I had less luck with seafood entrées. Lobster pot pie, which a server told me was the most popular menu item, is "deconstructed": hunks of lobster, peas, carrots and potatoes in a "brandied lobster cream sauce" with two crescent-shaped puff pastries swimming in the sauce. I'm not sure what purpose the deconstruction served; the presentation was no more enticing than a bowl of soup with a hunk of bread floating in it. The cream sauce was even more problematic, with a strong acrid note — too much brandy? scalded cream? — that cast a pall over the entire dish.

The seafood of the day ("flown in by moonlight") was a pan-seared salmon fillet glazed with brown butter. This was a sensible, if uninspired, pairing, but accompanying it was a giant lump of goat cheese into which bits of mushroom had been folded. While lox and cream cheese go together like ketchup and fries, the combination of the funky chèvre and the seared salmon was a train wreck, the flavor falling somewhere between overflowing laundry basket and overripe Brie.

I liked the seafood appetizers better. Fried calamari are served with a searing — that's a compliment, if you are a capsaicin freak like me — jalapeño-garlic butter. A lobster beignet is exactly what it sounds like: a deep-fried pastry stuffed with lobster meat, with added sweetness from a scattering of curried onions and a cherry garnish. The beignet, like the grilled chile quail, is one of the few selections that leaps off the menu page. Other than that, there are two chicken entrées (one roasted, the other a penne pasta), trout grilled on a plank and a pork chop; appetizers include a crab cake and shrimp cocktail.

Eclipse: One giant leap for the Loop.
Stew Smith
Eclipse: One giant leap for the Loop.

Location Info

Map

Eclipse

6177 Delmar Blvd.
University City, MO 63112

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Forest Park

Details


See photos from inside Eclipse.

Eclipse
Sliders...$8
Lobster beignet...$12
Grilled chile quail...$20
Steak frites...$28
6177 Delmar Boulevard; 314-726-2222.
Hours: Open daily. Breakfast 6:30-11 a.m. Lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dinner 4-11 p.m.
(Limited menu available 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Bar open till 3 a.m.)

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When I went for lunch, I ordered the apple-mustard sliders. The three tiny burgers were undeniably cute on their miniature brioche buns, but what was the point of serving them as sliders? They weren't a repurposed appetizer from the dinner menu. It was just an utterly normal burger unnecessarily dressed up as one of the more inexplicable recent restaurant trends.

Daylight isn't kind to Eclipse's looks, either. The paintings and tchotchkes are best viewed in soft light, and the ugly carpet, the drop ceiling and mismatched furniture designs struck me as chintzy.

Speaking of night and day, Eclipse still seems unsure about what it wants to be. It's definitely not a typical hotel restaurant, and Joe Edwards and his team should be congratulated not only for opening the first hotel in the Loop, but also for making it an idiosyncratic one. The Moonrise Hotel's Eclipse isn't destination dining yet, though. The menu is too generic, its few accents (the deconstructed pot pie, the sliders) mere clichés.

The hotel has the moon on its roof. It shouldn't be too much of a stretch to reach for the stars.

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