Monday, October 6, 2014

The 10 Bars With the Best Food in St. Louis

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 9:00 AM

THE BREZEN BOARD AT URBAN CHESTNUT | SARA GRAHAM
  • The Brezen Board at Urban Chestnut | Sara Graham

What goes best with a drink? Food, of course! We all have our favorites, that perfect snack to pair with beer or cocktail hour. Gut Check has rounded up a top ten that do both extremely well. Some offer the fatty, salty classics that keep us in perfect drinking spirits all night and others offer a little something out of the ordinary that make us rethink the concept of bar food. Either way, we love it.

See also: The 10 Most Beautiful Bars in St. Louis

Urban Chestnut (4465 Manchester Avenue; 314-222-0143)

The menu at Urban Chestnut's new location in the Grove is modeled after a traditional German bierhall with European-inspired dishes that incorporate local ingredients whenever possible. A popular dish is the brezen (pretzel) board that comes with an assortment of housemade spreads (usually whipped unsalted butter, mustard and cheese). The rotating bratwurst board and the daily schnitzel sandwich are close seconds. Everything, of course, is best paired with one of Urban Chestnut's European-style hand-crafted beers.

PORCHETTA LOUIE AT DRESSEL'S PUBLIC HOUSE | JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Porchetta Louie at Dressel's Public House | Jennifer Silverberg

Dressel's Public House (419 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-1060)

Owner Ben Dressel explains that what sets Dressel's Public House apart from the rest is a commitment to buying and using whole animals, supporting farms that treat their animals respectfully and maximizing seasonally available produce. The menu is simultaneously accessible to everyone and a gourmand's paradise -- farm-to-table cuisine for the masses. A customer favorite is the burger made with with Ridgley Farms Missouri beef, aged cheddar and onion jam served on a brioche bun. Dressel estimates he purchases an entire cow every two to three weeks. Plus, Food Network's Guy Fieri simply cannot get enough of the porchetta "Louie" sandwich with herb-roasted local pork butt.

click to enlarge PIG POPCORN AT TASTE BAR | TUAN LEE
  • Pig Popcorn at Taste Bar | Tuan Lee

Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200)

Taste offers a departure from the traditional bar-food experience by infusing its dishes with creativity. In creating the menu, executive chef Matt Daughaday chose dishes that might offer a connection to a customer, whether it be a food from their childhood or cherished American bar fare. Then, he seeks a new and fun way to present it, either by switching out a primary ingredient or adding something new. A recent example is the fried green beans, considered classic dive bar food, usually made from frozen beans. At Taste, fresh local green beans from Double Star Farm are fried in beer batter and topped with pickled blueberries, candied pine nuts and basil aioli. A coveted favorite dish, when available, is pig (skin) "popcorn."

click to enlarge SCHLAFLY TAP ROOM | RFT IMAGE
  • Schlafly Tap Room | RFT Image

Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337)

Local craft-beer leader Schlafly has also provided St. Louis with praiseworthy bar food, ideal for the light grazer or European pub fan with stick-to-your-ribs heartiness. All of the choices pair perfectly with one of Schafly's twenty-plus beers. Spare ribs, poutine, country-style pâté, frog legs, five varieties of mussels and fries, fish and fries, pork schnitzel, vindaloo curry, plate of swine and an imperial steak pie are just some of the mouth-watering choices. Companion pretzels with Schafly Hefeweizen cheese sauce is a favorite on the late-night menu.

SMOKED SALMON CHIPS AT THREE SIXTY. | IMAGE COURTESY OF THREE SIXTY
  • Smoked Salmon Chips at Three Sixty. | Image courtesy of Three Sixty

Three Sixty (1 South Broadway Avenue; 314-241-8439)

With stunning views into Busch Stadium and of the Mississippi riverfront, Three Sixty is undeniably a striking spot to grab a small bite or even a full entrée as you drink in the view. Chef Rex Hale has amped up typical bar food, offering items like popcorn drizzled with truffle oil, smoked-salmon chips, a selection of local cheeses from Baetje and Marcoot Farms, seafood ceviche, four different beef sliders, a grass-fed double burger, raw oysters and a salume platter. Locally sourced food is featured throughout the menu; the small-plate late-night menu is offered until 11 p.m.

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