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rick lewis' southern is your favorite new restaurant of 2016

READERS' CHOICE S T. L O U I S ’ I N D E P E N D E N T C U L I N A R Y A U T H O R I T Y

Readers’ Choice 2016

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FREE, READERS’ CHOICE 2016

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Readers’ Choice 2016


Readers’ Choice 2016

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PHOTO BY ASHLEY GIESEKING

clockwise from bottom: readers' choice favorite restaurateurs gerard craft, dave bailey, kevin nashan and nick luedde

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Readers’ Choice 2016


st. louis' favorite restaurateurs

The menus have been printed, revised, reprinted, revised … and reprinted again. The staff has been trained forward and backward. The silverware has been polished until it’s too shiny to behold. Friends and family have flown in for the soft opening with compliments fit for the pope/Shakespeare/Be yoncé of restaurant owners. But when doors finally open to the public, what’s going through a restaurateur’s mind? – Julie Cohen winner

GERARD CRAFT Owner, Niche Food Group (Brasserie by Niche, Pastaria, Porano Pasta, Sardella, Taste) “I think my opening of Niche was way different from any opening you will see today. In 2005, social media wasn’t really a thing. People finding out about new things were not overnight happenings. Now you open a restaurant and a million people line up out your door — definitely not with Niche. No one knew who we were. It Readers’ Choice 2016

was me, one other cook and my pastry chef who I basically kidnapped. We opened to 12 customers, and I think six of those were from the bar across the street, who I think I convinced to come over if I would feed them for free. … “I was 25. My wife was pregnant. I was doing something a little bit different, which certainly didn’t make it easier. I would work from 8 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. every day. It was intense – a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress. … It was this dream, but also so much reality. And I physically remember when we finally got reviewed — (former St. Louis PostDispatch critic) Joe Bonwich just gave us this love letter. After, I looked up and … there were so many people, we didn’t know what to do. I almost threw up. I was like, ‘Oh shit, I have to cook for all these people!’”

2nd

NICK LUEDDE Co-owner, The Libertine “We had been in the press and had such a highly anticipated opening. … Ten minutes prior to opening — the staff looks great, and we had 200 people on the books — but I’m looking at my wife (Audra Luedde), afraid no one was going to show up. We had so much money invested. This was everything. … It all comes down to whom you’ve hired. If those people are people you actually want to have a drink with, the rest takes care of itself.”

3rd

KEVIN NASHAN Chef-owner, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab and Sidney Street Cafe “Obviously you want to throw up in your mouth. It’s such a big rollercoaster. You just hope people come and are so grateful when they do. It takes a village — everyone contributes to your success. … There are so many variables on opening day. The system you have sometimes completely changes during service, after service.”

honorable mention

DAVE BAILEY Owner, Baileys’ Restaurants (Baileys’ Chocolate Bar; Baileys’ Range; Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar; Rooster; Shift, Test Kitchen & Takeout; Small Batch; The Fifth Wheel) “My seven stages of opening a restaurant for the first time: Electric shock: Woke up early that sunny morning with no alarm clock with a surge through my body and the immediate thought, ‘I am opening a restaurant today! You’ve been working on this day and night, sleeping two hours at a time on top of the bar. It’s actually real now. Go go go!’

A burning sensation in the back of the head and neck: Is there enough time to get everything done? … What did I forget? Will anyone come? Will too many people come? Why am I doing this on a Friday? Why didn’t I do a soft opening? Accelerated breathing and hypersensitivity to sound and touch: Almost there; we’re looking pretty good; it’s all about to happen; this is going to be amazing! Calmness and solidarity of purpose: Ready. Everything looks right; everything feels right; everyone is in position. Panic and self doubt: Why wasn’t there a line at the door? Is anyone going to come? Was this a terrible idea in the first place? I can’t afford for this not to work. Total absorption in work and an extremely narrowed focus: Wow, it’s really busy. Everyone seems happy. We are almost keeping up; we need to go faster; we need to go much faster. Touch more tables. ... Make them happy no matter what. Complete relief and a feeling of having learned and grown more in hours than in the past several years: It worked. We built it, and they came. We are going to do an even better job tomorrow.”

Restaurateurs Gerard Craft and Dave Bailey join Sauce art director Meera Nagarajan this month on Sound Bites. Tune in to 90.7 KWMU as they discuss what they have learned and what's next for their restaurant groups.

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PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

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Readers’ Choice 2016


Collard Greens Bone-In Fried Chicken “It’s the star of the show. I like it with medium heat. I prefer dark meat, but the bone-in breasts are delicious. The way we handle the chicken, it just stays so moist and flavorful.”

“It’s the quality of the things we use that makes them really good. We steal (neighbor) Pappy’s smoked chicken drippings and pour some in.”

