Q • We always order the Shrimp & Grits at Square One in Lafayette Square. — Teresa Norman
A • Microbrewery, microdistillery and gastropub Square One celebrated its 10th anniversary last month but doesn’t stop at one reason — or even 10 — to step through its painted-lady doors.
Craft beer. Award-winning craft spirits. Craft food. A windowed backbar, old glass, old panes. A tree-shaded patio with a looming waterfall, one of several Bob Cassilly “found architecture” elements. It was the patio that sold restaurant owner Steve Neukomm on the building. He says, “It belongs on every shortlist of St. Louis’ best restaurant patios.”
Food-wise, Square One’s kitchen puts out what Neukomm calls “bar fare with a twist,” food that’s familiar but not what most would cook at home. Everything’s made from scratch, from meaty brats to veggie burgers, from Scotch eggs to hand-cut fries, from house-cured sauerkraut to smoked meats. Sunday’s biscuits and sausage gravy? Every bite is made in house.
Small twists abound. A salad with Missouri black walnuts. Grouper fish ’n’ chips. Lamb sloppy joes. Fish tacos with smoked tomatoes.
That “twist” is apparent in Square One’s plate of N’awlins’-style shrimp and grits. The ingredients are familiar, nothing fancy, nothing hard to find. The cheesy grits are countered with just a touch of heat from jalapeno, a touch of texture from andouille sausage. It’s hard to put your finger on what’s in the sauce, but you’ll consider licking the last drops from the plate.
Square One is open for lunch and dinner plus a la carte Sunday brunch. For Easter and Mother’s Day, Square One puts on the dog with a reservations-preferred buffet brunch, including an entire room filled with sweets and pastries.
Square One Brewery & Distillery
1727 Park Avenue
Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.
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