5 new St. Louis-area restaurants and bars to try this month
Fans of Maplewood staple The Crow’s Nest will find similarities in the restaurant’s new Soulard outpost: That familiar divey charm is still there but with enough new elements to establish its own identity. A large wraparound bar is the centerpiece of the space with campy ’80s movies projected on the wall and a memorabilia collection on display that feels more Rock & Roll Hall of Fame than TGI Fridays. Smash burgers are the star of the menu with options ranging from a classic double cheeseburger to a Frisco Melt to the B.A. Baracus with two quarter-pound patties, bacon, avocado, cheddar and deep-fried garlic mayo. There’s a full column of “macs” including an original mac and cheese with campanelle noodles and rich jalapeno-gouda cheese sauce. Hot Honey Mac adds hot honey fried chicken, Gorgonzola and a drizzle of ranch. Whether you’re throwing back beers on the large, dog-friendly patio or having a full meal in the dining room, Eat Crow has got those ideal neighborhood bar vibes down.
1931 S. 12th St., St. Louis, 314.934.1400, eatcrowstl.com
Bistro la Floraison
Bistro la Floraison, the latest venture from Take Root Hospitality, opened in the former home of Bar Les Frères in July. The small, bright space is welcoming and comfortable with cushioned chairs and charming service. The French wine list, curated by beverage director Kara Flaherty and house sommelier Patricia Wamhoff, is a great opportunity to explore. Try starting with a bottle of Sancerre to accompany airy gougeres with Gruyere cheese foam, each component emphasizing its counterpart's lightness. Another delicious snack was the French onion financiers, slightly sweet and then savory from the onion, topped with Comté cheese and thyme oil. The crudites with assorted fresh, roasted and pickled vegetables are presented on a bed of crushed ice and served with Franch – French ranch, très chic. Don’t miss the golden kaluga caviar that came dolloped on top of fresh potato waffles with creme fraiche; it was lovely with a Clos Cibonne tibouren rosé, a beautiful, dry, fuller-bodied rosé. Dessert, a decadent Basque cheesecake with macerated peaches, was a strong finish.
7637 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, 314.725.8880, bistrolafloraison.com
Ivy, an elegant, Instagram-worthy cafe in Clayton, uses high-quality, locally sourced ingredients for dishes that shine. While the menu includes soups, salads, quiches and more, the specialty here is tartines served on sourdough that’s baked in-house daily. We loved The Pershing, a caprese-esque tartine with fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, basil and lightly sweet truffle glaze. The Cromwell tartine featured a smooth and creamy hummus, goat cheese, a giant morel mushroom, crunchy pine nuts, plus a sprinkling of dill and parsley. We also enjoyed the watermelon salad with watermelon radish, cucumbers, delicate baby greens, feta and a just-sweet-enough honey vinaigrette.
14A N. Meramec Ave., Clayton, 314.776.9377, ivytartines.com
Tiger Soup Dumplings
This little spot in Gravois Bluffs is already a magnet for anyone living in South County who longs for more Chinese soup dumplings in their life. And if you’ve never tried soup dumplings before, you’ll be eternally glad you did. The menu here offers one big choice: Do you want your dumplings (six per serving) steamed or pan-fried? The correct answer is both, so bring a friend and you can share two orders of dumplings – or more, if you’re hungry. Fillings include pork, beef, chicken or shrimp and cheese. The garlicky cucumber salad is a must, and the chile sauce on your table is made in-house. The wall mural provides a how-to guide on eating soup dumplings, and it’s there for good reason: These delights need to be handled delicately, as the soup filling is both piping hot and capable of spurting anywhere. Don’t be deterred – pure enjoyment awaits a careful eater.
98D Gravois Bluffs Circle Drive, Fenton, 636.678.7180, Instagram: Tiger Soup Dumplings
The Saturn Lounge
There’s major wow factor walking into Cherokee Street’s newest nightlife hangout. Tucked into an unassuming spot along Antique Row, The Saturn Lounge’s slick, modern interior feels both apt and futuristic. You can feel the influence from co-owner and veteran turntablist Doug Morgan in every square inch. Rather than superfluous bottle options collecting dust behind the bar, stacks of vinyl line the shelves; an elevated audio system pumps chill tunes throughout the space. The drink menu offers a respectable local draft beer list, a long list of cans and bottles, a few wines by the glass or bottle, and a pleasantly surprising column of NA offerings. The cocktail list keeps it simple with riffs on classics like a Violet Fizz with gin, violet liqueur, simple syrup and soda, and the La Scala mezcal margarita with basil and peach liqueurs.
1915 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.226.9473, thesaturnlounge.com
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