One of my favorite categories in our annual Best of St. Louis issue is "Best Neighborhood Restaurant". It's a chance to highlight spots that maybe escape mention in discussions of the best or hippest restaurants in town, but often offer as satisfying an experience as any. Here are some of the recent winners of that award:
- "Best Neighborhood Restaurant" 2012: The Block (146 West Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-918-7900) - "Best Neighborhood Restaurant" 2011: Quincy Street Bistro (6931 Gravois Avenue; 314-353-1588) - "Best Neighborhood Restaurant" 2010: Mama Josephine's (4000 Shaw Boulevard; 314-771-4001) - "Best Neighborhood Restaurant" 2009: Biggie's (3332 Watson Road; 314-781-0060)
For this week's review, I visit three neighborhood joints -- two new and one from the above list where a new chef has refined the menu.
First, I visit Schoemehl's South Side Grill (7529 Michigan Avenue; 314-932-7774) in the Patch neighborhood of south south city. Here, the housemade potato chips and the kitchen's use of a smoker help distinguish the brief menu.
Next, I head to SOHA Bar & Grill (2605 Hampton Avenue; 314-802-7787) in Clifton Heights. This cozy (though noisy) spot offers a strong selection of craft beer on draft as well as what it terms "outside-the-box" American dish. Plus, you can order a 25-ounce burger.
Finally, I return to the aforementioned Quincy Street Bistro in Princeton Heights. I liked Quincy Street quite a bit when I first reviewed it in July 2011. Now, new chef Rick Lewis has cut the menu by half and infused it with a distinctly Southern accent, including an amazing BLT that uses fried green tomatoes.
Visit Gut Check tomorrow to read my review of all three spots and to view Jennifer Silverberg's slideshow.