There’s nothing like finding that quality restaurant tucked away where you’d least expect it, operating under your personal culinary radar—it’s sort of like finding money in the pocket of that old coat in the back of the closet. That’s how we felt when we finally discovered Gerard’s.
Gerard’s is located in the Colonnade shopping center in Des Peres, an older development somewhat overshadowed by the bright and shiny new plazas that surround it on the commercial strip that is Manchester Road. With just a single table on the sidewalk outside and subtle signage, it’d be easy to miss it, and you really don’t want to do that because there’s much goodness to be had inside the innocuous facade.
Gerard’s is spacious, with two large dining rooms and a comfortable bar area. Decor is classy but understated, and there’s plenty of room between tables, much appreciated in this era of eateries attempting to pack in as many seats as possible.
The menu at Gerard’s has a wide selection of classic dishes, including pastas, veal, beef, chicken and seafood options. We started out with a couple of spicy apps, the Mustard Basil Shrimp ($13), and the Calamari Saparatiti ($9) to jumpstart our palettes, then went on to the Vege Salad ($7). This salad is an amalgam of chopped veggies that include cucumber, lettuce, celery, bell peppers and red onion, among other ingredients, and topped with a generous amount of sunflower seeds for some crunchy contrast, all prepared table-side. We recommend sharing this tasty salad as it’s a hearty portion, to say the least. Continue reading…
So we were invited (natch) to St. Louis Magazine’s Best Dressed List soirée, with the admonition that we “dress to impress.” What’s more impressive, we figure, than a knee-length Indian sherwani, with its très-cool Nehru collar? Fortunately, we know there’s an Indian clothing shop in Des Peres’ Colonnade Center strip mall. We’re off. Not only do we find a stylin’ sherwani, but a couple of doors down is Gerard’s, which Wine Spectator keeps raving about. And so, to dinner there.
Most people can’t pull off the sherwani thing—but Gerard’s? Definitely worth a visit. Dining areas are suitably divided into a couple of larger rooms and smaller, more intimate spaces; the place is bigger than it first appears. With Carole King softly warbling through Tapestry, décor like the smoked-mirror wall tiles lends the restaurant a distinctively ’70s vibe.
Seafood gets a lot of attention at Gerard’s. Specials are posted on a board at the door, and much of the regular menu is maritime. Linguine is tossed with what tastes like the prepared seafood available in local Asian groceries: baby octopus, shrimp necks, and chunks of fake crab. But the dish is given a delightful house-made touch with the addition of cracked crab claws, mussels, and whole clams. A sauté pan is the only suitable fate for a plateful of pencil eraser–sized cape scallops. Nut-sweet and buttery, the bivalves are perfect with a side of risotto. Canadian walleye, meaty and firm, doesn’t make many appearances in St. Louis; this is a fine place to try it. Salmon is prepared broiled or poached.
Filet mignon, Chateaubriand steak, a rib-eye with steak butter: With a wine list that’s got more reds than a university faculty meeting, it’s a cinch that beef isn’t going to be neglected. The best—though awesomely rich—choice is a tenderloin, slit and stuffed with chunks of crab and laid in a pool of Madeira sauce. A rack of lamb is similarly opulent, dressed with a persillade—a rub of garlic, rosemary, and parsley, all blended with olive oil—and rolled in bread crumbs and roasted. Continue reading…