Best Restaurant When Someone Else Pays - 2009
The good news: Diners can satisfy their cravings for Jim Fiala's haute-rustic cuisine any time they please, thanks to affordable lunch options at Liluma and the Terrace View. The better news: Said diners can also treat themselves to authentic Italian regional food at Fiala's Acero and not take a mortal hit to their wallets. The best news: When invited on a date or a business dinner, diners can say, "How 'bout the Crossing?" and look forward to eating one of the most delicious, thoughtfully prepared meals the St. Louis restaurant scene has to offer. Dinner for two, with wine and tip, can easily surpass $150 — but that price tag is about as consequential to you as a fistful of Disney Dollars, because you're not paying! Begin your evening of gratis gustatory grandeur with the Crossing's signature blue-cheese soufflé, then slalom down the daily-changing menu, plucking gems such as orecchiette with Salumeria Biellese pancetta and sea scallops atop lemon-truffle-dressing-drizzled warm romaine. Of course, if you want to save your companion some cash (nice idea on a date, unnecessary gesture at a business dinner), you can opt for the Crossing's beloved tasting menu. At $25 per person, it's one of the best dining deals in town — no matter who's footing the bill.