When we first heard about the members-only concept at Blood and Sand (1500 St. Charles Sreet; 314-241-7263), we were a bit skeptical, particularly considering the current economic climate. Sure, big ballers wouldn't have to sweat a $15 monthly fee, but what about the rest of us schmoes? And what could Blood and Sand offer to justify monthly dues?
The answer's simple: exceptional service, cocktails, atmosphere and food. And it all starts with the Biscuits and Wild Mushroom Gravy.
Chef Chris Bork was nice enough to send us the recipe, revealing the simplicity and inventiveness in this dish. The sweet-potato biscuits are a sturdy platform for the mushroom gravy. He uses thyme, garlic and sallots to create an herbaceous complement to the earthy mushrooms. The mushrooms will change based on the season (as do the other vegetables, reflecting Blood and Sand's philosophy), but on this visit we were served chanterelles, oyster and French horn mushrooms. There's butter, too, of course, giving the gravy a hint of comforting decadence that makes us want this for brunch every single weekend. (Note: As of now, Blood and Sand isn't serving brunch, but we won't refuse a fantastic brinner.)
Beginning last year, RFT restaurant critic Ian Froeb counted down -- in no particular order -- 100 of his favorite dishes in St. Louis. Now Gut Check has taken up where he left off. Check back frequently as we detail our 100 favorites, and don't hesitate to send us yours, too, either via the comments thread or at email@example.com.
#54: The Gracey at Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium #55: The Sun-Dried Tomato Pizza at Katie's Pizzeria #56: Brioche French Toast at Half & Half #57: Fish and Chips at Llywelyn's #58: Chicken Kabob at Al Waha #59: Seafood Ravioli at Gian-Tony's Ristorante #60: Raw Veggie Burger at PuraVegan #61: Hot Chick On-a Stick at Fast Eddie's Bon Air #62: Mixed Grill Platter at Flaco's Cocina #63: Arancini From Mangia Mobile #64: Three Coins in the Fountain at the Fountain on Locust #65: Pan-Fried Noodles at Pho Grand #66: Pastelitos at Fritanga # 67: Bento Box at Blue Ocean Sushi # 68: Lamb Burger at The Scottish Arms #69: Crispy Pork Spring Rolls at Bobo Noodle House
#70: Turkey Melt and Field Greens Salad at Schlafly Bottleworks #71: The Vegetarian Platter at Ranoush #72: Vegetarian Meatballs at Lucas Park Grille #73: Sizzling Rice Soup at Hunan and Peking Garden #74: Straw and Hay Pasta at Trattoria Marcella #75: Spaghetti Pomodoro at Babbo's Spaghetteria #76: Shrimp Fajitas at El Matador #77: Vegetable Quesadilla at Chava's #78: Companion Rustic Olive Bread #79: Salt and Pepper Shrimp from Wei Hong #80: Ba-Mee Mhoo Dang at Basil Spice #81: Catfish Platter at the Gumbo Shop #82: Shrimp & Andouille Flatbread at the Shaved Duck #83: Vegetarian Pasta at Terrene #84: Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms at Zia's #85: Legend Club at LeGrand's Market & Catering #86: City Coffeehouse & Crêperie's Nutella-Banana Crêpe #87: Raw Vegetable Lasagna at Scape #88: Quesadilla Azteca from Tower Tacos #89: The Perfect Pear at Foundation Grounds #90: Banh Mi Sandwich from Sweet Art #91: Chicken and Dumplings at Yummies Soul Food Cafe #92: Cuban Sandwich from La Tropicana #93: The Prosperity at Ruma's Deli #94: Cherry Cheese Danish from Missouri Baking Company #95: Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse #96: Egg Salad Sandwich at Township Grocer #97: Cheeseburger and Fries (Extra Crispy) at O'Connell's Pub #98 Mussels & Fries at Brasserie by Niche #99: Beef Taquitos Mexicanos at El Indio #100: Spinach Artichoke Dip at Cafe Eau