Fried Bologna Sandwich “It’s an in-house favorite. We smoke the bologna over apple wood and cherry and put pimento cheese on it. Some of our guys put it on a biscuit.”

fa vorite ne w restaurant

SOUTHERN Since it opened in 2015, St. Louisans have flocked to Southern for fried chicken. “People who were in here two days ago can’t believe they’re back,” said chef-owner Rick Lewis. “People literally get hooked.” And hooked you are. Offering more than a tasty bird, Southern took home this year’s Readers’ Choice Favorite New Restaurant award. Here, Lewis dished on his favorite dishes. – Kristin Schultz 3108 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.531.4668, stlsouthern.com

Biscuits

PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

“It’s a real buttery biscuit that has a golden brown crunch outside and is light and fluffy inside. We whip butter with good honey and make jams – so simple but so good.”

Fried Pickles

Readers’ Choice 2016

“I took them off the menu but had to start doing them again because people kept asking for them. … We use dill seed that gives them a tasty, dilly flavor. I have to say, in the world of fried pickles, they’re up there.”

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the decadent aporkalypse pretzelwich at your favorite sandwich shop, blues city deli

BEST OF

THE

PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER

B E S T 13 READERS’ CHOICE WINNERS. 1 FULL WEEKEND. BY ANDREW BARRETT AND KRISTIN SCHULTZ Readers’ Choice 2016

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your favorite restaurant, cleveland-heath

FRIDAY NIGHT PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

Cleveland-Heath It’s Friday night, and you just got paid. Time to start your tour of the best St. Louis has to offer with a trip out to Readers’ Choice Favorite Restaurant ClevelandHeath. (Yes, it’s in Edwardsville, and, yes, it’s worth the drive.) Fridays are busy, which means you should get in line with the Nowait app before leaving, but also that the restaurant is alive with energy. When you arrive, step up to the bar and Readers’ Choice 2016

ask bartender Andrew Dolinky to choose your first whiskey of the night, or select a well-thought-out cocktail like the Meadow Lane with gin, elderflower and ginger liqueurs, dry vermouth and oloroso sherry. Once seated, the Favorite Wait Staff delivers specials in its signature unpretentious, attentive style. Ask any question and you can expect knowledgeable answers. Browse the menu of Cleveland-Heath’s Favorite American Traditional dishes. The thick and hearty pork porterhouse tastes like

a giant slice of Canadian bacon – maybe the best piece of pig you can remember. Mexican- and Asian-inspired dishes (like the savory pozole soup or okonomiyaki seafood-barbecue Japanese pancake) are just as good as the American offerings. Calling them better would suggest there is something on the menu that isn’t worth your time. With Chef of the Year Ed Heath and coowner Jenny Cleveland in the kitchen, you know what to order: the special. It doesn’t matter what it is. Get the special.

Trust that the attention to texture and flavor interplay will astonish, with each bite precise on every axis. With dishes like melt-in-your-mouth tuna poke and a foiesmeared toast dolloped with a strawberryblueberry compote, you’re sure to find a flavor, crunch or aroma that you’ll be dreaming about well into the weekend. As the evening comes to a close and you finish off the last perfectly puffy beignet, congratulate your servers, bussers and bartenders for their well-deserved accolades. – A.B. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 11


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SATURDAY MORNING La Patisserie Chouquette

CROQUE MADAME BRASSERIE BY NICHE

Ease into Saturday with a treat from La Patisserie Chouquette, winner of Favorite Cakes and Pastries. Step into the bright, Botanical Heights patisserie and order The Darkness, an over-the-top chocolatechocolate-chocolate croissant, or go savory with the tarte Provençal with roasted tomato, fig, fontina cheese, bacon and onion. Sip a cup of The London Tea Room’s Cream Earl Grey while you nibble and discuss your weekend plan of attack.

Soulard Farmers Market One of the oldest and largest west of the Mississippi, Soulard Farmers Market boasts a riverboat-load of vendors hawking everything from turnips to T-shirts. Wander the four wings and be sure to grab produce from Millstadt, Illinois’ Scharf Farm and some goat cheese from Baetje Farms. With as many as 100 vendors, there’s no shortage of meat, produce, spices and baked goods, which may be why its your Favorite Farmers Market.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON Blues City Deli

PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

Just over the highway and a bit south from Soulard Farmers Market is sandwich paradise. Always generous with the meat and fixings, Blues City Deli makes your Favorite Sandwiches. There’s something for everyone at this Benton Park institution. Order the Prez Reuben, a bag of Kettle Kurls and a can of 4 Hands City Wide, or go off menu and ask for the never-disappointing Aporkalypse Pretzelwich crammed with garlic-pepper pork roast, provolone, pickles and bacon covered in zingy Boom Boom sauce on a Companion pretzel bun. Readers’ Choice 2016

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specials featuring savory meat combinations, Strange Donuts is full of surprises. Order the gooey butter for a masterful take on the classic dessert from among your Favorite Doughnuts.

delivers a taste of Paris on a lazy Sunday morning. Perhaps that’s why you voted it your Favorite Brunch.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON SUNDAY MORNING Kaldi’s Coffee Rise and shine – it’s time to get back out there. For a proper java jolt, hit a Kaldi’s Coffee, your Favorite Coffee Shop. A St. Louis staple for 22 years, the local shops feature fairtrade or single-origin options and flavored varieties roasted right in Midtown. Get a handbrewed pour over or a sidecar (cappuccino with a shot of espresso on the side) and prepare to take on the day.

