Short-notice dinner alert!
Most of you know by now that I really enjoy finding a new restaurant to introduce to the group. Quite often we manage to visit a restaurant within the first month or two that it's open. But this time I've outdone myself... we'll be visiting our next venue one week after the day it opened!
I'd noticed some references to a new place going in where Panda Palace used to be, behind the Shell station on the southwest corner of the intersection of Hwy 141 and Manchester Rd. It was scheduled to open last month, but some physical issues caused them to push their opening to last week. Of course, I wasted no time in checking it out, and I'm pleased to report that Marshall's Bistro is a worthy addition to the local dining scene! So I decided to push back what would have been our next event to allow us to pay them a visit a week from their opening, because hey, it's fun to be among the first to try a new restaurant!
Cuisine - While I'm never really sure what constitutes an actual "bistro", I can say that Marshall's cuisine seems to fit the bill pretty well, and since it covers a pretty wide range of choices, I decided "eclectic" would be a good description. They emphasize that everything is fresh and made from scratch, always a great start, and I immediately noticed that they had a great variety to their menu, also excellent! Among the appetizers, for example, choices range from standards like toasted ravs and crab spinach dip to some very inventive choices, such as wild mushroom ragout, tomato basil calamari, or lamb meatballs! They have a pizza section with some very interesting combinations, including BBQ and Cajun, and thankfully you can get mozzarella cheese instead of Provel! But it's in their small plates and entrees that things really get good! Among the small plates - and these are actual dinners, not just appetizers; they're just smaller portions - the slider trio is a particular standout. Yes, sliders are all the rage, but here you get one that's beef, one that's a lamb meatball with tzaziki sauce, and one that's a crab cake with tartar sauce! They also have a couple of excellent pastas in this part of the menu. Among the entrees, let me just say that the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with apple butter and walnut raisin wild rice was one of the most amazing pork dishes I've ever had! But several other choices stand out as well, such as the braised beef short ribs with wild mushrooms, pancetta, and red wine pan jus, or the Bolognese Pappardelle, or, for something really great, pistachio and panko encrusted Colorado lamb chops topped with applewood smoked bacon jam! I think you can see my point here, Marshall's has come up with a really nice variety of creative dishes, and from my experience so far, they've been awesome!
Cost - Here is where I was really impressed. Only about four items on the menu (barely) break the $20 mark! The rest of the entrees are in the high teens, and the small plates are all under $10! Appetizers are also all under $10, and the pizzas range through the teens depending on size. For a brand new restaurant in west county serving food this good - and creative - I expected higher prices, so I was very pleased, and I think you will be too!
Other Info -
- As I mentioned, the restaurant has been open for less than a week; in fact, they still consider themselves as in the midst of a "soft opening". So we're going to help them out a bit! We will be one of their first group dinners. While I found their service to be quite good, their staff is just barely out of training so might not be 100% perfect yet - as in, maybe having to ask about some ingredients, for example. I don't think this should hurt our enjoyment in the least! But do come understanding that this is a brand new restaurant and they might have a kink or two they're still working out. BUT to compensate for this, I have a coupon for everyone for 10% off their entree! (Only the entree, though, not small plates or the rest of the bill.)
- They are located on the southwest corner of Manchester and Hwy 141, in the Nationalway Center. But it's tricky to get into. You want to go to the first signal west of Hwy 141 on Manchester, turn south (left if you're going west) onto Old Meramec Station Rd, then go two blocks and turn left onto First St. This will take you into the center, and the restaurant will be to your left across the parking lot back toward Manchester.
I know it's short notice, but I'll be looking forward to seeing a bunch of my west county foodies at Marshall's Bistro on Thursday, the 14th of March!