What’s the Best Meal You’ve Ever Experienced?

I recently had one of the best dining experiences of my life, right here in St. Louis.

A few friends invited us to join them at Bulrush for their seasonal tasting menu with drink pairings. I knew as soon as we walked in that it was going to be a special evening, as it was an incredibly intimate-yet-engaging setting: The head chef was cooking for us, and throughout the evening he and his staff chatted with everyone about the food and its origins. They seemed to really love what they do.

The meal started out with one of my favorite dishes. It was just three bites: a mushroom, a chocolate ball filled with an acorn broth, and a gelatin acorn on a bed of spicy nuts. For each dish, we were presented with a QR code that linked to a short video explaining the historical/local roots of the food.

We then had an ice cream dish. The edible flowers and leaves on the dish were obtained by the head chef while he was foraging a few days prior.

I think this was my favorite dish of the night. It was an acorn and paw-paw dish with goat cheese. It felt like a very fancy version of mashed potatoes and gravy, and it was so warm and comforting. I could eat this every day.

Most of our dishes included a drink pairing, and I think this was my favorite of the night (a cider). The drinks came out quite quickly, so if you’re a light drinker like me, I’d recommend that maybe one person gets the drink pairing and you just order a drink from the menu (there are some interesting mocktail options I want to try).

I’m pretty sure this delicious donut dish was next. It was interesting to have so many sweeter dishes among the savory–as a dessert lover, I was quite a fan of this!

Smaller dishes don’t always fill me up, but I was already starting to feel full when the entry arrived. It was so delicious that I didn’t have any issues eating the whole thing, though. My meat-eating friends got the plate on the left, and Megan and I had the homemade tempeh dish on the right.

For dessert we were presented with a honey cake with passionfruit syrup and a hazelnut mousse. You know it’s fancy when there’s a twill on top!

Before we left, they gave us a little gift of the menu, a watermelon seed (perhaps a hint at a menu item later this year), and a few small cookies.

The 2 hours I spent at Bulrush were absolutely amazing from start to finish. Even the background music was for me. Even though it was fine dining, it wasn’t pretentious–we even joked with the head chef about the movie The Menu. I can’t wait to return for their summer menu in a few months.

Have you had a dining experience like this?

3 thoughts on “What’s the Best Meal You’ve Ever Experienced?”

  1. There’s a fantastic restaurant in Santa Fe, NM called Izanami – it’s about halfway up this winding road from Santa Fe proper to the ski basin, then you walk up a winding path from the parking lot to the restaurant that overlooks the mountain and rolling hills covered in pine and aspen trees. By the time you sit down for your meal, you feel removed from the hustle and bustle of life, and are fully present..and fully hungry. I’ve been twice, once with my sister and once with my wife. We ordered the omakase each time, giving the chef full creative control for a 8-10 course meal. I remember walking (very slowly) back to the car both times, just laughing. The variety of delicious plates that were meticulously crafted and offered such surprising but compatible flavors opened up a new understanding of what food and dining could be. We were dumbfounded by the meal we had experienced, and all there was to do was laugh.

    I’ve heard lovely things about the Bulrush experience, and it’s on our list of places to try in town! My wife and I have a list of ‘fancy dinner places’ to try out.

    In STL: Bulrush, Indo (they offer omakase as well), Vicia
    Elsewhere: Eleven Madison Park (NYC – bonus points for being plant based), Alinea (Chicago), The French Laundry (Napa Valley), Ledbury (London),

    Reply
    • Well, now I have a reason to visit Santa Fe–that place sounds amazing!

      Indo is amazing, and I enjoy Vicia as well.

      Reply

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