This tiny restaurant is one of the best things that has come to St Louis this year. Kevin Willmann, chef and owner, has created a foodie's oasis on Ivanhoe Avenue between Bradley and Fyler.
His concept is simple; the best ingredients he can find, used in fresh and imaginative ways, served beautifully and when ready.
The place holds about 50 people. There's a bar room that has about 3 more tables of 4 and there are stools at the bar that might hold 8 more. During the warm months he has a few tables on the sidewalk in front.
Eating here is an unbelivable treat. The menu changes daily, so what I describe here may not be available when you look at the menu, but that is part of the charm of this place.
Eric Scholle is the manager and a great personality for the front of the house. He knows all the ingredients, where they come from, and he's wonderfully helpful when you just can't make up your mind.
I have to admit that we've been there for dinner at least once a week since Kevin Nashan, chef and owner of Sidney Street Cafe, told us about it, unless we've been out of town. I can't wait to see what's on the menu. It's all delicious.
The menu selections are so enticing that I find myself ordering all sorts of small plates because I don't want to miss anything. For instance last week I had the Roasted Ozark Forrest Mushroom Salad. It consisted of Terra Bella Farms greens, with goat cheese and toasted pecans and was served warm with a hot bacon vin. Then I chose the Peach Salad, after all, this is peach season and it doesn't last nearly long enough. This was made with Grandpa's Berry Farm peaches, house ricotta, with a raspberry-honey vin balsamic reduction. My next choice was the Fried Green Tomatoes; Fournie tomatoes and okra, with a bacon goat cheese dressing. I never got to the fish or the Chilled Roast Beef with Horseradish panna cotta, that came with a truffle espuma ( whipped cream with truffle juices), I was just too full.
Fortunately for me, we were with friends and they shared their Blue-Green Snapper(Uku) that was roasted in duck fat, and was served over the most melt in your mouth creamed corn I have ever tasted, with tomato comfit, oven dried tomatoes and a choron sauce (which is a hollandaise sauce tinted pink with tomatoes). The other entree was the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with mashed sweet and Yukon Gold poatatoes, sous vide pearl onions ( that means that the pearl onions were cooked for a very long time at a low temperature until they becomes creamy and yummy), and tomato sauce. Both guys at our table loved it.
By that time we could only share dessert, and the choice was a peach dessert in a flakey pastry with a homemade peach sorbet.
This will not be my only report about this fabulous restaurant. We have a date to introduce some other friends to it next week. Keep tuned, and take a look at their website.
3257 Ivanhoe Ave
St Louis, MO 63139