Around the Ritz Carlton (Clayton Area)
I need a few items for the area around the Ritz Carlton in Clayton. First, I would like a some place that serves late (after 10) if possible. Second, a good business type dinner. Third, a good place for a drink and a little bit of food that would be okay for a solo diner eating earlier. Bonus points for anything quintessential St. Louis (flat pizza, STL italian, etc.). also, can anyone tell me if there is a Steak-n-shake nearby?
First, there is no Steak-n-Shake closer than about 3 or 4 miles. You'd need to get into a car to get to either the one on Manchester in Maplewood or perhaps the one near Highway 40 on Hampton.
I don't know that you'll find very many restaurants in Clayton whose kitchens are open past 10 on weeknights (which is when I assume you'll be there). You may want to make use of the very handy restaurant guide on the Sauce website: http://www.saucemagazine.com/
There are several good restaurants in the vicinity, including Remy, Cafe Napoli, The Crossing, Pomme. If you want to venture a little further afield, you can't do better than Harvest. One very good choice would be Cardwell's (the Clayton location, not the one at Plaza Frontenac), which can seat your group in a private room if you give them enough notice.
Stick to eating good food rather than trying to get "flat" pizza or "STL Italian." People may have heard of toasted ravioli, but there are far more interesting and satisfying things to eat here.
You can't go wrong with Harvest as it's one of the most consistant restaurants in the city. If you're looking to travel a little further, Atlas is another place you have to go for a relaxing French influenced meal with stellar desserts. It's a little closer to the Ritz then Harvest is. It's probably no more then two miles in all reality.
Both Cardwell's are overated, but the Clayton outpost is especially so. You can do a lot better for a lot less without having to deal with that level of pretention.
Remy's Kitchen and Wine Bar is one of your best bets right there.
Bar-celona serves late, and it's only a few blocks away as well. It's generally pretty crowded though.
There are a couple newere small places that have opened up that I've not yet been to...Mira and whatever the new restaurant is from Bryan Carr (owner/chef of Pomme).
Pomme is overpriced and overated however.