International Tap House Just around the corner from Brasserie, take the afternoon to digest and relax at iTap in the CWE by people-watching on the patio or watching a game inside. Pull up a seat on any of the three floors and order a pint from the Readers’ Choice Favorite Beer List. With just about every St. Louis area brewery represented, you can drink local all day, or opt for a regional craft beer like the crisp, tart Bell’s Oarsman Ale. The beer world is yours.

Brasserie by Niche Be prepared to brunch hard at Brasserie by Niche in the Central West End. Maybe it’s the eggs en cocotte – eggs poached in cream with spinach and bacon served in a little cast-iron skillet – or the Mornay sauce blanketing the ham and cheese croque madame with an egg on top. Whatever your Frenchinspired siren song, Brasserie

CHOUQUETTE PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS; PLANTER'S HOUSE AND SUGARFIRE PHOTOS BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

Planter’s House After napping off lunch, head to Lafayette Square for your Favorite Craft Cocktails at Planter’s House. Co-owner Ted Kilgore and crew stir can’t-miss classics and shake up in-yourface-fun originals that capture trends and seasonal spirits. Linger inside the lush interior of the Bullock Room while you marvel at the back bar’s selections or pull up a seat on the patio and sip a Take Me With U, a fruit-forward mix of blanc vermouth, bitters, lemon, a rosemary tincture and a happy splash of bubbles.

SATURDAY EVENING Reeds American Table Dinner is served at Reeds American Table in Maplewood, where chef-owner Matt Daughaday’s creatively refined classic flavors have won your heart. Less than 1 year old, Reeds is your Favorite American Nouveau. Order Readers’ Choice 2016

one of Daughaday’s favorites: the fried lamb – a braised lamb neck breaded in chickpea flour and fried, served with a grilled little gem salad and a yogurtcreamed feta. Check out the impressive drinks menu, then let advanced sommelier Andrey Ivanov choose your wine pairing.

Strange Donuts After dinner, leave the car parked and hoof it a block west to Strange Donuts for dessert. From classics like the vanillafrosted, rainbow-sprinkled Rainbow Pony to collaborative

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SUNDAY EVENING Barbecue Battle For your weekend’s final dinner, two barbecue heavyweights go toe-to-toe. Sugarfire Smoke House and Pappy’s Smokehouse tied for Favorite Barbecue, so you be the judge. Stop in at Pappy’s and order the Big Ben to go: a hefty combination of ribs, a brisket sandwich, a pulled pork sandwich, a chicken quarter and four sides (opt for the baked beans, fried corn on the cob, sweet potato fries and potato salad). Then swing downtown to the Sugarfire location on Washington Avenue and get the Meat Daddy combination plate with ribs, a smoked sausage link, brisket, pulled pork and turkey. Spread a picnic blanket under the Arch and argue the meaty merits of St. Louis’ favorite barbecue. May the best rib win.

Broadway Oyster Bar To end this whirlwind tour of St. Louis’ best, grab a seat at the iconic Broadway Oyster Bar. Chill N’awlins-style with a frosty bottle of Abita beer or a boozy Sazerac, the iconic New Orleans cocktail. Dance the night away to live music, then snack on some your Favorite Creole and Cajun food like the Shrimp Voodoo once you’ve worked up an appetite. End the weekend by raising a glass to this year’s class of St. Louis favorites. – K.S. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 15


I'LL HAVE WHAT THEY'RE HAVING Sure, you have your favorites. That’s why you voted these restaurants among St. Louis’ finest. Ever wonder, though, what servers order for themselves? Here’s the insider intel on what to eat at the restaurants you can’t get enough of. – Compiled by Sara Graham

THE BOURBON STREET STEAK IS A CAJUN-RUBBED SHOULDER TENDERLOIN SLICED OVER A HOUSEMADE POTATO CAKE, FINISHED WITH AN INTENSELY RICH CRAWFISH ASIAGO CREAM SAUCE. – Tim Benz, Grapevine Grill at Chaumette Vineyards & Winery

The Fa La La La La is like the holidays in a sandwich. Turkey joins house-made cranberry sauce, Swiss cheese, lettuce and creamy tarragon mayo. It comes on our ciabatta, which is the best bread ever! – Matthew Schorr, Companion

My favorite thing is our Playgirl roll. It has spicy tuna mix and tempura shrimp rolled into rice and topped with ahi tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, wasabi mayo and eel sauce. A lot of flavor is packed into this roll. – Conor Mortka, Wasabi Sushi Bar

MY FAVORITE DISH IS THE BEET "RAVIOLI": THIN BEET SLICES FASHIONED INTO RICOTTA- AND ASPARAGUS-FILLED RAVIOLI SITTING ATOP A GOLDEN BEET PUREE. IT’S REFRESHING, COLORFUL AND BEAUTIFUL.

