The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.
The beautiful weather this week prompted an impromptu visit to Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200) for dinner on the patio. Spring wasn't only in the air, but on the menu, too: grilled local asparagus topped with a poached egg -- or, to be more precise, a "crispy poached egg."
- Chef's Choice Profile: Matthew Daughaday of Taste - Taste's Kyle Mathis: Winner of Iron Fork's Mixology Competition and Featured Bartender of the Week - Pastaria's Italian Ramen: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now
The asparagus itself was perfect, plump and tender, its pungent natural flavor amped up with a strong grill char. You wouldn't need much more than the asparagus for a satisfying vegetable side, but this is Taste, after all, and chef Matthew Daughaday takes this dish to another level entirely with that egg and the orange aioli ladled over it.
Crack through the egg's crisp exterior, and its thick yolk spills forth. In combination with the aioli, it creates a sort of hollandais, though far more flavorful. It is rich, yes -- very rich -- but the aioli's citrus notes keep it from being too rich.
Or, if you like, the citrus ensures that the sauce is just as rich as it should be.
Is there a dish that you think belongs among the Gut Check One Hundred 2013? Let us know!
The Gut Check One Hundred 2013 (So Far)
- Guerrilla Street Food's Filipino Fried Chicken - Spice-n-Grill's Beef Nihari - Kim Cheese's "Kim Cheese Burger" - The Shack Pubgrub's "Shack-Which" - Sameem Afghan Restaurant's Muntoo - Local Harvest Cafe & Catering's "Organic Banh Mi" - Sugarfire Smoke House's Beef Brisket - Mad Tomato's Cavatelli with Spring Lamb Ragù - A Good Man Is Hard to Find's "Pork-n-Beans" - The Kitchen Sink's Corn Fritters
- Chop Shop's "El Camino" Roll - Quincy Street Bistro's BLT - Home Wine Kitchen's Fried Chicken - Riverbend Restaurant & Bar's Red Beans and Rice - Fork & Stix's Sai Oua with Naam Prik Nuum - Gobble Stop Smokehouse's Turkey Tips - Seoul Taco's Burrito - Five Star Burger's Green Chile Cheeseburger - Olio's Octopus Salad - Dressel's Porchetta "Louie"
- Cleveland- Heath's Seared Beef Tongue - Cleveland-Heath's Cauliflower Soup - Pastaria's Italian Ramen - Pi Pizzeria's "Grove" Pizza - Famous Szechuan Pavilion's Spicy Wonton Soup (Novice) or Yu Shan Pork (Advanced) - La Tejana Taqueria's Goat Soup - Hendricks BBQ's Ribs - Sauce on the Side's "Costanza" Calzone - Siete Luminarias' Guanajuato-Style Carnitas - Fork & Stix's Khao Soi