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Casual Date Night in STL?

I am looking for a good place for a casual 'married' date night in STL. I have read through the threads and havent quite found what I am looking for. Niche and Farmhaus seem great, but a little fancier/fussier than what I am looking for. We just moved to the area, have been unpacking all week, and dont feel like a super nice place to eat on Saturday.

Any ideas for a nice, casual place to grab a bite to eat (bonus if you suggest something to do afterwards)? Only restriction is that the wife is pregnant so wine bars/breweries are great...but cant be put to full use until our human is born.

Thanks.

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  1. Farmhaus is very casual. Not likely though to get a res I wouldn't think .

    Home Wine Kitchen is a really nice very casual spot in Maplewood and there are tons of shops depending on your timing etc that are open including Kakao for great Chocolate and Foundation Grounds for great Coffee. Also in that area is Acero. I have not personally been but I would guess it would also fit the bill.

    I really like Michael's bar and Grill. Great burgers wings and gyros if you are looking for that level of casualness. Very good bar food and Greek food.

    FOTD

    1. You might enjoy 1111 Mississippi. Good food and you're in Lafayette square--very near Soulard, where you'll find various kinds of nightlife.

      1. EvanWilliams, it might help to know what area you are in. I will second the suggestion for home wine kitchen...while the food is very fancy-pants (okay, the food is elevated home cooking...REALLY elevated...), the atmosphere is very friendly and not fussy at all. I have been mostly for brunch, and I've never felt like a hayseed in my tennis shoes. Nice people, too. Congratulations on your new human. After dinner, go see a movie at the Moolah. Best theater in town...get there early if the movie is new, so you can get a couch. And warn your pregnant wife that the bathrooms are down a long hallway...best to go before the movie (while you zealously defend your couch).

        1. what's the word on Salt (Lindell and Euclid) these days? may not be what you're looking for but hey your wife is working overtime here. now that the Delmar Loop has taken the hipster hit, I find strolling Euclid almost pleasant again.

          and yes congratulations on your upcoming human

          3 Replies
          1. re: hill food

            Salt is not at Lindell and Euclid. It's farther east, around Boyle, I think. Someone suggested hitting the Moolah for the recreation part of the date, and Salt is really convenient for that plan.

            1. re: Wayno

              really? for some reason I thought it was in the big white house catty corner from the library. oh well I freely admit I'm rotten with specific addresses (see the cannoli thread)

              1. re: hill food

                That building was a restaurant in the distant past but has been a dental office for some time.

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                Salt
                4356 Lindell Blvd, St Louis, MO 63108

          2. I was going to suggest Salt. The food is delicious and interesting. It has a nice bar, although I understand the restriction. I was going to suggest Taste (by Niche), but if you're not drinking, you don't get the amazing cocktails they offer. I do not really second, or third, the Home Wine Kitchen suggestion. Most of what I've eaten there was unsatisfactory. I had been planning to write a post about it; I really, really wanted to like it, because it's such a cute place and the people are so nice. But the execution of the food has been consistently off; then again, I haven't yet eaten everything on the menu.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Wayno

              I certainly think Wayno's post re HWK is an example of YMMV. So much of all this is about individual perception. Me, I'm really happy about the place's food. The same way w/ Salt; some folks love it and others say "What's the fuss about?"

              Our old fall-back place was Duff's, casual, something on the menu for the cautious eater and the adventurous and the vegetarian. But I don't know how things are now that it's up for sale.

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              Duff's Restaurant
              392 N Euclid Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63108

              1. re: lemons

                Thanks for the suggestions. I had looked at Taste by Niche before posting and while it looked good, I didnt want to throw good drinks in my wife's face since she cant have them.

                To answer an earlier question, we live west of the river in Illinois so any place in STL is fine. It is only about 30 min to get anywhere in the city.

                1. re: EvanWilliams

                  If you are in Illinois, I also highly recommend Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville, which is in the spot vacated by Fond. You should go to Taste when you are ready to imbibe, though the food itself is worth going to, or you can eat next door in the sister restaurant Brasserie by Niche, which is an excellent date-night choice. Notwithstanding what another poster said, I stand by my criticism of Home Wine Kitchen. It's a great concept, but the cooking was just poor in several respects; poor execution to the point that it was beyond simply subjective judgment.

                2. re: lemons

                  Duff's is for sale? I used to know a daughter of the owners back in the 80's. it always has been a good standby.

                  and uhh Evan, despite my criminal sense of location, the only part of Illinois that's West of the river is Kaskaskia (until the next big quake anyway) and that's not really convenient to STL (smirk)

              2. It is hard to find a place more casual than Iron Barley, and it is hard to find a place with better food than Iron Barley.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Doug

                  The casualness I would agree with. The food is very hit or miss to me and I certainly think there are tons of other choices (no offense to IB)...

                  FOTD

                  1. re: Doug

                    I love Iron Barley. Totally unique place. Would give the OP a real feel for South St. Louis.

                  2. I've got a baby, a breast-feeding wife (i.e., no alcohol) and am new to town, so I have some similar issues.

                    With Home, remember it's Home Wine Kitchen. My wife's not been thrilled about visiting a restaurant where wine is a key feature of the menu, even if the food justifies it. Your wife may be les sensitive. If she's okay with that, I would also suggest Bridge Tap Room downtown, which is decent food and very close to IL.

                    You might try Brasserie on Laclede (next Taste by Niche), which is typical Brasserie food but nice and busy, which feels casual. It's in the Central West End and is lively. Around the corner from it is Rasoi, which is passable Indian food in a nice room and Taste is next door, if it's a long wait or you don't like the look of the place.

                    One thing that I miss now that we have a baby is a feeling of "going out" for the evening, and I think Brasserie provides that more than other places mentioned.