Linger Over Wine and Wood Fired Pizza at Scarletts Wine Bar
St. Louis, MO/April 26, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Culinary trends come and go. One day we’re eating a panini of ham and cheese country white bread; the next day it’s kale burgers on spent-grain rolls. In a foodie-centric city like St. Louis, there’s always something new to nosh. Restaurants often lead this culinary innovation, bringing us wondrous dishes from clever chefs, and new kinds of eating experiences. From pop-up dinners to ticketed prix fixe affairs, and food trucks offering posh cuisines to ethnic street food cafés, inventive new gastronomic experiences are popping up all the time. One of our favorite 21st Century trends is the creation of the wine bar. When done right, they offer customers a special place to relax with friends and family, and enjoy a really great glass of wine.
One of St. Louis diners’ favorite wine bars is also one of the city’s newest. Scarlett’s Wine Bar at 4253 Laclede Ave. in the Central West End opened last June (2016). This is the newest endeavor from Alan Richman and Rachel Jones, the pair that brought us the DeMun Oyster Bar along with Sasha’s Wine Bar and Sasha’s on Shaw. They tapped veterans of their other establishments for the Central West End bar. Nick Puccio heads up the kitchen, while Tim McAndrew and Logan Cochran serve as managers. Scarlett’s offers an upscale space with a relaxed, inviting atmosphere. There’s also an appealing patio that’s heated on chilly evenings, and an authentic Mugnaini wood-fired pizza oven.
As with any good wine bar, customers will find a well-curated selection of wine options. Scarlett’s offers more than 50 wines by the glass. The iPad menus allow customers to peruse the thorough descriptions of each. The staff is also well versed in the wines carried and can offer some help if needed. There’s a wide range of bottles from many of the better-known wine producing regions in styles that will be familiar to most wine drinkers. This may not be the place for advanced oenophiles to find a rare new vintage, but it is the kind of place where the rest of us can relax with a glass (or bottle) of really great wine and just the right amount of food service to accompany it.
And the food at Scarlett’s was clearly designed as an accompaniment to the wine—keeping the focus on the drink, as it should be at a wine bar. Customers can choose from simple plates of meats, cheeses, nuts and olives that work well to highlight the variety of flavors and subtle notes of the wine. There’s also a simple, but satisfying selection of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, and even a few entrées. The addition of a pizza oven makes hand-crafted Neapolitan pizza also available—a step up from typical wine bar flatbreads. Diners can choose their own toppings or select a specialty pizza from the menu. Customers especially rave about the Pear and Prosciutto pizza. And why not? It pairs well with everything from Rieslings and zinfandels to rosés and fruitier pinot noirs.
The atmosphere at Scarlett’s is relaxed, with a wine-themed decor that is whimsical and sophisticated. A mural of branded wine crates hangs above a wall of comfortable half-booths across from the bar in front. Tall tables are surrounded by racks of wine bottles, and a wall of corks in the back. Those seats also offer a nice view of the massive Mugnaini pizza oven. Funky, light fixtures provide a soft glow that illuminates the pressed tin ceiling throughout. As the weather warms up, Scarlett’s lovely patio becomes even more enticing.
Scarlett’s is open Monday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., with the kitchen open until about 12:30 a.m. Sundays they’re open from 10:00 a.m. to midnight. The hours make Scarlett’s a great choice for a late-night nosh in the CWE. They do Sunday brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., including Mother’s Day, and they’ll be serving their regular brunch menu.
After just about nine months in business, they’re already a top ten wine bar (coming in #6 on our March 2017 list of St. Louis’ Top 10 Wine Bars). With an inviting space, a terrific wine selection, ample beer and cocktail choices for the non-wine drinkers, plus well-presented nibbles and wood-fired pizza, it’s easy to see why St. Louis diners find Scarlett’s an excellent choice for an afternoon or evening with friends.
Scarlett’s Wine Bar
Owner: Alan Richman and Rachel Jones
Managers: Tim McAndrew and Logan Cochran
4253 Laclede Ave.
Central West End
St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: (314) 797-8223