Food blogs and critics all are raving about The Libertine, and Christine and I finally decided to give the place a try and find out what all the fuss was about. Apparently it is all about finely sourced ingredients, great service, and wonderful food and cocktails.
The place immediately reminded us of Element near Lafayette Square, another fine example of New American cuisine in the St. Louis area, along with Prasino in St. Charles. Anyone who is a fan of those places will be a fan of this place and its own unique take on modern, locally sourced eats.
First off, our waiter was extremely friendly and was completely willing to tell us everything we wanted to know about where the food came from and what was good on the menu. Second of all, he was always there when we needed him and gave us one of the best dining experiences we’ve had in a while.
One thing of note: we didn’t order any entrees this time. We just tried a bunch of the appetizers, which were all very good but came in small portions. The ash roasted carrots were simply wonderful and had a creamy texture and rich full flavors. The She Crab Soup was great too.
Another dish we went absolutely nuts over was the “Roots”, which featured some really hearty, earthy beets and an amazing “beet vin cotto” that our waiter explained was a balsamic reduction with beet juice mixed in. Whatever it was it was amazing.
The drinks were the real star of the show in my opinion. They were simply spectacular. The Fear and Loathing was like a dark and stormy with a light, frothy pecan foam with lemongrass dust on the top. Also the “Tom Waits for No Man” was an herbilicious take on a Manhattan that also featured some of their own house-made bitters.
Their desserts are definitely worth saving room for. We tried their ice cream candy bar, which the waiter described as a ice scream snickers stuffed with ferrero rocher chocolates.
- Pros: Expertly sourced and well made fare. Inredible mixology and an incredible head chef make for a great experience.
- Cons: Very popular place so be prepared to make reservations or get there early. Small portions, but we only ordered appetizers.
- Charlie’s Favorites: She Crab Soup, Roots, Tom Waits for No Man
- Christine’s Favorites: Ash Roasted Carrots, Ice Cream Candy Bar, Fear and Loathing