Contemporary in St. Louis

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    The Restaurant at the Cheshire
    The Restaurant at the Cheshire is the flagship dining destination at the thoroughly (and expensively) renovated Cheshire hotel. The menu from executive chef Rex Hale nods at both the hotel’s heritage (a massive slab of prime rib with Yorkshire pudding on the side) and contemporary trends (grass-fed, locally sourced beef for the excellent New York strip steak). Overall the menu relies on upscale crowd pleasers: seared scallops, spit-roasted duck, ahi tuna crudo. Service is topnotch. Though the space is humungous, on a cold night, a table by the fireplace might be the coziest spot in town. Be advised: The only parking option on the restaurant property is valet ($4 plus tip).
    An elegant new wine bar in downtown Webster, Robust offers a wide selection of wines by the bottler or the glass. The list is categorized by the wine's profile - that is, robust or generous reds, crisp or luscious whites - rather than varietal or region, and each dish on the menu is matched to a specific profile or two. That menu features small dishes, most of which are meant to be shared: cheeses, cured meats and flatbreads. Items that sound like traditional entrées (roasted chicken, flatiron steak) are served in small portions.
    The Royale
    Over the last decade, the Royale has become a south city institution, anchoring the northwest corner of the Tower Grove South neighborhood. And it is a neighborhood bar in the best sense of the word. From donning a fancy hat or a seersucker suit for derby day to watching the election returns, under the watchful eyes of the Kennedy brothers whose portraits adorn the back bar, loyal customers return again and again. With an emphasis on local brew and classy cocktails, it’s easy to see why proprietor Steve Smith keeps everyone coming back. Kick back with a juicy burger or taco plate on one of the best patios in St. Louis. Stop in Sunday night for Cocktail Museum or any other night of the week for local DJ spins and other surprises. Try it, you might like it.

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