Monthly Archives: January 2015

Three Flags Tavern

After months of hearing rave reviews about Three Flags Tavern, I was excited to see for myself what all of the buzz was about. Walking into the restaurant on a cold winter night, I immediately felt as if I was walking into someone’s home by the warm greeting and offer to take my coat. Although the dining area and bar are divided into two rooms, the entire space feels comfortable and cozy. The dark walls, large map on the wall, and wood wine racks give it a rustic, yet almost old world vibe.

Three flags 8
The Amelia

The drink menu offers several craft cocktails. I chose the Elderflower Paloma made with tequila, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and a Stiegl Radler float. This smooth drink went down quickly and while I had every intention of trying something else for my second round, I couldn’t help but order another. I also had the opportunity to sample the Amelia made with gin, lemon juice, and unique flavors such as crème de violette, velvet falernum, and a cava float. While I cannot tell you much about the ingredients in the Amelia cocktail, I can tell you that it was quite tart and packed a little punch.

The eclectic food menu is driven by a mix of Spanish, French, and American influences (Get it? Three Flags!). I started with off-the-menu Deer Creek oysters flown in from Washington. They are served with a choice of cocktail or mignonette sauce. The oysters were medium in size, sweet, and delicious. For an appetizer, our table of four shared lobster beignets and Manchego fritos. The lobster beignets were fried on the outside with a creamy lobster center. They were topped with a bit of powdered sugar which added a little sweetness. These were a huge hit at our table and were gone within minutes. While it was my fault for not reading the menu closely, I was surprised that the Manchego was served fried. Although Manchego keeps with the Spanish theme, frying it makes it taste no more special than a mozzarella stick. What made this dish unique was the side of dulce de membrillo (jelly made from the pulp of a quince fruit). The cheese definitely tasted its best when the two were paired together. While I enjoyed the appetizers, two fried dishes were too much for me.

I ordered the Connecticut style lobster roll for my entree since I had yet to try this popular dish. You may order the dish Maine style (served cold and mixed with mayonnaise and celery) or Connecticut style (served warm with drawn butter). Both come in a poppy seed bun with a side of onion rings. The large pieces of lobster were sweet and tender but the bread didn’t seem to add much to the dish so after a few bites, I ended up taking the lobster out of the bun and eating it alone. The onion rings were as good as any I’ve ever had but after two fried appetizers and lobster covered in butter, I was not in the mood for them. I was able to try the sturgeon with mustard greens, clams, and lobster broth. We were expecting quite a bit more broth than what was served but the clams were large and the sturgeon was cooked and perfectly seasoned. Having been honored with the Riverfront Time’s best burger of 2014, my friend was excited to try the ground brisket burger with cheddar. This was served with a side of fried pickles and was so large that it was difficult to even take a bite. However, he ranked it as one of his top 5 favorite burgers in St. Louis. With additional side dishes available, we chose brussel sprouts and papas bravas. The papas bravas were large pieces of potato tossed in a tomato sauce and the brussel sprouts were served with apple and smoked shitake which provided a unique flavor. Both sides were more than enough food for four people.

Since I was amongst blue cheese lovers, we ordered the blue cheese with honeycomb and slices of toasted baguette for dessert. The sweetness of the honeycomb paired with blue cheese was an unexpected but great surprise and something I would definitely order again.

Overall, I was really pleased with my meal at Three Flags. I wish that the menu offered a little more explanation about dishes because I probably would have made different choices to lighten up my meal a bit. This is a great place to go either with friends or on a date night. Be sure to make reservations because it can be difficult to get a table at this popular spot.

Three Flags Tavern is located at 4940 Southwest Ave St. Louis, MO 63110

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Baileys’ Range

Bailey's Range BuildingOn a quest for something other than brunch on an early Sunday afternoon, I came across Baileys’ Range. It is fair to say that I have loved the atmosphere and food of every single Bailey’s restaurant that I have walked in to so I expected nothing short of delicious. One of my favorite things about Baileys’ restaurants is that they embrace older buildings that others would possibly shy away from. The first glimpse of their creative touch is the mural outside of the building which provides a bright spot to an otherwise dreary city block. Walking in to the two-story industrial style loft space, your eyes are drawn in every direction. The ice cream bar on the left makes you question whether you really need a meal or if you should skip right to dessert while the giant display of unique sodas provides you with as many drink options as the fully stocked bar. The space is filled with a variety of reclaimed items from ceiling fixtures to hanging windows that separate the kitchen from the rest of the restaurant.

Bailey's Range First FloorWe were led upstairs to our table with giant windows on one side and a view looking down into the restaurant’s first floor on the other. We were presented with three menus for food, drinks, and ice cream. There are 17 different soda flavor categories, several local brewery offerings, boozy floats, shakes, ice teas, and lemonades. The rest of the menu consists of starters, salads, and burgers along with a la carte sides. All burgers on the menu come with a suggested protein, but any meat can be substituted for lamb, bison, chicken, pork, beef, veggie, or Match products (plant based, vegan meat substitute). In addition, your bun can be customized to be vegan, pretzel, or gluten free. There is also a weekly burger battle in which two burgers face off head-to-head so that the burger that is ordered more often remains on the menu to compete with a new burger the following week.

I chose to start with a Virgil’s black cherry cream soda while my husband chose a delicious, creamy espresso shake made with homemade ice cream (I suppose it’s one way to get your Sunday morning coffee). We also ordered the pretzels for an appetizer. The plate of three pretzels arrived quickly along with a large bowl of cheese sauce. The pretzels were unique in that they were more buttery and fluffy than your usual salty, dense pretzel. There was plenty of cheese for each bite and even some left over for our fries. I ordered the Ozark burger for my entrée which came with caramelized onions, sautéed Ozark forest cremini mushrooms, and black peppered goat cheese. This was all served on a homemade bun which was light enough that I didn’t feel like I completely filled up on bread. I substituted the protein for Match but the texture was a turnoff for me so I will probably go with a veggie patty next time. However, the toppings were great and I loved the flexibility of the menu which allows almost anyone with a dietary restriction to enjoy a meal. My husband chose the Herb’d Lamb which was a lamb patty topped with mint basil walnut pesto, Asiago cheese, fennel, and mixed greens. His burger was completely devoured by the time I took my third bite so I took this as a sign of success. We also ordered the small French fries which was plenty for two people. All fries come with a choice of mayo (rooster, horsey, chipotle, sriracha, house), mustard (beer, honey, sweet/hot), homemade catsup (sriracha, chipotle, curry, wasabi), Bbq or house cheddar sauce. Since we had left over cheese sauce from our pretzels and catsup from our burgers, we went with something more adventurous and chose the horsey sauce (horseradish mayo). All it took was a small dip but I loved the kick it added to the fries.

All in all, our meal was a success. The prices for these unique burgers average a manageable $10-$12. The space is perfect for a casual meal with kids or friends and provides a great spot to go before a game or with out-of-towners who may be out and about in downtown St. Louis.

Baileys’ Range is located at the corner of 10th and Olive in Downtown St. Louis (map).

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