Classic Comfort Fare in Chesterfield
An August thunderstorm was upon us in thick sheets on Highway 40/61 near the Missouri River. Drivers around us flashed hazard lights and slowed to a crawl as the rain pooled up on overpasses. As if to legitimize our sudden doubt of the car’s grip on terra firma, a flash flood warning bleated urgently through the cell phone. There is exhilarating adventure, and then there is deadly adventure. We weren’t sure which kind we were having at that point, so we decided to wait out the storm and take refuge, for a late supper, at Bishop’s Post. It was our first time there; I assure you, it won’t be our last.
The hostess welcomed us warmly into the smartly appointed interior. We considered having a seat in the stylishly modern bar near a contented pair of local ladies chatting over wine, but decided instead to sink into one of the plush booths in the dining room. Muted earth tones and dark wood accents lent an aura of calming elegance to the crisp design, and though the rainfall was still quite heavy, our view of the stone waterfall on the large patio only bolstered the effect. Our enthusiastic server proffered the menu and wine list with a bright smile. We wanted to stay sharp for a potentially challenging drive home, but took a long look at the stellar collection of wines by the glass and bottle– including an auxiliary list of special vintages and large format bottles. Judging by the large selection on offer from esteemed West Coast and international vineyards, it’s obvious that some serious thought and effort went into curating the wine list.
Our appetizers arrived briskly. A healthy mound of mixed vegetable tempura with chipotle remoulade came right behind three massive bacon-wrapped shrimp. A zesty honey and red chili glaze mingled seamlessly with the deep smoky notes of the bacon, but neither dared overwhelm the perfectly succulent jumbo shrimp. There was a mild kick of chili to the tempura batter as well, but not enough to eclipse the freshness and vitality of large-cut summer vegetables.
Next, arrived the classic wedge salad and Cajun gumbo, both true to form. A flawless pyramid of refreshing Iceberg lettuce swaddled in house-made bleu cheese dressing hardly requires embellishment other than cracked pepper; this one also came with fresh bacon crumbles and tomato. The gumbo was essentially large morsels of fish and shellfish in a velvety roux broth, richly scented with aromatic thyme and the requisite sassafras. A reverent nod to the appearance of an unexpected oyster is in order here. Whoever is entrusted with the task of preparing the gumbo at Bishop’s Post should feel free to forward the recipe to this writer, as the gumbo broth may have been the pinnacle of the meal. I could have spent a half hour alone with a loaf of crusty bread and a deep bowl of the stuff.
The menu at Bishop’s Post is faithful in its veneration of classic comfort fare, but the kitchen goes a step further by elevating beloved American dishes beyond their humble origins. Success in this was plainly evident when the main courses arrived. Meatloaf with caramelized onion gravy reminded us of a favorite aunt’s cherished Salisbury steak, and no accompaniments other than the buttery mound of mashed Yukon potatoes and tender sautéed vegetables would have been appropriate.
Now, if you’ve never thought of macaroni and cheese as a main course, you would do well to try one of two luxuriously adorned interpretations at Bishop’s Post. Pan roasted beef tenderloin and mushrooms was an enticing option, but I went for the version bearing a julienne of grilled chicken breast, sautéed onions and baby spinach with diced fresh tomato and jalapeño. The jalapeño wasn’t forward in the mix at all, lending just the right amount of bright, green heat as counterpoint to the rich, creamy Cheddar béchamel sauce of the macaroni. The portion was easily two meals’ worth and as with all the best comfort food, the part I couldn’t finish tasted even better the next day.
Though we had no room for dessert, we did eye the tempting dessert tray longingly. Summer strawberry shortcake took center stage in a selection of tortes heavy with fresh fruit. Next time, we vowed.
Our experience at Bishop’s Post was as delightful as the food was delicious. The atmosphere was so captivating and the cuisine so comforting, we forgot all about our prior perilous drive; it was, indeed, a perfect place for us to take shelter from the storm.
Bishop’s Post offers quite a large selection of timeless favorites for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, with a special menu for Sunday dinner and a formidable rotation of nightly dinner specials. Whether you stop in for a glass of wine, a luxurious repast of updated comfort food, or you’re looking to host a meeting or wedding with a sumptuous feast, there’s something to satisfy everyone.
16125 Chesterfield Parkway W.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Happy Hour 4-7 p.m. (Bar &Patio)