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17th Street Bar & Grill 1711 West Highway 50, O'Fallon, Illinois; 618-622-1717. Mike Mills has been named grand champion at the annual Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (a.k.a. the Super Bowl of Swine) three times -- a dynasty as notable as the Yankees of the late 1990s or the Patriots of this decade. His trademark sauce is a coppery brown, layered with flavor and applied with proper restraint. Two- and three-meat plates allow you to sample several different meats (brisket, chicken, pork shoulder, spicy smoked beef sausage), but the standout dish is the baby back ribs. Smoked in a pit over apple- and cherry-wood for as long as seven hours, Mills' ribs taste like pork raised on pure autumn sunshine.
Though unassuming and simple from the outside, 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar provides outstanding hospitality, more than 700 wines and one of the best beer lists in the city. The result is a relaxing yet engaging opportunity to sip, contemplate or just plain drink your vino. Though lacking a full menu, there's a nice array of cheese, cured meats and crackers to hold you over. Pricing is great, with bottles marked up just $9 over 33's very competitive "take home" prices (it is a wine shop, too), which makes 33 a great place to go big on a specialty bottle. The oft-rotating draft selection, along with the list of bottled brew, highlights great beers both American and imported, many of which are rarely available on tap locally.
Located in the spacious, open lobby of the Merchant's Laclede building, which also happens to be home to the boutique, luxurious Hilton hotel, 400 Olive offers diners an upscale casual dining experience. This "urban grille" takes advantage of its location by placing diners in an elevated corner of the hotel's atmospheric charm. Lunch options include pastas, burgers and sandwiches, including a grilled crab cake sandwich and a seared tuna sandwich. Dinner entrees feature a filet, a rib eye and a tuna steak, as well as a maple-glazed pork loin and a macadamia nut-crusted salmon. 400 Olive also prepares an Amber Bock onion soup, with gruyère and provolone cheeses, and a cheesecake, savory not sweet, of smoked trout, served with an onion relish. Coffee and various desserts are also available.
801 Chophouse’s super-size steaks are the most expensive meal in town — and that seems to be the point. The restaurant peddles opulence to holders of corporate cards, as well as regular folks who want to feel like royalty (at least for a day). For the price tag, diners will receive impeccable service, fine wines and shamefully large cuts of beef. Bone-in selections are the best offerings: The strip, rib eye, pork and veal all benefit from the extra flavor (and thicker cut). 801 Chophouse offers a variety of steak enhancements, from Oscar-style with crab and béarnaise to a bone-marrow bath. However, the high-quality steaks and chops are delicious enough on their own. Seafood is incredibly fresh, and the oysters taste straight from the coast. Side dishes are served a la carte: The creamy scalloped potatoes and lobster macaroni & cheese are excellent options — just make sure to ask for a half order so you can save room for the Grand Mariner soufflé.
A neighborhood joint that offers pizza in four different styles: St. Louis (naturally), Chicago, New York and New York-Manhattan. That last distinction is crucial: Bite into a massive slice of the greasy, goopy Manhattan-style pizza and you'll swear you're in Brooklyn or Queens. Order anything else and you'll swear you're in Rock Hill, but you'll be happy to be there. A'mis also features a fairly extensive menu of pastas, sandwiches and dinner entrées. A great place to take the family for a weekday diner, and the ideal spot for that lunchtime pizza fix.
St. Louis has approximately 1 million Italian restaurants, but nothing like Acero. Here you don't choose between the red sauce or the white, and you won't find Provel on anything. Sample salumi from the nation's top artisanal producers, or share a quartino of Amarone wine with a special someone. Pasta dishes, especially, are exquisite - small portions crafted with incredible attention to detail; polenta is poured tableside onto a marble slab and then topped with one of several sumptuous sauces. You're meant to order in the traditional Italian style - antipasto, pasta, then entrée -- but there are no rules except to celebrate the sheer joy of good food and wine.
A cocoon of comfort - even elegance -hidden in a Chesterfield strip mall. The menu at Addie's Thai House generally hews to the template of St. Louis-area Thai restaurants, but it's worth veering off course to try one of the house specialties - like gang kua ped yang, an incredible red curry with duck breast, or soft-shell crab pan-fried in a garlic-pepper sauce. If the other dishes are conventional, they are no less outstanding, especially the assertive green curry. Without question, one of St. Louis' best Thai restaurants.
You don't get to eat a giant snail every day. Or, for that matter, yam porridge or fried plantains or palm juice. Unless, that is, you visit African Palace, one of the few local African restaurants that offers an alternative to Ethiopian cuisine. A thick sauce made from red bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, olive oil and lots of atarodo peppers is liberally employed in many of the dishes, from soups to gizzards to wings (and that giant snail). For an entrée, try the meat-and-rice-based jollof (prepared, like most of the main courses, with your choice of beef, chicken or fish), or the Daily Special (which is the same every day): a brightly flavored stew that unites dried cod, chicken and tripe with greens and that rich pepper sauce. Bonus: On weekends, African Palace becomes a nightclub, featuring reggae and world-beat music.
Built by Adolphus Busch around 1914, this magnificent example of the beer-baron-bravado style of architecture now features competent lighter, updated versions of classic German cooking mixed in with basic steaks and seafood, along with a quintessential apple strudel for dessert.
Al's Restaurant Just north of the flashy Lumière Place downtown lies Al's Restaurant, which has enjoyed its home along the riverfront for 85 years. The upscale restaurant serves all the perennial favorites, including escargot, lobster tails and steak tartar for starters. Al's only serves dinner, which offers a selection of steaks such as steak Diane and filet mignon or the "Italian Dinner" -- a filet alongside veal parmigiano. Not in the mood for steak? No problem: Al's also offers a variety of veal preparations, pork chops seafood and duck breast among their entrees. Reservations are recommended.
A promised land of milk and honey and falafel, Al-Tarboush is the perfect pilgrimage for hungry folk without much cash. Half grocery, half counter-service diner, it has only a few tables, and some of the menu items (e.g. the tabbouleh) come right out of the refrigerated case. Other Middle Eastern goodies include stuffed grape leaves; meat, spinach and cheese pies; and hummus.
Open during lunch and dinner hours only, Almonds' Dixie-tinged menu brings a little soul and a lot of comfort food to Clayton with entrée choices that include smoked trout and pan-fried chicken. The lunch menu allows diners to build their own wood-fired quesadilla or pizza, while the dinner menu offers gumbo, smoked trout and fried chicken, to name a few. Almonds' offers friendly and welcoming service but does recommend reservations.
504 total results

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