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Aug 26, 2008 11:33 AM

Dinner recs in StL for veg/meat-eater

I am coming in from out of town and looking for recs for a special dinner. My girlfriend is a vegetarian and I am not. Looking for places that have a nice meat selection along with good vegetarian that's not just pasta thrown together. We have very much enjoyed Niche and Pi in the Delmar Loop, and I know she likes the Indian place in the Hojo tower by Lambert, if that gives you some sense of likes. Anywhere in St. Louis metro area ok. Thanks!

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  1. A place that has a reputation for catering to vegetarians while also serving a variety of other options is Terrene in the Central West End. The restaurant has a very nice patio which can be enjoyed in nice weather. I wouldn't put it in the same class as Niche, but it is a good option.

    1. St. Louis is known for Italian food -- easy to combine meat and vegetarian there, as long as you make sure meat isn't in the red sauce. There have been many threads over the months about places on The Hill (traditional italian neighborhood to the south of the city) and throughout the metro area. One of the top restaurants in town over the past decade is Harvest, on Big Bend not far from Washington University -- they offer a number of starters, salads, and other vegie and grain-based dishes -- they have a detailed sample menu on their website. Is your GF a strict vegetarian or a nonmeat eater who will enjoy seafood -- Oceano Bistro in Clayton is nice. The important thing is that as long as she isn't vegan, you can still go to Ted Drewe's (we found a fascinating posting on the left-side wall about the majority of offerings there that are certified kosher) and sample St. Louis pizza, though I will challenge St. Louisans to tell me of a place that offers toasted ravioli with a cheese filling option along with the usual ground beef center (and the tomato dipping sauce often has meat).

      2 Replies
      1. re: nosh

        She'll do fish if she must, and no, she's not vegan. Of the places on the Hill, we have enjoyed most LoRusso's Cucina. Guess we both are trying to avoid the really heavy-sauced fare and go more for something like Cafe Spiaggia in Chicago, if anyone is familiar with that. Thanks for the recs!

        1. re: ddfry3

          Please check out Harvest -- it may fit the bill. For lightly-sauced more subtle Italian, you might enjoy Cafe Napoli in Clayton. Definitely don't miss Ted Drewe's, the zoo, and have a great time in St. Louis and report back.

      2. I second Terrene.

        And I second Harvest. The previous chef would cook up a vegetarian dish on the spot if you asked him; not sure if the tradition continues.

        And I would add the buffet at the Ameristar Casino. I am vegetarian, and the buffet had lots of vegetarian choices that were above ordinary. I suggest going for lunch, you will get your money's worth.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Doug

          Good feedback, Doug. Big problem with the riverboats, however, is the smoking. They seem to always make you navigate through the smoke-filled casinos before you even get to the restaurants, and even there they often allow smoking or have smoking sections. If the Ameristar is sensitive to this, please let us know -- otherwise the poster may want to stick with the other suggestions.

          1. re: nosh

            I am not a smoker and did not notice any smoke at the buffet. At the Ameristar, you come to the restaurants before you get to the gambling area.

            1. re: Doug

              Thanks all. As far as the Ameristar goes, she's not too into the whole gambling environs, but she does live in St. Peters, so that would be very close. Can anyone speak to the atmosphere at Kemolls in Met Square? They seem to get recommended a lot and I wondered if there was a decent view, atmosphere, etc. I'll be there this weekend, so decision time is imminent!

              Thanks all!

              1. re: ddfry3

                Kemoll's is one of the old standard high-end Italian classic restaurants in St. Louis. I haven't been to their current location, but the website is certainly attractive and includes menus with prices: Perhaps others can chime in with more recent reviews and impressions, but I remember Kemoll's as a fairly formal experience, not so much jacket-and-tie as Tony's but in that genre or ballpark. Go Cards!