THE STRAMMER MAX: AN OPEN-FACED SANDWICH ON RYE TOAST WITH SWEET ONION JAM, COMTÉ AND CITY HAM TOPPED WITH A FRIED EGG. IT GOES GREAT WITH OUR BOCKBIERS OR OUR DUNKEL.

MY FAVORITE BOWL BEGINS WITH ORGANIC SEMOLINA PASTA TOPPED WITH SUNDAY SMOKY SUGO, MEATBALLS AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS, FINISHED OFF WITH FRESH HERBS, GRANA PADANO CHEESE AND TOASTED BREADCRUMBS.

– Jimmy Dolan, Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

IN THE SUMMER, MY FAVORITE DISH IS THE CAPRESE SALAD. THE TOMATOES AND FRESH MOZZARELLA ARE DELICIOUS, AND I LOVE THE BALSAMIC DRESSING. YEAR-ROUND, I LOVE THE CHEESESTEAK WITH WHITE AMERICAN CHEESE.

The lobster roll, Mainestyle. I like the contrast of the warm, fresh brioche roll combined with the cold lobster paired with hot, crispy french fries.

The pinchos morunos - lamb skewers served with a ginger crema and salsa fresco - is my favorite plate off our spring menu. (It’s) the perfect tapa this time of year

– Karley Monroe, The Post Sports Bar & Grill

– Ronnie Walters, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab

.– Andrew Holt, Modesto Tapas Bar and Restaurant

The Omnivurger is a blend of grass-fed beef, roasted mushrooms, garlic puree, caramelized onions, smoked paprika and a bit of salt. It's simple but delicious. Melt some good cheese on top, get a nice bun, grab a beer and you're set. – Jon Todd, Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions

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– Malcom Xavier, Porano Pasta

MY FAVORITE BURGER IS THE PB&J. THIS SLIGHTLY SWEET BURGER HAS OUR ARUGULA PESTO, HOMEMADE TOMATO JAM AND GOAT CHEESE ALL ON A BISON PATTY. – Alex Gromacki, Baileys’ Range

– Lucy Swan, Taste Bar

I love the shrimp rolls. They are very flavorful and fresh, the texture is incredible, and they’re always steaming hot. – Adam Eubanks, Lulu Seafood & Dim Sum

Readers’ Choice 2016


Readers’ Choice 2016

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YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT favorite restaurateur

ED HEATH

GERARD CRAFT

Cleveland-Heath, 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com 2nd: Gerard Craft, Niche Food Group 3rd: Kevin Nashan, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab and Sidney Street Cafe Honorable Mention: Mike Randolph, Público, Randolfi’s and Half & Half and Nate Hereford, Niche (closed) (tie)

Niche Food Group, various locations, nichestlgroup.com 2nd: Nick Luedde, The Libertine 3rd: Kevin Nashan, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab and Sidney Street Cafe Honorable Mention: Dave Bailey, Baileys’ Restaurants

bartender of the year

TIM WIGGINS Retreat Gastropub, 6 N. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.261.4497, retreatgastropub.com 2nd: Ted Kilgore, Planter’s House 3rd: Ben Bauer, The Libertine Honorable Mention: Seth Wahlman, Eclipse

favorite wait staff

CLEVELAND-HEATH 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com 2nd: Eleven Eleven Mississippi 3rd: Planter’s House Honorable Mention: Sidney Street Cafe

3rd: Reeds American Table and Retreat Gastropub (tie) Honorable Mention: Porano Pasta favorite restaurant

CLEVELAND-HEATH 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com 2nd: Eleven Eleven Mississippi and Broadway Oyster Bar (tie) 3rd: Pastaria Honorable Mention: Mai Lee favorite restaurant to take visitors

BLUEBERRY HILL

SOUTHERN

6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.727.4444, blueberryhill.com 2nd: Broadway Oyster Bar 3rd: The Shaved Duck Honorable Mention: Taste

