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Just a couple blocks south of where the Old Barn used to stand, or the Checkerdome as some people remember it, or the St. Louis Arena as it had been officially christened, sits the Arena Bar & Grill. This Dogtown mainstay serves traditional bar fare, such as burgers, wings, fried mushrooms and a variety of sandwiches. Patrons can also enjoy the old Blues memorabilia throughout the establishment that celebrates its past as part of a Cheltenham tradition.
At Everest you'll find a mix of exotic Nepalese, Korean and Indian dishes prepared with only fresh, healthy ingredients hand-selected by chef Dr. Devi States. The menu is veg friendly and chock-full of organic vegetables: This is very much a health-conscious place, which means no processed foods or butter or heavy creams. Choose from the simple pleasures of mo-mos (steamed pork dumplings from Tibet) to the complex interplays of meat, vegetables and spices that fill daal, bhat, tarkari ra saag (a complete Nepalese meal: rice, meat, vegetables, pickled mango, a lemon wedge and a slice of cucumber). Everest also offers a lunch buffet every day but Monday, and with food this healthy, there's no reason not go back through for a second helping.
Cute but not cutesy, fancy but not fussy, Five is one of those quiet, half-hidden bistros where you wind up on a whim one weeknight, where no reservations (or jackets) are required, where the menu changes daily but you always know you'll find something tasty and fresh, simple yet surprising. Chef Anthony Devoti visits the markets each morning to bring back delights like Yukon Gold potato blini; risotto with lemon, Parmesan and arugula; and a radish, goat cheese and cilantro salad. Meats might be wild-caught Alaskan salmon, soy-and-citrus-marinated pork tenderloin or "duck two styles," a seared breast and a confit leg.
The Joe Boccardi's on Chouteau Avenue offers diners Italian food to go that would make Mr. Puzo proud. The carryout menu features several sandwich options, though it might not be wise to trust anyone who orders the Carlo, a turkey, bacon, Swiss and pesto number, or a Fredo, with its roast beef, peppers and onions, and Provel cheese. The Moe Green is one to keep an eye on, piled high with roast beef, ham, turkey and mozzarella. Of course, some sandwiches you just can't say no to, such as the Godfather, featuring a stack of Volpi salami, mortadella and prosciutto with provolone and olive spread. These Oscar-worthy sandwiches come on either a muffaletta bun or ciabatta roll. Similar themed salads, strombolis and pastas are also available, along with sundry Italian items in Joe Boccardi's Market.
CLOSED A handsome new space along Forest Park Southeast's resurgent Grove, Mia Rosa offers cicchetti - essentially, the Italian equivalent of tapas. Both cold and hot cicchetti are available. The latter are mostly smaller portions of familiar entrées, from osso buco to duck breast in a red-wine sauce. Monkfish wrapped in prosciutto is a standout, and the bruschetta of the day makes a fine accompaniment to a glass of red wine from the modest list. A raw bar, flatbread pizzas and an array of soups and salads are also available. At $3 each, desserts present a good value.
CLOSED "Gastropub" is a silly term. Better to say Newstead Tower Public House serves pub "grub" the way it should be: simple, hearty and utterly delicious. Ingredients are topnotch (grass-fed beef in the hamburger and steak frites are a highlight), and attention is paid to small details, from the three house-made mayonnaises that accompany the excellent beer-battered onion rings to the Brie on a cheese plate, properly runny. Executive chef and owner Anthony Devoti has already set up shop in the Grove neighborhood with the well-regarded Five, but at this friendly spot it feels like he's come home.
St. Louis might have more Irish pubs than shamrocks in a glen, but many of them aren't open after 1:30 a.m. That's what separates Nick's from the rest. It's a pub the way pubs are meant to be: cheap beer, cheap bar food and plenty of drunken fools banging mugs on the table to the beat of local musicians playing traditional Irish tunes late at night. Patrons can get a bite to eat at Nick's till midnight on Friday and Saturday. The full menu includes standard Irish pub food such as fish and chips and Shepard's pie. Wing fans have their work cut out for them with more than a dozen sauces to choose from and three different cooking styles. A big-screen TV lets the pub double as a cozy sports bar in the winter, and a large outdoor patio provides a comfortable spot in the summer.
Sanctuaria’s tapas-style menu, based on the flavors of Latin and South America, includes a modern twist and changes with the seasons. Produce and meats are often sourced locally, some from their own garden. The art of mixology is alive and well here — all cocktails are expertly handcrafted and served with a flourish. Sanctuaria’s Cocktail club features a Club Menu of 150 cocktails that's been nominated for World’s Best Cocktail Menu at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in 2011. Even the art is big - there are several 17th and 18th century pieces of art from churches around the world and prayers over 450 years old are painted on metal and in the main dining room.
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