Mathew Rice provides a brief selection of desserts, including seven-layer "Taste Bars," which are rich with house-made sweetened and condensed milk and, on one visit, a decadent tollhouse pie that was something like the cake equivalent of cookie-dough ice cream, a dessert within a dessert.

My reviews are about food, first and foremost, which is a shame in this case because Ted Kilgore is as much the focal point of Taste as Craft or his lieutenants. His drink menu is beguiling, liable to prompt one or two questions about specific ingredients before you decide which to order. I was taken with his use of the herbal liqueur yellow Chartreuse, which added a lovely, mysterious note to the "Compadres Fall," a potent tequila drink flavored with ginger, pear and lime and served with a wedge of pear as a garnish. I suppose I was in a tequila mood on my visits because another memorable cocktail was the "Afterthought," flavored with rhubarb, the citrusy Italian aperitif Aperol and St. Germain elderflower liqueur.

Taste's size lends itself to a couple of...quirks. (I hesitate to call them "problems," because they're unavoidable, and some people — myself included — won't mind them at all.) The only restrooms are located in Niche proper, which you can access only by walking out Taste's front door and entering Niche's next door. Also, Taste is first-come, first-served. If there is a wait, you have to go next door and sit or stand at Niche's bar. As the crowd around that bar grows, pushing you ever closer to diners' tables, you might feel self-conscious.

A taste of Taste by Niche
A taste of Taste by Niche

Location Info



4584 Laclede Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Central West End


Slide Show

Go into the kitchen at Taste by Niche with our slide show.

Taste by Niche
Moroccan lamb $8
Spicy pork meatballs $8
"Compadres Fall" cocktail $9
1831 Sidney Street; 314-773-7755. Hours: 4 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Tue.-Sat.

I've avoided any direct comparisons between Niche and Taste simply because, though separated only by a wall, the two spaces have very different aims. Taste isn't meant to be the epitome of fine dining, and those whose affection for Craft is informed by their great experiences at Niche might be taken aback by how casual the Taste experience can be. Those who appreciate Craft's deeper commitment to great ingredients and pure flavors will welcome another venue to enjoy his cooking. And for those who have yet to visit Niche — or don't have the wallet for a full-on Niche treatment — Taste is a welcoming, and welcome, introduction.

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