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Where to eat in St. Louis

My friend and I always celebrate our birthdays together. Last year we went to Tony's and had a wonerful dinner. We are somewhat at a loss as to where to go this year. We have gone to Charlie Gitto's and didn't like it and have gone to Michael's in Highland, IL; we enjoyed that. We love Italian food and good steaks, but also like to go to places that are very special. Does anyone have a suggestion? Thanks for your help.

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  1. For me "very special" would mean An American Place downtown.

    1. I second the suggestion for An American Place.

      I will also suggest Five in the Grove neighborhood, which has a 4 course for $40 special. And Niche has a $60 chef's tasting menu - which is 6 courses. Both Five and Niche serve a dollop of sherbet as a palate-cleanser between courses - which would make any meal special in my mind.

      1. I second the others, but here are more ideas...

        Did you not like Gitto's because of the food or the atmosphere? A couple fo the suggestions for Italian below are not as fancy as Tony's but I don't think any are as casual as Gitto's. Personally, I don't like the food at Gitto's but I wouldn't consider that good italian anyway...

        Italian - Lombardo's downtown is nicer than Gitto's but maybe less expensive than Tony's, although I dont' really think it's that amazing (same standard Italian dishes that you see in other places) - I've been wanting to try I Fratellini, it looks like it's more interesting Italian food and pretty nice... I've also heard really good things about Trattoria Marcella, if you look them up their website looks sort of dinky and I don't think it's uber-fancy but I have had friends go there for an anniversary dinner and they loved it so it's at least somewhat "special" and it gets good reviews (http://www.saucemagazine.com/article/...

        )

        Steak - Citizen Kane (again, I don't think it's stuffy-fancy, but good steak)

        Others - Sydney Street Cafe, Harvest, Monarch

        1. Thank you all for your suggestions. I didn't like Gitto's because it wasn't worth the money. We spent quite a bit of money for paper tablecoths. We aren't necessarily into expensive restaurants; however, we really like good food presented well. I am going to talk to my friend about them this week.

          1. If you're into "old school" style and presentation, you might consider Al's.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JoeyH

              My parents were in town and we all thought our visit to LoRusso's on Watson was delightful. Great food and atmosphere. Rich the owner is always there and very hands on.

              1. re: JoeyH

                Hey JoeyH,

                How bout that cheese ball with breadsticks to open the meal! I got the recipe from Al himself before he passed. What a place!

                1. re: JoeyH

                  Al's is a place I have never been but I have heard great things about. A trip back to an old fashioned steak place. Lots of dark wood and a no nonsense steak.

                  Its usually older guys telling me about it andthey get that faraway look in their eyes. They then get all misty for the good old days.