6 new St. Louis-area restaurants to try this month
From the intimate 24-seat dining room to the Japanese noodle machine to the line spilling down the sidewalk, every detail of Menya Rui in Lindenwood Park evokes the tiny noodle shops of Tokyo. Then, of course, there’s the ramen – chewy, fresh noodles are available in three styles: ramen, tsukemen (chilled noodles dipped into concentrated scallop aroma broth) or mazemen (a brothless noodle dish with an assortment of toppings). The concise menu is completed with a crisp, pickled cucumber salad and impossibly juicy, crisp fried chicken karaage. Chef-owner Steven Pursley’s years of experience working in ramen joints in Japan, some of St. Louis’ finest restaurants, and his popular pop-up series Ramen x Rui have led to this well-oiled machine, and it’s something special.
3453 Hampton Ave., St. Louis, 314.601.3524, Facebook: Menya Rui
Small-scale microgreen grower Micro Meadows has opened a café and shop featuring super-fresh salads made with their greens; grab one to go or eat it there, paired with a locally made kombucha or Mighty Kind seltzer. Made with broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, arugula microgreens and more, the mixed microgreens are a welcome change of pace from the typical lettuce and baby spinach. The fiesta verde was sublime, with roasted corn, black beans, shredded sharp cheddar and tortilla strips dressed with a subtly sweet cilantro-lime vinaigrette. We also loved the signature summer salad with fresh strawberries and blueberries, as well as a sprinkling of feta and maple-glazed pecans in a maple-balsamic dressing.
2422 Taylor Road, Wildwood, 636.893.3372, micro-meadows.com
The Rose Barrel
The Rose Barrel brings upscale comfort food to Ballwin. The truffle-Swiss burger is topped with mushrooms drizzled with truffle oil on a sturdy brioche bun – all taken up a notch with a garlicky Parmesan-truffle oil aioli. Pro tip: For no charge, upgrade your side of regular fries to the lightly breaded sweet potato fries, which were salted to perfection. We also tried the crab Rangoon appetizer special; generously filled and crispy, they are served with a rich and creamy sriracha-chile dipping sauce reminiscent of the sweet-and-sour sauce the dish is normally served with. Pair your meal with a minty blueberry mojito, which is highly refreshing with its delicate balance of rum, simple syrup, a splash of soda and lime juice.
15483 Clayton Road, Ballwin, 314.370.1676, therosebarrel.com
Fordo’s Killer Pizza
At Fordo’s Killer Pizza, the newest restaurant from Niche Food Group, Neapolitan-style pizza crust reigns supreme. Tucked in the back corner of the food hall at City Foundry, you’ll find Fordo’s wood-burning pizza oven firing pizzas with pillowy, chewy dough and toppings that range from traditional to unconventional. The classic margherita and marinara let the sauce shine – it’s simple, sweet and acidic. Inventive pizzas, like the taco pizza with salsa verde, beans and carnitas, had bursts of heat from jalapeños and a sharp finish from cilantro and lime. Notable starters include salads – a classic Caesar salad and the mixed greens with orange-thyme vinaigrette and mozzarella – made with remarkably fresh greens, and smoky charred carrot hummus with salty feta and a tender herb salad topper. There will be a line, but the food at Fordo’s – especially the pizza – is definitely worth the wait.
3730 Foundry Way, St. Louis, fordospizza.com
This new Oaxacan restaurant is a bit tucked away (look for it on the backside of the property where USA Halal Meat is located), but you’ll know you’ve made it when you see the brightly colored paint framing the doorway. The breakfast tacos are a great way to start the day with scrambled eggs, a bright and punchy pico de gallo, shredded cheese and cilantro encompassed by sturdy, housemade blue corn tortillas. The bandera features a mix of three enchiladas: beef with creamy cheese dip, chicken with a smoky mole, and cheese with spicy salsa verde. The tlayuda is an iconic and delightful Oaxacan dish with a hardened corn tortilla that houses refried black beans, asiento (unrefined pork lard), cabbage, avocado, Oaxaca cheese, salsa and the meat of your choice – we recommend the al pastor (pork), which was tender and piquant.
2925 Lemay Ferry Road, Mehlville, 314.200.8212, laoaxaquenastl.com
Honey Bee Tea
Honey Bee Tea’s space is cozy and luxe with gleaming gold signage and plush banquet seating. An expansive menu runs the gamut from classic milk tea favorites to colorful, fruit-forward lattes. Okinawa milk tea is dripping in roasted brown sugar with fresh, springy boba bobbing along the bottom. We recommend capping it off with a crème brulee topping for even more sweet, toasty flavor. For a mellower treat, try the ube-taro latte, a gorgeously purple non-caffeinated milk drink subtly infused with ube’s sweet potato-like flavor. Don’t miss the dessert case on your way out and get an Instagram-worthy slice of pandan-coconut crepe cake. Each satisfying bite sinks through gradient layers of soft, thin crepe and bright fruit flavor.
429 Lafayette Center Drive, Manchester, 636.220.8316, honeybt.com
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