What You'll Get
The perfect food and wine pairing is like the fateful meeting of destined lovers, best celebrated with a tiny mock wedding presided over by a curmudgeonly pepper mill with a heart of gold. Combine cuisine and wine the way nature intended with today's deal to Robust Wine Bar and Café. For $18, you'll get $40 worth of pours and tasting plates at the sipping spot that St. Louis magazine named Best Small Plates 2009, Best 30 Dishes in St. Louis 2009, and 2008 Restaurant of the Year. Though you can use your Groupon on any day, Robust only takes reservations for parties of 10 or more. Saturday nights typically involve a one- or two-hour wait, the perfect amount of time to re-enact one to two episodes of Monk.
Robust's wine menu spares commitment-phobes from committing to an entire bottle by offering its vinos by the glass in 3- and 6-ounce pours ($3–$14). The list is clearly organized according to numbered characteristics such as crisp, bubbly, luscious, robust, and sweet and sticky. This drinkable Dewey decimal system makes it easy for novice oenophiles to find the perfect food pairing on Robust's mouthwatering day menu of small plates and flatbreads, which transforms werewolf-like into an evening menu after a certain hour. Pair heady pours with cheese ($7–$18.50) and charcuterie plates ($5.50–$14) for an indulgent night of plate passing and nosh nibbling. The chef's tasting plates, meanwhile, serve up decadent fine-dining fare fit for a casual night out with samples of beef-tenderloin carpaccio with golden-beet puree, truffled arugula, and chevre ($15), and seared scallops with curried pea puree and coconut pudding ($14).
Trying out a new experience together can provide bonding material for first dates and keep long-term relationships fresh, provided that the new experience is not "dating other people." Suss out your favorite sips and cement your amorous bonds over one of Robust's wine flights. Each flight includes three 3 oz. pours, such as a bubble bath of sparkling wines ($13) or a trio of soft, sexy, and sassy pinot noirs ($22). An evening with fondue of Gruyere, Swiss, and Parmesan cheese with fruit and bread ($15) keeps nervous hands occupied, while the bubbling caquelon of molten cheese offers romancers an excuse to lean in close. One Groupon can be used for every pair of lovey-doveys that flocks to your table.
WhereTheLocalsEat.com lists Robust Wine Bar and Café in its Top 100 Restaurants List, also calling it Best Wine Bar. St. Louis magazine awarded Robust Best Small Plates 2009, Best 30 Dishes in St. Louis 2009, and 2008 Restaurant of the Year, while its blog praises Robust in "Top 20 Local Trends of the Decade." St. Louis magazine, Riverfront Times, St. Louis Eats, and Ladue News all laud Robust:
- Everything we tried at Robust was excellent. – St. Louis Eats
- Robust clearly wants you to enjoy its wine with its food. And as for the latter: almost unexceptionally excellent. – Dave Lowry,St. Louis
- If Robust's menu as a whole doesn't vary too much from standard wine-bar offerings, that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is food meant to be shared, a component of an evening out, like good company and good conversation. The wine is what brings it all together. – Ian Froed, Riverfront Times
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Mar 8, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 4 per person. Limit 1 Groupon per 2 people at table. Not valid for retail purchases. Not valid with other offers. Tax and gratuity not included. Reservations only accepted for parties of 10 or more. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.