Monday, October 20, 2014

Old Standard Fried Chicken

Last night we went to the newest Ben Poremba creation a fried chicken emporium in the Botanical Heights neighborhood just north of his Olio, Elaia, and La Patisserie Chouquette. I was opening night and it was delightful.

The restaurant has unpainted wood throughout. There's booths and tables,  picture of Abe Lincoln greets you at the door. The atmosphere is welcoming and fun.

The menu is all about fried chicken, natch, and its go-withs. Here's some we tried. For starters we chose Charlotte's Mother's Dressed Eggs. These turned out to be deviled eggs with rings of tiny peppers and tiny sliced pickles. We also had the Fries with Blue Cheese Mayonnaise for Dippin'. The fries were really good, thin, crispy and hot,  plus there was also catsup and hot sauce besides the blue cheese mayo. A real winner.
We also ordered the bread basket that came with two kinds of biscuits and two kinds of cornbread. With that you can mix and match several flavored butters and jellies. We chose the Lemon-Honey and Pistachio-Mint butters and Grape Jelly.

We also had the Watermelon Salad made of whole baby romaine leaves, watermelon and jalapeƱo peppers, it was terrific, and the Tomato and Cucumber Salad, which had a selection of different colored heirloom tomatoes, and small cucumber, which went really well with the chicken. Speaking of chicken, that's what you come here for and it is really GOOD.

You can order the fried chicken ALA CARTE ( thigh,1/2 breast, leg), HALF ( thigh,breast,leg and wing), or WHOLE ( 2 thighs,2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 wings). We opted for ALA Carte, legs and thighs, which are $4 each. Very affordable.

The chicken is mahogany brown and crunchy, just right. The chickens according to the menu are from Miller Poultry, a small, family owned company from Indiana, which have been raised in the most humane manner, fed an all vegetable drug free diet and are hormone and antibiotic free.

There were lots of sides we didn't try but there's always next time.  Also ditto for the desserts, which promise to be delicious.

So take a look at their website to see the whole menu. You won't be sorry.

Old Standard Fried Chicken
1621 Tower Grove Ave

Saturday, February 8, 2014


This Friday we went to a restaurant in Florissant that a friend of mine suggested. She said it was, well-de-lish! and she was right.

She also told me it was tiny, an historical train depot, painted red. Again, she was right. If you didn't know what to look for you could easily pass it up, which would be a terrible shame because it is really a very good place. It has been open about 2 years. It's owners Jeff and Kris Mullersman are a delightful young couple who believe in quality ingredients fresh every day.

Actually, de.lish is best known for its cheesecakes that are made by Kris. De.lish was voted the Best Cheesecake in St Louis. Kris makes over 40 different kinds and any 5 of them are on offer every day.
The actual name of the restaurant is de.lish Cheesecake Bakery and Cafe. Their motto is "fresh from scratch, everyday".

They serve breakfast and lunch during the week and on weekends they stay open until 9PM. The space may be small but the menu is amazing. The offerings are mouthwatering and the hardest thing to do is to choose what to have they all sound so, well, de.lish.

I chose the McGreggor sandwich, which consisted of oven roasted chicken breast, caramelized onions, smoked gouda cheese,2 slices of applewood smoked bacon,toasted and topped with chipotle mayo, on a ciabatta bun.  Oh brother, it was really de.lish, and enough for two.

Chuck ordered the BLB, which stands for bacon, lettuce bacon. It comes with 10 slices of bacon (one pound! ) romaine lettuce with chipotle mayo on French bread. Fortunately it is available in a half sandwich.

The sandwich I can't wait t try ( among many ) is the veggie which has Japanese cucumber, red onion,fresh tomatoes, roasted red pepper,spinach, feta, cream cheese and avocado hummus on a ciabatta!

Let me just say that you need to go to their website and look at their menus and that you definitely need to go there and try it all out. I may try to eat my way through the entire menu, it is that good.

If you take I-270 to Florissant Rd, go north until you get to St Catherine Street, and look for a tiny, red, historically protected train depot, you won't be disappointed.

de.lish Cheesecake Bakery and Cafe
1060 St Catherine St
Florissant, MO 63031

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Thursday night after being dug out of a snow clogged driveway we were at least a half hour late for our reservation. We had called and let the restaurant know we were having difficulty and they were most understanding. We happened to choose the first night they were open after the Holiday break. The snow was still a factor as many streets had not yet been cleared, so I am sure that all restaurants in our snowy area were experiencing a lower client rate.

We had been reading about Element in both the Post-Dispatch and St Louis Magazine which gave the restaurant very good reviews so we were really looking forward to having dinner there.

The reviewers were right on. Everything we had that night was excellent and the restaurant itself is handsome, with a huge open kitchen. We had a table overlooking the kitchen, which is really a wonderful opportunity to see the chefs in action and, in this case, how close the servers are to the action so they are truly well informed.

We wanted to try the Pork Belly with French Prunes, Walnuts and Blue Cheese, but our server told us they had already sold out of that, however, a new batch would be available in about a half hour. We had just ordered our drinks, so we decided to wait so we could have it. One of our party ordered the Fried Oysters with Tomatillo Aioli, Chorizo, Green Apple,with Barbecue Spices, and another ordered the Bone Marrow, with Smoked Pears, Bacon, Herbs and Grilled Bread. As it turned out the Pork Belly was ready sooner and it was absolutely delicious. The Fried Oysters were perhaps the best ever, and the Bone Marrow was guiltily yummy, all that fabulous fat, but there's not that much to clog your veins, so feel free to order it! The plating for all of these small plates was lovely.

