Barbecuing is serious business for Andy and Dee Dee Kohn, who are the proud owners of WildSmoke in Creve Coeur. The new smokehouse opened at the end of January in the former space of Culpepper’s Grill and Bar, and it is the second concept from the couple who also own EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery in Chesterfield, Mo.
Led by Executive Chef Aaron Baggett, the culinary team at EdgeWild created the idea for WildSmoke after seeing a very positive response from diners to smoked and barbecued items featured at the winery. Without the proper resources at EdgeWild, the Kohns and their team began planning their own smokehouse complete with top-of-the-line equipment and plenty of room to accommodate customers. Inside the 150-seat WildSmoke are rustic, wooden accents and unique flairs of cowboy culture, such as the cowhide-covered booths and mounted buck bust. Guests can order from the large, hanging chalkboard menus inside the restaurant or place an order ahead of time for take-out.
While the menu certainly has its fair share of classic options, there are many innovative interpretations that make WildSmoke stand out from the rest. On any given day, pitmaster Anthony Collida has over nine varieties of meat at various stages in the smoking process. Standouts include the sliced prime rib served on a toasted Hawaiian roll or by the pound, as well as burnt ends that are sauced and tossed to KC standards. Chef-inspired sides include thick-cut onion rings served with barbecue mayonnaise, sweet potato gratin and mac-n-cheese.
Those looking to shake up the usual barbecue experience should turn to the “backyard favorites” section of the menu board. Here, there are items like the “Texas train wreck,” which piles pulled pork and coleslaw on top of a roasted corn johnnycake along with a drizzle of chipotle aioli. The “hot ‘Lanta chicken & waffles” is another favorite, layering pulled chicken between crisp waffles with chipotle sauce and spicy maple syrup. The dish is then finished with bits of candied bacon and a fried egg.
WildSmoke also offers soups, salads and a down-home selection of desserts including pies, cookies and floats with their house-made root beer. Wines are available by the glass or bottle and there are also local craft brews on tap.
Open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm and Sunday from 11am to 7 pm. 12316 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.548.2222.