8 new St. Louis restaurants to try this month
Edera Italian Eatery
This Central West End spot features one of the most beautiful new patios in the city. Mike Randolph, the mastermind behind the now-closed Randolfi’s and Good Pie, is at the helm as consulting chef. The arugula salad with plentiful pickled shallots, cherry tomatoes, bits of candied almond, and a savory goat cheese vinaigrette is the perfect appetizer to prep your palate. The pappardelle Bolognese was also delectable with its sauce of spicy, slowly rendered pork, rosemary, tomato and cream. And the salsiccia pizza with house-made pork sausage, mozzarella, crispy kale and garlic was dotted with vinegary Calabrian chilies and had a perfectly chewy crust fit for a gondolier. Service is currently limited to carryout and patio dining, using mostly disposable serviceware – something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a romantic night out.
48 Maryland Plaza, St. Louis, 314.361.7227, ederastl.com
Too Much Sauce
Too Much Sauce’s soulful cooking elevates fried food to an awesome place. Crispy, spicy hot catfish topped with pickles and fresh onion woke us up, while dazzling wings (we loved the KO hot lemon pepper and STL sweet and spicy sauces) packed a serious punch. Snappy, airy fried green beans were flawlessly executed, as were the crispy-but-tender onion rings. The vegan cauliflower wings – ordered spicy, of course – gave our office veg-heads something to sing about. Don’t be misled by the name – everything had just the right amount of sauce. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t get lost in it.
5249 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.448.6260, too-much-sauce-stl.business.site
This cocktail bar from the team behind Yellowbelly and Retreat Gastropub offers bespoke cocktails and a delicious food menu. The Lazy Tiger is a sweet and spicy treat made with Agave de Cortes mezcal, orange shrub, honey, serrano pepper, Tajin and lime, while those with a taste for something drier will appreciate the Street Legal, a gin martini made with sherry and blanc vermouth. The food offerings, while limited, are hardly an afterthought: The chicken pibil taquitos are deliciously smoky, and the grilled octopus toast is just the right texture – muscular but not tough. For those in need of a heartier meal, the short rib slab burger is tender and flavorful; it comes dressed with sweet roasted peppers and fontina cheese and is served on a house-made bun.
210 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, lazytigerstl.com
Though it’s not close to our office, this new Korean restaurant in St. Ann has us ready to jump in the car again. The kimchi pancake was perfectly cooked and came with a beautifully tangy sauce; the yaki udon noodles were full of garlic and funk, with plenty of tasty veggies bathed in delightfully spicy sauce. The omu-rice saw ultra-savory fried rice wrapped in a cozy blanket of eggs. A couple of soju potion cocktails (we tried the mandarin-ginger and citron flavors) got us through the afternoon with a boost of fresh fruit and dangerously subtle alcohol.
10678 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann, 314.429.4255, pocha-stl.com
Red Knot Culinary at Handlebar
If someone had told us six months ago that HandleBar would be turning out fine dining-level cuisine on its patio, we probably would not have believed it. Enter the pandemic, and then Red Knot Culinary, a new project from former Brasserie sous chef Phill Camper. A permanent collab between the two entities has yielded dishes like a rich, impossibly fresh shrimp ‘n’ grits, an awesomely balanced kale salad with citronette and orange supremes, and a killer BLT with pimento cheese. Camper’s goat cheesecake stopped us in our tracks. HandleBar’s 2020 experience may be completely different from what we’re used to, but we’ll remain here for it.
4127 Manchester Ave., St. Louis (inside HandleBar), 314.652.2212, handlebarstl.com, redknotstl.com
Cafe la Vie
If you’re looking to escape the mundane and experience the good life, Cafe la Vie inside the new Le Meridien hotel in Clayton is ready to serve a little fantasy. Start your meal with the savory yet slightly sweet french onion soup with sourdough and gruyere or the delightful little gem salad, which comes with crunchy marcona almonds, chunks of navel orange, green olives, pecorino Romano, sherry vinaigrette and crunchy, buttered bread crumbs. We also enjoyed the burger with bordelaise, Comté cheese and fried shallots on a brioche bun served with perfectly crispy fries. Don’t miss the gooey butter cake gelato or a sparkling sip off the happy hour menu, like The Countryside with vodka, orgeat, St. Louis Juice Press’ beet-orange juice, fresh lemon juice and prosecco.
7730 Bonhomme Ave., Clayton, Cafe la Vie
The Lucky Accomplice
The Lucky Accomplice sees chef Logan Ely applying the highly creative approach he developed at his debut establishment Shift to an expanded (but no less impressive) menu. Everything we tried exhibited thoughtful attention to detail, from the carpaccio-style layered beets, dressed with a beet béarnaise and both cooked and flakey dried black trumpet mushrooms, to the everything tater tot, a latke-like mound of crispy, grated potatoes topped with cream cheese and cured salmon. The creaminess of the eggplant and burrata caramelle’s filling played well against the tangy preserved tomato topping and perfect chewiness of its house-made pasta wrap. The oversized toasted raviolo serves visual drama with a wink; it’s filled with ricotta and a surprisingly light pork Bolognese. The smooth screwdriver slushy is a not-to-be-missed cocktail; topped with a vanilla whipped yogurt, it tastes like a boozy creamsicle smoothie.
2501 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314.354.6100, theluckyaccomplice.com
Novellus is the latest in a wave of new food and drink spots opening on St. Charles’ Main Street. The new American restaurant offers upscale comfort food, including salads, flatbreads, small plates and a creative cocktail program. The Novellus salad is zesty and refreshing, featuring crisp jicama, orange and a citrus vinaigrette balanced by toasted pumpkins seeds and nutty Parmesan. The muffuletta sandwich substitutes an olive and red pepper spread for the traditional olive salad, lending briny flavor without being overly oily. The spinach and mushroom flatbread, prepared with a light alfredo sauce, was satisfyingly chewy. The house-made potato chips, which are perfectly fried and seasoned, were a surprising standout.
201 N. Main St., St. Charles, 636.896.4800, thenovellus.com
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