Tag Archives: st. louis restaurant

Brasserie by Niche

Brasserie by NicheI had forgotten how much I love the Central West End in the summer until a few days ago. I was walking around the area one evening with friends and the patios were full of people enjoying dinner and drinks. Performers were playing music on the street corners and everyone seemed to be enjoying the abnormally cool summer weather. I decided I couldn’t let another great St. Louis night pass by without heading down to this neighborhood for dinner.

I chose Brasserie by Niche and easily made an online reservation less than 24 hours in advance. We were quickly seated on the outdoor patio which spans the length of the front of the restaurant. All of the doors were open to the restaurant allowing a nice breeze to pass through. Tables inside were covered with red checkered table cloths and brown parchment paper giving it the feel of an upscale but casual French café. From our table, we could hear a cellist playing across the street which added to the atmosphere. Another couple dined outside with their dog at their feet. I have to say that I love nothing more than a restaurant that allows dogs (and even provides water bowls).

Ramble onThe menu was divided into several sections including amuse-bouche (literally translated as mouth amuser), salads, hors d’oeurves, cheeses, du jour dishes (daily specials), main courses, and sides. There were several traditional French dishes on the menu such as croque madame (ham, cheese & egg sandwich) and escargot but also several other non-traditional choices. They offer a selection of French wines, specialty cocktails, beer, scotch, and bourbon. My husband ordered a Perennial Saison de Lis and I chose Ramble On, a specialty cocktail with gin, lemon, raspberry liqueur, and grapefruit garnish with caramelized sugar. I enjoyed the tart cocktail but the uniqueness and thought put into the garnish is what made the drink.

Individual warm, fresh baguettes with chilled butter were brought out while we waited for our food. For a starter we chose the yellow tomato tart with both cherry and heirloom tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese on the side. The warm tart was made over a thin, crispy crust and was the perfect size for sharing. The tomatoes were extra sweet and tastedYellow tomato tart like they were picked that morning. While I was tempted to order the trout, I couldn’t come to a French restaurant and not order mussels and fries. I can’t say that they were better than the mussel at Planter’s House but they were good. You could really taste the actual flavor of the mussels through the simple broth of herbs, crème fraiche, and white wine as opposed to other broths that tend to overpower them. They were perfectly cooked and the portion was just right. I also appreciated that they cleared my bowl of shells half way through and left me with a new one. The side of fries were amazing. They were thin, crispy, and exactly how I would choose a fry to be made. My husband ordered braised beef served with glazed carrots and bacon lardons over a potato puree. He is not typically a bacon lover but he said that it went really well with the super tender beef.

Far bretonWe decided to be adventurous with dessert and chose the Far Breton with crème fraiche and prune ice cream. This traditional French dessert, similar to a custard with fruit mixed in, was served in a small tart dish. While I was nervous about the prune ice cream, I found that it was much less scary than I anticipated.

When I think of French food, I picture a stuffy restaurant with a complicated and intimidating menu. However, I really enjoyed everything about this meal, from the music playing across the street to the food and the service. The laid back atmosphere makes Brasserie a place that is good for a night out with friends, a first date, or a celebration.

 

Brasserie is located at the corner of Laclede Ave and Euclid at 4580 Laclede Ave St. Louis, MO

Follow me on Twitter!
Brasserie by Niche on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Mission Taco Joint

They say that good things come to those who wait and this definitely holds true for Mission Taco Joint. Long wait times caused me to bail out a couple of times before I finally got to enjoy this delicious Mexican “street food” that I had heard so many people talking about. Mission Taco logoWe decided to grab a drink at the bar in hopes of making our hour wait pass just a little bit faster. The bar menu was quite extensive and included a long list of draft and bottled craft beer as well as creative cocktails. The margarita that I opted for was much more inventive than your average margarita mix and tequila. This creation included a combination of agave nectar, lime juice, tequila blanco, and orange curacao, which was topped with a salt rim and an orange slice. The bar also offered the full restaurant menu and several people were able to bypass the long wait times by taking advantage of this option instead.

Our name was finally called and we were seated near the bar at a high-top table for six. As busy as the restaurant was, the waitress greeted us right away and the service remained perfect for the rest of the night. We quickly decided on queso con chorizo and guacamole for our appetizers. Although I had to skip out on the queso (#vegetarianproblems), the entire bowl was devoured within a few minutes. The guacamole was seasoned perfectly and was gone equally as fast. Both were served with AMAZING tortilla chips that I personally think are so good that they need to be sold in stores.

Finally it was time for tacos! With choices of filling including fish, cactus, tofu, duck, and sweet potato with chorizo, these are not your average tacos. They are served with a soft shell and three tacos were sufficient for just about everyone. While I loved the combination of flavors, if you are not a fan of spice, make sure to let your server know because many of them pack a pretty big punch. We also ordered grilled vegetable quinoa and street corn “off the cob” as side dishes. If you take nothing else away from this post, remember that if you don’t order the street corn, you are not doing your meal at Mission justice. I have no words for this creamy, cheesy, corn creation other than wow!

The food more than made up for the long wait and I will definitely be coming back to Mission Taco soon.

Mission Taco is located at 6235 Delmar Blvd in the University City Loop.
Check out their website at http://www.missiontacostl.com for more info.

Mission Taco Joint on Urbanspoon