StL: Niche or Melange
Trying to decide between Niche and Melange for wife's birthday dinner next week, for a party of about 6 or 8 of us. Have been to neither, and want to go to someplace new to us. Other of our favorites in that type of restaurant are Atlas, Pomme, Terrene, Arthur Clay, American Place and Moxy. We're not willing to return to Savor, Crossing, King Louis, Monarch or Harvest [actually, I would, she won't] and most others. So, unless there's something new I'm missing [and the above list isn't exhaustive of the restaurants to which we've been and which fall into this general category], I'm willing to limit consideration to Niche and Melange, both of which sound good on paper. Comparisons and comments, or suggestions of a place we might be overlooking?
Wish I'd seen this sooner.
Melange sucks. They served me the following in December 2005
applewood smoked pork tenderloin, on smoked baked beans with asparagus and beets and some cornbread on the side (i didn't know what the veg would be when i ordered)
Apart from the pork being cooked well enough I was left with the following three questions/concerns:
1. the cornbread was dry
2. asparagus in December?
3. can you taste beats when eating them with smoked baked beans?....i can't
Much of their menu seemed to go along with the theme that it was better to have a flashy sounding menu then it was to have one that could be cooked well with foods that are in season.
the three meals I have had there have been wonderful. The surf and turf produced for a soft openning included the most impressive crab on a perfectly cooked fillet. The Ribs were grand, other well suported and interesting fish dishes, the desserts inventive. Plus, I liked the design of the place- with the exception of the glaring kitchen lights. There is something that I cannot place that does put some reservation in my thoughts- that simply sends me to Red Moon.
I do like Red Moon - except that I found the staff a bit attitudinal. But, I'd go back in a heartbeart, certainly more often than once in a red moon. As for Copia, I sure like the concept and have enjoyed the atmosphere of 2 private dinners there all the way downstairs in the private room [not the semi-private wine room]; I just felt that the food really dropped off after the apps. But, I'd go back.
I'm the first to comment on Niche...interesting.
I had a great meal there in late May with a friend who actually lives in a condo above the restaurant.
Service was quick and attentive, and the food was awesome. I had a *great* chicken liver terrine and gnocchi, and my friend, a vegetarian, had a wonderful green bean salad and vegetable ragout. She knew the GM/co-owner, and we had a great chat. The GM & Chef are young, and really care about great food and service.