Best Tapas/Small Plates - 2011
Robust Wine Bar
As St. Louisans we understand that going out for tapas here will never be the same as exploring the storied streets of Spain, the promised land of paella and jamón ibérico and naps. We get it. But the tapas experience is just as much about atmosphere as it is about food, and Webster Groves' Robust Wine Bar has atmosphere in spades. The vibe is stylish but warm and welcoming, and the food's outstanding, whether you opt for traditionally "Spanish" fare — Cava and chorizo, for example — or not-so, such as rib-eye medallions or Genoa salami. Explore Robust's pages-long wine list by opting for a flight ($12 to $26); that's three three-ounce pours grouped by theme — "Bubble Bath" (sparkling wines), for instance, or "Take Me to Bed Reds." Robust also offers the option of purchasing wines by the half-glass, when you want just one more little taste of your favorite newly discovered wine (and you almost certainly will). And if you like it so much you want to take some home, Robust retails all its wines by the bottle, at very competitive prices.