Some of you might remember Sapore, the fantastic Italian restaurant in Lafayette Center where we had dinner a couple years ago. I was sad to see that they shut their doors (although they just moved to Kirkwood). So I noted with interest over the last few months that a new place was rising in the same location. Finally they are open, so naturally I had to check it out! Gist Bistro, now open for only a few weeks, offers French-influenced cuisine with a very strong locavore sensibility... virtually every ingredient on the menu is sourced locally, or if not locally, then from a specific vendor in an appropriate region. Now, that's all well and good, but what really matters is that the resulting food is nothing short of spectacular. So naturally, a group dinner there was the next step!
Cuisine - I think I'll let their website explain it: "Seasonal artisan products influenced by the cuisine of France. We are a contemporary bistro specializing in local, fresh and artisan products. We prefer small local providers and offer our guests the freshest ingredients available each season. Everything we serve is house made from scratch by our culinary team. Our chef's passion is to prepare each dish in a simple unique manner to allow you to experience its true flavors with the dish served in an exquisitely appealing style." Seriously, I don't think I could explain it better! While the food is not entirely "French", you can definitely detect the influence the the small, but very well-balanced menu. Let me say right off that their Filet of Beef Au Poivre (Rain Crow Ranch 8 oz. grass-fed filet with black peppercorns and brandy-cream sauce) is possibly the best steak I've eaten in years! They also have some superb fish (the blackened redfish with sweet potato gnocci was especially incredible), seafood, chicken, pork, and vegetarian entrees, as well as amazing soups and salads, and desserts you WILL want to leave room for - the white chocolate creme brulee, for example, was to die for! I could go on, but let me just say this is simply superb food!
Cost - As you might expect, food this good does cost a bit, although I think their prices are right in the general range you'd expect for a restaurant this good. Entrees start in the teens and are mostly in the low $20s, although a couple do break the $30 mark... and are well worth it! Maybe a bit of splurge, to be sure, but one you'll be glad you took!
Other Info - Gist is located in the Lafayette Center at the northeast corner of Manchester and Baxter; it's just to the left of the Dierberg's. Tons of free parking right out front.
I'm looking forward to seeing lots of my west county foodies at Gist Bistro on Tuesday the 21st!