If you haven't been downtown in a while for anything other than a ball game, here's your chance. Downtown Restaurant Week celebrates all the food the neighborhood has to offer. From August 11 to 17, 25 downtown restaurants are offering three courses (sometimes more) for just $25. It's pretty impossible to hit that many places in just a week, so we've picked the five menus we think are the most promising.
Robust Wine Bar (635 Washington Avenue; 314-287-6300)
Robust has one of the best wine lists in the city, and you can take advantage by adding a glass of wine or a cocktail for $7 and a beer for $5. Start with Robust chowder (Gulf rock shrimp, corn, Spanish chorizo, Andouille sausage with diced potatoes, sweet peppers and onions), a Greek salad or the house salad. Then choose from pan-seared artic char over spring vegetable succotash with red wine-herb butter, roasted mushroom flatbread, cast-iron chicken breast, shrimp and grits with bacon, corn, shallots, garlic, herbs and creole barbecue butter, lamb ragu or a bone-in strip steak. For dessert, it's vanilla-scented goat cheese cheesecake on graham cracker crust with blackberry gastrique or dark chocolate mousse on melted chocolate, toffee, and pretzels with whipped cream and caramel sauce.