First Look: WildSmoke Piles On Smoked Meats and Country Kitsch in Creve Coeur

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WildSmoke's Hot'Lanta Chicken & Waffles. - Photos by Mabel Suen
Photos by Mabel Suen
WildSmoke's Hot'Lanta Chicken & Waffles.

The phrase "Pig Candy" shows up a few times on the menu at WildSmoke (12315 Olive Boulevard, Creve Coeur; 314-548-2222), a new restaurant that opened on January 28 and comes from the team behind EdgeWild (550 Chesterfield Center, Chesterfield; 636-532-0550). Diners can order it from the "Starters" section of the menu, where it's described as "pork belly and brown sugar"; alternatively, it comes as a topping on a couple of WildSmoke's "Backyard Favorites."

See also: WildSmoke Opens January 28, from Owners of EdgeWild Winery

The "BBQ Sundae" ($8) for instance, features layers of pulled pork, root beer baked beans, "jacked up" mac'n'cheese and slaw finished with barbecue sauce and pig candy. The "Hot'Lanta Chicken & Waffles" ($9) takes the same candied bacon and applies it to crispy waffles and coffee-chili dusted pulled chicken along with chipotle sauce, spicy maple syrup and a fried egg. Needless to say, WildSmoke piles on its offerings with little subtlety, featuring a stacked menu full of nine different smoked meats, corresponding sides and creatively plated combinations of all of the above.

Part of the dining room.
Part of the dining room.

Located in a former Culpepper's, the sheen and the kitsch of the dining room seem so immaculately planned that WildSmoke could easily be mistaken as an already-prolific chain. That's not to say that the space doesn't have a certain charm (cowboy chic?) about it, however. Exposed wood panels make up the interior, while big booths come upholstered with cow-print fabric.

A display case of more than 50 different brands of hot sauce greet patrons at the door, along with an elaborate menu that summons the meat sweats just from a quick glance over the options. First, guests order and pay at the counter. Then, items get delivered to a table of choice along with a fork and hefty steak knife rolled up in a straight-up kitchen towel in case things get a little messy (and they will).

Staff in the kitchen.
Staff in the kitchen.

This service style successfully cuts out the middleman, leaving staff attention focused primarily on the bustling, partially-exposed kitchen where employees can be seen grilling entire ears of corn and finishing up plates of hot food. On the other side of the dining room, a bar awaits with a selection of beers on tap and EdgeWild wine by the bottle or glass.

WildSmoke's current hours of operation are Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, check out the WildSmoke website or follow WildSmoke on Facebook.

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