Any number of restaurants in St. Louis can boast good etouffee. But good etouffee and good bibimbap? That's a bit more unusual.
Fleur de Lilies (1031 Lynch Street, 314-932-5051) opened almost two weeks ago in the Soulard spot that previously held the much-loved Sage (and more recently, and less successfully, Gusto's 314). And it's attempting just such a mash-up — with a menu combining Creole favorites like po' boys and frog legs with Korean classics like kalbi, which are Korean-style barbecue short ribs. Oh, and did we mention there's sushi, too?
Fittingly, the restaurant is the brainchild of Misha Sampson, whose heritage is Creole, and Alexis Kim, whose is Korean. As St. Louis Magazine reported, Kim was previously a sushi chef, which explains its inclusion the menu. She is also an owner of BBC Cafe in the Central West End.
Most of what's on offer is less fusion than individual entrees from the two cultures. For the most part, you won't see Creole notes in the Korean offerings or Korean notes in the Creole ones. The bibimbap is a classic version, with spicy kimchi, vegetables and your choice of protein unified by the expertly cooked egg and gochujang sauce that flavors it, all tossed in rice. The po'boys, too, are utterly traditional — but supremely well-executed. Fat juicy shrimp are lightly fried in a cornmeal dusting and served with pickles, iceberg lettuce and tomato on a soft French baguette.
The same cornmeal coats the fried tomatoes and pickles — it's not a generous portion, but the appetizer is expertly prepared. It also shows up on the frog legs, which are incredibly large. (Where do they get frogs that big?) They're also quite tasty.
Turn the page for more photos and menu highlights.