Food, Travel

STL Food and Drink: Yellowbelly

On the weekends, we like to go on adventures. My husband and I have created an ever-growing list of restaurants to try, both at home and wherever we travel. We have adventurous palates and have a desire to taste the world. Whether it be a little hole-in-the-wall with great food, or a highly lauded restaurant, we are willing to try it.

Today we tried, Yellowbelly, in St. Louis’ Central West End. This restaurant is a tropical inspired restaurant and cocktail bar that was developed by St. Louis chefs, Travis Howard and Tom Wiggins, along with consulting chef, Richard Blais, of Top Chef fame. We love Richard Blais and any chance to try something he created in our own city is amazing… plus, tiki drinks!

The restaurant is clean, open, and simply decorated, without a lot of fuss. I like the murals in shades of blue, white, yellow, and green. The menus and drinkware had fun beach-themed sketches and the logos are clean and fun. (Bonus for putting a thick girl on the surfboard on the menu!) It wasn’t super loud, but had a lively atmosphere, and large windows to people watch.

We were there for their Sunday brunch menu, which happened to contain some Mother’s Day specials. For our meals we decided to start with the Sea Biscuits with spicy jelly and plantain butter. The biscuits were absolutely delicious. They’re crispy on the outside and dense and savory on the inside. The jam gave the biscuit a sweet heat. My husband said the plantain butter was great, but I will have to take his word for it, since I am allergic to plantains. The restaurant was kind enough to provide plain butter for me.

For our first cocktails, we started with the signature Yellowbelly and the Lazy Tiger. The Yellowbelly, which my husband chose was exactly as you would imagine a tiki drink to be. Pineapple, coconut, and a whole lot of rum combine with lime, ginger, and turmeric to create a tropical drink that goes down really easy. I had the Lazy Tiger. It combines mezcal, jalapeño, tajin, honey, and lime to create a spicy and smoky margarita-style drink. It was quite unlike anything I had tried before and paired really well with my meal.

For lunch, I chose the Lobster Enchiladas, while my husband chose the special Croque Madame. The enchiladas were amazing!!! Large chunks of lobster combined with green chile, poblano, lime, jalapeño, and a delicious crema made this dish smoky, creamy, and sweet. I loved it so much, I almost licked the plate clean. The croque madame had a lovely runny egg on top, thick and crispy bread from Union Loafers bakery, bechamel, crispy bacon, green onions, and whole marinated artichoke hearts. The artichokes gave the sandwich a totally unique and briny flavor.

We topped off the experience with a second cocktail. I went for the Half Sleeve, while my husband decided on a more traditional Paloma. The Half Sleeve was a delightful tropical drink, with a hint of cinnamon flavor, containing rum, oatmeal, almond, peach bitters, pineapple, ginger beer, and lime. The server recommended it as one of her favorites, and it did not disappoint. The Paloma was crisp and refreshing with tequila, grapefruit, soda, lime, and salt.

We had a wonderful experience at Yellowbelly. The staff was friendly and attentive, the food was excellent, and the cocktails made us ready for summer. I would highly recommend the restaurant. We look forward to coming again and trying something new.

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