3108 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.531.4668, stlsouthern.com 2nd: Olive & Oak

favorite fast-casual restaurant

favorite new restaurant

bibimbap from oriental spoon, your favorite korean restaurant

PORANO PASTA 634 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.6414, poranopasta.com 2nd: Pappy’s Smokehouse and Lona’s Lil Eats (tie) 3rd: Seoul Taco and Southern (tie) Honorable Mention: Crushed Red Urban Bake & Chop Shop favorite date-night spot

TASTE 4584 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.360.1200, tastebarstl.com 2nd: Vin de Set 3rd: Cleveland-Heath Honorable Mention: Brasserie by Niche and Element (tie) favorite outdoor patio

VIN DE SET 2017 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.8989, vindeset.com 2nd: John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub & Garden 3rd: Boathouse Forest Park Honorable Mention: Billy G’s Kirkwood favorite late-night eats

MISSION TACO JOINT Various locations, missiontacojoint.com and

PEACOCK LOOP DINER (tie) 18 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com

6261 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.721.5555, peacockloopdiner.com 2nd: Uncle Bill’s Pancake and Dinner House 3rd: Courtesy Diner Honorable Mention: City Diner favorite food truck

SEOUL TACO 314.863.1148, seoultaco.com 2nd: Guerrilla Street Food 3rd: Completely Sauced on Wheels and Mission Taco Truck (tie) Honorable Mention: Cha Cha Chow Food Truck favorite barbecue

PAPPY’S SMOKEHOUSE 3106 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.535.4340, pappyssmokehouse.com and

SUGARFIRE SMOKE HOUSE (tie) Various locations, sugarfiresmokehouse.com 2nd: Bogart’s Smokehouse 3rd: Salt & Smoke Honorable Mention: The Shaved Duck

favorite doughnuts

STRANGE DONUTS 2709 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.932.5851; 107 E. Argonne St., Kirkwood, 314.394.2323, strangedonuts.com 2nd: Vincent Van Doughnut 3rd: World’s Fair Donuts Honorable Mention: Donut Drive-In favorite sandwiches

BLUES CITY DELI 2438 McNair Ave., St. Louis, 314.773.8225, bluescitydeli.com 2nd: Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium 3rd: Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery Honorable Mention: Adriana’s on The Hill and Mom’s Deli (tie) favorite fried chicken

SOUTHERN 3108 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.531.4668, stlsouthern.com 2nd: Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken 3rd: Hodak’s Restaurant Honorable Mention: Porter’s Fried Chicken and Byrd & Barrel (tie) favorite frozen desserts

favorite brunch

BRASSERIE BY NICHE

TED DREWES FROZEN CUSTARD

4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.454.0600, brasseriebyniche.com 2nd: Half & Half 3rd: Cleveland-Heath Honorable Mention: Nathalie’s

6726 Chippewa St., St. Louis, 314.481.2652; 4224 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.352.7376, teddrewes.com 2nd: Ices Plain & Fancy 3rd: Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream Honorable Mention: Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery

favorite burger

favorite pizza

BAILEYS’ RANGE

PI PIZZERIA

920 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.241.8121, baileysrange.com 2nd: O’Connell’s Pub and Five Star Burgers (tie) 3rd: Blueberry Hill Honorable Mention: Stacked Burger Bar and The Dam (tie)

Various locations, pi-pizza.com 2nd: Dewey’s Pizza 3rd: Peel Wood Fired Pizza and PW Pizza (tie) Honorable Mention: Pastaria and Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria (tie) favorite seafood

favorite chicken wings

SYBERG’S RESTAURANT & BAR Various locations, sybergs.com 2nd: Culpeppers Grill and Bar and The Shaved Duck (tie) 3rd: Three Kings Public House Honorable Mention: Michael’s Bar & Grill

PEACEMAKER LOBSTER & CRAB 1831 Sidney St., St. Louis, 314.772.8858, peacemakerstl.com 2nd: Broadway Oyster Bar 3rd: DeMun Oyster Bar and Oceano Bistro (tie) Honorable Mention: 801 Fish and Farmhaus (tie) Readers’ Choice 2016

PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER

chef of the year


Readers’ Choice 2016

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YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT favorite steak

TUCKER’S PLACE Various locations, tuckersplacestl.com 2nd: Citizen Kane’s Steak House 3rd: 801 Chophouse Honorable Mention: Annie Gunn’s favorite vegetarian/vegan

LULU’S LOCAL EATERY 3201 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.300.8215, luluslocaleatery.com 2nd: Tree House Vegetarian Restaurant 3rd: Small Batch Honorable Mention: Frida’s and Gokul Indian Restaurant (tie) favorite american nouveau

REEDS AMERICAN TABLE 7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.899.9821, reedsamericantable.com 2nd: Niche (closed) 3rd: Sidney Street Cafe Honorable Mention: Boundary and The Libertine (tie) favorite american traditional

CLEVELAND-HEATH 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com 2nd: Annie Gunn’s 3rd: J McArthur’s An American Kitchen Honorable Mention: One 19 North Tapas Wine Bar favorite cajun/creole

