Destination: The Blind Tiger At Sutton Place
Maplewood continues to develop with The Blind Tiger at Sutton Place–a pizza, whiskey and rib joint joining the growing ranks of restaurants along Manchester Road. Owner Mike McLaughlin, who also owns The Crow’s Nest in Maplewood, is hoping to anchor the neighborhood by offering an approachable menu in a welcoming environment.
The warm interior of Blind Tiger is heightened with wooden accents, dark wallpaper and candlelight throughout the restaurant. Cozy up to one of the wine barrels, which were turned on their heads to be used as bar tables, or to the modern-looking bar for local craft beers, a glass of wine or one of bar manager Katy Romine’s whiskey cocktails. Give the Manhattan made with Basil Hayden a try or go for their “electric flower,” an elegant take on a sidecar with rose water and plenty of bourbon. Also a music venue, The Blind Tiger has a stage for shows and various events.
Jaxson Noon will be the chef of Blind Tiger, teaming up with McLaughlin for the second time since running The Bleeding Deacon’s kitchen prior to its closing. The menu is structured around four varieties of pizza offered on either a New York-style or gluten-free, St. Louis-style crust. The housemade dough is topped with a slew of ingredients for the “hog mess” pie, including: their own spicy rib braise, mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, bacon, sausage, spicy chunks of pineapple, jalapeños, peperoncini, red pepper and smoked garlic.
Another winner is the “soldier of four-cheese” that begins with housemade ricotta, mozzarella, Parmigianino reggiano and American cheeses topped with sage brown butter, smoked garlic and parsley. A nice touch is that each of the pies comes delivered to the table atop a recycled, industrial-sized can of tomatoes, which happens to make an ideal pizza platform.
True carnivores can find a good riff on ribs that are brined overnight and then braised in Blind Tiger’s bourbon marina before getting a nice glaze under the broiler. The chicken wings are prepared almost as confit, slow-poached in sambal-oregano butter that penetrates the meat with wonderful hints of spice. Also, their housemade giardiniera is a pickled delight, as well as their creamy polenta laced with ricotta, brown butter and fresh herbs.
Open Monday through Saturday from 4pm to 1:30am. 7376 Manchester Rd., Maplewood, 314.646.8822.