Today is the day, Grace Meat + Three is open to the public! Over the weekend, I attended their soft opening and let me tell you… this restaurant is a must try!
I sat down with the owner and head Chef Rick Lewis and asked him a few questions about his new venture. Before I get into the interview, let me set the scene of Grace Meat + Three.
Grace Meat + Three is located in the Grove neighborhood, which in my opinion is the newest hot spot for culinary ventures. When you walk into Grace Meat + Three, the first thing I noticed was the overall ambiance and decor. Personally, I felt like I walked into a restaurant in Nashville. The beautiful wood floors, big windows, a large dark bar, community style tables and navy walls give it a warm, comfortable vibe. You immediately feel at home. Which leads me to the food.. the menu is comprised of your classic American comfort fare. Homemade biscuits, Rick’s famous fried chicken, pork ribs, Mississippi catfish, and melt in your mouth cornbread. The restaurant seats about 120 people and is order at the counter style. Not to sound like a total millennial… BUT make sure to take a picture of your food on the beautiful marble patterned trays the food is delivered on. (Instagram Perfection) Have I peaked your interest yet? Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s get into the interview.
- What is the inspiration behind the name “Grace Meat + Three?” The name “Grace” is inspired by the prayer said before you eat, it means good will and virtue. It also happens to be a family name. The portion “Meat + Three” are traditional southern style restaurants and are particularly popular in Tennesse & Mississippi.
- What is your favorite restaurant other than your own? Rick’s current favorite restaurant is the Staple House in Georgia. The Staple House is known for its modern American Food. Rick and his wife, Elisa, dined there recently. He told us that his favorite part of the restaurant was how friendly the staff was, “the more people that touch the table the better.”
- What do you cook on your days off? Rick said that he cooks similar dishes to what his restaurant serves on his days off, “classic comfort food.” Can you blame him? Specialty ribs, fried catfish, & seasonal sides are hard to beat!
- When you walk into a new restaurant, how can you tell it’s going to be a good experience? The staff is the first way you can tell if it’s going to be a good or bad table experience. It is so important that the staff is friendly, a “thank you” goes a long way.
- Who do you test new recipes on? Rick first tests his new recipes on his family and staff. He also makes sure to test new items on experts of the industry when they stop by.
- Who is a local Chef that you admire? Rick admires friend and fellow Chef, David Choi, of Seoul Taco.
- In your opinion, how has the local food scene in St.Louis developed over the past couple of years? Rick has seen an explosion of fast casual dining restaurants, small chef driven restaurants and good affordable food.
- If you had one meal left in your life, what would you choose to eat/drink? Rick would have a big plate of his Mom’s “Friday Spaghetti.” He told us that this wasn’t your typical spaghetti: light tomato sauce and large crushed garlic. He would have a traditional Old Fashion as his last drink.
- What piece of advice would you give those pursuing a culinary degree? Rick said it’s important to get a job in a kitchen before spending money on school. You will learn a lot from on the job training. That way you know if it’s truly your passion before you spend the time and money on culinary school.
- What is the goal for Grace Meat + Three? The dream is to create a place of fellowship and community. To simply bring people together over really good food at an affordable price.
I did my best to translate Rick’s answers to the above questions. It is clear that Grace Meat + Three is going to be one the best new restaurants in St.Louis. A huge congratulation to Rick & Elisa on today’s opening… I can’t wait to come back again & again!
Mangiamo! (Let’s Eat)
For more great restaurants located in the Grove, click here.
4270 Manchester Ave. St.Louis, MO 63110. 314-535-2700