BROADWAY OYSTER BAR 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314.621.8811, broadwayoysterbar.com 2nd: Riverbend Restaurant & Bar 3rd: Evangeline’s Bistro & Music House and The Kitchen Sink (tie) Honorable Mention: Molly’s in Soulard and Sister Cities Cajun & BBQ (tie) favorite chinese

LULU SEAFOOD & DIM SUM 8224 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.997.3108, luluseafood.com 2nd: Chinese Noodle Cafe 3rd: Royal Chinese BBQ and Sesame Chinese Restaurant (tie) Readers’ Choice 2016

Honorable Mention: House of Wong and Wang Gang Asian Eats (tie) favorite eastern european/ bosnian

HANDLEBAR 4127 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.652.2212, handlebarstl.com 2nd: Bosna Gold (closed) 3rd: Stari Grad Honorable Mention: Taft Street Restaurant & Bar favorite english/irish/scottish

THE SCOTTISH ARMS 8 S. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.776.1407, thescottisharms.com 2nd: John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub & Garden 3rd: Dressel’s Public House Honorable Mention: Seamus McDaniel’s

City, 314.567.6850, hoistl.com 2nd: India Rasoi 3rd: Haveli Indian Restaurant and India Palace (tie) Honorable Mention: Taj Indian Cuisine favorite italian

PASTARIA 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.6603, pastariastl.com 2nd: Trattoria Marcella 3rd: Cunnetto House of Pasta and Zia’s on The Hill (tie) Honorable Mention: Acero favorite sushi/japanese

WASABI SUSHI BAR Various locations, wasabisushibars.com 2nd: Nobu’s Japanese Restaurant 3rd: Tani Sushi Bistro and Robata of Maplewood (tie) Honorable Mention: Café Mochi

favorite french

BRASSERIE BY NICHE 4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.454.0600, brasseriebyniche.com 2nd: Vin de Set 3rd: Bar Les Frères Honorable Mention: Café Provencal favorite german

SCHNEITHORST’S RESTAURANT & BAR 1600 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 314.993.4100, schneithorst.com 2nd: Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. 3rd: Dreamland Palace German Restaurant Honorable Mention: The Feasting Fox favorite greek

OLYMPIA KEBOB HOUSE AND TAVERNA 1543 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, 314.781.1299, olympiakebobandtaverna.com 2nd: Spiro’s 3rd: Michael’s Bar & Grill Honorable Mention: Momo’s Ouzaria Taverna favorite indian

HOUSE OF INDIA 8501 Delmar Blvd., University

favorite korean

ORIENTAL SPOON 229 Harvard Drive, Edwardsville, 618.655.9633, orientalspoon.net 2nd: Seoul Taco 3rd: Seoul Garden Korean Restaurant and Asian Kitchen Korean Cuisine (tie) Honorable Mention: Kim Cheese Asian Fusion favorite mexican

MISSION TACO JOINT Various locations, missiontacojoint.com 2nd: Chava’s Mexican Restaurant 3rd: Pueblo Solis Honorable Mention: Milagro Modern Mexican and Taqueria El Bronco (tie)

from top, the gim rolls and spicy pork bulgogi from oriental spoon favorite soul food/southern

SWEETIE PIE’S Various locations, sweetiepieskitchen.com 2nd: Southern 3rd: Juniper Honorable Mention: Old Standard

2nd: Barcelona Tapas Restaurant 3rd: Guido’s Pizzeria & Tapas Honorable Mention: Público favorite thai

FORK & STIX 549 Rosedale Ave., St. Louis, 314.863.5572, forknstix.com and

KING AND I RESTAURANT (tie)

favorite south american/pan latin

MANGO PERUVIAN CUISINE 1001 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9993, mangoperu.com 2nd: Público 3rd: Fritanga Nicaraguan Cuisine Honorable Mention: Yemanja Brasil Restaurante favorite spanish

MODESTO TAPAS BAR AND RESTAURANT 5257 Shaw Ave., St. Louis, 314.772.8272, modestotapas.com

3155 S. Grand Ave., St. Louis, 314.771.1777, kingandistl.com 2nd: Sen Thai Asian Bistro 3rd: Thai Kitchen and Pearl Café (tie) Honorable Mention: Basil Spice Thai Cuisine favorite vietnamese

MAI LEE 8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood, 314.645.2835, maileestl.com 2nd: Pho Grand Restaurant 3rd: Banh Mi So # 1 Honorable Mention: LemonGrass Restaurant

favorite middle eastern

RANOUSH 6501 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.726.6874, ranoush.com 2nd: Cafe Natasha’s and Aya Sofia (tie) 3rd: The Vine Mediterranean Café & Market and Sameem Afghan Restaurant (tie) Honorable Mention: Everest Café & Bar saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 21


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Readers’ Choice 2016


What's the worst confession you've heard while tending bar? winner

2nd

3rd

honorable mention

TIM WIGGINS

TED KILGORE

BEN BAUER

SETH WAHLMAN

Retreat Gastropub

Planter’s House

The Libertine

Eclipse

“I was talking to a boss of a company at the bar. I’m trying to remember the exact quote. It was basically, ‘I’m excited for our new hires because I’ve already slept with everyone in the office.’”

