The Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co
You would think that Kevin Nashan was giving away lobsters for free at The Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. judging by the amount of people waiting. Even the NoWait app seems to be perpetually stuck at 60+ minutes.
Nashan's flagship restaurant, Sidney Street Cafe, has long been one of St. Louis' culinary jewels. It, along with Gerard Craft's Niche, is probably St. Louis' best shot at a coveted James Beard Award. When it was announced that he was opening a casual eatery specializing in coastal - both Gulf and East - cuisine, the hype train shot off at full speed. I ate there one of the first nights it was open and while I put up a post on it, I didn't write much. Like any new restaurant, kinks were still being worked out, so I vowed to come back some months later and do a proper write up.
I didn't take many interior shots this time, so I recommend you check out the previous post if you're interested. Peacemaker's interior is maybe my favorite in town. It's bright and beachy with pops of color, my favorite of which come from the photographs of the fisherman.
The menu and utensils come in a bucket; drinks come in colorful mason jars. The whole restaurant has a playful vibe.
I tried their namesake cocktail, which was basically a margarita with beer in it too. Nothin' wrong with that.
I'd heard repeatedly that their nightly crudo specials were worth ordering, and after having a pretty stunning fluke crudo at Sidney Street a few weeks before, I didn't doubt that. The evening's special was an albacore tuna with jalapeños and a sauce that I've since forgotten. It was very good. Top notch fish with a little heat always works for me.
I'm still recovering mentally from an oyster-related food poisoning in 2011. I've had them a couple times since, but I always get Larry David neurotic when I eat them, just sitting up in bed...waiting. My unwavering trust in Nashan for all things food pushed me to give their oysters a go. The waitress recommended their Freeland Creek oysters and, after tossing it back, knew she was so right. The oysters were the best I've had since that fateful 2011 day. Bright and briny. Game on, oysters. I'm back.
I had steamers on my first trip ever to Boston and have been obsessed since. They're simply steamed littleneck clams served in broth with some bread. They've been quickly consumed during both Peacemaker trips.
The other plate you'll see below are the fried green tomatoes, crunchy and deliciously tart. Dipped into the tangy remoulade, they can compete with any french fry or chip. It was one of those dishes that is good enough that I contemplated shoving all three into my mouth at once to avoid having to share.
We didn't get the lobster roll this trip, but I can assure you it is the buttery sandwich you desire. Instead, we opted for the Lobster Frito Pie, which sounds like a high-dea (as in an idea you get when you're high). You may be surprised to learn there are no Fritos in here; no, my friend, it's much better than that. They take the Fritos, smash them to bits, then roll crispy chicharrones in the Frito powder. Those Frito-chicharrones are then topped with a tomato-based bean chili filled with big hunks of lobster, then smashed back into the empty Frito bag. The chili itself was more tomatoey than I normally go for, but it's a really fun dish.
If you happen to be a corndog aficionado, you'll surely want a taste of this housemade beef & pork dog dipped in a fluffy corndog batter.
So far, this is my favorite item at Peacemaker: the [symple_highlight color="blue"]smoked brisket poorboy[/symple_highlight]. It's really similar to the smoked brisket entree they have a Sidney Street right now, but the meat's rub is different. It doesn't seem to have that same level of seasoning as Sidney Street's, but since it's in a sandwich rather than standing alone, it makes sense. You get a peppery taste from the meat combined with this fantastic horseradish aioli on it - my god, I'm getting so hungry right now. You have to get this next time you're there if you're a meat eater.
I think it's safe to say that Nashan has created another Benton Park staple with The Peacemaker. Top notch food, attentive service, and a fun atmosphere. I can't wait to get back over.
1831 Sidney Street
St. Louis, MO