Timing and temperature glitches notwithstanding, Hemp's menu of approachable bistro fare works well with the Robust concept, emphasizing the pleasures of good food with good wine rather than going for a more progressive or highfalutin approach. Which, if I'd stayed in my own shoes, might seem like damning with faint praise.

But as I ate my cheese-and-charcuterie lunch and sipped my Civil Life beer that afternoon, I imagined myself as a business type taking his hourlong break, or maybe a loft dweller looking for a go-to spot close to home, and I realized how grateful I would be to have an option besides another fast-casual chain or sushi joint. I understood how ridiculous it must seem that in what planners envision as a thriving downtown, a good, casual wine bar would be such a rarity.

And I knew I would be back. Though next time, maybe, in a fetching skirt and heels.

Porcini Salmon:  Salmon over soba noodles in a mushroom Dashi with pea shoots. Slideshow: Inside Robust on Washington Avenue.
Corey Woodruff
Porcini Salmon: Salmon over soba noodles in a mushroom Dashi with pea shoots. Slideshow: Inside Robust on Washington Avenue.
Lamb:  Braised lamb shank pappardelle. Slideshow: Inside Robust on Washington Avenue.
Corey Woodruff
Lamb: Braised lamb shank pappardelle. Slideshow: Inside Robust on Washington Avenue.

Location Info

Map

Robust

635 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63102

Category: Restaurant > Gluten-Free

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Details

Robust
Spinach-artichoke dip...$8.50
Chicken-confit flatbread...$14
Scallops...$14
635 Washington Avenue; 314-287-6300.
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.

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Slideshow: Inside Robust on Washington Avenue

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