Hot Eats: Bistro 1130
A new traditional French restaurant is a charming destination in Chesterfield.
Fancy French restaurants are a rare breed in St. Louis; with the exception of a few contemporary spots, traditional French destinations are few and far between. So I was genuinely interested in getting the scoop on a new bistro that opened in Town and Country in late September.
You wouldn’t expect to find a high-end restaurant like Bistro 1130 in a teeny strip mall between a boutique and pet food bakery, but the interior feels like a completely different space; polarized windows keep the lighting low, and black, brown and dark gold hues dominate the 45-seat space. The interior is majestic yet cozy—with a floor-to-ceiling wine rack, floral arrangements and a hand-painted gold “grapevine” chandelier. The interior reflects owner Mikki Miranne’s design background; the cuisine clearly reflects her husband’s, French-born and trained chef Eric Miranne.
The menu features all the things you’d expect from a traditional French bistro sweetbreads, foie gras and French onion soup. Portions are substantial and traditional cooking techniques and flavors carry the menu. For starters, the jumbo lump crab martini offered a light appetizer, with hearts of palm over a vodka tomato gelee. The foie gras is served over roasted caramelized peaches and a crispy potato galette, with mixed greens tossed in a champagne vinaigrette.
Entrées are comprised of seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and don’t veer far from the classics—the trio of lamb chops combines pan-seared Colorado lamb, presented three ways; goat cheese, herbes de Provence and Boursin cheese crusted, served with a melt-in-your-mouth potato dauphinoise and traditional ratatouille. The dauphinoise, a rich creation that layers thinly sliced potato with crème fraiche and cheese, commonly Gruyere, also makes an appearance with the spinach and wild mushroom-filled chicken breast entrée. There’s also a seared veal loin with lobster and leek confit with a white truffle emulsion that adds a nice finish to the hearty dish.
On to desserts: Miranne’s father is a pastry chef in France and most of his desserts are passed-down recipes—apparent in their taste, preparation and presentation. The spoken dessert menu features bananas foster and cherry jubilee served tableside, a rich and thick chocolate mousse with Grand Marnier and crepes Suzettete. The two to try are the lemon tart and lavender crème brulée; the first is a delicate mix of lemon custard and crème anglaise in a fresh baked shell and the brulée is vanilla infused with lavender, with a perfectly caramelized top layer and served with two small beignets.
SautÀ_ed foie gras with roasted peaches
Photo credit: Photos By Jonathan Pollack