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If regulars could keep this place a secret, they would. Dining at I Fratellini, the second venture of Zoë Robinson (of the eponymous Zoë Pan-Asian Café in the CWE) and her executive chef Ny Vongsaly, is one of the St. Louis dining scene's singular pleasures. A meal can begin with warm baguettes and pistachio-studded butter and segue into a arugula salad with toasted pine nuts. Then comes the entrée -- snapper with kalamata olives, perhaps, or beef medallions -- and then, of course, dessert (fresh offerings from La Dolce Via). Everything here, from the Modernist light fixtures to the tabletop roses to the gracious service, is just right.
"You came all the way from the Delmar Loop to visit us?" the server asks. In fact, I Love Mr. Sushi isn't too far from the Loop, but its narrow storefront in a nondescript Olivette strip mall lends this sushi joint the air of a well-kept secret. Inside you'll find beautiful presentations of familiar nigiri sushi and sashimi selections, as well as rolls both traditional (sweet futomaki) and Americanized (the "Texan," for example: beef, jalapeño and spicy mayo). Begin your repast with a cup of very good miso soup, and don't be shy when your server asks whether you'd like a second round. She's not teasing.
I Scream Cakes' owner Kerry Soraci saw the potential of Cherokee Street -- but the eclectic neighborhood was missing something: ice cream. And not just any generic ol' ice cream. Here you can find dairy-free, gluten-free and even doggy-friendly selections. The parlor is vibrantly painted and equipped with big rubber bouncy balls you can sit on while you scarf down scoops of made-from-scratch frozen treats. But not only is there ice cream, Soraci also makes cakes and cupcakes, which means the blueberry-cheesecake ice cream contains cheesecake that's made in-house with organic blueberries and a homemade custard base. It's one of the greatest dessert combos of all time.
Sitting not-so-quietly in the center of Harrah's Casino is the conceptual iBAR, a standing-only, waitstaff-served blackjack table for the gambler on the go. Beyond the gaming area is a more traditional bar, a place for parched gamblers to wet their whistle so that the cries of "Hit me!" resound loud and clear when the cards start low. And for those who crap out? The occasional small-piece band plays the "house just won again" blues.
This Washington University campus bistro offers simple, fresh eats with a focus on locally harvested products with an elegant and classical atmosphere. Only open during the school year, the bistro offers an ever-changing lunch buffet and a full dinner menu. Lunch items are prepared daily and feature a number of different hot and cold pastas, salads, soups, sandwiches and creative entrées. The dinner menu includes starters and small plates, such as roasted Missouri beets and a flatbread constructed with regionally grown toppings, and entrées. Larger plate offerings include trout served with butternut squash risotto and green beans, and a frittata with Ozark Forest mushrooms and Missouri Gouda. Ibby's also showcases live jazz on Wednesday evenings and offers an outdoor patio available for private events.
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