One of my favorite ways to kick off the weekend after a long work week is winding down and catching up over cocktails and small plates at Terrene's bar. There's an urban yet comfy vibe, with a bartender who is warm and gregarious without being intrusive. And these aren't just any bar eats; more on the food in a minute. To top it off, cocktails and small plates are discounted in the bar weekdays, 5-7pm. What's not to love?
We typically order the veggie sausage flatbread, pictured above, which can be requested vegan-style by omitting the cheese. The "sausage" and sundried tomato topping is boldly flavored so you won't miss the cheese except as a substance to hold the delicious crumbs together. Not to worry, you and your honey can quibble over who gets the stray bits and pieces.
We also loved the Tofu on a Stick. Don't let the name deceive you, a favorite for vegans and non-vegans alike, this crispy breaded tofu dipped in Asian-style cashew sauce on a little bed of slaw was irresistable. And who doesn't like vegan food on a stick? Not available currently, the replacement is Chipotle Tofu Tacos.
These tacos had some big shoes to fill after Tofu on a Stick, and they rose to the occasion. Tiny tofu cubes seasoned with chipotle are nestled under pico de gallo and lettuce with a green salsa on the side. The corn tortillas are a little smoky from grilling, I suppose. Mmm!
Of course, if you want to be bad, and you know you do, the frites are the best in town. I'm talking a gigantoid plate of crispy, perfect frites. Just order double dippers of horseradish ketchup, and hold the mayo typically served on the side, until they start offering Vegenaise.
Terrene offers a tofu entree as well, which can be ordered in the bar or the dining area, if you are not interested in small plates (and entrees would not be part of the Happy Hour discount). There is a lovely patio where we've enjoyed many a dinner to impress out of town friends.
But I keep coming back for the bar vibe. I just love the cozy feeling of sharing dishes perched at a little bistro table or at the bar. Terrene staff generally know what "vegan" means and will accomodate your requests and provide helpful information. I typically have a pleasant dining experience that does not feel alienating and restrictive, in contrast to some other establishments in St. Louis.
If you also have a favorite way to kick off the weekend, I'd love to hear it! And have a great one, by the way. Um, I guess it's Tuesday. Is it too early to think about the weekend?