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Jul 19, 2007 06:36 PM

Where are the Best Eats in St. Louis?

I'll be in St. Louis this Friday through Sunday and I am looking for the best food - any type, any price. Also, some night life for Fri and Sat. Thanks.

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  1. Try the Juniper Grill in Soulard. Their food and service are wonderful. The Soulard area is full of night life: live music all over the place, much of it outdoors in the summertime.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Doug

      It seems like their menu has never changed. Is that the case?

    2. Sydney Street Cafe is my favorite...also really good are Harvest and Tratoria Marcella. And I agree with Doug, Soulard is a fun time.

      1. St. Louis is a terrific little food town -- as noted in the July 18 New York Times story "Far From the Big Cities, and Not Missing Them"!

        Some of your best bets: Larry Forgione's An American Place, Monarch, Tony's, Terrene, Annie Gunn's (though it's out in Chesterfield, by the airport), Franco. Those are just a few options. St. Louis has its own food mag, Sauce Magazine, and you might want to grab a free copy when you arrive: In fact, the July issue includes the results of the annual readers' choice poll, which is a great drinking/dining guide!

        A general guide to night life: For blues and lots of live music, check out the Soulard neighborhood; for chic cocktails, the Central West End is the place to be; the South Grand area is a little more laid-back but cool; and for a hip downtown experience, check out the bars and clubs along Washington Avenue. Oh, and if you're about 21 or so, Laclede's Landing might be of interest. :


        Enjoy your stay! Let us know how it goes.

        1. I went to Acero in Maplewood last night and thought it was very nice. Don't know if it would be considered the best or not, but the food was nice and it had a cool atmosphere. I liked the wine quartinos, which was a perfect size for me since my friend was not drinking

          Acero Ristorante
          7266 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO 63143

          1. For many years, Tony's was the answer to the the best restaurnt question in St. Louis. It remains a very good restaurant, with impecable service. But I think there is better and more imaginative food going on. I think the most imaginative food is at American Place. Josh Galliano, the chef de cusine, came from Commander's Palace after Katrina. An Larry Forgione is on the premises a lot. Mark Weller, the dessert guy, is an amazing young talent.

            After American Place, the food that is impressing me the most right now is at Niche and Harvest. Both are very tied in to current trends and also have very good resourceing with local growers.

            I would also check out the restaurant reviews and night club scene at the local weekly, Riverfront Times <a> href="">

            5 Replies
            1. re: JasonC

              I would put Sauce and Joe Bonwich of the Post Dispatch above the food sensibilities of the RFT. The last time I read them the writer was more impressed with their noirish stylings than with the food.

              Tony's is great if you want to show off and want to be pampered beyond belief, but Niche is awesome. Atlas is another place that I like a lot.

              1. re: Phaedrus

                Have you read the RFT recently? Ian Froeb is doing a much better job. I actually emailed him just last week commenting that it was nice to read an actual review instead of the prose that the RFT reviews used to read as. He has a good blog Gut Check as well.

                Give him another chance. I've been enjoying his writing more then Bonwich lately. I don't think we really have anything close to a great critic, but things are certainly better then what you would have found in the late 90s.

                The best restaurants used to be gauged by portion size even in the post.

                1. re: bobzemuda

                  Now, Bob. I don't know what defines a "great critic," but at least two in town (J-Po and one other former RFT writer) have received James Beard nominations for best newspaper critic in America -- and one of them got it for 2000, which is awfully close to the "late '90s." (Two RFT writers have also won best-feature Beards and one former St. Louis Mag writer has a best-mag-feature nomination under his belt now too, although he lives in Pennsylvania.)

                  One problem is that none of us are full-time restaurant critics. There are arguments both ways for a town of our size, but I think the readership and ad support are there to justify it.

                  All that said, you're right, Ian's really good.

                  1. re: bonwich

                    You got me!

                    Joe was great. I agree. I still look forward to his blog. I'm surprised there was a James Beard nominee in 2000. I somehow overlooked that, and clearly, after a quick poking around online, it was you.

                    Journalist: Joe Bonwich
                    Riverfront Times, St. Louis

                    It was Corrigan that always irritated me at the Post.

                    I have no idea who the person was in the late 90s that annoyed me at the RFT. Whenever the time frame was, I can recall that there were 2-3 people sort of rotating reviews, and one of them was especially over the top with the reviews that wandered around talking about pretty much anything but food. On the music front is the musical example of reviews that don't really have much to do with the subject at hand.

                    I never realized that, even for you at the Post, being the critic was not a full time occupation. That's an interesting point that I'd had certainly never crossed my mind.

                    I'm looking forward to everyone's Sage review once the dust has settled. It leaves me with that gut feeling that it's going to be overhyped.

                    1. re: bobzemuda


                      I am not sure if it was the safe person that bugged you at the RFT as the one that bugged the living daylights out of me. It was a woman, she was someone from the east coast and kind of held it over everyone, she always mentions NYC and how great a food town it was. Her preamble, which ran for about 10 or more paragraphs involved everything BUT the restaurant or the food. That was when I gave up on RFT and followed Joe and his reviews to the Post. And yeah, I always enjoy Joe Pollack and Ann Lemon's articles. I guess I should open my mind up and check out this guy if both you and Joe say so.