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Recently recommended restaurants for Jan. 3

Recently recommended restaurants for Jan. 3

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Beast Butcher & Block

The #beercheesesteak with fries at Beast Butcher & Block, 4156 Manchester Avenue.

Photo by Troy Stolt, tstolt@post-dispatch.com

Looking to try something new? Here are some recommendations from restaurant critic Ian Froeb’s recent reviews.

Beast Butcher & Block

Where 4156 Manchester Avenue • More info 314-944-6003; beastbbqstl.comHours Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sunday

The cuisine • The second location of David and Meggan Sandusky’s acclaimed Belleville barbecue restaurant adds a butcher shop and a live-fire kitchen with Sunday brunch service and occasional tasting menus and other special events.

What to order • All of the Beast favorites are present, including the incomparable fatty wagyu brisket, the pork steak and the basted pork belly.

The Bellwether

Where The Bellwether, 1419 Carroll Street • More info 314-380-3086; thebellwetherstl.comHours Dinner daily

The cuisine • The team behind the excellent Lafayette Square bistro Polite Society returns with more contemporary American fare in a sophisticated, “date-night” atmosphere.

What to order • Chef Thomas Futrell’s standout dishes include a scallop carpaccio and a range of pastas.

Bulrush

Where 3307 Washington Boulevard • More info 314-449-1208; bulrushstl.comHours Dinner Thursday-Sunday (closed Monday-Wednesday)

The cuisine • At one of the best new restaurants of recent years, Rob Connoley presents modern interpretations of historical Ozark foodways from 1820-1870.

What to order • The oft-changing tasting menu ($100 per person, tax and service included) provides the full Bulrush experience, but there is also an a-la-carte food menu at the bar.

Cocina Latina

Where 508 North Euclid Avenue • More info 314-696-2294; facebook.com/cocinaslatinaHours Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday)

The cuisine • The restaurant Maritza Rios has dreamed of opening since she moved to St. Louis from New York City almost 20 years ago. Here she serves lomo saltado, ají de gallina and more dishes from her native Peru.

What to order • Ceviche, mahi mahi “cooked” in lime juice and punctuated with the chile heat of ají limo, is an energizing start to any meal here.

The Curry Club

Where 1635 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield • More info 636-778-7777; stlcurryclub.comHours Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (closed Monday)

The cuisine • A counter-service Indian restaurant with a focus on the cuisines of south India. The lunch special features your choice of two curries with rice and naan for $5.99.

What to order • The lunch special is hard to resist, but the chef making dosas to order to one side of the counter will tempt you.

Han Lao

Where 1250 Strassner Drive, Brentwood • More info 314-932-1354; hanlaostl.comHours Lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

The cuisine • Thom Chantharasy showcases the cuisine of his native Laos. In addition to Lao fare, some Thai dishes are also available.

What to order • Khao poon is a spicy soup (pork broth, red-curry paste and coconut milk) with ground pork, vermicelli noodles and fresh herbs.

Il Palato

Where 222 South Bemiston Avenue, Clayton • More info 314-224-5331; ilpalatoclayton.comHours Dinner Monday-Saturday, lunch Monday-Friday (closed Sunday)

The cuisine • Seafood is the focus of this Italian restaurant from Michael Del Pietro (Del Pietro’s, Sugo’s Spaghetteria, Tavolo V).

What to order • Basil, lemon and thyme perfume a whole grilled branzino in a basil-lime vinaigrette.

Jerk Soul

Where 2016 Salisbury Street • More info 314-601-3871; facebook.com/jerksoulstlHours Noon-8 p.m. Sunday-Friday (closed Saturday)

The cuisine • Jerk chicken, braised oxtails and more stellar Caribbean fare from a carryout-only storefront in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

What to order • Jerk chicken is the star here, either as a standalone dish or as the featured ingredient in pizza or other fusion dishes.

The Last Kitchen

Where 1501 Washington Avenue • More info 314-390-2500; thelasthotelstl.comHours Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily

The cuisine • Chef Evy Swoboda traveled states bordering the Mississippi River for inspiration for the restaurant inside the new Last Hotel.

What to order • Frog legs with red beans and rice are a standout from the dinner menu; from the all-day bar menu, try the smoked and then fried chicken bites.

Mayo Ketchup

Where 2001 Park Avenue • More info 314-696-2699; plantaingirl.comHours 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (closed Monday-Tuesday)

The cuisine • Mandy Estrella (aka Plantain Girl) serves Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban fare in a fast-casual setting.

What to order • Roasted pork is a highlight on the strong menu, both as pernil with arroz con gandules or as part of a classic Cuban sandwich.

Mike’s Hot Dogs, Soups & Sandwiches

Where 7293 Olive Boulevard, University CityMore info 314-776-9225; mikeshotdogsstl.comHours 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

The cuisine • The eponymous Mike Eagan Jr. dishes up hot dogs with toppings both expected (a Chicago-style dog) and not as well as burgers, sandwiches and soups.

What to order • Besides the hot dogs (I like the spicy Volcano and Old Mexico varieties), Mike’s serves very good gumbo and the best buffalo-chicken sandwich in town.

West End Bistro

Where West End Bistro, 5513 Pershing Avenue • More info 314-354-8436; westendbistrostl.comHours Lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday (closed Sunday-Monday)

The cuisine • Kevin and Marion Green serve appealing, classic bistro fare in a neighborhood setting.

What to order • Seafood is a house specialty, especially the crab-cake appetizer, shrimp and grits and bouillabaisse.

{strong style=”font-size: 16px;”}By Ian Froeb{/strong}

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