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St. Louis - Recommendations

p
pamela18 Dec 25, 2006 10:53 PM

Will be in St. Louis 12/26-12/29. Need some suggestions for dinners. Looking for great food, but in a casual, hip setting. Good wine list necessary. Any help?

  1. g rote Dec 26, 2006 08:07 PM

    We just came back from a holiday trip to St. Louis, and I frankly can't imagine a better fit for what you seek than the Maryland House @ Brennan's Wine & Cigar Bar. If felt like being in on a secret that very few know about. It's in an area called the Central West End, and it is hidden behind a signless non-descript red door above a wine & cigar shoppe (I've subsequently read that there's a vintage sneaker & t-shirt shop in the back...while I didn't see it, I wouldn't be surprised in the least). The bar area was gorgeous, as were many of the occupants, and looked like a hybrid between a Vail ski-lodge and a low-lit Williamsburg hipster dive...it has the requisite Schlafly taps and quite an extensive wine & cocktail list (it's attached to a wine shoppe). The "dining rooms" are art-school meets thrift store and have a very private boho-feel....the dinner menu, while limited in size, was packed with deliciously intersting presentations. I had a perfectly executed sea scallop & saffron risotto entree, and my wife & her friend split the 2 most artfully presented salads I've ever seen (Waldorf "tower" salad was a new twist on your grandma's fave) The server was friendly but quirky, just like the surroundings. The entire meal with one drink each, was under $100 for four. Our friends who live down there used to live up here in Minneapolis, and they are of the opinion that STL is not a great restaurant town...but I WISH we had something like the Maryland house.

    1. d
      Debra M. Schwartz Dec 26, 2006 05:55 PM

      If the emphasis is on hip, I might give Mangia Italia, on Grand on try. Decent Italian food, cool mural, 50s-era kitchen tables. the real action starts late. also on Grand is Pho Grand for Vietnamese, and Mekong (a little less hip, also a bit more elegant).

      1. d
        Doug Dec 26, 2006 05:54 PM

        Our new favorite restaurant is the Juniper Grill, in Soulard. I do not drink wine, so I cannot evaluate the wine list - but my fellow diners seemed pleased with the wine they were drinking.

        1. v
          vsoy Dec 26, 2006 05:12 AM

          Nippon Tei: 14025 Manchester, St. Louis, MO 63011. 636-386-8999, www.nippontei-stl.com
          Type: Asian fusion cuisine, sushi forte

          Turns out the chef is a Thai and she is a really talented chef. Who would of thought one would find sushi nirvana in a strip mall next to a Gold's Gym? The decor is modern and polished with lots of soft lighting. Our waitress working the emo glasses has worked with the chef since the restaurant opened and she was very knowledgeable and professional. I can't comment on the fusion dishes since we didn't order any, but the catepillar, sumo and shakira rolls were excellent.

          1. b
            Brett Dec 26, 2006 02:00 AM

            A little more information would be helpful. What part of town, if that matters. Price range? Are you looking for seafood, beef, music? How many people? Good wine list, bar? I think you will get lots of suggestions from the St Louis folks, also do you describle a similar place. Enjoy the city!! There is great food to be found. Merry Christmas.

            1. alan Dec 26, 2006 01:26 AM

              Try Riddles Penultimate in the University City Loop. Excellent use of local ingredients and a great wine list, all in a very casual setting. The bar has live music. See their website: http://www.riddlescafe.com/index.html

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