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Thursday, February 6, 2014

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

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

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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