The space is spare but very nice, especially for Stl. It's almost like living in a big city. Open kitchen, very tall ceiling and windows, exposed brick and immense building blocks of limestone. Very comfortable, modernistic, plastic molded chairs. Service was good.
Disappointing wine list. Only 9 whites and 12 reds, most of which I didn't recognize. The food, like that of the owner's prior place, Hot Locust, comes across as contrived with little sense of what might work together. In reading the menu, none of the combinations sound very harmonious or like anything you just can't pass up. I got the feeling that when the menu was created, they made up a number of columns of trendy and/or ethnic ingredients and mixed and matched until they came up with something they thought was interesting. The presentation was good, the accompaning vegetables nicely cooked and a step above typical standards, the food competently prepared, but nothing made much of a statement flavorwise. The seabass "stuffed" with shrimp, turned out to be a filet topped with a thickish, red paste with a small bit of chopped shrimp. The accompaning cilantro sauce, and combo. of mashed potato and white beans was bland, with the sauce adding little to the dish. Another entree of shark with a scant serving of "cajun" flavored bernaise was also underseasoned. Scallops in a coconut curry sauce was tasty, with the large scallops cooked until just done, but then again, it's impossible for anything cooked in coconut milk to not taste good. In the future I might stop in for a drink and app. at the bar, but I wouldn't be in a hurry to eat dinner there again.
The bread that was served was PATHETIC and an insult to the customer. It looked like the cheap, soft, characterless, pre-sliced rye bread that cost $2 a loaf at the local market. With entree's at $17-20, I would expect something better than what you would get at a VFW fish fry. Why do so few-if any?-restaurants in stl serve an interesting basket of bread?