by Nancy Stiles
Suburban winery may sound like an oxymoron but EdgeWild (550 Chesterfield Center, Chesterfield; 636-532-0550) is just that. The restaurant and winery opened in the Chesterfield Valley in November 2011, and owners Andy and Dee Dee Kohn are branching out this month with WildSmoke (12316 Olive Boulevard, Creve Coeur; 548-2222).
See also: The Eight Best Wings in St. Louis
"A lot of my friends absolutely love Pappy's, Bogart's, Sugarfire -- but they don't go there because there's 45 minute waits and it's hard to get there from the county," Andy Kohn tells Gut Check. "That got my juices running, so we started doing smoked items at EdgeWild, and they were very popular."
WildSmoke will offer nine smoked meats -- baby back ribs, beef brisket, hot link, pulled pork, turkey, chicken, prime rib, salmon, KC burnt ends -- and "chef inspired" sides like potato salad, baked beans and mac & cheese. Pitmaster Anthony Collida developed the menu with EdgeWild executive chef Aaron Baggett. You can also get the dry-rubbed chicken wings that we named some of the best in town and won big at WingDing.
The idea behind Wildsmoke is that people want great barbecue, but they don't necessarily want to take the time for a sit-down dinner. "I felt like people wanted to have quick service, not waiter/waitress service, go to a register," says Kohn, "not have to tip, but have the food kind of delivered to them still, with silverware and have a good experience, but without having to spend the extra money and length of time to dine, so I combined those things together in this concept."
Kohn calls the decor "rustic casual" and involves a lot of reclaimed barn wood and 70-inch TVs -- "This is St. Louis, you need to have the games on." He says he really just wants people to be comfortable at WildSmoke.
"My own personal preference is a casual, comfortable place to dine," Kohn says. "Our dress code here is blue jeans. I'm all about making the guest feel comfortable, whatever they wear."
WildSmoke will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It opens to the public Tuesday, January 28.