Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 Places to Take (and Impress) Your Visiting Foodie

Posted By on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 6:00 AM

A feast for eyes and stomach at Niche. | Greg Rannells
  • A feast for eyes and stomach at Niche. | Greg Rannells

Many have said that St. Louisans have an inferiority complex about our fair city, but there's nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to the culinary clout in our kitchens. St. Louis is increasingly being recognized nationally for its chefs and burgeoning restaurant scene. What better way to help spread the gospel than to do it up big when your friends and family come to stay.

If your summer out-of-towners are foodies, they'll want you to show them what we have to offer beyond great barbecue (although our barbecue is unbeatable, let's not forget). Here are Gut Check's picks for the restaurants that are sure to impress your guests' palates and send them home talking us up.

See also: 10 St. Louis Restaurants Growing Their Own Food

"SIGNATURE EGG" WITH BONITO CAVIAR, ROASTED SHIITAKE MUSHROOM, CITRUS CUSTARD AND MAPLE SYRUP SERVED IN A CUT EGGSHELL. | GREG RANNELLS
  • "Signature Egg" with bonito caviar, roasted shiitake mushroom, citrus custard and maple syrup served in a cut eggshell. | Greg Rannells

Niche (7734 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-773-7755) Pedigree: Executive chef and owner Gerard Craft is a five-time James Beard Foundation finalist for Best Chef: Midwest, and named Food and Wine's Best New Chef in 2008.

Chef Gerard Craft's passion for the art of cooking is infused in Craft's flagship restaurant, Niche, which focuses on the tastes of Missouri, celebrating just-picked produce, uniquely Midwestern flavors and local farmers. With either the four-course prix fixe or ten-course chef's tasting menu to choose from, your guests can sit back, relax and prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Eel and uni bouillabaisse with cauliflower puree, uni bottarga, pickled shrimp and rouille crostini with backyard kale. | Greg Rannells
  • Eel and uni bouillabaisse with cauliflower puree, uni bottarga, pickled shrimp and rouille crostini with backyard kale. | Greg Rannells

Sidney Street Café (2000 Sidney Street; 314-771-5777) Pedigree: Chef and owner Kevin Nashan is a James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Midwest finalist for 2014, and a four-time James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Midwest semifinalist.

Sidney Street Café is a long-time neighborhood staple in Benton Park. Chef and owner Kevin Nashan's menu is inspired by his Hispanic roots, love of southern food, training in French cuisine and experience working under several noted chefs. He sources locally when he's not harvesting from the restaurant's own garden.

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