Gorge Busch

Live the luxe life at this revitalized St. Louis boite

Busch's Grove is an unabashed chops-and-seafood operation: lobster bisque, raw oysters, sushi rolls, Atlantic swordfish, ahi tuna, filet mignon, a double-cut pork chop, a bone-in rib eye. The menu also offers a roasted half-chicken. There are no pasta dishes to be found, nor vegetarian options beyond the salads and a couple of appetizers and à la carte sides.

My stab at beef — a 22-ounce prime rib eye "cowboy steak" — was, to put it succinctly, all giddy-up. Each of the four seafood entrées are offered in the chef's preparation or "simply grilled"; the latter, one assumes, for the trophy wives. Being single and gluttonous, I went for Norwegian salmon plated atop toasted almond couscous. The wild-caught fish was everything it could be — flaky, juicy, lip-smacking, delicious — the couscous was of the Israeli variety, with grains the size of tapioca beads. Pan-seared Chilean sea bass imparted a flavorful essence and a terrific texture, though its balsamic reduction tinted with the accompanying roasted beets proved a little too sweet for the rest of the dish. Some cooked spinach might have better bonded the disparate flavors. (For the record, there are serious environmental and political implications to Chilean sea bass — the succulent species previously known as Patagonian toothfish is fast becoming endangered owing to overfishing, and the majority served in restaurants today are caught by pirate fishermen. I suppose I let my Marie Antoinette disposition that night get the best of me.)

I may encounter a subpar dish here and there, to be sure. But I can relax in the assurance that the gaffe will be handled suavely. A friend ordered a two-pound broiled Maine lobster one night that arrived soggy and virtually raw. She told the waiter; a manager swiftly arrived with an apology, a promise to investigate and an offer of her choice of entrée on the house. That attentiveness went a long way toward erasing our memory of the mishap, just as smoothly as the $46 charge vanished from our bill. I'll add, though, that I don't believe our waiter checked in during the entrée course. In fact, aside from one or two ultraprofessional waiters, the service at Busch's Grove is far from rarefied. The staff tends to come across unpolished, and sometimes markedly casual.

Beautiful life: Busch's Grove is high-class in every respect.
Jennifer Silverberg
Beautiful life: Busch's Grove is high-class in every respect.

Location Info

Map

The Market at Busch's Grove-CLOSED

9160 Clayton Road
Ladue, MO 63124

Category: Grocery Stores

Region: Ladue

Details

Busch’s Grove
9160 Clayton Road, Ladue; 314-993-0011. Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m., dinner 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

French onion soup $7
Pistachio goat cheese salad $11.50
Sea bass $28
Cowboy steak $38

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I'll be sure to finish my dinner at Busch's Grove with a dessert, more than likely the warm truffle cookie sundae, an oversize, underbaked chocolate cookie capped with chocolate ice cream and a warm caramel sauce. (So simple, yet so luscious — why hasn't anyone thought of this dessert before?) And after I've settled my bill in the dining room, chances are I'll sashay over to that lounge, which features live music every night, along with an expanded menu of "martinis." There I'll amuse myself by bumming smokes off rich older men and gently swirling my martini glass, at the bottom of which resides a nugget of dry ice that causes the cocktail to bubble and smoke like witch's brew. And there I'll tarry until the witching hour, when I'll head home, drift off to sleep and dream about doing it all over again tomorrow.

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