Saint Lawrence Restaurant & Bar
Recently we dined at new-ish but very hot Saint Lawrence restaurant and bar. It was my friend Susan’s birthday, and a few friends of ours got together for an early weeknight dinner and drinks. We ended up staying until after 10pm because we were having such wonderfully good time. When good food, drinks and people combine, it’s hard to walk away from the party. This was actually my first visit over to Saint Lawrence, and I’d been itching to go for a while. When Susan threw out a few suggestions for her party location, I pounced on that one. I’m so glad we chose it.
Saint Lawrence is located on upper Decatur Street in the French Quarter, only a couple blocks off Canal Street. It’s set up in an old building that was previously a few other combination bar/restaurants, but the space is lovely. Exposed brick is prevalent in the decor along with artwork adorning the walls. Seating includes a long bar with about a dozen seats along with an array of four-tops and some taller wooden tables. It’s not “fancy,” but it’s nice and it’s comfortable. It’s the kind of place you feel at home in and don’t mind paying a little more for your cocktails at.
The food menu was master-minded by Chef Caleb Cook, who worked his way through the Susan Spicer empire. He runs the kitchen and has developed a very tasty menu. They call it “elevated bar food,” and that’s a great term for it. There are many things that you’ll be familiar with on the menu, but they all have a special twist or unique aspect to them.
The prices are very reasonable, and the menu has nearly 20 items on it ranging from salads to dips to burgers to a vegetarian entrée. The entrée section is meat-heavy right now, but that’s probably due to the time of year. While so many things looked delicious, I decided to go with the Spring Rolls and the Burger. We’ll talk more about those in a moment but first let’s cover beverages!
Saint Lawrence has a small but spunky cocktail list. They also have two daiquiri machines that they fill with the best daiquiris I’ve ever tasted. One was a Pimm’s Cup (YUM!) and the other was a white muscadine grape daiquiri. I had and loved the Pimm’s Cup. Jeremy had and loved the muscadine grape one. I’ve not seen anything like that before and think it’s a fantastic idea. This way your cocktail stays cold the entire time and never waters down. Definitely a win!
We arrived around 6pm, and it was still happy hour time. They’ve got the best happy hour times: 4-7pm then 10:30-2am. That’s a great idea for service industry people and others getting off later at night. During happy hour the speciality cocktails are $6 and the draft beers are $4. That’s great prices, especially for the beer. Sadly, the daiquiris aren’t included, but I survived.
I was in the mood for cocktails so I went that route. After my Pimm’s Cup daiquiri, I ordered their Afternoon Epiphany, which included Bombay gin, champagne and blood orange liquor. I really enjoyed it. Also, I ordered it on the rocks as you can see below, but normally it is served martini-style. I’m not a huge fan of martini-style because I try to sip and those always get warm. A drink on the rocks, while it does water down, stays colder for me. Later in the evening I also had a Hendrick’s gin mixed with club soda, but I didn’t photograph that. That was tasty, as always!
While I thoroughly enjoyed my beverages at Saint Lawrence, the real reason I was there was for the food. Well, besides to see Susan on her birthday! Anyway, I’d heard great things about the food and was eager to try it. As I said earlier, the whole menu looked tasty, but the spring rolls and burger caught my eye.
I started with the spring rolls. Please forgive the picture – I forgot my good camera at home and was relegated to the iPhone, which has trouble at times in lower light. These spring rolls weren’t anything like what I’d had before. They were stuffed with corned beef, chow-chow and Gruyère and served with 1000 Island dressing. Basically, a Reuben spring roll.
They were perfectly fried on the outside and stuffed with those tasty ingredients. Of course the combination is classic so it definitely was harmonious, but the flavors were so spot-on. The stuffing mixture was well-seasoned and the ingredients were chopped well enough that the filling didn’t all gush out or anything. Very easy to eat, and I probably could have had several more of these.
Except…. except I was expecting a burger and fries so I wasn’t going to dare ruin my appetite. Although I don’t eat meat often, I am usually a sucker for a burger at a nicer bar place. I don’t know what it is, but I was drawn to it. Something else that helped is that Saint Lawrence sources their meat from the local area so I didn’t have to worry about eating some factory farmed cow. Knowing that it was high quality local beef sealed the deal for me.
The sandwich started with a house-gound burger patty dressed with Bibb lettuce, tomato, red onion and sliced pickles. I also paid a little extra and got Hook’s cheddar on my burger. The burger was delicious. It was perfectly cooked and had just the right amount of dressing ingredients on it, except for the cheese. I hardly tasted the cheese, and I love cheese so I was missing it. But otherwise, the burger was smokey and tasty. The fries were crispy, perfectly cooked and cut in-house. This was a high quality burger and fries!
Other menu items I look forward to trying include their Fried Green Tomato po’boy, warm pimento cheese dip and market curry entrée. Jeremy actually got the curry and loved it. I tried it and secretly wished I had my own bowl. Until I remembered my burger. Yay, burger.
So if you’ve not made it to Saint Lawrence yet, try it out. They are open late, which is great for you out-of-towners. For the locals, hit it up on the weekend or try them for an early dinner during happy hour. They do have many TV’s in there (with NFL Sunday ticket) so it’s a great place to catch a football game on Saturday afternoon or on Sundays.