft and almost brioche-like, are perfect for these hefty sandwiches. 

With a rotating selection of collaborations with eateries like Gioia’s Deli and Pie Guy Pizza, you can never be sure what will be on the menu, which is part of the allure.

Adam Rothbarth and Matt Sorrell are staff writers at Sauce Magazine.