Stur Restaurant & Lounge

First-time restaurant owner Angie Schmitt called in the big guns when opening Stur Restaurant & Lounge: celebrity chef Brian Duffy and acclaimed mixologist Brian Van Flandern. Unfortunately, even the advice of industry leaders couldn’t save Stur from itself. The Edwardsville, Illinois, eatery’s name is an acronym for “sexy tantalizing unique restaurant.” It is none of those, save for the restaurant part. The bar offers dangerously quaffable cocktails, but it fails to provide an enjoyable setting to sip them in: The lounge area looks more like an office-building lobby than a craft-cocktail bar. The food does not fare much better, as flaws in execution are common. Signature dishes such as brown-butter trout and Tuscan roasted chicken, while conceptually fine, falter from flawed cooking or off-tasting ingredients. The best offerings are the Vietnamese lemongrass chicken wings — plump drummies with a sweet and spicy Asian-style glaze — and the Heartland goat cheese tart. The fluffy cheese filling is baked into a buttery crust and accompanied with a sweet and sour berry compote. It’s a tasty enough dish, but it’s not enough to compete in Edwardsville’s increasingly competitive market.

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