801 Chophouse’s super-size steaks are the most expensive meal in town — and that seems to be the point. The restaurant peddles opulence to holders of corporate cards, as well as regular folks who want to feel like royalty (at least for a day). For the price tag, diners will receive impeccable service, fine wines and shamefully large cuts of beef. Bone-in selections are the best offerings: The strip, rib eye, pork and veal all benefit from the extra flavor (and thicker cut). 801 Chophouse offers a variety of steak enhancements, from Oscar-style with crab and béarnaise to a bone-marrow bath. However, the high-quality steaks and chops are delicious enough on their own. Seafood is incredibly fresh, and the oysters taste straight from the coast. Side dishes are served a la carte: The creamy scalloped potatoes and lobster macaroni & cheese are excellent options — just make sure to ask for a half order so you can save room for the Grand Mariner soufflé.
Alexander's Restaurant, tucked in the back corner of the Sheraton in
downtown Clayton, is a spacious hotel dining option. Their menu
includes familiar American fare, such as pasta, sandwiches, steaks and
fish. Sunday dinner is served in the lounge instead of the main dining room, both located on the main floor of the
Open during lunch and dinner hours only, Almonds' Dixie-tinged menu brings a little soul and a lot of comfort food to Clayton with entrée choices that include smoked trout and pan-fried chicken. The lunch menu allows diners to build their own wood-fired quesadilla or pizza, while the dinner menu offers gumbo, smoked trout and fried chicken, to name a few. Almonds' offers friendly and welcoming service but does recommend reservations.
Steven Caravelli, formerly executive chef at Hubert Keller's steak house Sleek, now mans the kitchen at Araka. The menu retains a focus on the cuisines of Europe's Mediterranean coast, though Caravelli intends to home in on local produce and sustainable meat and seafood. New dishes include seared diver scallops with pork belly and a quail egg, a "duo" of local beef and a "tartare" made from beets. Standard and vegetarian tasting menus are available.
The long-time patrons who lamented the closure of Bryan Carr’s Pomme Restaurant and Pomme Café & Wine Bar can find respite at Avenue. The Clayton bistro, located just a few blocks away from its popular predecessors, combines the two concepts under one roof, but also allows Carr to up the ante on his classic French-influenced fare. The veteran chef keeps some of Pomme’s favorites on Avenue’s menu but also adds several successful new dishes, such as authentic cassoulet with white beans, duck confit, sausage and pork shoulder. The pork schnitzel, topped with brandy-sauteed apples, is another standout dish, and appetizers such as wild mushrooms served with buratta over crusty bread demonstrate Carr’s culinary prowess. Avenue has an excellent brunch, with offerings such as blueberry and lemon pancakes and an overstuffed ham, egg and Gruyere crepe that doubles as a hearty breakfast wrap. Pomme may still be on everyone’s mind, but Avenue proves to be a worthy followup.
Restaurateur Zoë Robinson Pidgeon and her go-to chef Ny Vongsaly have brought a touch of Paris chic to the tiny Clayton confines of their new venture, Bar Les Frères. Though the cuisine is resolutely old-school French, the vibe is fun and the décor (including sixteen pairs of deer antlers looming above the bar) downright funky. The brief menu includes such beloved classics as lobster bisque (brimming with actual lobster meat), duck confit and steak au poivre. The highlight might be the Toulouse-style pork sausages, aggressively seasoned: a perfect blend of pig, salt and spice.
One of the St. Louis area's first Spanish tapas restaurants, BARcelona specializes in small plates that pack a big punch. Housemade sangria, quick service and a festive atmosphere make this place a favorite among the happy-hour crowd.
This friendly spot on Clayton's main drag was named RFT's Best Neighborhood Bar (Mid-County) in 2010, and it's easy to see why. Not only is the menu satisfying and deliciously diverse for a pub: crab cakes, onion rings, twelve kinds of burgers, six varieties of personal pizzas and a Brie-L-T, but there's a nicely relaxed vibe and the self-proclaimed "Best Happy Hour in Clayton," with buy-one-get-one-free domestic bottles weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. plus free wings during those hours on Mondays and Tuesdays. While you can watch just about any sport here, soccer is especially big -- Barrister's was the place to be for fans of the Netherlands during the most recent World Cup.
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