Water Street (7268 Manchester, 314-646-8355) opened on April 15, occupying the storefront where its neighbor, Maven used to live. The space that used to be filled with homemade soaps, candles and bath bombs is now home to creative small plates and unique cocktails.
Gut Check opted to share an entree and two small plates. The first dish that caught our eye was the small plate of cucumber with gorgonzola mousse and pancetta. It was precisely that, a small plate with three thick cucumber slices topped with generous dollops of gorgonzola mousse and a slither of pancetta. For something so simple, it was densely flavorful, with the pancetta packing a punch that was surprisingly present in every bite, despite its scarcity. Also noteworthy of the cucumber was its serving dish -- Water Street's serving-ware includes quite a bit of crystal, as well as other simple-but-beautiful dishes.
Next, the bruschetta. This small plate consists of three slices of toasted bread, one topped with gorgonzola and then drizzled with honey, one blanketed with a generous shmear of house-made pesto with a wonderful, hearty texture and one covered with a tangy artichoke and prosciutto spread. The succession of sweet, basil and sharp piquant works wonderfully together, especially atop the exceptional bread -- not dry, crunchy and crumbly as bruschetta often is, but flaky, crisp and airy.
For an entree, Gut Check was tempted by the polenta with mushrooms, parmesan and spinach, as well as by the daily flatbread (the woman at the next table had ordered it, and it took all the self-control we could muster to not swipe a piece when she wasn't looking). Eventually, Gut Check opted for the golden trout. The fish was tender, practically melt-in-your-mouth, and the cold pickled beet salad was the perfect accompaniment, both in flavor and texture
It all went down smoothly with a Honey Bee, one of Water Street's signature cocktails. Consisting of nothing but rum, Missouri honey, freshly squeezed lemon and ice chips, it's perfection is in its simplicity and drinkability.
Overall, the fare is light and simple, accented with smart detail. Water Street's the perfect place for a happy hour cocktail and a light dinner.
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