Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Full Steamer's Ahead Dogtown Eatery Specializes in Reasonably Priced, Innovative Seafood Creations

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Full Steamer's Ahead Dogtown Eatery Specializes in Reasonably Priced, Innovative Seafood Creations

Article excerpt

It used to be pizza, preferably Frank's in my hometown of Westbury, N.Y. But now my food of choice, should I be forced to pick only one thing to eat forever, is oyster nachos. They are, in a word, amazing.

They also are the brainchild of Larry Shifrin, who has been in the food game for a long time, rotating between manager and chef at places such as Jazz at the Bistro and Jake's Steaks in the Landing. This time around, Shifrin combined the two skills, and now presides over the kitchen and dining room at RL Steamer's, a new storefront bistro in Dog town that specializes in sea food.

The place isn't long on decor, although Shifrin says he plans to display works of local artists on the restaurant's stark walls. But in terms of food, several recent visits proved to be winners, with a couple of menu exceptions. Oyster nachos ($4.50) are one of several innovative appetizers. Imagine a crisp, fried oyster atop a single tortilla chip coated with melted Monterey Jack cheese. Drizzle over the oyster nacho streaks of chipotle and avocado cream, with smoked jalapenos providing just the right kick. Add to the plate a homemade salsa of diced tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and fresh cilantro. Now tell your pesky friends to order their own aat four nachos to a serving, you won't want to share. Unless they order the crawfish wonton cannelloni ($4.75), another Shifrin original. He tucks pieces of crawfish into two large wonton skins and covers them with a spicy, hot Thai "tom yum" sauce. Trans lated, tom yum has a Bloody Mary mix base, jazzed up with lots of garlic, pepper and fresh dill. The dish was as delicious as it was unique. A cup of Bermuda fish chowder ($2.95) boasted chunks of potatoes and carrots in a flavorful stock but little, if any, fish. It's served with black rum and sherry pepper sauce, which looked suspiciously like oil and vinegar until I shook some into the soup. Wow. That pepper sauce packs quite a bite. RL Steamer's offers half a dozen seafood and fresh fish entrees, along with a couple off-the-menu specials, and a few dishes for the meat-and-linguine set. The grilled swordfish ($11. …

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