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Feb 27, 2012 02:46 PM

St. Louis: Graduation Dinner in May - Central West End. Not too $$$$$ and not too loud

Hi all!
I'm looking for a tasty place in walking distance of the Parkway Hotel (Central West End) for a family graduation dinner this May. Because there will be some older family members in attendence who have not yet sprung for hearing aids, we need somewhere not too loud. Great food and a good price is the ticket!

Many thanks in advance.

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  1. give us a day or two. May is a bit aways off from now after all.

    low noise level is easy. reasonable price is too. both together and appropriate for the occasion is the issue. Must it be walking distance? (only asking to round out the possibilties, what is considered good price P/P? as that can mean so many things)

    and congrats to the grad.

    5 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      Agree with hillfood, need more specific price parameters. Is this a SLU or Wash U grad (or neither?)...reason I ask is if this is in close proximity to either campus' graduation festivities, I might suggest going to Midtown (if it's Wash U's graduation), or the CWE (if SLU's). Does all that make sense?

      Anyway: Without knowing what you consider reasonable:

      Parkway Hotel has Applebees (NOT!)

      Within walking distance, I'd suggest: Wildflower or Brasserie by Niche
      Not in walking distance, but in a nice nearby residential area, Atlas is a nice space and has always been quiet.

      In Midtown, about 1.5 miles east on Forest Park Parkway, I'd suggest Triumph Grill or Kota Grill.

      Hope this helps!

      1. re: ddfry3

        I think you've got your universities reversed, since SLU is in Midtown and Wash. U. is closer to the CWE (other side of Forest Park).

        1. re: alan

          No, I intended it that way...the logic being that the Midtown places will be crowded around SLU's festivities and the CWE ones around Wash U's.

          1. re: ddfry3

            You're smarter than I. Good call.

        2. re: ddfry3

          Graduation weekend is always very busy with each of the universities. I agree that there's a little urgency to all this. We've had less-than-stellar experiences at Wildflower, sometimes food, sometimes service. And Brasserie can be noisy, as much as I love it. Sidewalk seating may help with the noise if the party isn't immense (and if the weather is clement). Wildflower does have an upstairs room for private parties if the first generation can manage stairs. A few blocks farther north is LiLuMa, and you might be able to get their Side Door room if you've got a larger party.

      2. Haven't really been, but I would send the graduate to investigate the restaurants in the Chase Park Hotel: Eau Bistro, Tenderloin Room or Cafe Eau --

        They're all within walking distance and graduation dinner calls for flawless execution where grandparents will feel comfortable. I also cosign the Atlas recommendation if the hotel restaurants don't fly.

        4 Replies
        1. re: brownhound

          agreed that it is not the time for chance-y, but is the C-P Plaza not a little stuffy? (sorry haven't been in years)

          1. re: hill food

            Yeah, that's why I figured the graduating student might walk through and have a sense whether it fits her or her family.

            1. re: brownhound

              the location is indeed prime and the elderly members of the party may find it, reassuring.

          2. re: brownhound

            Had a bad experience at the TR. High price; mediocre food.

          3. Highly recommend Salt. Delicious food. Chef just nominated for a James Beard award. Very pleasant and subdued atmosphere. Very reasonable prices. Very close to CWE, on Lindell.

            1. We eat out a lot - and some years I mean daily - and good restaurants all over town are full that weekend. From St. Louis County to The Hill to downtown. I don't know how big senior classes at WUSTL and SLU are these days but by the time you count folks w/ graduate degrees, that's a lotta families wanting to break bread together. I promise you, I've seen it. Make reservations as soon as you know where you want to go, have a second choice and for the wild and crazy folks (not you, CHers know better) cancel the reservations you're not goig to use. Those folks who make 3 res's for the same night so they can figure out what they "feel like" will eventually get ptomaine poisoning if there is any justice in the world. (Sorry. End of lecture. Really. I didn't mean you.)

              7 Replies
              1. re: lemons

                nah lemons that needs to be said and repeated. i saw it too often in other cities to the point where reservations couldn't be made at some places w/o a credit card number (thanks jerks for spoiling the fun for the rest of us!) </high horse>

                1. re: hill food

                  Thanks all - I think we're going to Atlas - it looks like exactly what we had in mind. And yes, I have encountered this problem of having a large group sans reservations unable to find a decent table after graduation many times in the past (and in many different cities). That is precisely why I started asking around so early this year.

                  The happy grad is my sister-in-in-law who will recent her PhD from Wash U. She deserves a great meal.

                  Thanks for your help!

                  1. re: salustro

                    I think you will enjoy Atlas, it's a nice compromise between formal and casual, with a menu that doesn't push the envelope but has some nice touches. Have always had good meals and service there...nothing revelatory, but that's not likely what your occasion demands anyway.
                    One is NOT walking distance from the Parkway. It's a good mile at least.
                    Let us know how it goes!

                    1. re: ddfry3

                      Parkway and Atlas are both near Metrolink (rail) stations. In fact just one stop from each other.

                      1. re: brownhound

                        True, but, as I was reminded by looking at the OP, they asked for something within walking distance. I gave a few initial recs which were and some which are not, and Atlas is not. It is a good 6-7 block walk to Atlas from the Skinker- DeBalaviere station to Atlas, and depending upon mobility, that may be an issue. Maybe not the best walk later at night either depending upon individual comfort levels.

                        1. re: ddfry3

                          No, it's about a two and one-half block walk. The Forest Park station station is at DeBalaviere and Forest Park Parkway: walk a short block up to Pershing and around the corner and two blocks to Atlas, just before the corner of Pershing and Belt.

                          Whether there are mobility or safety issues depends on the family, of course. It's a well trafficked area and Pershing is very residential. Point being, there's no need for a car rental or a taxi if that's what they're avoiding.

                    2. re: salustro

                      PhD? I've known folks to run that obstacle course. that she is (assumed) still a socially functioning member of society does indeed merit a nice dinner (although maybe not a gun permit just yet)

                2. Eau! Just went there on Saturday and were blown away. Here's our review:

                  "Eau was one of our most memorable dining experiences in St. Louis! We frequent what we think of as St. Louis's best restaurants - Niche, Farmhaus, Sidney Street, Salt, etc., and had never tried Eau. So, we decided to try it out and found that Eau was "Eau"tstanding! We got the tasting menus (wife got the vegetarian tasting menu) and, not only did they accommodate her food allergy non-plussed, the whole thing just blew our minds! Inventive and delicious food; attentive and super-friendly service; and pleasant ambience. The highlights were the wine pairings (masterful and brilliantly facilitated by our server); the short ribs (with a sweet potato/bleu cheese layered-thingy), duck, and cauliflower soup (best we've ever had)! Thanks guys!"