“All of the worst things people have confessed are unfit for print. I have worked at mostly classy places and have served Nebraska farmers, exotic dancers and movie stars. The one connection is people sometimes get really weird after a few drinks. … It’s like improv sometimes.”

“It’s mainly the things you see more than confessions. Most recently I had a couple sitting at the bar, and they seemed really happy when they came, but at some point during the meal they got super quiet. Then she just left, and he started slamming cocktails and talking to everyone about how she had just broken up with him.”

“A robotics engineer once told me he felt bad about wiping out factory jobs and that his wife was a replacement for his first love. Other than that, it’s mostly affairs.” – Compiled by Heather Hughes

PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

st. louis' bartenders of the year

from left, tim wiggins, ben bauer, seth wahlman and ted kilgore at retreat gastropub Readers’ Choice 2016

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favorite food truck

SEOUL TACO Stuffed to the breaking point with kimchi fried rice, lettuce, cheese, carrots, green onions, sour cream and Seoul sauce, the spicy pork burrito is reason enough for a pilgrimage to the brick and mortar of this Korean barbecue mecca. Throw in a couple pan-fried pot stickers for good measure.

favorite restaurant to take visitors

favorite middle eastern

BLUEBERRY HILL

RANOUSH

This Loop staple serves a ridiculously good, flawlessly charred 7-ounce, 100-percent ground chuck burger. It’s worth the long wait. Stave off hunger pangs with a basket of fried cheddar cheese balls alongside salsa for proper dunking. Order your out-of-towners the fluffy toasted ravioli – some of the best in the city.

Standouts at this traditional Middle Eastern kitchen include the fried kibbe balls and cheese-stuffed grilled pita kalaj starters, along with the succulent grilled beef shawarma wrapped in a warm pita with creamy garlic sauce.

Readers’ Choice 2016

ILLUSTRATION BY VIDHYA NAGARAJAN

W I T H S EV E N R E A D E R S’ C H O I C E WINNERS ON O N E ST R E ET, T H E D E L M A R LO O P I S T H E TA ST I E ST ST R O L L I N ST. LO U I S . – M AT T B E R K L EY


favorite pizza

PI PIZZERIA Take on Chicago deep-dish pizza at its cornmeal-crusted best in the South Side Classico, a supreme feast of gooey mozzarella, thick mushrooms, savory hunks of Berkshire sausage and crisp green peppers and onion.

Readers’ Choice 2016

favorite late-night eats (tie)

PEACOCK DINER Order the Loop Fling from the breakfast-all-day menu – a sinfully good slinger covered with chorizo gravy. With booze-fueled, Serendipity ice cream-laced milkshakes available well past midnight, it’s little surprise that the Peacock Diner is an afterhours favorite.

favorite thai (tie)

FORK & STIX Delve into an overwhelming bowl of khao soi, a rich and satisfying curry noodle soup swimming with soft wonton noodles, crispy yellow noodles and chunks of beef, chicken or tofu. And be sure to make use of the nam prik num, a fiery Thai hot sauce.

favorite mexican and favorite late-night eats (tie)

MISSION TACO JOINT Mission gives Mexico’s (and Baja California’s) darling finger food serious thought. Get the killer Mango-HopAnero Shrimp Taco, with 4 Hands Incarnation IPA-battered shrimp and fresh mango in hand-pressed corn tortillas. It begs for a cold sip of cerveza. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 25


your favorite bloody mary at cafe osage

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Readers’ Choice 2016


YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO DRINK favorite bar

TASTE 4584 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.361.1200, tastebarstl.com 2nd: Planter’s House 3rd: The Side Project Cellar and 21st Street Brewer’s Bar (tie) Honorable Mention: Three Sixty favorite beer list

INTERNATIONAL TAP HOUSE Various locations, internationaltaphouse.com 2nd: The Side Project Cellar 3rd: Global Brew Tap House & Lounge Honorable Mention: 21st Street Brewer’s Bar favorite local beer

ZWICKEL Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., 3229 Washington Ave.; 4465 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.222.0143, urbanchestnut.com 2nd: American Brown, The Civil Life Brewing Co. 3rd: Citrapolis, The Modern Brewery Honorable Mention: Abraxas, Perennial Artisan Ales and Send Help, 4 Hands Brewing Co. (tie) favorite local brewery

