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Mar 13, 2009 01:10 PM

STL Help me narrow my choices...

Visting St. Louis for four days. I've scoured this board... Please help me narrow a bit.

Upscale: Niche, Monarch, Erato, Crossing
Tapas: Modesto, Robust Wine Bar
Hamburgers: Blueberry Hill
Pizza: Cafe Manhattan, Pi
BBQ: Pappy's
Lower key: Iron Barley
Brunch: Cafe Osage

Any glaring omissions? Anywhere you would seek a fellow food lover? Would love to know about coffe houses and chocolatiers, too. Will be staying near Washington University one night, near the Arch the other nights. Thanks in advance for help!

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  1. By all accounts, Niche is the place to go among your upscale choices. It has a talented, honored chef, and it is known for being interesting and innovative.

    Don't miss Pappy's but make sure you don't go late or the good stuff will be gone. Ribs are first-rate.

    1. I would agree with Alan that niche is the hot one of your upscale choices. However, your next 2 are certainly right there in the top 5. I think you are missing maybe Sidney Street Cafe.
      For Chocolates, I hear these guys are awesome-
      For Chocolate oriented, I think you could consider either of these places for Coffee/ Desert/Chocolate items-
      We love Baileys for cocktails and desert and hot chocolates, etc.
      Bissingers also has a place in the wet end that you may want to check out.
      Osage Beach I have no idea about but I CAN tell you that if money is no object, the 50 dollar a head brunch at The Ritz is to die for...
      Coffee Houses, the Kaldi's in Clayton has a Clover Machine I believe. That is not far from where you will be.
      If you have to choose on the Pizza, Pi no doubt would be first IMO and La Pizza would be my second choice.
      I personally would get a Roast Beef Sandwich at Oconnels before a burger at Blueberry. It is smoky in Oconnels if you don't like that.
      Iron Barley is good for sure.
      Pappys closed at 4 I think on Saturday and as Alan said, you better get there at lunch time for selection.
      Lastly, Crown Candy kitchen is fun if you want a 1920's soda shop vibe. go during the day only.
      Hope that helps,


      PS- Please report back and give us feedback. Too many people don't let us know how they enjoyed things.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

        I absolutely love Niche and Bailey's Chocolate bar. Definitely second those recs.

      2. For the night you are staying near Wash U. dinner can be at The Crossing in Clayton -- make sure they are still offering the four-course for $25 special. Lunches can be at Cafe Manhattan which is on the west side of Hanley near Wydown in Clayton and your other lunch can be at Blueberry Hill, which is on Delmar in the Loop just north of campus. When you are downtown, you can easily hit Niche in Benton Park just on the south part of downtown and head across the river to Erato. Monarch is going to be a bit of a drive back west. Your lunches can easily include Pappy's, which is better for lunch, and maybe some of the places you haven't gotten to yet.

        No real need for tapas -- Erato is small plates, and it isn't what the city does best. Same with Pi -- good for non-St. Louis-style pizza, but you can get other types in OKC. I would head to the Hill -- it is a classic Italian neighborhood that is fun to walk around -- and get some of our big-portioned, red-sauce pasta or hit Amighetti's for their famous sandwich or Blues City Deli in Benton Park for great sandwiches and friendly service, if you can find it. If you are adventurous I'd look up Mammer Jammer's for a unique, spicy sandwich. I haven't been to Iron Barley -- I want to -- I loved the segment on DDD but opinion of my relatives is definitely mixed. You may want to consider Crown Candy Kitchen for diner fare and milkshakes, but the place you definitely do not want to miss is Ted Drewe's -- I like the "concretes" which are mixed so thick they can be held upside down, though my mom won't leave without her hot fudge sundae.

        1. The staff @Niche (front and back of house) turned me on to Bobo Noodle House. It's right across from Wash U. I've never seen Trattoria Marcella mentioned, although it's some of the best Italian I've had in the mid-west. Sorry, no toasted ravioli. It's just off the Hill. Here are the #s. Bobo (314)863-7373 and Trattoria Marcella (314)352-7706. Modesto was pretty good last time I was there (also on the Hill) and Mosaic (that used to be on Washingto Ave., but has since moved someplace close) was decent as well.I'd skip Monarch. I've been there 3 times and never have had a good meal. If you're looking for super-casual, Blues City Deli gets the big thumbs up from my STL friends and they are in Benton Park. Oh yaeh, and then there's Harvest...

          3 Replies
          1. re: inbiz

            Inbiz is right--Harvest is another excellent choice if you're doing two upscale dinners. If it's only one, I'd probably choose Niche. It's noisier but more innovative than Harvest.

            1. re: inbiz

              Bobo is terrific. We went twice during the first few weeks it was open and had a lovely time. And know that they are not (or weren't at the time) at all shy about spice levels.

              1. re: litchick

                I was surprised I hadn't seen it on here.

            2. If you are looking for authentic and traditional Spanish tapas, try Guido's - ironically located in the heart of the Italian district on Shaw Avenue. They have been serving tapas in St. Louis for 35 years.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Doug

                Another tapas option is Barcelona in Clayton.