The Southampton neighborhood in St. Louis is one of those often overlooked when talking about where to eat, but with Russell’s on Macklind and now Grapeseed opening up it may soon become the new favorite amongst local foodies.
Ben Anderson, who had two prior restaurants called Canoe and Gist, just opened Grapeseed last week at the time of this posting and there is already quite a lot of buzz about it. His aim was to open a locally sourced wine bar that fits into its neighborhood perfectly and is above all affordable in price. In many ways this makes the restaurant a perfect counterpart to Russell’s on Macklind across the street, another favorite of ours.
The look and feel of Grapeseed is that of casual fine-dining, rustic yet modern with recovered materials used in making the stools and tables but also lots of local artwork on the walls and modern looking decor. It’s open and friendly and has a patio in the front and an enclosed one in the back.
Like a lot of New American restaurants, Grapeseed uses locally sourced fare in their cooking as much as possible and tries to present classic dishes in a new light. The Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, pictured above, is a perfect example of that ideal. An incredibly simple dish but the fresh, locally grown ingredients and the execution gives forth a very flavorful and healthy dish. The simple buttermilk dressing paired with some very hearty arugula really helped bring the dish together.
Another great example of this was the Ricotta Mushroom Ravioli with Red Pepper Sauce. The roasted red pepper sauce and the creamy filling were absolutely wonderful, plus the actual raviolis are made from scratch from what I understand. A very well executed dish though I admit I thought the pasta was a little tough in texture.
The real star of the evening was their Gnocchi, which was served in brown butter with these really tasty brussels sprouts. This was a wonderful dish that really showed what good sourcing and perfect cooking can do. The gnocchi had a perfect texture and flavor and the brussels sprouts paired perfectly with them. Also, the dish had these wonderful pecans that added a little something extra to the experience. A very simple and focused dish that we will order whenever it is available, which may not be for long. Being true to their word on locally sourcing whatever they can you can expect the menu to change regularly as certain things become available and other things less so.
The drinks are very good as well. While Grapeseed mostly focuses on wine and has a very wide selection of affordable fine wines, we are cocktail people and we were not disappointed. My favorite was the Double Freedom Rocket, which is a take on the classic Manhattan except with both whiskey and bourbon. The Southside Dark and Stormy was another retake on a classic, with some very good ginger beer and the addition of allspice bitters that complimented the ginger and rum well.
We didn’t try any of the main dishes yet, wanting to only snack on smaller plates for the evening, so we will be back and try those out and post some pictures of those dishes as well. So far we are very pleased with this new addition to our neighborhood and love the fact that we can just walk out our door and visit this fine establishment. Come by and you might see us there. Just look for the hipsters with the camera and the satisfied look that comes with eating good food with good company.
- Pros: Locally sourced food that is expertly crafted. Pasta made from scratch.
- Cons: Being locally sourced, menu might change based on season.
- Charlie’s Favorites: Gnocchi, Butcher’s Board, Double Freedom Rocket
- Christine’s Favorites: Gnocchi, Mushroom Ravioli , Southside Dark and Stormy