Monday, December 24, 2012

Saint Louis: Taste Bar & Brasserie by Niche

I think most people associate BBQ and pork with Saint Louis so when I visited Diana while she was there for her internship with Purina, BBQ was definitely on the top of my list.  Diana told me how she attended a speaker session on how a chef expressed the importance of design in his restaurants and how it was really memorable.  Just so happens, the chef, Gerard Craft, owns a few of the top restaurants in Saint Louis, so we decided to check out two of the restaurants while I was there!

We stopped by Taste Bar for a quick late night dinner on the night I arrived and then Brasserie by Niche the next night for a more proper dinner.  Taste Bar is a super hip spot with a professional mixologist on site.  Definitely expected a place like Taste Bar to be in SF or the hipster areas of LA, but not STL!

Taste Bar
4584 Laclede Ave 
Central West End
St. Louis, MO 63108

taste bar
Taste Bar.  Sorry for the crap lighting haha.  Had the camera on the wrong setting.

open kitchen
The open kitchen.

Paper coaster.  Saint Louis and Taste loves pork!

food menu
Food menu.  Since it was late, we decided to get one small plate and one large plate.  Had to get two pork dishes haha.

big in japan
Since the drinks menu was created by a professional mixologist, I had to get one, and went for the Big In Japan, which is made with Yamazaki 12yr Whiskey, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Byrrh, Cocchi di Torino Vermouth, Cherry Herring, and Laphroaig Scotch.

far and away
Diana's Far And Away, made with Fiji Apple Infused Hendrick’s Gin, Cocchi Americano, Lemon, Smoked Rosemary, and Don’s Spice.  Fancy fancy :P

pork tartine, orange, fennel, walnuts, pickled caramel apple
Pork tartine with orange, fennel, walnuts, and pickled caramel apples.

another angle
The pork was super tender, but all the toppings was what made this open-faced sandwich bomb.

pork burger with bacon & fries
Pork burger with bacon & fries.  Had to add $1 for the cheddar cheese!

pork patty
Nice thick pork patty.

Crunchy fries!

old fashioned
For the 2nd drink, I wanted to test the mixologist's skill and ordered an Old Fashioned.  Yea, he knew what he was doing haha.


Brasserie by Niche is a French bistro by Gerard Craft.  Totally different vibe from its next door cousin, Taste.  It's loud and fast-paced, just like how a French bistro should be!  Good thing we made a reservation too cause the place was packed.

Brasserie by Niche
4580 Laclede Ave
Central West End 
St Louis, MO 63108

brasserie by niche
Brasserie by Niche.

Front of the menu.


Fresh bread!  Warm!

2012-11-10 19.53.23
Since I liked the cocktails so much from Taste, decided to get another whisky cocktail.  Forgot the name, but whoa it just punches you in the face.  Definitely a sipping drink haha.

french onion
Had to get the French Onion at a French bistro!  Love the thick layer of cheese on the top, and the soup is piping hot too!

mixed lettuces with goat cheese, hazelnuts, and roasted shallot vinaigrette
Diana's Mixed Lettuces with goat cheese, hazelnuts, and roasted shallots vinaigrette.   The hazelnuts were candied!

white beans, pork belly, duck confit, and sausages
My entree, white bean with duck confit, pork belly, and sausage in tomato sauce.  I couldn't resist since it had three of my favorites: pork belly, duck, and sausage!

pork belly
The pork belly hiding under the white bean tomato stew.

white fish, clams, mussells, shrimp, potato, light cream
Diana's white fish, clams, mussels, potato, and croutons in a light cream sauce.   Very light and I actually liked this over mine!

I think overall, I preferred Taste Bar over Brasserie, just because I liked the creativeness of the dishes there.  There's also a high end restaurant in the Niche family, Niche, which does French cuisine.  Maybe sometime in the future!