We have a nephew in the wine business. This is very handy. Most obvious is that family events involve great wine. But, it turns out, that expertise in wine goes hand-in-hand with understanding and discovering great food. So, when I had a text recently from said nephew that Death in the Afternoon, a new downtown restaurant in St. Louis, served the best lunch in the Midwest, I made arrangements to visit as soon as I could.
The Hemingway reference, according to a Sauce magazine interview of the owners, is a tribute to the setting. The all-glass building takes up a corner of CityGarden and looks out on the lush plantings, reminiscent of Key West.
We took another nephew, and his new bride, yesterday.
On the table, above, are our delicious appetizers. We had the spicy eggplant dip (on the left) with the most amazing puffy pita bread. On the right are the crushed fried fingerling potatoes, accompanied by three separate sauces to taste — homemade ketchup, a garlicky ranch dressing, and a “fancy sauce” that was just the right level of spiciness to dress up the crisp-on-the-outside, hot-and-tender-on-the-inside, potatoes.
Everyone liked their main dishes, too.
Rick enjoyed his Japanese steamed buns, particularly the one filled with duck confit. Gabbi ordered a grilled chicken sandwich, cooked on a skewer and slid into an Italian roll — although it was called a sandwich, knife and fork seemed to be the appropriate way to eat it.
None of us were going to argue with “best in the Midwest” to describe our lunch and we were all talking about, as we left, who else we wanted to bring to this restaurant to enjoy the beautiful setting, attentive and friendly service, and delicious food.
What’s the best lunch you’ve enjoyed recently?
Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking, a weekly blog hop of food posts.