Throughout August, Andrew Mark Veety is drawing inspiration from our 2012 FEAST 50 lineup for his lunch picks. Today’s column delves deeper into the offerings at Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, one of the restaurants our readers wrote in about.

Of all David Bailey’s restaurants, Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar is by far my favorite. The space is ensconced in dark wood, with bright light filtering in from floor-to-ceiling windows. The comfortable, slightly hidden second-level dining area makes this my choice when I’m looking for a quiet place for a working lunch, or better yet, when I’m introducing co-workers from out of town to St. Louis.

Make an impression by starting the table off with an order of pickles, especially baby carrots, crunchy and sporting thin strands of tap root and a crown of greens that are left still attached to the vegetable, or better yet, red peppers that are smoky from roasting and acidic from their pickling brine. Paired with lunch-appropriate-sized pours (4 ounces) of craft beer, spending an hour snacking on Bridge’s pickles can be a meal unto itself.

For a more substantial lunch, order the curried chicken salad sandwich as a salad with greens and sliced tomato, served with a side of toasted rounds. Cloves, cinnamon, cumin and cardamom - the foundation of the Indian spice called garam masala - take the lead, dominating the delicate flavor of white-meat chicken. However, it is the play between tart and chewy raisins and nutty pecans that make the dish. The combination may be hard to place if you are not paying attention but would definitely be missed if either were absent.

Whether dining alone or with others to make an impression, big flavors served in a beautiful space make Bridge a hard-to-beat choice for lunch.

Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, 1004 Locust, Downtown, 314.241.8141,

Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.

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