Double Exposure

The Billy Goat and Frazer's give diners more of what they love

You could eat lunch like a Midwesterner and order the very good, very basic roasted-chicken plate, with its mashed potatoes, vegetables and gravy. But when that same half-chicken is rubbed with cinnamon and cumin and roasted with a honey glaze, you're suddenly transported to Morocco, especially when the crispy, moist bird is served on a bed of aromatic couscous, redolent with cinnamon, currants and slivered almonds. Bright, fresh green beans and sliced carrots livened up the plate's color palette.

The other special of the day was a grilled kebab sitting on a bed of plump, spiced rice. The lone skewer held large chunks of andouille sausage, shrimp, beef tenderloin, a mushroom cap, red onion and one of the biggest scallops I've laid eyes on in a while. But despite the kebab's visual heft, my friend -- one of those big eaters who looks forward to every meal -- deemed the portion too small, even for lunch.

We began with a cup of cucumber bisque and a cup of black-bean-and-shredded-ham soup. The bisque, served cold, was thick with almond pieces and bits of puréed cucumber, while the flavorful bean-and-ham soup was as rich and thick as chili. The house salad was mostly iceberg lettuce with some mixed greens tossed with tomatoes, red onions and a housemade red-wine vinaigrette. (See my above complaint about restaurants serving salads on small plates with dressing on the side. Here, I'll complain about restaurants that overdress their salads as if they were going to a formal ball.)

More of a good thing: Frazer Cameron brings back his 
beloved lunch menu.
Jennifer Silverberg
More of a good thing: Frazer Cameron brings back his beloved lunch menu.

Location Info

Map

Billy Goat Restaurant and Bar

1449 S. Vandeventer Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110-2326

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Tower Grove

Frazer's Restaurant & Lounge

1811 Pestalozzi St.
St. Louis, MO 63118

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: St. Louis - South City

Details

Medallions of beef tenderloin $13.95
crème brûlèe $4.50

Frazer's
Cioppino $9.25
Moroccan roasted chicken $9.50
Kebab $8.50

Billy Goat Restaurant & Bar - 1449 S. Vandeventer Avenue; 314-371-4628. Lunch: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. Dinner: 5-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

Frazer's Brown Bag - 1811 Pestalozzi Street; 314-773-8646. Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Dinner: 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 5-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

Cioppino (fish stew) for lunch is a good way to indulge without vaporizing your wallet. Frazer's satisfying bowl consists of four mussels, two shrimp, sliced squid, a clam and large chunks of whitefish, all steaming in a tomato-saffron broth -- not too liquidy and not too thick. All desserts are made in-house, including the chocolate torte, cheesecakes and apple crisp.

Both Frazer's Brown Bag and the Billy Goat, while different in their design and purpose, share similar qualities. Both places pay a lot of attention to what arrives on diners' plates. Both places surprise us and challenge our expectations.

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