SCHLAFLY BEER 2100 Locust St., St. Louis; 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, 314.241.2337, schlafly.com 2nd: Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. and 4 Hands Brewing Co. (tie) 3rd: The Civil Life Brewing Co. Honorable Mention: Perennial Artisan Ales favorite craft cocktails

PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

PLANTER’S HOUSE 1000 Mississippi Ave., St. Louis, 314.696.2603, plantershousestl.com 2nd: Taste 3rd: Eclipse Honorable Mention: The Libertine and Sanctuaria (tie)

Readers’ Choice 2016

favorite coffee shop

KALDI’S COFFEE Various locations, kaldiscoffee.com 2nd: Sump Coffee 3rd: Blueprint Coffee Honorable Mention: Park Avenue Coffee and Comet Coffee & Microbrewery (tie) favorite bloody mary

CAFE OSAGE 4605 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.454.6868, bowoodfarms.com 2nd: Hiro Asian Kitchen 3rd: Sub Zero Vodka Bar Honorable Mention: Rooster favorite sports bar

THE POST SPORTS BAR & GRILL 7372 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.645.1109; 763 Old Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, 314.736.1205, thepostsportsbar.com 2nd: Friendly’s Sports Bar & Grill 3rd: Sportsman’s Park and Lester’s Sports Bar & Grill (tie) Honorable Mention: Amsterdam Tavern favorite day-drinking spot

URBAN CHESTNUT BREWING CO. 3229 Washington Ave.; 4465 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.222.0143, urbanchestnut.com 2nd: The Civil Life Brewing Co. and Blueberry Hill (tie) 3rd: Sasha’s on Shaw Honorable Mention: The Royale Food and Spirits favorite wine bar

SASHA’S ON SHAW 4069 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, 314.771.7274, sashaswinebar.com 2nd: Robust Wine Bar 3rd: 33 Wine Shop & Bar Honorable Mention: Ernesto’s Wine Bar and Olio (tie) favorite local winery

CHAUMETTE VINEYARDS & WINERY 24345 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, 573.747.1000,

chaumette.com 2nd: Montelle Winery 3rd: Cedar Lake Cellars Honorable Mention: Chandler Hill Vineyards

YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOP favorite bread bakery

COMPANION Various locations, companionbaking.com 2nd: Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery 3rd: 222 Artisan Bakery Honorable Mention: Great Harvest Bread Co. favorite butcher shop

BOLYARD’S MEAT & PROVISIONS 2810 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.647.2567, bolyardsmeat.com 2nd: Kenrick’s Meats and Catering 3rd: Baumann’s Fine Meats and The Block Restaurant, Butcher and Bar (tie) Honorable Mention: Manninos Market and Truffles Butchery (tie) favorite cakes/pastries

favorite caterer

HOLLYBERRY CATERING 10037 Manchester Road, Kirkwood, 314.835.9977, hollyberrycatering.com 2nd: Butler’s Pantry 3rd: Catering St. Louis Honorable Mention: Moulin Events and Meetings favorite cooking classes

DIERBERGS MARKETS Various locations, dierbergs.com 2nd: Kitchen Conservatory 3rd: Schnucks Honorable Mention: Eckert’s Country Store and Farms favorite farmers market

SOULARD FARMERS MARKET 730 Carroll St., St. Louis, 314.622.4180, soulardmarket.com 2nd: Tower Grove Farmers’ Market 3rd: Kirkwood Farmers’ Market Honorable Mention: Schlafly Farmers Market favorite grocery store

DIERBERGS MARKETS Various locations, dierbergs.com 2nd: Trader Joe’s 3rd: Schnucks and Whole Foods (tie) Honorable Mention: Straub’s

LA PATISSERIE CHOUQUETTE

favorite liquor store

1626 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.7935, simonefaure.com 2nd: Pint Size Bakery & Coffee 3rd: La Bonne Bouchée Honorable Mention: Sarah’s Cake Shop

RANDALL’S WINES & SPIRITS

favorite candy/chocolate shop

CROWN CANDY KITCHEN 1401 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9650, crowncandykitchen.com 2nd: Kakao Chocolate 3rd: Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier Honorable Mention: Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Co.

Various locations, shoprandalls.com 2nd: Friar Tuck Beverage and Lukas Wine & Spirits Superstore (tie) 3rd: Total Wine & More Honorable Mention: Parker’s Table favorite wine shop

THE WINE AND CHEESE PLACE Various locations, thewineandcheeseplace.com 2nd: The Wine Merchant Ltd. 3rd: Parker’s Table Honorable Mention: Bin 51 Wine & Spirits

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Readers’ Choice 2016


Readers’ Choice 2016

saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 29

Profile for Sauce Magazine

Readers' Choice 2016  

Readers' Choice 2016  

Profile for saucemag