Make your way through the front door of The Block in Webster Groves, and you’re immediately presented with a display case of thick-cut rib eye and strip steaks, pork steaks and sausages. The presentation is an introduction to The Block’s menu and enough to have you thinking about dinner before you’ve even sat down in the bright and airy dining room for lunch. The space is perfect for a date or working lunch, but the bar, seemingly carved into the contemporary setting, is inviting as well, especially if you find yourself dining alone.
A deep bench of soups, salads and appetizers demand you order a little something to start, like the fan-favorite potted pig, pork confit with pickled seasonal vegetables, grilled bread and a chutney of apples and raisins. Between sips of one of the local craft brews The Block is pouring - recent tap handles included Six Row and The Civil Life - spoon confit and pickled onion onto a chutney-covered slice of bread. Don’t be surprised if by your second or third toast you are forsaking most of the Potted Pig’s spread in favor for heaping piles of chutney; it’s that good.
Being a butcher shop, it only makes sense to make for the burger next, a patty of grass-fed beef topped with Cheddar on a toasted - seriously toasted - brioche bun. A bit of mayonnaise and a pickle or two are all this burger needs, although as with all the burgers I eat at this point in the early summer, I can’t help but wonder how much better they would be with a slice of ripe tomato a month or so from now.
After settling your bill, all that remains is the long walk past that butcher case and resigning yourself to the fact that you’ll be heading out the door with a package wrapped in butcher paper with the makings for tonight’s dinner.
The Block, 146 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.918.7900, theblockrestaurant.com
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.