STL: What's the C-Hound Take on Keller's Places at Lumiere?
I am visiting family over the holidays in St Louis and am curious about Hubert Keller's joints at Lumiere place: Sleek and Burger Bar. I'm not finding much via the CH search function, and am wondering whether STL hounds find these places worth the cost, and/or, whether there are specific dishes to highlight.
Just saw this post. I would be curious to hear if you checked these out while you were in town.
I ate at Burger Bar and was very disappointed. This was before Top Chef Masters. After I saw Keller on TCM, I was even more upset by my experience. The burgers were fine, but nothing special. I tried the grass fed beef. I was confused by the fact that the bison burger cost as much as the Kobe burger. That seemed odd, especially since you can get bison at other places in St. Louis at half the price.
There were some interesting "toppings" to add to your burger. I had the pickled tomatoes. They were tasty, but they were in small wedges. It made it impossible to put them on your burger and had to be eaten as a side dish. Not what I was expecting, especially since they are advertised on the menu as a burger topping, not as a side.
The deal breaker for me was that they served frozen fries (I confirmed this with the server). This is unforgivable. If I'm going to a world renowned chef's restaurant, and I'm paying a premium for burgers and fries, I would not expect frozen, food service fries that could be had at any third rate chain. I lost a lot of respect for Keller after this, though I tried to tell myself, "Well, maybe it's just because it's "just St. Louis."
However, I heard recently in an interview with Keller that he has a camera system in all his restaurants so he can keep an eye on all his kitchens from his laptop computer. I have to assume he knows they are using frozen fries in the kitchen and I have to assume he approves of this. It makes me very dubious about trying Sleek or any other Keller resto.
I found the Burger Bar interesting. You are able to create all kinds of burgers. And vegetarians have a number of choices. Retro atmosphere. And people will definitely get a kick out of the $60 burger on the menu. Drawback: lots of slot machine noise.
If you are a fan of sushi, Asia serves very good sushi.