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Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012: Eat and Repeat - The Block

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Another month, another new restaurant for our 2012 Eat and Repeat Challenge! Although we're only choosing 6 of the 25 restaurants from Sauce Magazine's Best New STL Restaurants list, I knew from the start that The Block in Webster Groves would for sure make the cut. I've heard nothing but positive things about this place which isn't just a restaurant, but has its own butcher shop as well! The restaurant strives to be a "cozy, community gathering space" (per their website) and after an excellent dinner there, I'd say they've succeeded.

Although The Block's interior space is cool--very open and modern--I begged Ryan to sit outside. It was 90 degrees in St. Louis (in May!) that day, but it had cooled off a bit and I love to take advantage of every opportunity to dine al fresco. The few tables and chairs outside give customers the chance to people watch; Webster was surprisingly busy that evening, perhaps because of the nearby Cinco de Mayo celebration?! While we perused the menu, I started with their cocktail of the day, a strawberry mint martini. It was light and fresh and sweet, an ideal summer cocktail! Ryan stuck with a local beer, and we ordered the pork confit plate to start.
As you can see, they didn't skip on the confit (in the jar). Our server warned us that it was cold, which apparently throws a lot of diners off. I thought the confit was good, but my favorites were actually everything else on the plate: the apple raisin chutney, the pickled vegetables, and the grilled bread sprinkled with sea salt. Why have I never grilled bread and sprinkled with salt? Fantastic idea!!
That gigantic plate of deliciousness you see above...that was my meal, a heck of a lot of food for $8! I'm on a bit of a pulled pork kick lately, after making it at home and then enjoying it in Memphis. I think this version surpasses them all though! Slathered in honey BBQ sauce with spicy pepper jack cheese melted throughout, I didn't leave a bite behind! Though I'm normally pretty ambivalent toward french fries, these won me over with their crispy bite and generous sprinkle of rosemary.
Ryan stuck with the special of the day, which means you'll have to forgive me for not knowing what's all on there! I know it featured steak, a citrus chimichurri sauce, asparagus, arugula, blue cheese potatoes, and mushrooms. All of it was local (our server made a point to emphasize each of the local ingredients when running through the specials) and was perfectly cooked. The Block was definitely a win, from the drinks to the food to the ambiance to the service. We will be back, and if you're a local St. Louisan who hasn't checked it out yet, get on over there!!

The Block on Urbanspoon