The applewood-smoked duck at Sidney Street Café
Sidney Street Café owner and executive chef Kevin Nashan was a semifinalist in the "Best Chef: Midwest" category of this year's James Beard Awards. About damn time. Nashan -- the reigning Riverfront Times "Best Local Chef"
-- is as deserving of national notice as any St. Louis chef. His passion for food and those who grow, raise and prepare it shines through during even the briefest conversation with him -- and is made manifest at the restaurant that he has run for the better part of a decade, a place where a seat at the bar for a meal by yourself (as a certain restaurant critic might have done recently) can become a special occasion.
More so than at the other restaurants for which I've said this, I could claim any one of several different dishes on Sidney Street's menu as a favorite. For whatever reason -- honestly, I can't put a finger on why, exactly -- I always come back to the applewood-smoked duck.
The flavor is intensely smoky. Most barbecue doesn't achieve this level of smokiness. Yet even through this cloud of smoke the distinctive flavor of blush-red, medium-rare duck meat and the luscious texture of rendered duck fat come through.
Not enough duck for you? The duck breast sits atop a sweet-potato latke studded with duck confit. The latke, in turn, sits atop a small amount of charred rapini, its bitterness providing a welcome contrast to what could have been an overwhelmingly rich dish. From construction to preparation to the beautiful composition of the plate, it's simply a flat-out fantastic dish.Sidney Street Café
2000 Sidney Street
$27I'm counting down -- in no particular order -- 100 of my favorite dishes in St. Louis. Some are well-known, others obscure. Some are expensive, others dirt cheap. All of them, I guarantee, are delicious. Please do not hesitate to share your own favorites via the comments thread.
Previously:#6: Beef tenderloin with foie gras and a port wine demi-glace at Tony's#7: Dry-aged steak at Prime 1000#8: Tajadas con queso at Fritanga#9: Kumamoto oysters at DeMun Oyster Bar#10: Tacos al pastor at La Vallesana#11: The Heath Bar concrete at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard#12: Beef tongue at Café Natasha's Kabob International#13: The root beer braised short rib at Monarch#14: The egg raviolo at Acero#15: Pappardelle at the Tavern Kitchen + Bar#16: Carnitas at La Tejana Taqueria#17: Benne's Farm half chicken at Five Bistro#18: Dátiles rellenos at Modesto#19: Hot-and-sour noodles at Joy Luck Buffet#20: Lamb vindaloo at India PalacePreviously (Continued):#21: Channa masala at Raj's Rasoi#22: The blueberry scone at La Dolce Via#23: Gang kua ped yang at Addie's Thai House#24: Bánh xèo at Banh Mi So #1 - Saigon Gourmet#25: Mojarra dorada at Garduño's Mexican Food#26: "It" at Mammer Jammer#27: Two eggs over-easy, bacon and hash browns at the Courtesy Diner#28: Seafood at Farmhaus#29: The "Edgar Allan Poe" at Dewey's Pizza#30: The "Heart Stopping BLT" and a chocolate malt at Crown Candy Kitchen#31: Smoked half-chicken at PM BBQ#32: The smoked chicken pizza at Onesto Pizza & Trattoria#33: The baby-back ribs (or the burger) at the Piccadilly at Manhattan#34: Albóndigas caseras con patatas at the Guido's Pizzeria & Tapas#35: The "Sweet Burger" at SweetArt#36: Buffalo fries at Blueberry Hill#37: Tom yum gai at Pearl Café#38: Cassoulet (and Sweetbreads) at Franco#39: The "Papasan Roll" at Miso on Meramec#40: Lasagna at Mama Josephine's#41: The "Bucktown" Pizza at Pi Pizzeria#42: Pla song kruang at Basil Spice Thai Cuisine#43: Chori pollo at Mi Ranchito#44: Pizza at La Pizza#45: Fried chicken at Young's Restaurant & Ice Creamery#46: The Philly Cheesesteak at 9th Street Deli#47: Smoked chicken wings at Flavors BBQ Sports Bar & Grill#48: Coffee and a pastry at 222 Artisan Bakery#49: The torta ahogada at Taqueria Durango#50: The "Morganford Mediterranean" Sandwich at Local Harvest Café & Catering#51: Vegetable korma at Gokul Snacks & Sweets#52: Schnitzel & spaetzle at Iron Barley#53: Oxtail stew at De Palm Tree#54: Pho at Pho Long#55: Gyro at Anthonino's Taverna#56: The Lemon Drop Cupcake at the Cup#57: Pupusas at Tres Banderas#58: Gumbo at the Gumbo Shop#59: The burger at Newstead Tower Public House#60: Quesadillas tradicionales at Milagro Modern Mexican#61: "7th Street Sicilian" Po' Boy at Blues City Deli#62: Tamales at Taqueria la Pasadita#63: Ćevapi at Bosna Gold#64: Lemon meringue and pine nut torte at BitterSweet Bakery#65: Chile Morita con Puerco at Señor Pique#66: Soda chanh duong (sparkling lemonade) at Lemon Grass#67: Nachos grande at Nachomama's#68: Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and mushroom at Pizza-a-Go-Go#69: Bill's "Burger Meister Burger" at Cardwell's at the Plaza#70: Sake (salmon) nigiri sushi at Nobu's Japanese Restaurant#71: Massaman curry at Simply Thai#72: The lunch buffet at Mayuri#73: Fried chicken (spicy) at Porter's Fried Chicken#74: Arancini at Lorenzo's Trattoria#75: Meat shawarma at The Vine Mediterranean Café & Market#76: The South Side Smoke at sandwich at Stellina Pasta Café#77: Falafel at Kabob House#78: A slice with pepperoni at Feraro's Jersey-Style Pizza#79: Birria at Pueblo Nuevo#80: Banh mi dac biet at Phuc Loi#81: Prosciutto bianca pizza at the Good Pie#82: Gold Coast Chocolate ice cream at Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream#83: Hot salami (salam de testa) at Gioia's Deli#84: Veal parmesan sandwich at Biggie's#85: Nachos (with jalapeños and extra cheese cup) at Busch Stadium#86: Lobster bisque at Café Ventana#87: Calamari fritti at Mangia Italiano#88: Brisket sandwich at Winslow's Home#89: Paletas at La Vallesana 2#90: Spaghetti and meatballs at Sugo's Spaghetteria#91: The Michael burger at Michael's Bar & Grill#92: Fried egg and ham toastie at the Schlafly Tap Room#93: Bavarian chips with Welsh rarebit at Dressel's#94: Onion soup at Brasserie by Niche#95: Baby-back ribs at 17th Street Bar & Grill#96: Kingshighway burger at the Royale#97: Gyro sandwich at South Grand Gyro Express#98: Carne asada tacos at El Paisano (Watson Road)#99: Pretzel bites at Joey B's on the Hill#100: Hot and sour soup at Shu Feng Restaurant