No, not a first date, but that rare event when you and your significant other can find time in your hectic lives to relax, share a bottle of wine, have an actual conversation and enjoy a terrific meal. Atlas is the ideal environment. There is hardly a more welcoming place in St. Louis: From the moment you arrive, owner Jean Donnelly and the front-of-house staff treat you like an old friend, putting you at ease, letting you concentrate on more important things, like how long it has been since you told your partner that her eyes are the same gorgeous rich brown shade of roasted duck skin.... On second thought, hold off on the compliments till you've decided what to order. Here, too, you needn't worry: Chef Michael Roberts (Donnelly's husband) and his kitchen crew don't worry about what's hip or flashy. Their only concern is with what's good — make that great — whether it's straightforward steak frites, a pasta loaded with fresh, seasonal vegetables or that duck breast with skin as beautiful as her eyes. Finish it off with one of Donnelly's divine desserts and you have almost everything you need for a perfect date night. (What happens after you leave Atlas is up to you.)
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