The Libertine

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The Libertine didn’t need to improve. The Clayton restaurant from the married team of Audra and Nick Luedde, with acclaimed chef Josh Galliano leading the kitchen, ranked second in my list of 2013’s best new restaurants. Galliano’s menu fused together the high-end technique from his previous tenures at An American Place and Monarch, the more rustic influence of his native Louisiana and the Libertine’s own upscale-casual cocktail-lounge vibe. That combination hasn’t changed, nor have many of the dishes. But my most recent visits showed that Galliano, executive sous chef Josh Poletti and their team are more dialed in, and the signature dishes — the “Buffalo-style” crisp pig tails, the Three Little Birds (roasted game hen, chicken and quail), the she-crab soup, as well as both the bread and the charcuterie programs — are even better than before. Add the fun cocktail list and the popular Fried Chicken Sunday monthly special, and the Libertine’s momentum has lasted well past its “best new restaurant” season. UPDATE: Josh Galliano departed as executive chef in June 2015. The new executive chef is Matt Bessler, formerly of Schlafly Bottleworks. Bessler will introduce a new menu.

From the owners

The Libertine is a place dedicated to the honest experience of a great meal. When you come to The Libertine we hope you can spend some time with us and experience what’s inspiring us that day as we deliver the things we’re most passionate about. Helmed by proprietors Nick and Audra Luedde, one of St. Louis’ most critically celebrated culinary teams, and a beverage program lead by all-stars Nate and Victoria Weber, The Libertine is a reimagined neighborhood eatery that serves approachable yet ingredient-driven food and drink to the surrounding community and beyond. In essence, The Libertine exists as a union of all that one loves about their favorite watering hole: ease, warmth and simplicity; with a focus on the reasons one loves to dine in great restaurants — creativity, quality and flavor. Evoking a way of life centered on seasonality and the grand traditions of St. Louis life — The Libertine is a neighborhood gathering place for family, friends, and friends-to-be. The Libertine’s inventive yet approachable dining menu, the from-scratch cocktails, craft ales and extensive wine selection all exist as a beautiful expression of The Libertine’s vast experience delivering patrons a comfortable yet truly unforgettable dining experience.