If, as I do, you prefer your barbecue sauce applied lightly, with extra on the side, know that these ribs are served wet. Chef Jerome "Romeo" Banks' barbecue sauce is available in "Original" and "Cajun" styles, both of which use Jack Daniel's. I go for the "Original." I can't taste any whiskey in the sauce, but there is a nice touch of smoke to balance the mild sweetness. The meat isn't quite at the point I like — almost, but not quite, falling off the bone — but it is close. (The merits of the sauce aside, I find the concept of Jack Daniel's sauce, like the jungle theme, a disappointing concession to the chain-restaurant mentality.)

The ribs are much better than my dinner the night before. My wife and I started with portobello mushroom caps stuffed with a crab-and-cheese mixture whose texture seesawed between unctuous and spongy. My strip steak, center-cut and choice-grade, was cooked well past the requested medium-rare. My wife's smoked pork tenderloin was dry — a fatal flaw, in that pork tenderloin literally isn't tough enough to withstand such punishment, smoke-induced or otherwise.

Service slows as the restaurant gets busy. The night my wife and I ate at the bar, we had put our name on the list for a table. We waited and waited. People finished meals but, understandably, wanted to linger at their tables to drink. Finally, the hostess said we should order at the bar because the kitchen stopped serving everything other than pizza and appetizers at ten o'clock, a fact we wished she'd told us when we arrived.

Cheeky Monkey: The basics are best at Three Monkeys, a new restaurant and bar in Tower Grove South.
Jennifer Silverberg
Cheeky Monkey: The basics are best at Three Monkeys, a new restaurant and bar in Tower Grove South.

Location Info

Map

Three Monkeys

3153 Morganford Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63116

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Tower Grove

Details

Three Monkeys
Wings...$6.95
Ribs (half-rack)...$12.95
Pizza (12-inch, two toppings)...$14.45
3153 Morganford Road
314-772-9800
Hours: Breakfast 6-11 a.m. Sat. Lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-4 p.m. Sun. Dinner 4 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Mon-Sat., 4 p.m.-midnight Sun. Brunch 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sun.

The place isn't anywhere near as busy as I finish my chili-and-ribs lunch. I might come back for lunch or a few drinks and pizza or wings, but dinner — well, a good bar and a good restaurant aren't mutually exclusive, but they don't go hand in hand. Put it another way: As I finish lunch, the dog show ends and one of those insipid Beethoven movies about the St. Bernard with a knack for finding high jinks begins.

Same species, but altogether different animals.

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