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First Bite: Olive + Oak
Video by Kevin A. Roberts
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Photography by Kevin A. Roberts
Peel-and-eat shrimp with charred lemon and J.O. Spice, served over ice
What sounds like the badge of a trendy restaurant—two somewhat related words joined by a plus sign—has far deeper roots. Olive + Oak is a memorial to the two owners’ sons (Ollie and Oakes), who died in infancy of the same disease. Former Annie Gunn’s general manager Mark Hinkle is the managing partner, and Jesse Mendica (its longtime executive sous-chef) heads up the kitchen, so comparisons to the West County icon are both expected and realized. Royal blue with copper accents is the counter to Annie Gunn’s forest green and brass. A USDA Prime cowboy ribeye ($52) is offset by a roasted-lamb French dip with local goat cheese ($14). And because Hinkle’s wine palate ranges from basic whites to big-boy reds, it’s possible to drop a car payment—but that’s not his intent. There are also inexpensive old-line entrées such as potpies and pan-roasted catfish, as well as salt-encrusted whole red snapper, a likely signature item. Meatballs made from smoked chicken and whipped ricotta blossom into an exciting choice that attracts foodies and families alike. 102 W. Lockwood, 314-556-9352.