The Libertine in Clayton is a collaboration between husband and wife team Nick and Audra Leudde with James Beard semi-finalist Chef Josh Galliano. Chef Josh Galliano caught my attention after I moved to St. Louis and started to explore the culinary scene. I stumbled across his Twitter account and quickly became one of his followers. Not only did his Tweets about food grab my attention, but his mentions of music seemed to be as if he had access to my iTunes library. But I digress…
The Libertine opened back in mid-May and I have visited twice. I already have some favorite dishes. This post will focus on my most recent visit.
Their menu is divided into vegetables, meat, and seafood. At the top of each category are smaller items that could be ordered as an appetizer. The lower part has items that are more the size of entrees.
The cocktail, beer, and wine selection provides plenty of choices. I have been on a bourbon kick lately and would like to introduce you to Monseigneur Bocephus. Bocephus and I quickly became friends.
Let’s jump right into the meal with my favorite appetizer, the crispy pig tails.
By now you shouldn’t be surprised that I ordered a pork dish. The pig tails have just the right amount of crunch and are served over polenta.
During my most recent visit I ventured out of my typical carnivore ways and ordered something from the “vegetable” section: the scorched twisted peppers.
Ok, maybe there is some bacon in the dish 🙂 The first thing you notice is the smokey smell when they arrive. It had a very earthy flavor. Enjoyable even for a meat eater like me.
Both times my entree has been the three little birds. The entree has been slightly different each time, but both were excellent. From the first visit during their first week of business:
From early July:
The basis of the dish is the same. It’s a trio of roasted game hen, quail, and chicken. Some of the vegetables change but it’s always a masterful accompaniment.
For dessert, I left it up to the waiter for a recommendation. His choice was the “Little Boy Blue Cheese Plate”.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t overly excited at the thought of cheese as a dessert. I’m a self-proclaimed chocoholic. This dish was surprising, the jam and cheese were a great combination.
The Libertine has vaulted itself on my “must-do” list. I’m pretty sure Chef Josh could find a way to serve me cardboard and I would like it. You can sense the excitement from talking with the staff. I look forward to working my way through the rest of his menu soon.
Dive 2 Five Scale: 4. Libertine is a new gem in Clayton. The service pace is leisurely. I wouldn’t consider it “a dinner and movie” place but more of focal point for your evening. You want to go there when you have time to enjoy the unique menu. The atmosphere is lively but you can enjoy a conversation over dinner. There is a complementary valet available.
Based on Chef Josh’s musical tastes, will I hear any Propaghandi in the restaurant anytime soon? What about listening to Ska’s the Limit on Saturday night?