Q • Every year, we go to the Lemp Mansion and every year we fight over the green beans. — Laurie Hempe
A • OK, movie buffs, remember the bachelor party scene in the movie “White Palace”? “It was filmed right here in the parlor,” Matt Bell says. For going on four decades, Bell’s extended family, the Pointers, have owned the Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn, the 1860s home of the Lemp family, American lager beer pioneers.
To step through the mansion’s heavy doors is to enter the majesty of another era — today known for contemporary family-friendly food in a historic setting; eerie happenings that draw ghost-seeking reality TV and fun-seeking overnight guests; even regular live dinner-theaters. When kids are off school, Bell says, family groups often come for lunch, eager to connect with St. Louis of old. There’s even a gazebo perfect for garden weddings. “We’re booking weddings for kids whose parents married here years ago.”
The Lemp Mansion’s lunch menu focuses on housemade soups and hefty sandwiches, including what Bell calls “excellent” French onion soup and the “finest” club sandwich in St. Louis. Come evening, the menu moves to French- and German-inspired fine dining including flaming desserts-for-two.
The Lemp Mansion’s green bean recipe dates way back to Bell’s great-great grandmother. German thrift is evident: the onion-bacon gravy incorporates the liquid from canned green beans. Lemp Mansion chef Matthew Milka likes to top serving bowls with extra onion and bacon so “people know what they’re getting.”
Usually, the Lemp Mansion’s German-style Green Beans are one of a dozen sides served on Sundays with all-you-can-eat family-style “down home” fried chicken. This week only, a small serving is complimentary at lunch (served Monday-Friday) and dinner (Thursday-Saturday).
Get the recipe here.
Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn
3322 Demenil Place
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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