It’s safe to say that Grace Meat + Three was one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year for Big Rush. Chef Rick Lewis already has two certified hits under his belt with Southern and Quincy Street Bistro so we had no reason to believe this would be anything but exceptional.
We rolled up at about 10:45 on Grand Opening day, Wednesday, Sept. 13. The restaurant didn’t open until 11:00 but there were a few people in line. When the doors opened a few minutes early at 10:55 there were probably about 20-30 people waiting to get in.
Menus were handed out in line and both Clayton and I were paralyzed by the amount of delicious choices. The menu, a large single sided sheet with a few a la carte options on the back isn’t overwhelming in the number of choices it presents, but it is overwhelming in that every item on it looks incredible.
At the suggestion of the chef himself who was out fielding questions and giving recommendations before the doors opened, I went with the ribs with three sides: corn bread, greens and beets. Clayton went with Rick’s Famous Fried Chicken with corn bread and mashed butternut squash.
The ribs were delicious and unlike any ribs I’ve ever eaten before. The menu describes them as “STL-Style Duroc Pork Ribs, Raw Sugar Glaze”. (For those wondering as I was, Duroc is a type of pig.) They were sweet, savory and delicious. I normally seek out spicier foods, but these were incredible. My sides were also top-notch, with the corn bread as a standout and the greens & beets as pretty close but slightly better maybe approximations of their counterparts at Southern.
Speaking of very similar to Southern, the fried chicken (which can be ordered “hot or not”, Clayton ordered “hot) was also just like Southern’s… and for fried chicken there can be no greater compliment. Juicy, crispy, spicy, perfect. This is the gold standard.
His mashed butternut squash side also was incredible (I think. I didn’t actually talk to him about it.)
Our only regret on our first visit to Grace is that we couldn’t order more of it. Everything that we saw come out of that kitchen looked like a show-stopper. I heard people marveling over their chicken livers, the turkey leg, the fried green tomatoes and others. There are whole sections of the menu that I hardly even looked at: Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Sandwiches, Desserts… we will be back for you.
Here’s a picture of the menu, which I couldn’t find online anywhere. Go eat here. It’s incredible.