Letting the Good Times Roll Along the River – Grafton Oyster Bar
Grafton, IL/January 16, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It’s not every day that lunch or dinner feels like a mini-vacation, but a short drive up the Great River Road to the Grafton Oyster Bar at 215 Water Street in Grafton, Illinois is like being transported to another world. This oasis along the Mississippi is the newest venture of St. Louis’ perennial champs of Cajun and seafood: Broadway Oyster Bar. John and Victoria Johnson’s downtown St. Louis establishment at 736 South Broadway has been the top spot for seafood, as well as Cajun and Creole cuisine almost since it’s opening some 35-years ago. They are the current leaders on both our customer review-based Best Seafood Top 10 and our Top 10 Cajun/Creole Restaurants list. So it stands to reason that when they teamed up with Jerseyville native and BOB Executive Chef Brad Hagen to open Grafton Oyster Bar last March, it would be a sensation. Customer reviews are still coming in, but so far, they’re giving GOB 4.1 stars (34 ratings), good enough for an honorable mention on our Cajun/Creole Top 10!
Grafton Oyster Bar sits right at the water’s edge, at the old Big Kahuna location. It’s actually at the marina, along the dock and floating on the water. That means spectacular views of the waterway and both banks of the Mississippi River. Add some party lights and a New Orlean’s vibe, and “laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!)
As you might expect, GOB features many of the popular menu items from Broadway Oyster Bar, including oysters, gator, mussels, crab cakes, etc. On the GOB menu you’ll find BOB’s famous Alligator Sausage and Shrimp Cheesecake and Shrimp Voodoo appetizers, with that enticing voodoo sauce. And then there are the oysters of course! Blue Point Oysters, Gulf Oysters, Char-Grilled, Fried, Rockefeller, Oyster Cardinale (with its rich Cajun crawfish cream sauce), and Bienville (baked with a spicy shrimp, Parmesan & mushroom cream sauce). Can’t decide? Order the Oyster Medley, a sampling of oysters Bienville, Rockefeller, and Cardinale all on one plate! You’ll also find eleven tap beers, both local and import, along with a variety of mixed drinks and wine options.
Join them for the Comfort Food Fest this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, January 14–15. The menu will be chocked full of Cajun comfort food, including a decadent Lobster Pot Pie: A rich cream based sauce with the holy trinity of vegetables, baby red potatoes, fresh sautéed lobster and Cajun seasonings. It’s finished with a light, garlic cheddar biscuit crust. You’ll also find Cajun Seafood and Andouille Lasagna on the menu. It’s the ultimate five layer lasagna with crawfish tail meat, shrimp, lobster, Andouille sausage, fresh mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, their spicy red sauce, and a four cheese blend. And Crawfish Mac ‘n Cheese may be the perfect marriage of Cajun and comfort. It’s a velvety three-cheese casserole made with Rotel tomatoes, apple wood smoked bacon, and sautéed crawfish tails. You’ll also find spicy chicken & biscuit sliders (with sweet potato waffle fries), pot roast (with garlic mashed potatoes & gravy), Southern fried chicken, bacon-wrapped Cajun meatloaf, and the Ultimate Grilled Cheese (Apple wood smoked bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere, and provolone melted between two thick slices of Texas toast, and finished with garlic aioli, fresh tomato, and basil).
Other upcoming events include The Grafton Winery Wine Dinner at GOB on Wednesday, January 25th. The four course dinner featuring Grafton Winery inspired dishes, and five different local wines. Reservations are required by calling (618) 86-3000. Seafood lovers will adore GOB’s Scallop Festival on the weekend before Valentine’s Day, February 11 and 12. It makes a great date night! And of then there’s the Mardi Gras Celebration on Saturday, February 25th. There is nothing quite like letting the good times roll along the riverbank! GOB will have all the beads, Mardi Gras-inspired dishes, and hurricanes you can handle! They’ll also have live music and a Gulf oyster eating contest!
This time of year Grafton Oyster Bar is open Thursday – Sunday from 11:00 am to 11:00 p.m. They’ll resume regular hours (Tuesday – Sunday) on March 1st. Once it warms up a bit, seating on the riverside balcony will resume too. Fresh air, the sound of water lapping and live music, fresh seafood, a cold drink, and a great sunset view. A trip to Grafton Oyster Bar really is like a sojourn in party paradise, right across the river from St. Louis.
Picture courtesy of EdGlenToday.com
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