In 2010, Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar joined sister restaurants Rooster and Baileys Chocolate Bar as a welcome addition to the St. Louis dining scene.
Customers can order one of the arranged cheese and charcuterie boards (most $6 to $12) or build their own. The Rouge Creamery smoky blue is pleasingly sharp, and the Camembert is creamy and satisfying. Add thinly sliced smoked duck breast with cherry chutney, and you may not even need dinner. (Cheese boards include roasted nuts, dried fruit and fluffy focaccia bread.) Salads are excellent. The chilled beef tenderloin salad has a fresh-from-the-farm flavor with thinly sliced steak atop baby greens and veggies, and the winter Caprese layers roasted peppers, basil and French feta. Sandwiches and “pots” round out the menu; the Moroccan-style coffee-braised beef and sweet potato orzo ($12) arrives simmering in a little crock with hints of exotic fruit and cinnamon. The only downside is the sandwiches; the house rolls are so thick that fillings seem like an afterthought.
As expected, the beer and wine lists are extensive, with and include more than 200 beers in stock (55 on tap) and 20 wines by the glass. Sidewalk dining is available, but we prefer the upscale yet casual interior with exposed brick and a wall of wine stretching to the second floor. The restaurant’s name references the bridge of a violin; the owner’s recently deceased brother was a violinist and instrumental (pun intended) in the restaurant’s design. Organic decor elements include tree trunk lounge tables and a huge chandelier made of branches. Stairs lead to the lofted dining area and a small, semiprivate lounge, a romantic spot for a glass of wine or dessert.