Monthly Archives: September 2014

Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.

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A Peacemaker is actually an oyster sandwich that fisherman would give to their wives after they stayed out all night drinking.

As someone who is obsessed with seafood, I could not wait to check out Kevin Nashan’s new restaurant, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. Let’s be honest, options for this type of cuisine are lacking in this area of the country. I knew trying to get into this popular restaurant would be a challenge on a Friday night, especially since they do not take reservations. However, I found out that the restaurant supports the use of the app called NoWait which lets you put your name in line before you ever get to the restaurant. After putting my name on 90 minute wait-list, I was able hang out at home for an hour and get to the restaurant to be seated in just 10 minutes!

Our short wait was spent at the bar where I ordered a bourbon slushy. I am not a huge bourbon fan but I cannot resist a slushy, especially when it comes in a colorful mason jar. I was pleasantly surprised by the drink and it is just mild enough for a bourbon beginner. As I waited at the bar, I couldn’t help but take notice of the atmosphere and décor. The restaurant is rustic and bright with large pictures on the walls of the actual fishermen who catch some of the food that is served in the restaurant. Reclaimed wood from an old Missouri barn has been turned into many of the tables and structures used throughout the space. There are buckets on all of the tables with wooden mallets and metal crackers to be used with your meal.

We were seated and quickly greeted by our waiter who went over the menu with us in detail. The restaurant features a raw bar serving oysters, clams, and crudo. If you are looking to work a bit for your food, you can opt for the boils and steamers with the choice of lobster, shrimp, crab, mussels, and clams. The most popular item on the menu is the lobster roll, served either warm or cold. There are other roll options as well as poor boys, salads, soups, and sides. If you are watching your wallet, be sure to ask about the prices because many of the items are charged based on market price and your bill will add up quickly.

IMG_2410I decided to start with the yellowtail crudo. The large portion of fish was incredibly fresh and was topped with cilantro, jalapenos, and crunchy corn for texture. My husband chose the clam chowder which actually confused me just a bit. The clams were hard to come by and the chowder tasted more like a potato soup with bacon. The flavor was good; I just think I would have enjoyed it more had I not been expecting a true, New England clam chowder. Next, I chose the steamed bun roll which were three Asian sticky buns stuffed with lobster, sour cabbage, and tarragon aioli. These sandwiches were quite small and served with nothing on the side. Although the sandwiches are unique and tasty, they left me hungry. If I had to do it again, I would order the more substantial looking and highly praised Lobster roll. My husband opted to be a little more adventurous and ordered the crab boil. After all, how often do you see fresh crab on a menu in St. Louis? The crabs being served that night were fresh Maryland Crabs that arrived off of a plane just a few hours before being served. His plate had three crabs, Andouille sausage, a buttermilk biscuit, potatoes, as well as the tiniest piece of corn I have ever seen. To say that these crabs were a lot of work is an understatement. To put it in perspective, by the time we finished cracking these crabs, our dish of butter had solidified. Although the idea of cracking your own fresh crabs is exciting, the amount of work it took for such little meat did not seem worth it.

IMG_2413We were both still hungry after finishing our meals so we decided to end with dessert. We chose the snow cone (yes, a snow cone) with house-made lime syrup and chocolate pecan pie. The pie was served warm with a perfectly brown, flaky crust and was just the right end to the meal.

While the meal was good, I was expecting a little more creativity in the menu. However, there was so much to love about this restaurant that I will definitely be back to give it another try.

Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. is located at 1831 Sidney Street St. Louis, MO 63104


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Hard Rock Cafe New Menu Preview

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Hard Rock Café new menu preview media event   last night at Hard Rock Café in St. Louis. This restaurant, located at Union Station, is part of a chain of over 170 venues that has been in operation since the 70’s. Since opening in St. Louis 16 years ago, there have been no significant menu changes until January of this year. The company surveyed diners in 14 cities and ended up with a menu of 30 new or modified food and drink items. This event gave me the opportunity to sample about 15 appetizers and entrees, three desserts, and 10 different drinks.

The night started with signature drinks and appetizers. The cucumber gin mojito below on the left was the star drink of the night for me. Although the drink didn’t taste like a traditional mojito, it was light, refreshing, and very drinkable. There were several traditional appetizers including spinach artichoke dip, balsamic tomato bruchetta, and chicken wings as well as the clever Air Mexico which included a flight of margaritas with a side of chips and salsa (below on the right).

Next up were three flights of food including salads and entrees. Of all of the things we tried,  the grilled chicken arugula salad was my favorite (minus the chicken). The salad is served with grilled chicken, spicy pecans, dried cranberries, oranges, and feta. It is tossed in a lemon balsamic vinaigrette which was created specifically for this dish and compliments the arugula really well. I also enjoyed the grilled salmon wrapped in cedar paper. However, it was topped with small scoop of garlic butter which I thought was unnecessary for a fish that is already fairly high in fat. Although I did not partake in the smokehouse flight, I learned that all of the meat is smoked in-house, some of it for up to 24 hours. People sitting at my table did really like it though.

As far as dessert, I thought that the warm apple cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream stole the show. The two dessert drinks we were given to try included the warm, Caramel Cafe topped with caramel popcorn and the Twist and Shout Cafe Milkshake. Both would have been dessert enough on their own and it was hard to choose a favorite.

Although I tend to be a fan of unique, local restaurants, Hard Rock is a good option for a place to eat before or after Blues and Cardinals games, especially with their happy hour deals. I can only hope that the revamped menu rubs off on the rest of Union Station to bring it back to the exciting area that it once was.

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The Kitchen Sink

IMG_2353Can’t decide what you want for dinner? Check out The Kitchen Sink, where everything you could want, including the kitchen sink, is on the menu. This restaurant is located on Union Blvd., just a short walk from Forest Park and the Central West End. This unconventional diner has been serving up St. Louis Style creole along with burgers, salads, and sandwiches, since they opened in 2012. Breakfast is served all day and a live band plays into the night on Fridays and Saturdays.

A good size patio provides outdoor seating but I chose to sit inside where we could listen to the live band. We were greeted by our waitress, Vanessa, who ended up being one of the best parts of our meal. She was enthusiastic from the moment she learned that it was our first time in the restaurant. From the way she went over each section of the menu, pointing out her favorite items, you could really tell that she loved her job.

Based on her spot-on rIMG_2357ecommendation, we started with sweet potato fries topped with a maple glaze and marshmallow. While these fries were so sweet they could have been served as dessert, they were so yummy that I would eat them at any time of the day. I chose the crawfish etouffee as my entrée which was served in a bowl over white rice with two corn fritters on the side. The huge portion of etouffee had no shortage of crawfish or flavor. If you are leery of spice, this dish may not be for you but it was right up my alley. My husband ordered the Kitchen Sink for his main course. Sautéed shrimp and Andouille sausage came served over a bed of cheesy grits and were topped with tasso and crab gravy. Although the dish was a little light on the shrimp and sausage, the grits were so rich that it would have been difficult to finish any more food. A side of corn fritters were served alongside this dish as well which ended up being my favorite part of the meal. These bite-sized fritters were filled with a sweet creamed corn and then fried. Our waitress warned us that one bite of these fritters would have us coming back for more and I think she may be right.

 

The Kitchen Sink is located at 255 Union Blvd St. Louis, MO 63108

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