Grace Meat + Three Chef Rick Lewis' 12 Favorite St. Louis Restaurants

Grace Meat + Three owner Rick Lewis
Photo by Meera Nagarajan
Grace Meat + Three owner Rick Lewis

Rick Lewis, the chef and co-owner of Grace Meat + Three in the Grove neighborhood of St. Louis, says that the demands of raising his two-year-old son mean he doesn’t get out much anymore. But when he gets the chance to go out for dinner, he falls back on favorites that include both long-time standbys and more recent discoveries.

In no particular order, these are the St. Louis restaurants Lewis told Sauce Magazine he still makes time for, lively toddler notwithstanding.

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Salt and pepper calamari from Mai Lee in Brentwood
Photo courtesy of Mai Lee

Mai Lee
“I aim to try a new thing each time I go, which is usually about once a month. But the salt and pepper calamari (Muc Chien Gion, No. 133 on the menu, pictured above) is definitely one of my top ten.”
8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood; 314-645-2835,


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Smash burger from Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions in Maplewood
Photo by Meera Nagarajan

Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions
“I pop in for different reasons, a burger (pictured above) or a sandwich. But I’m a sucker for terrines and whole muscle charcuterie. Pig head, by the way, makes excellent chili.”
2733 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood; 314-647-2567,

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Shrimp boil at Peacemaker Lobster & Crab in Benton Park
Photo courtesy of Peacemaker Lobster & Crab

Peacemaker Lobster & Crab
“Elisa and I go quarterly for date night. I enjoy the peel-and-eat shrimp (pictured above) over there, and I’ll typically get a steamer.”
1831 Sidney Street, 314-772-8858,

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Shrimp toast with sweet chili sauce at Indo in Botanical Heights
Photo courtesy of Indo

“We kind of order the whole frickin’ menu. The shrimp toast with sweet chili sauce (pictured above), the crab fried rice … I need to get there soon.”
1641D Tower Grove Avenue, 314-899-9333,

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Cevapi at Balkan Treat Box in Webster Groves
Photo by Meera Nagarajan

Balkan Treat Box
“Balkan, of course. I can’t not eat their bread, and those little sausages, cevapi (pictured above).”
8103 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves; 314-733-5700,

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Oatmeal cream pies at Pint Size Bakery in Lindenwood Park
Photo courtesy of Pint Size Bakery

Pint Size Bakery & Coffee 
“The salted caramel croissant is fire. The oatmeal cream pies (pictured above) are nostalgic for me. I was a little fat kid and growing up I ate junk ones all the time. Pint Size made us a bunch of those for our wedding.”
3133 Watson Road, 314-645-7142,

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A selection of dishes at Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant in The Grove
Photo by Mabel Suen

Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant
“This is the most delicious comfort food. I love the Ali Naza kabob (grilled eggplant topped with your choice of meat). The homemade pita bread is super soft and chewy. Just the way you want it.”
4200 Manchester Avenue, 314-390-2020,

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Pho dac biet at Saigon Cafe in the Central West End
Photo courtesy of Saigon Cafe

Saigon Cafe
“This is simple, well done Vietnamese food. I go for the bun cha Hanoi — grilled pork, vermicelli, crispy meat spring rolls and pork meatballs. A good mix.”
10 N. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, 314-361-8881,

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Blue crab gratin (center) at Olive + Oak in Webster Groves
Photo by Mabel Suen

Olive + Oak
“They spoil us here, so we eat way too much food. The braised lamb is rich, and that blue crab gratin (pictured above) is ridiculous.”
216 W. Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-736-1370,

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The dining room at Vicia in the Central West End
Photo by Michelle Volansky

“I’m a pork guy. What can I say? I love pork. I think it’s the Newman Farm Berkshire pork plate I love here. The jus is rich, and it’s a perfectly succulent piece of pork.”
4260 Forest Park Avenue, 314-553-9239,

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Cinnamon rolls at Knead Bakehouse + Provisions in Lindenwood Park
Photo courtesy of Knead Bakehouse & Provisions

Knead Bakehouse & Provisions
“The menu is small, so we kind of order everything.”
3467 Hampton Avenue, 314-376-4361,

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Roman gnocco with pork ragu, bechamel and Pecorino at Louie in Clayton
Photo by Mabel Suen

“We go all-out here: pasta, entrées, apps. It’s simple food done perfectly. Roman gnocco with pork ragu, bechamel and Pecorino (pictured above) is one of the most heartwarming dishes I know.”
706 DeMun Avenue, Clayton, 314-300-8188,

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