Dining

Review: Hamilton’s Urban Steakhouse & Bourbon Bar

first impression 
This great new steakhouse, intimate and sophisticated, is the newest venture from the Hamiltons of Vin de Set, Eleven Eleven and other Lafayette Square eateries. It is laser-focused on the steakhouse experience: great meats and top-notch service. With steak, preparation is everything, and ours were cooked perfectly and came with Paul Hamilton’s secret dry rub (and a smoky housemade sauce upon request). Best of all, the server waited for us to cut into them before leaving, just in case the meat wasn’t done to our liking. Plus, the ambience is cozy, with dim lighting and exposed brick walls.

wash it down
Bourbon is a staple here, as you’d expect. But there are plenty of other choices as well, from wine pours and ryes to Scotch, Irish and Canadian whiskeys. We ordered the Bourbon N Bubbles from a short specialty cocktail menu. It was a blend of Four Roses Yellow Label, champagne, bitters and tangy-sweet orange notes imparted by Curacao. Tart and sparkling, it packed a strong bourbon flavor.

overall 
This place is a winner. Just like Eleven Eleven, it strikes very appealing balances between casual and dressy, fine food and bourbon bar. It was carved from one end of the Hamiltons’ Charleville Brewery, and they have managed do it just right: not too big, not too formal and solidly top-notch.

must try
» sea scallops appetizer: $14.99;  Don’t pass this up—it’s amazing and big enough to share. The three scallops were buttery with a crisped sear, and the pea puree underneath was to die for. Pancetta crumbles and the occasional bit of preserved lemon sent it into the stratosphere of flavor: buttery, tart, crisp and hearty all at once.
» kansas city strip steak: $34.99;  This is pretty much the king of beef. It’s listed as Black Angus from small Iowa family farms. The finished product was perfectly sealed and crunchy on the outside, thanks to a rub of salt, sugar, pepper and herbs. The meat was flavorful, the house sauce vinegary and savory. At this price, it’s an investment, but entrees also come with a choice of sides that take the sting away. My asparagus was delicious, cooked to retain a slight firmness and doused with a good béarnaise with a hint of lemon that wasn’t overpowering.
» roasted dry-rubbed salmon: $24.99;  This is one of a few non-meat items on the menu. It had a good coating of brown sugar, garlic, pepper and more, and came nicely cooked. The accompanying flash-fried Brussels sprouts pretty much stole the show, along with slivers of pickled red onion that topped the fish—a good choice for non-steak eaters.
» caesar salad: $8.59;  This was a winner as well. The anchovies in the dressing were pleasantly detectable, and it had tasty rye bread croutons that made a strong culinary statement.

2101 Choteau Ave. | 314.241.2333

the dish | Kansas City strip steak with loaded baked potato

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