For our main courses two of us had the special Salmon served with the skin over Roasted Vegetables, which got raves, and two of us ordered the Duck Breast with Scrapple, Brussels Sprouts, and Apple Butter. Our other choices were Fish Stew with Potato, Cabbage, Fennel and Kielbasa in a Fish Broth, Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato, Leek, Peppercorn Chutney, Lardo Vinaigrette, or Mussels in a Miso Broth, Shiso Leaves, Thai Chili, Ginger and Lime, and a vegetarian Polenta, Tapenade,Arugula, Blood Orange, Herbs, Goat Cheese Crema.

Why we weren't more adventuresome and tried more of the selections is pretty silly, but it does give us good reasons to return.

I spoke briefly with Brian Hardesty, the executive chef to thank him for the amazing food and his idea of having collaborative chefs as a team. As of this writing they include Sam Boettler, Brinn Coltrane and Chris Dimercurlo.

I heartily encourage you to go to this exciting addition to our city's excellent dining and drinking experiences.

1419 Carroll Street

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


A couple of weeks ago we ventured into St Charles to try a new restaurant Prasino.
It is located right past the bridge off i70West where the old Noah's Arc used to be located, but now is a huge modern complex of offices, condos and stores.

The restaurant is extremely attractive with a large outdoor dining patio and a beautiful dining room and bar whose scale you need to see to believe, but is designed into very comfortable spaces.
We opted for a booth as it gave us a great view of the room, the wine cellar, and it was quieter.

Our waiter was knowledgable and informative and service was very good.

This is the kind of restaurant that has become very popular as the menu has selections of small plates, tacos, flat breads, sushi rolls, big plates, salads, sandwiches ( called" hands-on") and sides plus desserts.

The crowd was young and attractive and the music was not to my liking, but I'm into classical and jazz, so never mind.

All the selections made me want to come back and try them. That night I had a Polar Bear "Roll" which consisted of crab, white tuna, avocado, wasabi mayo, cucumber, unagi sauce, and wasabi tobiko. I'm not sure what wasabi tobiko is but that sushi roll was Heaven, and it was BIG! All the "rolls" as they are listed on the menu look fabulous.

I also had trout, wood grilled with succotash, bacon confit and sage butter. I had to take half of it home but it was delicious ( the next day too).

No room for dessert that night, but you can be sure I'm returning to try again.

According to St Louis Magazine Prasino means green in Greek and is pronounced PRAHS-UH-NO.

1520 South Fifth Street
St Charles,MO

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Well, if you haven't tried THE LIBERTINE in Clayton you need to do so ASAP.  This is a real winner. The owners, which includes the chef, Josh Galliano, have done a great job remodeling the restaurant and creating a very exciting menu.
We have been delighted with our every visit. 
The concept is fresh and easy.  The menu is simple to understand but the food is extraordinary.  Here's the concept.
There are four columns.  One for Vegetable, one for Meat, one for Seafood, and one for Dessert. OK, you say, what's so different? What is so different is that most of these items are small plates and the selections under each are creative and delicious. Let me give you some examples.

Under Vegetables you have:

Illinois Asparagus with Black Garlic,Midwest Caviar, Fried Potatoes, Boiled Fried Egg

Scorched Twisted Peppers with Molasses Bacon, Cherry Tomato,  Opal Basil, Benne Seeds

Ash Roasted Carrots with Pea Cavatelli, Miso Carrot Puree, Dashi Broth, Radish

and that's less than half the Vegetable offerings.

Under Meat you have:

Crispy Pig Tails "Buffalo Style" Whipped Gorgonzola, Brown Butter Polenta

Diner Burger  Double Patty of Local Beef, Molasses Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Cheese "Whiz" on a Bacon Bun with Fried Mashed Potatoes

Three Little Birds a Trio of Roasted Game Hen, Chicken and Quail with Rice Grits, blistered Tomato, PattyPan and Fava Succotash

That's only 3 of the 9 items that were offered under Meat 

Under Seafood

She Crab Soup with Blue Crab Spring Roll, Sherry Pearls and Marash Chile

Frog Legs English Peas, Green Garlic Vichysoise, Fresh Hummus, Socca Flatbread

Deep Water Hake Gnudi Ricotta Dumpling, Artichoke Barigoule, Charred Cucumber, Caramelized Yogurt

See what I mean?


The Libertine Candy Bar Salted Caramel Semi-Freddo, Hazelnuts, Ganache, Chocolate Ganache

TCHO Chocolate sauce, Herb and Spring Flower Crumble,Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Basil Paper

This is what I've tried so far.  The Ash Carrots are fabulous. A carrot never tasted so new, so great. the Crispy Pigs Tails, don't be frightened about this-it's delicious, crunchy and yummy.  The Diner Burger does not have regular Cheese Whiz on it, it has a cheese that Josh has created and boy is it good.  The Three Little Birds is a gorgeous dish, beautiful and absolutely wonderful tasting.  My husband adores the She Crab Soup and orders it every time we go there. We used to live in Maryland and he thought that was the ONLY place to get good She Crab Soup until he tasted Josh's.  The Deep Water Hake, when it's available is a must.
I've never made it to Dessert, but that Candy Bar is calling to me.

You can be sure that the menu changes with the Seasons and availability plus on the second Sunday of every month Josh fries his famous chicken that is three days in preparation and is amazing; deep mahogany brown crisp, crisp crust with yummy mashed potatoes, and fresh corn. Oh boy!

Please do yourself a favor. Walk in to The Libertine and let them take care of you. The staff is great and the kitchen deserves many stars.

The Libertine
7927 Forsyth