by Mary Belzer
Here at Gut Check International Headquarters, we take happy hour very seriously. Each week, one of our agents covertly visits an establishment, reports her findings and assigns a grade.
The Place: Remy's Kitchen and Wine Bar (222 South Bemiston Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-5757)
The Hours: Happy hour is offered Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Small plates are $4.95, wine (except Chardonnay and Cabernet) by the glass is $5.95, select specialty cocktails are also $5.95, and select beer is just $2.95.
The Atmosphere: Remy's captures a perfect mixture of upscale and casual. The dim lighting, professional staff and lengthy wine list remind you that you're in Clayton, but the whimsical wall decor keeps you from taking yourself too seriously. There is a large outdoor dining area, but rain drove us to a bar seat on this visit.
The Food: Remy's menu is primarily Mediterranean dishes, and the same goes for happy hour with a selection of small plates for $4.95. We ordered the falafel and fattoush salad, which was big enough to become our dinner. The falafel was perfectly dense and crispy, and the cucumber salad and tomatoes brought a freshness that balanced out the fried element. The lemon dressing left the salad with a crisp finish. We would definitely order this dish again, and we couldn't stop telling everyone we saw for the rest of the day that they had to go try it.
The Drinks: Gut Check went with the "Black Satin" cocktail, with blackberry, tequila and lime. We generally tend to avoid cocktails unless they include whiskey -- sweet drinks usually run their course after a few sips. This drink, however, was an exception to that rule. There was no overwhelming sweetness or bite from the liquor, but rather a refreshing taste from the lime and blackberry combination. We don't know much about wine, but the bartender was more than willing to answer my pesky questions about this part of the menu. The happy hour beer selection is relatively small, but includes some craft beers, including a Schlafly Pale Ale.
The Conclusion: Gut Check would certainly go back for another happy hour at Remy's. This is a place we could go to after work with friends, swing by on my lunch break, or meet our mom for a drink. The service was friendly and quick, and both the food and drinks made us want to come back to try more.
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