SEVERAL DEADLY SINS

A return visit to Lynch Street Bistro finds faster service but only occasionally rewarding culinary experimentation

It gets worse before it gets better. At dinner I sample Lynch Street's gratuitously elaborate take on chicken cordon bleu. A free-range chicken breast is stuffed with mozzarella, mushrooms, spinach and prosciutto. Dusted with what I'd swear is Parmesan cheese from a green can, it is thoroughly burned on the bottom. Not only does the syrupy wine reduction affect the look and feel of old motor oil, it has an unattractive skin on top and tastes exclusively of burnt sugar. Dominating the plate is a softball-size glop of tepid and gluey mashed potatoes. On the side: a few tired asparagus spears reminiscent of the canned variety I spat out as a child. The overall presentation reveals the work of a reasonably gifted plater who is perhaps too eager to dispense of excess potatoes at the end of the shift. On the upside, I soon discover that if I scrape the meat off the burnt underside, the chicken is quite edible.

As is often the case with restaurants that rely on wanton experimentation as a shtick, dishes that escape the indignity of revisionist tampering work best. Babs' sexy strip steak, draped like an odalisque over a delicious twice-baked potato, capitalizes, with tasty results, on simplicity. In the same vein, two classic sandwiches are peerless examples of their kind. One, a Reuben on swirly rye, is perhaps the best I've ever tasted. The other, an enormous prime-rib Philly with caramelized onion, defines gooey perfection. Both come with impeccable fries. Although I can't recommend the kitchen's more hyperbolic flights of fancy (at least until they quit burning things), these two lunches, along with baskets of feather-light, fresh-from-the-oven biscuits, are why Lynch Street will continue to facilitate my commission of the deadliest of midday sins: gluttony.

Don Bannes of the Lynch Street Bistro, a restaurant that relies on wanton experimentation
Jennifer Silverberg
Don Bannes of the Lynch Street Bistro, a restaurant that relies on wanton experimentation

Location Info

Map

Balaban's Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar

1772 Clarkson Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Chesterfield

LYNCH STREET BISTRO, 1031 Lynch St., 772-5777. Hours: lunch, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; dinner, 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu. and 5-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; closed Sun. Entrees: $15-$20.

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