Friday, November 30, 2012

little country gentleman - st. louis, mo
8135 maryland avenue
st. louis, mo 63105

housed in the same building as his successful breakfast/brunch venue half and half, little country gentlemen is chef/restauranteur mike randolph's (the good pie) latest and most ambitous venture. open for dinner only, the food at lcg and can be described as a modernist take on midwestern cuisine, and is served via tasting menu only. having enjoyed randolph's cooking during the "fixe" dinners he put on last fall as well as his shortlived but excellent mexican project called medianoche, i was excited to hear he was opening a full time fine dining restaurant that would really showcase his talents.
between meals at half and half, the fixe dinners, and medianoche, carrie and i had visited 8135 maryland avenue five times prior to our visit to lcg. while the space is fine for a breakfast spot, pop up dinner venue, or casual mexican restaurant, i wondered going into the meal if the room would due a proper fine dining meal justice. as we walked in for our 6pm. reservation, i was very pleased to see that some very tasteful changes had been made which really enhanced the overall feel of the restaurant. after being seated, wine director daniels pareliti came to the table with a complimentary pour of bubbly while we looked over the menu. lcg offers three dining options, a three course, a six course, and a grand tasting menu featuring roughly twelve courses. per our usual, carrie and i opted for the longest menu offered, and also sprung for the wine pairings. pictured below is what we were served, however due to an extremely busy month of work and the somewhat unexpected but fortuitous selling of our house, i cannot do my usual dish by dish run down.
watermelon radish, goat cheese sauce, chorizo powder, cilantro.
relish tray with pickled vegetables, pine nut powder, and house made ranch.
mushroom soup with porcini's, roasted grapes, 30 year sherry.
lobster, aerated vanilla potatoes, orange, sesame, thai dragon, tarragon.
monkfish with celery and apricot.
sunchoke soup with scallop, brussels sprouts, oyster mushrooms, and a cranberry reduction.
aperol with fresh squeezed lemon juice.
chicken liver cappellacci with parmesan cheese sauce.
country fried chicken liver with radish and apple cider puree.
pork cheek "mcnoggins" with spicy mustard and bbq sauce.
maple pork belly, french toast, quail egg paired with founder's breakfast stout.
new york strip, beef cheek, beef tongue, maytag bleu cheese, sous vide carrot.
green tea cheesecake.
panna cotta (blood orange?)
bleu cheese and triple creme with raspberry preserves.
take home shortbread cookies.
when it was all said and done, our four hour marathon at lcg was well worth its big city price tag, and i feel the restaurant would certainly have one star michelin potential if it were located in chicago, new york, or san francisco. aside from a bit of ingredient and flavor repetition (radishes and acid), i was very happy with each and every dish, and would be hard pressed to name anything a "dud." i was also quite pleased with daniels as a wine director, and found his wine and beer pairings to be some of the most interesting i have had this year. as someone who travels for good food, i am very excited to have a place as progressive as lcg in st. louis, and although the gtm is what i would consider a "vaction meal" in terms of price, i hope to be able to visit a few times in the next year to see how the ever changing menu evolves.

 Little Country Gentleman on Urbanspoon

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