It might as well be summertime when not one, but two delicious places fire up for some 'que! We've got the scoop on a duo of destinations to wear your eating pants and chill while they grill. We salivate just thinking about them.
Our first meal launches this Sunday over at Park Ave. Chef David Slay's Stanton spot has been going strong for a dozen years off Beach. If his longevity isn't impressive enough, then the success of his Italian concept in the adjacent garage should make you a believer. Now, chef wants to show off his BBQ swagger. It will be offered both Saturday and Sunday on future weekends until sold out. When asked about his choice of regional specialty, Chef Slay remarked,
"Hailing from St. Louis, of course I've always been a fan of St. Louis-style baby back ribs. I used to do street barbecue back in the 80's on a pit just like the one we had built for Park Ave. Since there's a growing following of this style, and people always enjoy hanging out 'in the Park', we thought it would be fun to bring St. Louis barbecue to our hidden gem on Beach Boulevard."
We received an advanced copy of their menu so you can plan those eating exploits. Farm stand corn ($5) on their starters is flavored with Manchego cheese, butter and lime zest. His 'Brisket on a Biscuit' ($14) features slow-cooked meat sandwiched between a buttermilk, chive and cheddar biscuit. The BBQ plates include baby back pork ribs ($18 for 1/2 slab), chicken ($12) and salmon ($19), all served alongside jalapeno baked beans and apple cider vinegar slaw. And we cannot choose between frozen custard and STL gooey butter cake (both $6). Decisions, decisions.
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Inside Oak Grill, Slow Smoked Sundaze is a $34 fixed-price feast ($12 for children ages 5 to 12) of shareable dishes. Diners begin with deviled eggs, a pickled plate and farmer's salad with honey lemon vinaigrette. Second round means your choice of entree: fried chicken, beef brisket, cedar planked salmon, baby back ribs or whole roasted catch of the day. Your choice of two 'sidekick' options are served with each entree, including coleslaw, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, mac & cheese, or sauteed greens (plus cornbread and honey butter). The finale is up to you— either a pecan pie or Pizooki Sundaze. Sip on a complimentary glass of fresh strawberry and basil Backyard Lemonade, or upgrade with Tito's Vodka for another $10.
Reservations for either restaurant are a good idea, but aren't required. And remember that while Park Ave's grub kicks off this Sunday, the Sundaze inside Island Hotel's Oak Grill commences May 1. No matter where you go, be sure to schedule that nap afterwards.