Sidney Street Cafe
Kevin Nashan and his team are killing it right now. Peacemaker is the hottest new restaurant in town (for good reason) and this past trip over to Sidney Street Cafe was a standout. I've written about meals there previously, but this one takes the cake for best overall, I think.
Our visit to Sidney Street came during a particularly heavy eating streak, so we went sans appetizers for the evening.
Those at the table who opted for a salad instead of the evening's soup special suffered from a severe case of order envy. While it may look like your run of the mill butternut squash soup, it certainly was not. It had been Nashanized, its flavors so intense and rich I nearly picked it up and gulped it straight out of the bowl like a ruffian. A few crunchy pepitas countered the creaminess, and an intense, slow burning spice gave it a delightful aftertaste. Almost every bowl was left bone dry.
This thing of beauty you see below is the lamb wellington, a beautiful take on what most American's think of as "that dish Gordon Ramsay makes". Lamb loin is topped with herbs before being wrapped with puff pastry and baked. The result is perfectly cooked lamb swaddled in a flaky dough, each slice resting on creamed kale and crispy lamb sweetbreads.
The dish is really more of a duo of lamb than just a wellington. The merguez meatball ragout behind was absurdly good - like I have been thinking about it for weeks good. There's something about North African spices make the lamb flavor pop. If those meatballs showed up as a Peacemaker poorboy special, I would not be disappointed. Fingers crossed.
Before I talk about this dish, I have to say that I love Sidney Street's plating. I'm not sure anyone in St. Louis is putting out prettier plates of food right now - follow them on Instagram for sneak peeks at upcoming dishes. This is the first time I can remember having a pheasant entree, but it will not be the last. Juniper cured pheasant breast can be seen on the far ends, along with braised Belgian endives, thin slices of citrus and quince celery. The stand out was easily that thing that looks like a prop from a Tim Burton movie with a bone sticking out: the crispy ballotine made of pheasant leg confit, pheasant tenderloin, citrus, and herbs.
This is the best gourmet smoked brisket in town. I wrote about it in great detail already here. Must read, must eat.
We felt too guilty and fat to get appetizers, but apparently not too guilty to go for dessert.
Our first choice was a classic: the [symple_highlight color="blue"]dark chocolate turtle brownie[/symple_highlight] served with pecan brittle, vanilla ice cream and, by special request, some chocolate sauce. Intensely chocolatey in the best way.
I pushed for the seasonal [symple_highlight color="blue"]Blood Orange[/symple_highlight] dessert and won, of course. Like a blood orange, the dish hovered between sweet and tart. Down the center of the plate you can see a twisting block of very sweet white chocolate ganache, flanked by pistachio crumble, cranberry sorbet, and all things citrus. It came with a Gran Marnier creme brûlée, served separately, which happened to be my favorite component of the dessert. A normal creme brûlée does nothing for me, but add a flavored liquor and I'm all in.
As I said at the start, this was a memorable meal at Sidney Street from a taste perspective - everything was delicious. The kitchen was firing on all cylinders. I got the brisket myself, but I would have been happy getting any of the other entrees we ordered. I tend to go through obsessive phases with my eating; for weeks at a time I'll go to the same place over and over until I'm ready to move on. Earlier this year, that place was Niche. After this meal? It's Sidney Street. I'm watching the menu like a hawk, just waiting to see something so tantalizing I can no longer resist the temptation.
My return is imminent.
2000 Sidney St
St. Louis, MO 63104