McNellie’s Public House

When you get right down to it, McNellie’s is a bar.

But it’s not just any bar. You’ll be hard-pressed to find many watering holes that serve 60 or more draft beers (many from Europe) and dozens more by the bottle. The wine list is impressive, too.

McNellie’s also boasts an impressive food menu, ranging from pasta to fish to pork loin to shepherd’s pie. McNellie’s clearly has a chef on the premises.

It’s for these two reasons that McNellie’s, 409 E. First St., is one of downtown’s most popular hangouts. You can drop by after work to quaff a quality beer in peace, or you can sit down with a companion for a nice, mid-priced meal.

We stopped by on a weeknight for dinner. McNellie’s has the feel of an old neighborhood tavern, with brick walls and wooden trim. It reminded me of the old corner taverns you commonly see in the Soulard neighborhood just south of downtown St. Louis. Dozens of personalized beer mugs hang on the wall; you can buy yours for $25. There also is a club for ambitious imbibers who manage to drink 100 different beers (not all at once, of course).

Emily ordered a glass of cranberry juice, a cup of potato-leek soup, and the European cheese platter (shown above). At $12.99, the platter seems a bit pricey. But the portions of the four cheeses were generous, and the platter included strawberries and grapes to help cleanse the palate.

I ordered a Pilsner Urquell on tap and the artichoke dip, which came with toasted pita bread for dipping. It was cheesy and good.

We finished our evening with a slice of pina colada cheesecake, of which I forgot to shoot a photo.

I’ve heard that McNellie’s most popular food item is its sweet potato fries, and our evening there seemed to confirm this — I saw at least four helpings served during our time there.

I’ll be back, if for nothing else but to sample a few more of those exotic brews.

Value: B+
Product: A-
Service: A
Convenience: B- (the one-way streets sometimes make it difficult to get to)
Overall: A-

(Review posted by Ron.)

~ by Ron Warnick on July 28, 2007.

One Response to “McNellie’s Public House”

  1. Very very good food at a pretty hopping location.

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