Circle 7 Ranch Taphouse & Grill is the latest project from the minds at Lounge Concepts, the group that brought us Pepper Lounge, Mandarin Lounge and the Lumen event space. At those places, aesthetics are everything, and the same emphasis on design and accoutrements is more than evident at Circle 7. The interior is sort of a lounge take on the traditional sports bar model, with plenty of trendy distressed wood on the floors and walls and banks of flat-screens showing an array of sporting events.
The big hook at Circle 7 is that it's the first place in the state to feature table taps, gadgets available at some of the booths that allow customers to draw their own beer without having to wait for a server. In fact, a lot of the publicity Circle 7 has received has centered around said table taps and not the food. This seems odd, because while the design elements and gadgetry are all well and good, what sets Circle 7 apart from glut of sports bar is its menu, which is fairly expansive and offers selections that are a cut above the usual pub fare.
Many of the apps available in the Beginnings section of the menu are hefty portions meant to share, like the 8 Layer Buffalo Chicken Dip ($9) and the Smoked Brisket Nachos ($11). We saw several of these go out during our visit, and they were most definitely massive. We went small and had the Pretzel Sticks ($6). These piping hot, soft and salty pretzel nuggets came with a creamy cheese sauce for dipping and were the perfect size to start with.
Variations on wraps and sandwiches make up the majority of Circle 7's menu, and we sampled a bit of both. The Yardbird Wrap ($9) was filled with grilled chicken breast, mayo and BBQ sauce, along with lettuce, tomato and red onion. The sauces were kept to a minimum, which served to really bring out the individual flavors involved, as well as keep things from getting too messy. It's also available in sandwich form under the Also On A Bun section.
The Between The Buns section boasted a pretty creative array of burgers and sandwiches. The Rise & Shine Burger ($9) immediately caught our eye, with its toppings of fried egg, bacon and cheese as we're a sucker for any variation of breakfast for dinner. The burger was nicely medium rare and was complemented by the soft and savory egg and bacon combo. Both of our selections came with a generous amount of fries on the side.
Service was fairly efficient, given the crowd in the dining room while we were there, and prices across the board for food and drink were reasonable.
The menu also had a selection of salads and some large plate offerings, as well as kid-sized meals. Circle 7's beer list was full of standards and craft selections that included brews from local producers like Schlafly and Urban Chestnut. Only a few beers are available via table tap though; we ordered our pint of Guiness ($6) from the bar.
--14412 Clayton Road, 636-220-9707, circle7ranch.com
Circle 7 Ranch’s Grilled Mahi Salad
- 8 oz. mahi mahi filet
- 1 T Circle 7 Ranch Cajun Seasoning
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 qt. fresh strawberries
- Half of a fresh Pineapple
- 1/2 lb. fresh spinach
- 1 c feta cheese
- 6 oz. balsamic vinaigrette
- Prepare produce by cutting strawberries, pineapple and red bell peppers in 1/4-inch squares.
- Evenly season both sides of the mahi filet with Cajun seasoning and cook on grill or broil till medium (145 degree center, approximately 8 minutes.)
- Place spinach, feta and balsamic vinaigrette in bowl and toss.
- Garnish salad with strawberries, pineapple and red bell pepper.
- Place grilled mahi on top and serve.