Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp & Day Boat Scallops
Yellow Tree Farm’s Creamy Cheddar Grits, Spicy Pepper Pesto, House Made Bacon Lardons, Granny Smith Apple, Red Pepper Coulis
As a fanatic of all things pesto, bacon and scallops, this was the obvious choice for my first dinner at Gist Bistro, a new restaurant in Manchester specializing in local, fresh and artisan ingredients. The men of Gist: Executive Chef and owner Ben Anderson, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and previous owner of Canoe in St. Charles, his current Sous Chef, Jonathan Olson, whom he met at Canoe 7 years ago, and Mike Miller, General Manager and owner, are a talented trio who have a passion for food that is refreshing.
Many nights I have listened to Jon, a foodie in every sense, talk animatedly about food: the preparation, the taste, the variety and it’s always a delight to hear him share his knowledge and passion. And after the flavorful Creamy Parmesan salad with house made Brioche croutons and creamy Parmesan dressing, French Onion Soup topped with a colossal Fresh Baguette Gruyère Gratin, followed by Wild Caught Gulf Shrimp & Day Boat Scallops prepared with grits from local St. Louis Yellow Tree Farm, and ending with a heavenly White Chocolate Crème Brûlée…and a ridiculously full stomach, I can say with certainty that it isn’t all talk. The knowledge and passion that Ben, Mike and Jon possess shines in the dishes that they have hand picked and prepare daily at Gist.
Gist, as it appears on the menu: We are a contemporary bistro specializing in local, fresh and artisan products. We are farm to table offering our guests the freshest ingredients available each season. Everything we serve is house made from scratch by our culinary team. Our chef’s passion is to prepare each dish in a simple, unique manner to allow you to experience it’s true flavors with the dish served in an exquisitely appealing style. No food leaves our kitchen that we ourselves would not eat. That’s the gist when it comes to dining.
This holds true from the meat to the bread to the produce. From the whole pig they bought from Benes Farms that they will find an exquisite dish to prepare for each part of the pig, starting with the current Prime Pork Chop with Sweet & Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Port Wine Gastrique and Winter Vegetable. Then moving on to a deliciously tender Pork Porterhouse dish in addition to meticulously cured jowl meat for Guanciali.
While I was gorging on scallops and crème brûlée, I overheard another guest telling Mike (GM and owner) that the Bistro Burger was delicious and one of the best she can remember ever having. But it’s not all about the meat. They are able to offer both vegetarian and Gluten-free dishes. From hand made pastas and bread to vegetarian dishes with produce from local sustainable and small craft natural purveyors, they have something for everyone.
In addition to the food, the ambiance is cozy and casual. Gist offers a full bar stocked with plenty of options including the signature Gist Martini made with Citron Vodka, Grand Marnier, Lime and Cranberry Juice and an extensive wine list including my favorite, Villa Pozzi Moscato. Gist captures the essence of a bistro – a small, simple space; it seats only 60 people. It’s warm and friendly with a touch of romance. While small and simple and hidden at the end of a shopping center, it’s a hidden gem that’s worth checking out.
While some items will always be on the menu, additional items may be added or removed based on seasonal items that they have access to through their relationships with local farms. In addition, they will offer daily specials and Happy Hour specials. Happy Hour specials are Tuesday-Friday from 4-6pm. Check out their Facebook and Twitter (@GistBistro) to keep track of daily specials and new menu items.
403 Lafayette Center (formerly Sapore Italian Café)
Manchester, MO 63011
Local Sustainable and Small Craft Natural Food Partners include: Benes Best Meat Farm, Rain Crow Ranch, Ozark Forest Mushrooms, Yellow Tree Farm, Williams Brothers Meat Market, Salume Beddu, Smoking Goose Meatery, Heartland Creamery, Ludwig Farmstead Creamery and Marcoot Jersey Creamery.
Brought to you by Mills Properties