by Ian Froeb
The national nods to St. Louis restaurants continue. We've already noted that, as part of its weeklong celebration of cocktails, national food-blogging empire Eater has Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200) among its "38 Essential Cocktail Bars" nationwide and Blood & Sand (1500 St. Charles Street; 314-241-7263) among the "21 Hottest Cocktail Bars Across the U.S."
Today, Eater includes two St. Louis establishments on its list of "15 Over-the-Top Bloody Marys Across the U.S.": Half & Half (8135 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-0719) and Mosaic (1001 Washington Avenue; 314-621-6001).
Eater salutes Half & Half for its Bloody Mary garnished -- if something that nearly covers the entire top of the glass can be called a garnish -- with a Schlafly-beer-battered pickle. Mosaic receives notice for its "inside-out" Bloody Mary, a sort of vodka maritini with frozen cubes of Bloody Mary mix.
Other "over-the-top" Bloody Marys on Eater's list include one topped with a smoked pork rib and another garnished with a long skewer of pickles, cheeses, olives and even a fried chicken wing.
Meanwhile -- and we're a little behind on our magazine reading, so we're a little late with this -- the December issue of Food & Wine magazine names Gerard Craft of Niche, Brasserie by Niche, Taste and the new, thermonuclear-hot Pastaria one of its ten "Empire Builders" for 2012.
As for why the magazine picked Craft, the magazine states, "Because he's giving St. Louis culinary credibility, with everything from a modern American restaurant to a French brasserie and a cocktail bar."