Saturday, April 7, 2012


We had a terrific Friday lunch at this delicious restaurant that is close to the Brewery in Soulard.  Sam and Pat Kogos have created a bit of N"Orleans and it is delicious!
I had read a review of it in St Louis Magazine in March and filed it away for further reference. That review was really favorable as well, so last Friday for our Friday Lunch Date, that's where we went.

We both chose the same things, not our usual practice, and I will tell you that they were both so good that I can't wait to go back and try the entire menu.

Sam's dad seated us at a nice table in the window. It was a day in the 60's and there were so hearty folks having lunch outside, but I need the mid-70's for that kind of dining.

We had the SEAFOOD GUMBO which is served on Fridays only, and I am sure glad we did. It was scrumptious. We each had a cup instead of a bowl because we wanted to try the COCHON DE LAIT PO-BOY that had been described in the STLMagazine.  All I can say is that I was disappointed when I had finished the gumbo because I wanted it to go on and on!

But then we had the COCHON (pork) de LAIT (milk) PO-BOY, which we split, because it's a big sandwich served on a hot and crusty bread made especially for them by Vitale Bakery.  YUM!

It was layered with amazingly tender and flavorful pork slices, mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles. Positively scrumptious. What a treat.

We were both full, but we couldn't leave without trying the desserts. I had the HOUSE MADE BREAD PUDDING WITH WHISKEY SAUCE  and Chuck had the TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE.  Pat Kogos makes the bread pudding and it is unlike any bread pudding I've had in St Louis. It's custardy, with golden raisins and an incredible sauce. It is served hot. The chocolate cake is also served hot! Yes, hot. It has chocolate chunks and a chocolate sauce and is moist and transportable. This cake is made by a lady in Clayton.

We were told that in the summer menu, which is about to appear, there will be a PRALINE CHEESECAKE made by Little Taste of Heaven Bakery from Edwardsville, and a CRAWFISH CORN BISQUE. You can't beat it.

As you can tell we were blown away by this meal. We will be back. And we encourage all of you to go there. It is truly a FIND!

Riverbend Restaurant and Bar
701 Utah Street
St Louis MO 63118

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sidney Street Cafe

We had another wonderful experience and meal at Sidney Street Cafe Thursday night. This is one of my most favorite restaurants, as you well know if you've been reading St Louie Foodie.

The atmosphere is warm, cozy, yet sophisticated, and, dare I say, romantic. This is one restaurant where you can have an intimate conversation.

We were there with four friends and everyone agreed that the meal was delicious, the service was excellent, and the experience was one to be repeated often.

Kevin Nashan has made this St Louis favorite even better. His devotion to better food manifests his philosophy in the way he has wrapped his parking lot with raised beds of vegetables and herbs, the seeds he is sowing now for this summer, the meats he is smoking in his own charcuterie, and the jars of preserved fruits and vegetables that he canned last summer to use in his restaurant this winter.

I highly recommend this restaurant to all my good and special friends. If you haven't been to Sidney street Cafe in years, it is high time for you to remedy that. You won't be disappointed.

Sidney Street Cafe
2000 Sidney Street
St Louis, MO 63104


Last night my husband and I went to Niche. It was a memorable experience. From the moment I walk in through the door, the atmosphere makes me feel as though I am in another city. I am not sure that this reaction is one that Gerard Craft wants, but it's there for me nonetheless. I say that because Gerard not only got the "establishment" to look at St Louis with his outstanding talent, but he is a huge St Louis booster, and he is doing whatever is in his power, to bring even more culinary interest to our city. We are blessed with talent.

Before I get to our meal, I'd like to point out that the decor, the lighting, the intimacy,  the friendliness and knowledge of the staff, all combine to make dining there delightful. I say that knowing that this Summer, Niche will be moving to new quarters in Clayton, and I hope that these qualities will not be lost.

Now to our food.
Chuck and I started our meal with Celery Root Soup. It was absolutely amazingly delicious. The texture of the broth was silken. First the warm bowl came from the kitchen with a still life of crunchy wheat berries , tiny pieces of grapefruit and tarragon. Then in a separate container the soup was poured over this assemblage in a creamy, hot stream. The flavor and the different textures on your tongue hit all the high spots; salty, sweet, tart, and crunchy. It was so good I asked Carrie, our wonderful waitress to bring spoons so I could give the people sitting next to us, whom we did not even know, a taste. Earlier, they had shared some squid ink drenched bread that had been deep fried on their choice of first course, Lobster, with Celery,Green Apple and Togarashi Hollandaise. These are the kinds of things that happen at Niche.

Next, my Honey had Wild Steelhead, with Fennel, Blood Orange, Pistachio. This is a fish in the trout family with pink flesh. The fennel was roasted and caramelized, the sauce was blood orange and a kaffir lime reduction, and the pistachio was a puree  mixed with marscapone cheese. There were what looked like very delicate potato chips that turned out to be the very thin, crispy skin of the Steelhead, that Carrie said is called pescarone. The plate was gorgeous; the pale pink of the fish, the red of the blood orange sauce, the soft green of the pistachio-marscapone and the pale golden brown of the fish skin that somehow was perched on its edges. It was not only delicious but exquisite.

My choice was Pork Duo, that consisted of Smoked Pork Shoulder, Pulled Belly, Popcorn Polenta, and Hickory Broth. Talk about flavor and texture! it was a tour de force. The pork shoulder had been smoked so that the flavor was perfect, not too smokey but delicious, and had been pulled apart into tender morsels. The pork belly was fatty and yummy. The popcorn polenta was wonderful. The popcorn had been popped in butter, pureed and mixed with the polenta which was then made into a cake and seared. To make something delicious even more so, the cake was topped with crispy pork cracklings. All of this was enhanced by a thin hickory broth that married all parts together beautifully. Amazing.

Our dessert came on a long, thin white plate. On it was Beet Micro Sponge Cake, Coconut Chocolate Crumble with Dehydrated Beets, Orange Sambucca Sorbet, Dark Chocolate Ice-Cream, Walnuts and Dill.
What a fabulous meal.

Niche Restaurant
1831 Sidney Street
St Louis MO 63104