I’m grinning ear to ear as I’m writing this review, because I’m so excited to share this experience with you. I haven’t been this giddy over a restaurant in quite some time, and if you know anything about my blog (and my sometimes harsh reviews!), you know that it takes a lot to impress me. Sure, I’ve been to plenty of restaurants that I enjoyed and gave kudos to, but when it comes to restaurants that really, truly knock my socks off? I can name those on one hand.
This is one of those restaurants that completely knocked my socks off.
The name of this restaurant? Well, it’s in the title of this blog post.
This members-only establishment has been the source of a lot of buzz around St. Louis. A. Lot. Of. Buzz.
I will admit that when Blood & Sand opened in September of 2011, I was in no rush to try it. But it wasn’t because I thought the food would be terrible – my thoughts were quite the opposite – it was because I didn’t like the idea of a members only establishment. You mean…I have to pay for the privilege to walk through the doors of this place? I wasn’t digging the idea. At all.
However, I began to hear stories of foodies who visited Blood & Sand and loved it. I read nothing but positive reviews on Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook. And finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to visit this place. HAD to.
Luckily, I have friends in high places
My friend Browning (top right) was nice enough to invite myself (and a few friends!) as his guests at Blood & Sand. From left to right: Me (duh!), Stephen, Mallory, Browning, and Christine. Tracey (not pictured) was also in attendance and took this shot of all of us. Notice my extremely goofy grin? This girl was excited!
One thing I noticed (and loved) about Blood & Sand was the atmosphere of the place. It was so beautiful! The attention to detail was top-notch; every single aspect of the restaurant seemed to be perfectly thought out and well designed.
Can I move in? Pretty please?
Enough of my drooling. Let’s talk about food!
I wanted to start out with a cocktail. TJ Vytlacil, part owner of B&S, is also an expert mixologist, and has received quite a bit of attention for his creations.
Perhaps the most talked about of his libations is the Love Burns cocktail. This drink contains aged rum, lemon juice, raw simple (I’m assuming this is raw simple syrup?), barolo chinato (a smooth wine infused with roots, herbs, and spices) , grapefruit bitters, and rose champagne. Fancy!
Oh wow. This drink certainly packed a punch! One and done, baby. Love does burn! I really enjoyed it.
Next we ordered a few small plates to share.
First up? Deviled Farm Eggs.
I’m going to be honest. While the presentation was beautiful, these weren’t my favorite. They were pretty bland; my grandma’s are so much better! Sorry, chefs. Maybe if you’re nice, she’ll tell you her secret to deviled egg perfection
We also had an order of truffled tater tots:
Be still, my beating heart. I’m going to need a moment of silence for these tots.
Do me a favor right now. Imagine what tater tots taste like. Think of every tater tot that has crossed your lips in your life.
Now forget that. Forget everything you think you know about tots. Because these are like nothing you’ve ever tasted in your life.
How can I describe these? They were perfectly crisp on the outside and unbelievably creamy in the middle. I have no idea how they did that! B&S could have given me a bowl filled with nothing but these tots and I would have been perfectly okay with that. Wow.
Well, now that I’ve spent way more time talking about tater tots than any normal person should, we can move on.
Christine ordered this lovely soup:
It was a butternut squash and apple soup. Deliciously creamy, and a little sweet, thanks to the apples.
Browning ordered a dish with roasted wild mushrooms, cauliflower beignets, and white anchovy:
I had a bite of this as well, and it was delicious! I adore mushrooms. The cauliflower beignets were unique and tasty!
As for myself, I went with the Pig in a Blanket.
This creative twist on the popular childhood treat (did anyone else eat pigs in a blanket as a kid? I did!) consisted of a spicy herb sausage wrapped in a kim chi pancake. It was surrounded by a sweet sesame sauce.
I loved this. The sausage was juicy, flavorful, and had a spicy kick that was fantastic. The kim chi pancake tasted pretty mild, which was perfect – I wouldn’t want anything to detract from the flavor of that sausage! The sesame sauce brought everything together wonderfully. I couldn’t ask for more.
Next up? Dessert! I ordered the Sticky Toffee Pudding:
It was garnished with candied ginger and surrounded by sticky caramel sauce.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this, to be honest. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve had some really tasty sticky toffee puddings, and this wasn’t one of them. It was too dry and cake-like for my tastes.
However, someone else at the table ordered chocolate mousse:
And all of a sudden, all was right with the world. This decadent mousse was served with a shortbread cookie. The taste of chocolate was so prominent, and the mousse itself was ridiculously creamy. I adored this dessert, and wish I would have ordered it myself!
Service at Blood & Sand was spectacular. Our waiter took the time to explain just about everything on the menu to us, and he answered any questions that we had (and we had a lot!). It’s been a long time since I’ve received such detailed and thorough service. It was so refreshing!
So…would I come back to Blood & Sand? Hah. What a silly question! Of course I would. I highly recommend B&S – if you ever receive the opportunity to attend as a guest (or buy a membership yourself!), take it. You won’t be sorry.
Now will someone come and wipe this goofy grin off of my face? I can’t stop smiling.
See you next week!