Locations in St. Louis with Slideshow

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    J Greene's Pub
    In an era of gastropubs and mixologists, J. Greene’s Pub sets itself apart from the pack by being a decidedly untrendy, honest-to-goodness neighborhood bar and grill. Husband and wife owners Jason and Juliet Greene bring their combined total of 22 years experience from McGurk’s, a St. Louis pub institution, to Warson Woods and turn the corner of a nondescript strip mall into a worthy eatery. Just because J. Greene’s isn’t complicated does not mean it is lacking in quality, well-executed food. The menu features from-scratch comfort classics, house-cured and smoked meats, and old family recipes. Especially noteworthy is the housemade toasted ravioli, elevated by the extra love that comes from fresh pasta dough, a blend of seasoned beef and sausage, and real marinara sauce. The biggest menu surprise comes in the form of pork osso bucco, a staple of northern Italian fine-dining restaurants that intriguingly shows up on J. Greene’s American-style menu. The slow-braised meat falls off the bone into a lovely pool of tomato infused cooking liquid, forming a rich gravy for the rustic mashed potatoes. It’s difficult to leave room for dessert after stuffing oneself with tater tots and jalapeño poppers (they’re homemade too), but diners must leave room for the warm and sticky bread pudding, a decadent cinnamon and caramel pillow snowcapped with vanilla bean ice cream. This is comfort food at its best.
    J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood
    J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood is a small national chain (five locations) from the same parent company that brought you Houlihan’s and Bristol Seafood Grill. As the name suggests, steaks cooked over a wood-fired grill are the specialty of the house: the cuts (USDA Prime, wet-aged) have a good crust, the flavor accented (but not overwhelmed) by mesquite smoke. The steaks aren’t cheap, but two sides are included with the price. Seafood dishes are generally excellent, too, from a simple crab bisque to an extravagant chilled-seafood platter for four.
    Jax Cafe
    Jax Café, the Benton Park breakfast and lunch spot that serves “eclectic comfort food with a twist," represents what happens when a big-name chef leaves behind his rock-star status in favor of family and the purity of cooking. Whereas the menu offerings are familiar, chef Brian Hale has amped them up with his special touch, elevating dishes beyond just eggs and sandwiches. Breakfast highlights include decadent hazelnut pancakes, encrusted with brown sugar brulee and drizzled with Meyer lemon crème anglaise, and a smoked-salmon take on the classic eggs benedict with a potato leek cake taking the place of an English muffin. Lunch builds on the eclectic-comfort-food theme with dishes like truffle fries – so generous in size that the portion could easily serve four – drizzled with truffle oil and liberally sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and rosemary sea salt. The Cuban panini is also excellent, featuring sweet ham, smoked pork and whole grain Dijonaise pressed between two slices of fresh crusty bread. Jax also serves a small Sunday brunch buffet where Hale rotates the offerings to showcase some of his specialties such as biscuits and gravy or seafood cocktail; as a bonus, it includes a build your own bloody-mary bar. The prices are reasonable, and the atmosphere is casual. Expect an uncomplicated vibe, casual and friendly service, and creative twists on familiar breakfast and lunch classics.
    Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse
    CLOSED Cincinnati restaurateur Jeff Ruby brings his eponymous steak house to the massive River City Casino complex. Once inside the restaurant, you are blissfully free from the (literal) bells and whistles of the gaming floor - all the better to indulge in a truly luxurious dining experience. All of the steaks are USDA Prime and dry-aged, and all are broiled in a 1,500-degree oven. The result is a gorgeous charred crust and meat that's the epitome of what we mean when we say "beefy" flavor. An out-of-this-world dining experience with a stratospheric price tag to match.
    Jilly's Café & Steakhouse
    Featuring steak-house dining in a rich, warm atmosphere, Jilly's Café and Steakhouse on Gravois Road just about fifteen miles outside of the city in High Ridge specializes in steak but includes a broad enough menu to accommodate various tastes. With a selection of salads, including a steak salad topped with grilled tenderloin, and appetizers such as chicken wings, coconut shrimp and crab-stuffed mushrooms, Jilly's give diners many options to begin a meal. The café offers a full menu of pasta, pizza, quiches and sandwiches, including a veggie-loaded pasta primavera, a chicken-and-apple wrap and a ham-and-turkey club served on cranberry-raisin toast. The steak menu features a twelve-ounce thick-cut sirloin, fourteen-ounce rib eye and beef Wellington fillet wrapped in pastry with mushrooms. Jilly's also offers a few specialized catering and banquet menus for special events.
    JJ's Clubhouse
    Tucked away in a dimly lit building under a highway close to the Grove strip, JJ's Clubhouse has the feel of a hideout -- or at least an insiders' secret playland. The city's resident all-gay male "bear leather" bar offers pool, popcorn and pinball, and the friendly bartenders, adorned in strapping bondage vests, are always happy to pour their specialty shot of "Kactus Juice." Special weekly events include dart night and butch night, in which patrons come dressed in their best. Who knows? You could get lucky and stumble into JJ's during their annual HiBearNation convention, in which the downstairs dance floor is flooded with cheery Bears from all across the nation. If that statement incites fear, JJ's might not be the place for you. JJ's is a friendly bar for males with an open mind, and if you're up for that, it guarantees a gay old time.
    The lovely Terrace View restaurant in the northeast corner of fun, funky Citygarden sculpture park has been revamped as a...chili parlor. Not that there’s anything wrong with chili — or the restaurant’s straightforward menu of hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches — in theory. But if you’re going to serve chili in one of downtown’s crown jewels, it had better be a helluva chili, which this isn’t. The chicken chili (more of a chicken and white bean stew) fares better, and the hot dogs (all-beef Nathan’s) are solid.
    Joy Luck Buffet
    Though it is indeed a standard-issue Chinese buffet, right down to the pans of quivering Jell-O squares, Joy Luck also offers a menu of traditional Szechuan cuisine: a roster of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes liberally seasoned with chiles and Szechuan peppercorn. The latter is like no other food; along with a floral aroma and lemony flavor, Szechuan pepper imparts a tingling sensation to the mouth. Here it amps up such dishes as spicy beef (a soup) or the dried-fried chicken to levels of exquisite intensity. Everything from tripe to kidney to intestines is on the menu here. Be sure to try the hot-and-sour noodles, a spicy, soul-salving soup.
    Joyia Tapas
    Tapas has been all the rage for a while now, and that's fine by us, just as long as Joyia keeps serving small plates of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine -- Middle Eastern and Northern African as well as southern European. The sprawling menu includes familiar dishes (hummus, gyros, meat and seafood kebabs), as well as more ambitious fare, like the lamb tagine, with the meat, apricot and orange rind in a broth perfumed with saffron, or try the chorizo rollos: miniature burritos with sausage, bean, onion and more wrapped in phyllo. Tapas implies small plates, but many of the dishes are large enough to share...yeah, that's crazy. We wouldn't share, either.
    The Jumpin' Jupiter
    The brand-spankin' new Jumpin' Jupiter is St. Louis' first and only neo-supper club--inspired by the cabarets of old, the Jupiter offers burlesque, freak shows, and live music. Manager Ryan Callahan uses the Tropicana from I Love Lucy as an example of what they're going for. "You'd have a seat, you'd have a show, there was a stage, there was a house band. It was reliable every single time. Over the past 40 years, we've degraded into chaos -- we stopped having a high expectation of good food and entertainment."

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