I'm counting down the top ten dishes from the new restaurants that I reviewed in 2012. Read the complete series to date.
#5: Grilled quail at Blood & Sand (1500 St. Charles Street; 314-241-7263)
At Blood & Sand, chef Chris Bork's cooking reveals a chef both confident enough to indulge his creative instincts and smart enough to let quality ingredients speak for themselves. His grilled-quail entrée features a bird so fully flavored that you just want to eat it straight off the bone. Bork deepens this flavor with a smoky-sweet mole sauce and, for contrast, pickled pear. Yet as terrific as the quail is, you might remember even more fondly the miniature tamale that accompanies it. The masa is perfectly moist, thanks in no small part to the fact that it has soaked up bacon fat.
-- from "¡Olé!" (October 11, 2012)
#6: "Spicy Wonton Soup" at Famous Szechuan Pavilion #7: Pho at St. Louis Pho #8: "Dad's Green-Chile Cheeseburger" at Five Star Burgers #9: The pambazo at Siete Luminarias #10: The oatmeal cream pie at Pint Size Bakery & Coffee