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One dinner in St. Louis

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Hi all, I'm meeting my daughter in St. Louis (ha ha) late Thurs. night. She has an interview for grad school on Friday morning at Wash U. We will have a dinner on Friday, and a lunch on Saturday before we head back to the airport. We are also meeting her cousin on Friday night for dinner and he is a vegetarian. We are staying at the Ritz Carlton and I will have a car, but I don't want to travel too far from the area, since if she is accepted, she will located around the medical school area and she wants to see it. Options I'm considering based on reading the board are Taste, Elaia, Pastaria and Home Wine Kitchen. I also considered Harvest, but it seems a little too fancy for this particular night. Feedback or other recommendations are welcome and appreciated - both for the dinner and the lunch. Places where grad students might go would be doubly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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  1. Harvest really isn't fancy - servers don't wear black tie and there's no dress code. Elaia is not fancy but very serious - do you mean Olio, its downstairs casual bar? Taste, too, is primarily a bar but has good nibbles. HWK is one of my faves, and while reviews on Pastaria are mixed, I personally love it and it's not hard to get a vege meal there. All sorts of casual restaurants as you head north from WUMSchool and the hospital complex along Euclid Ave. for about 8 blocks, from a diner to somewhere like Herbie's, a new iteration of an old STL restaurant that's, well, fairly fancy but not nastily so. Central Table is my fave along the strip BUT they just had a big change in kitchen crew and manager. Best of luck w/ the interview - I worked at the WU Med Center hospital for a number of years and the faculty seems mostly to be made up of real human beings rather than droids. But you gotta be 4+ smart to handle that crowd.

    7 Replies
    1. re: lemons

      I didn't mean Olio, but now that I look at it, it looks pretty cool. Is it good? Also, Herbie's looks good - especially the bistro menu. It's going to be difficult to choose. Thanks for your help!

      1. re: tlubow

        Yes, Olio is swell, and a pleasant place to sit and shoot the breeze at less busy times. Sorry to have muddied the waters but good luck.

        1. re: lemons

          Just wanted to follow up. We ended up the first night at Mai Lee at the recommendation of my daughter's cousin. It was very mediocre and pretty expensive. I wasn't impressed. For lunch on Saturday we did end up making it to Olio and it was really great. We ordered a selection of dips and tartines and salads, and every single one was delicious and unique. The place is pretty cool also. If I lived in St. Louis, I'd go there a lot! Thanks for the tips.

          1. re: tlubow

            ML, long a local favorite, just got blasted by the local newspaper's critic for slipping badly. Glad you liked Olio.

            1. re: lemons

              It was Mi Linh, not Mai Lee that was blasted.

              1. re: michaelstl

                You are right and my face is red.

      2. re: lemons

        I lived in U. City for about 30 years and am back in town for a short visit. My friend recommended Central Table for an early dinner with an eye toward ordering their marrow bones with the parsley salad, but they weren't available. Instead I ordered the calamari with spicy peppers and other interesting additions. An unfamiliar item turned out to be a "mature caper", a spicy, pickled morsel, that was really good. We shared a refreshing green salad that had a lemon and oil dressing. A gin and tonic was potent and delicious! Desert was a single scoop of vanilla gelato, with what may have been shards of crispy caramel underneath. Whatever it was, it made for a sweet ending.

        I worked at WUMS for about 20 years, in the McMillan building, a relic that is unchanged. I sure enjoyed my meal and wandering a CWE that was at times familiar and unidentifiable at others.

      3. And for anyone reading this this late, sorry to say Harvest is closing, FYI.