W. St. Louis/Chesterfield
I'm going to be here for a couple weeks in March for work. I'm pretty familiar with the city from around Clayton in, but am not aware of too many good places west of there. Could anyone recommend restaurants, particular sushi, steak, or anything else that might be unique worth checking out for a group of 4 or 5 people with no major limitations on expenses? Will be staying at the Marriott West off 40 Highway near Maryville University.
Well, the easiest places to get to are the malls, but its chain heaven there.
West County mall is down I-270 one exit from 60 on Manchester. There is the Elephant Bar. West og 270 a little ways is Surf and sirloin, its very good. A Greek family owns it, they have a great Diamond Jim Brady is a 32 oz steak that is pretty good.
On Olive and Woods Mill there are a few interesting places. Spiros west county is on the southeast corner south of the bank. Decent Greek food. Northwest corner have two places Simon's Cafe for Middle Eastern food and there is an Indian influenced Chinese place in the same strip mall called Hot'n Sour.
East on Olive and Fee Fee will find you close to the Happy Buddah, a great all you can eat Chinese place if that is what you want, not much subtlety there. It is in the strip mall on the northwest corner. In the same strip there is also Astoria, which is a russian place, which is not bad. And a Japanese place called Tachibana. Its an older Japanese place but its pretty good, I think they may have been the first Japanese place in St. Louis at one time.
And then there is Chesterfield Mall, another chain heaven: Bahama Breeze, Cheesecake Factory, etc. There is a new chain called Wapango, spanish/south american place, all in the mall itself, or on the property.
In the area just south of the mall, there is a palce called Aqua Vin, pretty good place actually. I liked it a lot. John Goodman is part owner, a silent one at that.
Inside 270 and north of you there is Bristol's, an upscale chain specializing in seafood. You can also go to Westport Plaza, but the food there is so-so.
Try the Sauce Magazine website
Or Joe Bonwich's reviews
From the Marriott, the best steak in St. Louis, in my opinion, is Annie Gunn's. It is one of my favorites, period. It is about ten minutes west of the hotel in the Chesterfield Valley. I'd describe the place as a very upscale bar and grill. My favorite salad anywhere is there. It is a pecan encrusted goat cheese salad with a sundried tomato vinagrette, amazing. Anything off the grill is awesome. About every other time there I get the bone-in ribeye and it has never let me down. My benchmark for bread pudding is served there, with a Makers Mark caramel sauce. It has arguably the best wine list in St. Louis.
A reservation is a must, or you will wait for a while. They say they have half the restaurant for walk ins. This is a locally owed restaurant, not a chain. Enjoy.
Annie Gunn's is the place to go. With all due respect to Phaedrus, who has been a stalwart contributor to this board, too many of the places he has named are chain restaurants, and what's the point of doing that? You may as well be at home. The others are decent, but nothing to write home about. Here's the Annie Gunn's website: http://smokehousemarket.com/about_ag....
Clancy's Irish Pub is in Ballwin. It's pretty enjoyable.
There's a new Korean restaurant in Chesterfield valley that is supposed to be very good, KoBa.
I agree with Yoshi's. Weird atmosphere, but it was very fresh when I went.
Annie Gunn's is not knock out great, but very good, but also very expensive. It's the place to see and be seen in WestCo. There market also has incredibly delicious sandwiches if you find yourself looking for lunch. (Herb Crusted Roast beef on French Bag w/ carmelized onions and brie). They have killer carrot cake too.
Honestly, the nice thing about where you're staying is that the 40 corridor gets you around so quickly that you have a wide variety of choices not far from the highway.
Cardwell's Frontenac, Harvest, Monarch are just a mile or so off the highway, and could be gotten to rapidly.
I noticed elsewhere that you recommended against Harvest (last November, I think). Has your opinion changed with the new chef?
I just made reservations there for Thursday. My wife and I are in town for the weekend and figured we should book some tables. We booked Trattoria Marcella for Friday. We're staying out west, but plan to drive in to eat...well, I plan to drive. It's great to have this thread in case my wife opts for closer to the hotel.
Probably play Saturday by ear, though maybe Atlas or Chez Leon.
re: Aaron Deacon
It wasn't so much that I was recommending against it, as I was saying with Chef Andy White having left, there are other places I would rather spend that kind of money.
I have admittedly not been since he left, and I know for a fact that the new Exec Chef was the old Sous Chef. More then likely, Steve Gontram (Chef/owner) has a heavy hand in what the new chef has presented on his first menu based upon a glance at the website and having worked at Harvest in the past myself. In no way do I mean this to be a bad thing, as Steve is an excellent cook, and a lot of the great spots in St. Louis exist today because of things he and Harvest have consistently been for a decade.
My one recommendation, is to make sure you get he bread pudding. It really is about the most addictive dessert in the city.
Also, as an aside, I got an email that Atlas updated their menu for spring today, and a few items they don't typically server have made the cut. (sweetbreads most obviously).
FWIW, Annie Gunn's chef Lou Rook is cooking at the James Beard House later this month. I would put it in the "knock out great" category, but that's just me.
Phaedrus' reference to Happy Buddah is actually Happy China. Otherwise, however, trust anything that Phaedrus recommends that's Asian.
Directly north of you up 141 at Olive is an excellent Italian restaurant, albeit in a strip mall, called Paul Manno's. Stop by and get me if you decide to go that way. In the strip mall on Olive on the east side of 141 has a better-than-average Thai place called Thai Bu-ree.
If you like pan-Latin, there's a new place called Wapango attached to, but not entered through, Chesterfield Mall. Four exits east on 40, in addition to the aforementioned Cardwell's at the Plaza, there's an old-line steak joint called Kreis' (pronounced Chris's) that has the largest prime rib you've ever seen.
But as everyone has said, you're basically 15 minutes from anywhere other than downtown.
Fox and Hound in the Valley, Chesterfield Ale House on Clayton, Satchmo's on Olive east of 141 might be worth a shot.
I think Spiro's had a fire recently, not sure if they're back up and running.
Hot Wok Cafe is decent Chinese very close to the Marriot. Thai Buree is not too far away at Olive and 141.
Fox and Hound is a chain; I think Bahama Breeze would be more appropriate for a "bar/nightlife crowd." I also don't think Chesterfield Ale House has been there for more than a year. Satchmo's is basically a neighborhood joint.
Ironically, Annie Gunn's bar side functions as the 35+ divorce/ee pickup joint of record. You'll find a slightly younger crowd at Aqua Vin, on the periphery of Chesterfield Mall. Wapango also has a bit of an upscale bar scene and makes some funky (but not cheap) caipirinhas.
There's a place due south on 141 at Clayton called Yellowstone Cafe that does a nice, moderately priced walleye sandwich.