Okay Ill try again [Kansas City, Mo & St. Louis]
We are going to be going to KC, MO in May. We'll stop over in STL both going and coming back. The B&B we are staying at in Independence does not do dinner and we are going to need some Wed & Thurs. in Independence, Lee's Summit or KC. Most of what I have been able to find are at best mediocre chain places. Would welcome some STL suggestions too. We will be staying downtown.
First suggestion: Post again, but this time, put the city you want recommendations for in the subject line. As for St. Louis, it would be useful to have some idea what you are looking for. How far are you willing to venture from downtown? What kind of cuisine are you seeking? Do you want lunch, dinner, breakfast? Are you concerned about cost? Dietary restrictions? People are pretty responsive on this board if they see their city in the subject line.
I live in Lee's Summit and it is loaded with chain restaurants. Here are the places we go to if we do not want to leave the Independence/Lee's Summit area:
Ophelia's is on the square in downtown Independence. Probably the only upscale restaurant I have eaten at in Independence that I would recommend. Very good food that is attractively plated. Make a reservation because they look at you confused if you just walk in (even if they have tables). The waitstaff always seems young and unsophisticated, but the decor in the restaurant is lovely and they have some decent wine.
Garozzo's in Lee's Summit on 291. Garozzo's is a local chain with maybe 4-5 locations all over the metro. The bistecca modiga is wonderful - it is a different way to serve steak but it is always tender and delicious. They are also known for their spiedini.
We also go to the Hereford House in Independence which is attached to the Hilton Garden Inn off of I-70. Another local chain (sorry, I am doing my best) - good steak, prime rib, salmon. I usually get the bacon-wrapped shrimp.
Finally, not terribly far from Lee's Summit or Independence is LC's bbq - I love their burnt ends so much that I feel any visitor to KC must try them. I may have just started yet another barbecue discussion, but do not be put off by the location - LC's is great bb. Get take out.
Candy, the Italian neighborhood known as "The Hill" in St. Louis can be fun. I've eaten in a couple of the restaurants but my favorite meals by far have been had at the Italian grocery/delis. Once we came prepared for a picnic with wine, opener, and throwaway glasses. Ordered sliced meats, cheeses, olive salad, and a nice loaf of bread. Parked ourselves at the picnic table right outside the front door and enjoyed a delightful meal. A short walk to one of the Italian bakeries will leave you happy and with a treat to take in the car with you.
I understand this may not be what you have in mind but just in case...
Will you be in St. Louis for lunches or dinners? Where are you coming FROM (if you're from Chicago, for example, there is no point in us recommending a Mexican place)? If money is no object, you can't go wrong with Tony's in St. Louis----be sure to make reservations, and order the lobster albanello. If that's out of your price range, how about Nepalese/Indian/Korean at Everest Cafe? Lots of places on the Hill for Italian----Amaghetti's is a long-time favorite for lunch. Get the Amighetti special (sandwich) and sit in the courtyard. Or head over to Lafayette Square----we ate at Square One and loved the beer cheese soup.
So many wonderful choices.....
Candy, since you sound as if you are driving, I would recommend a trip to Iron Barley in St. Louis. It is pretty far on the South Side of the city, but only a few minutes from downtown if you jump on Highway 55 South. The food is consistently good, if they are doing one of the beef tenderloin dishes, they are always a good choice. Crown Candy Kitchen is also fun for lunch, and just north of the downtown area (get good directions, surrounding areas can be spotty),their menu is limited to sandwiches and chili, but the place is a real throwback, (and not 'retro'...it never changed...) and the ice cream confections are terrific.
I am not from the KC/Independence area, but the burnt ends at LC's are something I've sought out on visits, I would heed the recommendation for those. Are you looking for any particular type of food or price range? Do you want to try St. Louis 'specialities' or are you particularly fond of some certain cuisine? Tony's is indeed very nice, but you'll need to pack something 'nice' to wear, and it's pricey.
I just had what might be the best hunk of gooey butter cake of my life (and that's saying something, trust me) at a new (little) place called Russel's on Macklind, and if you are looking to try a St. Louis 'speciality', gooey butter cake is a biggie. The place I mentioned is a good 20 minutes from downtown in the Southhampton neighborhood, there are lots of other places if you're interested.
In St. Louis, Bogart's Smokehouse has the best barbecue I've ever had. EVER. It's a couple miles south of downtown, right across the street from Soulard Farmers Market, one of the oldest farmers markets in the country (since 1779). Bogart's is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, lunch only, according to their website. And you may have to wait a little while in line; it's very popular, and worth waiting for.
For upscale finer dining in STL, Niche is excellent, and so is the previously-mentioned Tony's.