by Mabel Suen
Where: Three Flags Tavern (4940 Southwest Avenue; 314-669-9222)
When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
We Tried: Duck-confit hash ($14); dutch baby with ham ($8); buttermilk biscuit with Devonshire cream and fruit preserves ($5); cantaloupe with pickled cayenne, SarVecchio cheese and pistachio ($6); eggs Benedict with crab ($13).
Three Flags Tavern opened a year ago in the Southwest Garden neighborhood, and shortly thereafter earned the prestigious title of best new restaurant in Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2014. The concept comes from long-time local chef John O'Brien and highlights Spanish, French and American culinary traditions as a nod to St. Louis' deep cultural roots.
If not for its notable, well-executed "board of fare", the cozy dining room alone makes the visit worthwhile. The space takes on a classical feel, highlighted with antique chandeliers, a vintage map of North America covering one wall, portraits of founding fathers and a window to the pristine, well-stocked bar.
For starters, consider a brunch cocktail ($8). Options include a mimosa, oyster shooter and three variations on a bloody mary: a classic version; the "Bloody Caesar," with clam juice and fried escargot; and the "Bloody Bull" with whiskey, beef bouillon and a ham-wrapped green olive.
The weekends-only food menu includes the go-to brisket burger with bacon alongside a variety of sweet and savory brunch options. Smaller plates include a buttermilk biscuit ($5) with Devonshire cream and fruit preserves and cantaloupe ($6) with pickled cayenne, SarVecchio cheese and pistachio.
Larger breakfast plates include a hash ($14) with duck confit, fingerling potatoes, spiced yogurt and a sunny-side-up egg; a Dutch baby ($8) with ham and maple syrup; and eggs Benedict ($13) with crab and charred tomato. Options with a lunchtime slant include shrimp and grits ($16) with Manchego and tasso ham as well as a torta ($12) with roasted turkey, cotija and mole.
Our recommendation? Make a reservation. With spring in the air, it's only a matter of time before this unique dining room catches fire with avid brunch fans.
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