Room and Bored

400 Olive is a decent hotel restaurant -- but certainly not a destination in itself

Nothing good was happening on a plate of Jamaican barbecued chicken, just a boring piece of poultry beneath a smear of sweet, blunt barbecue sauce that may as well have been taken off a supermarket shelf, accompanied by stiff and stale fried plantains and a too-salty edamame succotash. Even the wispy curlicues of sweet potato "confetti" tossed on top of the chicken weren't very lively. Citrus-spice seared tuna, with chilled French green beans and Yukon gold potato salad, was a dingy-tasting take on salade niçoise. The exterior of the cut of tuna looked washed-out, while the inside was an off-putting bubblegum pink, with all the flavor of already-chewed Bazooka.

What's for dessert is cake, usually four different kinds. Chocolate cake was chocolate cake, right down to frosting exactly like that out of a Pillsbury canister, with sugar crystals you can hear ringing in your ear drums as you bite through it. Tiramisu cake was definitely not tiramisu, but rather a whitish-yellow cake with a white icing (like what you get at the bakery for kids' birthdays), and a single chocolate-covered coffee bean that was the sole acknowledgement of genuine tiramisu.

Mixed feelings: 400 Olive's menu contains some triumphs -- and some mistakes.
Jennifer Silverberg
Mixed feelings: 400 Olive's menu contains some triumphs -- and some mistakes.

Location Info


400 Olive

400 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63102

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: St. Louis - Riverfront


Corn and crab chowder $6
Eggplant lasagna $7
Veggie club $12
Jamaican barbecue chicken $19

314-554-7098. Hours: 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun.

400 Olive Street (inside the Hilton St. Louis Downtown)

400 Olive is surely sufficient sustenance for the Hilton's guests, but that's faint praise. Too many hotel restaurants play down to their captive clientele, out-of-towners who don't know where else to go for a meal -- especially in this corner of downtown, blocks away from any other fancy sit-down restaurant.

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