Tag Archives: Wine bar St. Louis

Grapeseed

IMG_3245Thanks to a suggestion I received, I decided to head to the Southhampton neighborhood to check out Grapeseed. Being a Friday night, I reserved my place in line with my favorite app., NoWait. I was able to hang out at home and then head to the restaurant to be seated as soon as I walked in the door. If you arrive and you aren’t willing to wait, you can snag a seat at the bar where you can still order all food items of the menu.

IMG_3248As the name suggests, the restaurant features an extensive wine list and American style food made with seasonal, local ingredients. The majority of the menu is served as small plates ranging in price from $5-$16. There are also reasonably priced sandwiches and a small selection of entrees, several of which are gluten free. I started off with a Macklind Mule made with vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and grapefruit bitters all served in a traditional copper cup. In addition to wine, there is a selection of local draft beer and a wider variety of bottled beer.

Based on our waitress’s suggestion, we started with two small plates. First was the gnocchi made with brown butter, brussel sprouts, and pecans. I could have eaten this yummy dish for my dinner alone. I loved the subtle nutty flavor and crunch that the pecans added to the gnocchi. My only wish was that there would have been just a few more gnocchi (but maybe that is just because it was so delicious). Our second starter was the flatbread with spiced cauliflower, ham, white bean puree, and mozzarella. The cauliflower had a great cumin flavor with just a little kick to it and was cooked so that it had a nice crunch. This is a great dish to share and they were able to make half of it without ham to be more vegetarian friendly.

 

I ordered the salmon burger with ginger slaw and molasses for my entree. I eat a lot of salmon burgers but this was easily the best one I have ever had. I love when salmon has a subtle sweetness and the molasses is what set this burger apart. The large burger was served on an incredibly fresh, simple bun and topped with the slaw which added a little texture. The burger did not come with any sides but fries were available as a small plate.
Based on another recommendation from our waitress, my husband ordered the shrimp and cheddar grits topped with apple, pepper pesto, and bacon. The shrimp are served with the heads on which can be a little intimidating if you are not used to this. Although I do not love to see the face of food I am about to eat, my husband didn’t mind other than the little bit of extra work that it required. The grits were rich and creamy and this was the perfect dish for a cold winter night.

 

Grapeseed was packed the entire evening which leads me to my only complaint of the night. The restaurant is loud! Our server had to keep repeating herself and we had to shout just to hear across our 2 person table. That being said, with great food, reasonable prices, and a relaxed atmosphere, Grapeseed is everything you hope your neighborhood restaurant will be.

Grapeseed is located at 5400 Nottingham Ave. St. Louis, MO 63109

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

Grapeseed on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

Olio

Olio by dayHoly delicious! This is the first thought that pops into my head when I try to think of a way to describe Olio. When pulling up to this restaurant, one may ask themselves how something so amazing could come from what once was a small, average gas station. Well to answer your question, this Old Standard filling station was converted into a restaurant after sitting vacant for 30 years. It was then connected to the building next door where its sister restaurant, Elia is located. Many of the original features in the main dining area of the building were left as is, while others had to be rebuilt. Coupled with soft lighting, quiet music, and creative décor, the atmosphere at Olio is like none other in St. Louis.

Olio does not take reservations so with fingers crossed, we arrived at around 6:30 pm on a Tuesday and were immediately seated with our food and drink menus. The beer offerings are a bit pricier than one would expect to find in St. Louis but the selection is unique. The extensive wine list, managed by renowned sommelier Andrey Ivanov, features wine and bubbly from around the world. We were fortunate enough to meet Andrey, who graciously volunteered to take us on a tour of the wine cellar that sits beneath Elia. The cellar houses beer, wine, bubbly, whiskey, a bit of produce, and even a giant red boiler that was kept from the original setup. Outside of the wine cellar is a private dining table that can comfortably seat 14 people.

The infamous burrata

After a long deliberation about the drinks, we went with a Weihenstephaner “Korbinian” doppelbock beer for my husband and Giusti and Zanza “Nemorino Bianco” wine for me; both did not disappoint. We were told that the dishes are meant to be shared and we ended up choosing four. Our first dish, and the best thing that I have eaten since my blogging adventure began, was the burrata. These two heavenly pieces of cheese were drizzled with the most delicious olive oil and spice which made them slightly sweet. I went to bed that night thinking about this dish and I would return for it alone. Next, we moved on to the hummus with chopped nuts, smoked paprika, and noticeably high quality EVOO. The hummus was cold and silky smooth and balanced with just a bit of crunch from the nuts. It was served with fresh bread that had a perfect crisp crust and a soft center. My husband then chose the Turkish flatbread with beef and cilantro which I obviously had no part of while I went for the cauliflower tartine. This is best described as a cauliflower salad with a hint of curry served on three pieces of the same delicious bread that came with the hummus. While this was tasty, I just could not stop thinking about that burrata!

Because we were having so much fun we decided on another round of drinks and a dessert. We shared a white chocolate raspberry “pie in a glass” that was created across the street at La Patisserie Choquette. This small dessert was the perfect end to our meal.
While I was sad for this night to end, I know I will be returning for a glass of wine on the [surprisingly large] patio once the weather warms up!
I wanted to give a special shout out to Andrey for walking us through the space and making it feel like home.

Olio can be found at 1634 Tower Grove St. Louis, Mo 63110

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Strange Donuts on Urbanspoon