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Indisputably the best independent Tex-Mex fast-food joint in St. Louis, Nachomama's gives Rock Hill a much-needed infusion of flavor and color. Dig the tricolor tortilla chips served in flower pots and the Bud Dry mural on the ceiling. The kitchen turns out topnotch burritos, quesadillas and nachos, and the beans rise well above the status of simple side dish. Though you can order hard-shell tacos, the soft variety is excellent. The guacamole ranks among the area's best, and the salsas (especially the hottest version) are mighty tasty. There's no bar, per se, but margaritas and bottled beer are available.
While Nadine's labels itself a "gin joint," its menu caters to drinkers and teetotalers alike. Appetizers include hot wings, toasted ravioli and quesadillas, while the main courses feature sandwiches, kebabs, pork steak and seafood options. Nadine's also offers daily specials, such as stuffed peppers, a chicken Philly and chili mac. Guests can choose to sit inside or, on nice days, enjoy Nadine's patio.
Part of the Steven Becker Fine Dining mini-empire -- which includes the fancy Coronado Ballroom and Lazy Susan Catering, both housed in the same prewar building across Lindell from SLU -- Nadoz is the casual-fare sheep of the family, offering simple and tasty provisions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and, most notably, brunch. The Sunday "50 items for $25" all-you-can-eat to-do includes a smashing array of pastries and desserts: chocolate sour cream muffins, triple-chocolate scones, fruit tarts and tiramisu. Reservations recommended.
Sister restaurant to Clayton's Café Napoli, Napoli 2 brings classic Italian dishes and atmosphere to Town and Country. Located at Clayton Road on Town and Country Crossing Drive, just west of Woods Mill Road, Napoli 2 offers fine dining and an attention to detail in an elegant setting. The menu features full-course meals, beginning with appetizers such as beef carpaccio and steamed mussels, and followed with a variety of soups and salads. Pasta dishes include a housemade pappardelle in a white- wine sauce with fresh vegetables and Parmesan, and tortellini stuffed with ricotta and spinach with prosciutto and peas in a vodka tomato-cream sauce. Second course offerings feature chicken, veal, steak and fish entrées, such as Marsala with sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers in a Marsala wine sauce and an eight-ounce filet mignon. Napoli 2 also contains a full wine cellar, which is available for private parties.
Located on Washington Avenue near the loft district and open from the evenings till 3 a.m. every day, Nara Café brings Mediterranean-style food and culture to downtown's trendy region. Their menu features standard Middle Eastern dishes including appetizers such as hummus and marinated olives and cheese, as well as larger plates including gyros, kabobs and a beef tenderloin served on sourdough with onions, peppers and mozzarella. Their other menu, the one that you can smoke, offers more than 100 varieties of flavored tobacco, including familiar scents such as jasmine, apple and vanilla, as well as many exotic flavors such as tequila sunrise or cherry amaretto. Nara Café patrons experience a laid-back, smoky atmosphere late into the evening and are entertained by belly dancers and DJs on weekends.
Nathalie Pettus brings the bounty of her Overlook Farms to the Central West End at Nathalie’s. The restaurant is truly farm-to-table: Nearly all of the ingredients, including the meat, are sourced directly from Overlook, hand-selected by Pettus and chef Jimmy Voss. Through his eclectic menu, Voss takes diners on a culinary world tour. There’s classic French, represented by rich and tender coq au vin; Greek moussaka al forno; Middle Eastern style vegetable kofta; and feijoda, the national dish of Brazil. The pate maison should not be missed. The house-made beef-liver pate is flecked with hazelnuts and served with a red-onion jam and traditional accompaniments. The food is only part of the story at Nathalie’s. The building, a magnificent 19th-century mansion, is one of the most ornate dining rooms in town. Venetian chandeliers hang from the ceilings, gold paint trims the walls and red roses decorate the white linen-clothed tables of the dining salons. (The term “dining room” just doesn’t do the space justice.) Even the restrooms are a sight to behold -- there’s even a marble fireplace in the ladies’ room. It’s a sight to behold.
"Owned and operated by Cara and Larry Stauffer, Native Stone is a 300 acre estate located on the Lewis & Clark Trail, nine miles northwest of Jefferson City on Highway 179. Native Stone is named in honor of an award-winning play, written by Jim Steerman, based on the lives of the Stauffer family's ancestors." (MissouriWine.org)
One of the newest members of the South Grand restaurant scene, St. Louis National Pizza opened in June 2010. The friendly pizza joint offers diners the choice of three styles: St. Louis, New York or Chicago deep dish. Toppings range from the standards (bacon, green peppers) to gourmet (shrimp, blue cheese). St. Louis National Pizza (a.k.a. Natty's) also offers its New York-style pizza by the slice and specialty pizzas, such as the Christine, which features marinated steak and red onions, and the South City, topped with extra virgin olive oil, goat cheese, figs and prosciutto.
Throw a bottle of Jameson in the air and you're bound to hit an Irish bar in this town. But the further south you go in the city, the harder they are to come by. Nellie Glenns keeps the dream alive. Nellie Glenns is open 'til three, but the bartenders reserve the right to kick you out at 2:15 if they feel like it. After a few of their double-sized shots, we're inclined to nod blearily in agreement with the sign: "God created liquor to keep the Irish from conquering the world." The menu features standard bar fare, including pretzel bites served with spicy cheese, nachos, salads and burgers. Nellie Glenns also offers pizza and sandwiches, such as the Gravois: grilled chicken with Swiss, bacon, onions, lettuce and tomato. And it all tastes even better with a drink or two.
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