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Apr 20, 2018
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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First Look: Bao in Clayton

April 13th 11:04am, 2018

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Fans of steamed buns, prepare your appetites. Bao will open Monday, April 16, at 14 N. Central Ave., in Clayton, in the former Coastal Bistro space.

As Sauce reported in January, R.J. Xu’s new restaurant will spotlight Chinese steamed buns. The bao serve as delivery vehicles for all sorts of fillings, like Cantonese barbecue pork in the char siu option and strips of slow-roasted pork belly in the kakuni.

The menu also has some breakfast offerings (available all day), including avocado toast and bao and gravy. For those who prefer smaller nosh items, Bao has a snacks list with favorites like shoestring fries, along with items like the Korean street corn, a bowl of tender sweet corn fried in bacon fat and topped with melted mozzarella, lardons and scallions.

Bao also offers a robust coffee and tea program, bottled beer, a tight selection of wines and a trio of cocktails for those who need a daytime tipple. General manager Benjamin Bauer, who also runs the bar program, said the cocktail list will expand soon, and he’ll offer house-made fermented soda in the coming weeks, as well. Mondays will feature free drip coffee.

According to the building owner, the edifice is reported to be the second oldest in downtown Clayton, originally home to the Clayton Watchman newspaper. The brick exterior, painted a muted gray, has only a small sign jutting from the facade with Bao in stylized letters and a small window graphic to signal what’s going on inside. The 50-seat interior is an amalgamation of the modern and vintage with distressed wood tabletops, dark and light wood accents, antique furniture and an array of earthy hues.

Bao will initially be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., though dinner service will be coming soon. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Clayton’s newest eatery:

 

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photos by Lauren Healey 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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By Matt Sorrell

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