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Mar 27, 2010 03:07 PM

3 meals in St. Louis...where should a single diner eat?

I'll be at a conference in St. Louis Wed.-Fri. and am looking for suggestions on where to eat. I'm staying at the Roberts Mayfair on Saint Charles and will not have a car. I'm not afraid of public transport if reliable or a not too long cab ride. I'll have time for dinner on my own Wed. and Thurs. night and then lunch Friday before heading to the airport. I'm a Texas native and looking for what's good in St. Louis. I'll eat pretty much anything and would love one nice meal (where a single diner won't feel to put upon) and maybe a local favorite. I've read a lot about Niche and would like any feedback on their food (esp. whether a single diner...don't mind eating earlier in the evening...would be ok there).

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  1. Hmm, lots of choices. The Roberts is very near the loft district, with many choices. A lot of those dining establishments have come along in the last 5-10 years as this area has redeveloped.

    Possibilities include Mosaic (fusion, tapas)
    An American Place (have heard this is not quite what it was a few years ago, but may be worth checking out)
    Lucas Park Grille

    These are all on Washington Ave, near the hotel (within 4-5 blocks).

    Lots of opinions on dining on The Hill, the Italian faves are slightly off the Hill, Trattoria Marcella and LoRusso's Cucina. Moderate cab ride.

    Yould take the Metrolink train to the Delmar Loop, or to Maplewood. Monarch in Maplewood is one of the city's best, and within walking distance of the train stop. You could also take Metrolink to the Delmar Loop and walk a few blocks east to many dining choices. Eclipse in the Moonrise Hotel, Pi (SF-style pizza) and Riddle's (sort of pub-like, but with a broad menu with locally sourced ingredients. It's the closest area to a college-town vibe, gets edgier at night. Lots of live music venues and eclectic shops.

    You could also walk or hop the train to Laclede's Landing. It holds what little remains of the vast warehouse district that used to be along the riverfront. There are several dining choices there. Morgan Street Brewery is one, and there are more. Depending on what is going on in town, it can be a rowdy area or a ghost town.

    Hope this helps, I am sure others will chime in.

    An American Place
    Saint Louis, St Louis, MO

    Lucas Park Grille
    1234 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103

    Trattoria Marcella
    3600 Watson Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63109

    1. Go to Niche, absolutely. It's a relatively short cab ride and the food is well worth the trip. Creative, fresh, interestingly prepared, with excellent service. Make your reservation immediately. I agree with ddfry regarding Riddle's, Monarch, and Pi but I'd skip the Landing.

      1. I, too, will be in STL for a conference later this week. Staying at the Renaissance at 800 Washington. Is this a safe, walkable area? Are Pappy's or Niche within walking distance?

        1 Reply
        1. re: GSM

          Neither Pappy's nor Niche is within walking distance but both are reasonably close (each is 2.25 - 2.5 miles away) and a cab shouldn't set you back much and both are definitely worth the trip. Niche requires a reservation; Pappy's requires you to get there early. Be aware that there is a basketball game at Chaifetz Arena, very close to Pappy's, on Wednesday and potentially on Friday, if SLU wins the Wednesday game. I'd suggest Niche on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, if you can get in, and Pappy's on Thursday or for lunch. Maybe you and Ashes should connect and split the fare. A match made in Chow heaven.

        2. From the Roberts Mayfair, walk over to our new Sculpture Garden and have dinner at the Terrace View Cafe.

          For lunch, walk over to the Laclede Gas Building at 8th and Olive, and take the elevator up to Point Of View. Very nice lunch with a grand view of St. Louis.

          The Terrace View
          808 Chestnut Street, Saint Louis, MO 63101

          1 Reply
          1. re: Doug

            Terrace View is a great suggestion. The sculpture garden is a treat, especially at night, if the weather is nice.

            The Terrace View
            808 Chestnut Street, Saint Louis, MO 63101

          2. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. While I never made it to Niche (was too busy with conference and other work) I had several great meals.

            Wednesday I had a late lunch at Mosaic on Washington Ave. This was great! I had the soup and sandwich combo opting for a daily specialty soup (Roasted Beet and Bacon...sounds so wrong but was velvety smooth, rich and delicious) and their take on a Ruben. I followed this up with the Dulce de Leche dessert: caramel gelato with caramel drizzle, basil crema, and a little waffle cone. The flavors were excellent together; I especially liked the interplay of the basil and caramel.

            THat night I took a cab to The Hill and decided on simplicity. I ate at Guido's pzzeria and tapas, partly because of the outdoor patio tables. Because good red sauce/gravy is hard to come by in Texas, I ordered a simple fettucini with sauce topped with yummy lightly breaded and fried zucchini slices. It was homey and the perfect comfort food.

            Thursday I had a quick lunch at Teutenberg's near the hotel. I had the BLT which was nothing special but a good value. The service here was great though. Very friendly (even the kitchen staff).

            Thursday night I decided to go see the Delmar Loop area. After a little window shopping I ended up at Eclipse for dinner. I started with the grilled pear salad. Although the pear was only lightly grilled (could have used a little extra time on perhaps a less hot grill), the pancetta vinagrette and greens were a great compliment. For my entree I had the Trout with Pea and Ozark Mushroom hash. The trout was perfectly crispy and had a great spice rub that I never quite figured out the components of (cinnamon? tarragon in the hash??). The mushrooms were a nice juxtapositions and the peas a sweet spring note, but I could have done with a little less boring potato in the hash. I'm a sucker for dessert and bread pudding so I over indulged a little and ordered their version. Advertised as a homemade white chocolate and blueberry bread, the bread was little on the soft side (would have liked a little more crusty caramelization) but the whole dish was very good.

            Friday I made the mistake of heading to the zoo (Good Friday=desperate parents trying to entertain kids and stoller mafia in full force) but enjoyed the walk through the park. I wanted something easy and comforting before heading to the airport. I stopped at an "upscale sports bar" on Wash. Ave. a few blocks from my hotel, Overunder. I tried their mac and cheese with crab added in. It was creamy and delicious but might have benefitted from a sharper cheddar.

            Overall, I liked the STL and enjoyed the food offerings!

            701 Olive St, Saint Louis, MO 63101

            1 Reply
            1. re: ashes

              Thank you for reporting back.