Friday, November 13, 2009

Get ready to be jealous

I have a great life- I married the girl of my dreams, My family is wonderful, I have a great circle of friends, I go to a great church, I own a beautiful home, dogs, and cars. I even have an I-phone. One of the things that my wife and I share a passion for is great food (duh, just look at me!). This week has been one for the record books. I have already waxed poetic about the meal I had on Monday night, but now I have another one to dangle in front of you and boast about.

Yesterday, I was walking through the Central West End, and ran into Gerard Craft. For those of you who don't know who he is, Gerard owns Niche restaurant (one of my favorite places in the world), as well as Taste in Saint Louis. He was one of Food and Wine magazine's "Top Ten Best New Chefs in America" a couple of years ago, and has been nominated for James Beard awards on a couple of occasions. The boy can cook. Anyways, Gerard asked me if we wanted to come to the friends-and-family night at his new project called Brasserie- it's a French inspired bistro. I, of course, accepted and immediately texted the bride of our new-found dinner plans.

The space is really cool. Where Niche is modern, Brasserie has more of a casual feel to it. They are still working out some of the kinks, but the vibe is cool- the type of place you can wear a tie, or a t-shirt and jeans, and be comfortable either way.

Let it suffice to say the food rocked as well. We had gougeres (cheese puffs), a country pate that was spot on, a frisee salad with some of the best damn croutons I have ever eaten, scallops that were cooked perfectly, roasted chicken that was also just right (not an easy task), short ribs that melted in your mouth, a delightful lemon tart, and a plum dessert with cognac ice cream that was to die for! Oh yeah, did I mention that the meal was FREE? We just had to give Gerard our criticisms (which I promised I would not post anywhere online) and honest feedback. We also tipped the server heavily.
I love that my career has led me to the point where I have friends that can get us into experiences like this- even if it does put us into a food coma, and make us buy bigger clothes.

This will be my second-to-last plea to have you sign up for my wine class on Monday. I'm teaching on Old World vs. New World wines at Ernesto's wine bar in Benton Park. The class starts at 6:00, should last less than 2 hours, and costs $20. Please come!

This weekend, check out the Nicholson Jones unoaked chardonnay. We drank some last night with the scallops, and it was killer. This wine should cost less than $20 retail.

Cheers- see you Monday!

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