Bogarts: Because we missed our traditional breakfast at Waffle House, we headed straight for the Soulard Market to grab a bloody mary and then were the first people in the door of Bogart's at 10:30. Had the combo: 1/2 slab of baby backs, and smoked prime rib. I normally hate baked beans, but theirs are off-the-chart amazing (made with the drippings of smoked brisket). The chief smoker, Skip (who serves in a similar capacity for Pappy's) took a liking to us visiting foodies, and gave us a tour of the place, and plied us with more samples of pastrami, burnt ends, sausage and some house-made relish. This place is the real deal, and is some of the best Q anywhere in the country (and I've sampled a lot).
Afternoon cocktails: Fountain on Locust is such a lovely place, and they really do know how to make the old standard cocktails. The bartender hadn't heard of a Negroni (gin, sweet vermouth and campari), but rose to the occasion. Also, one of the coolest bathrooms I've seen.
Vin de Set: After even more cocktails at Clementine's (the world's smokiest bar - ugh), we hit Vin de Set. The place is beautiful, with a huge vaulted ceiling. The service was efficient and knowledgeable. My friend's red pepper linguine was heavily coated in what seemed to be a Parmesan or Alfredo sauce, that made it almost gelatinous - good flavor but unfortunate texture for a hot summer night. My arctic char was good, but could have been more heavily seared on the skin side which would have allowed the fish to lift up from the skin more easily (I cook this fish often, and that is the trick). The cheese course for dessert, and a nice recommendation for a crisp sauvingon-semillon, was a good end to the meal, before the Manchester Rd. revelry that shall not be reported in these pages. (Any imprecise memories in these postings will be easily explained by my friend's bad influence on my in the beverage department.)