Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dine Around: St. Louis

Since January, I've traveled to St. Louis once a month for work. Although I've lived only four hours away by car for thirteen years, I had only been across the state three or four times to visit the Gateway to the West. Of course, my first concern with getting to know this city, where I work half my job in, was finding the best places to eat. While I still have a lot more research to do, poor me, I did find a few noteworthy places that you might want to check out if you ever find yourself in the Lou. (I know, that nickname is awful but I've heard it said!)
Baileys' Range: In addition to their proper use of punctuation, this burger and shake spot was a great find for dinner. Although my meal was intended for one, I could've easily fed three. Starting off with the smoked onion rings and a Rosemary Paloma cocktail (bottom left), I should have stopped while I was ahead. Instead, I piled in a whiskey BBQ style veggie burger and a hot fudge, homemade peanut butter ice cream sundae. Everything was so good but I was literally in pain when I left. Next time I am in town, I am planning on revisiting and going easier on the menu.
Sauce on the Side: I love pizza, so naturally, I am also a fan of its eat-on-the-go cousin, the calzone. At Sauce on the Side you can choose from a variety of pre-decided combinations or make your own 'zone. I chose the latter and had a artichoke heart, pineapple combo with garlic and marinara sauces on the side. As someone who often thinks there is too much sauce on things, I found this to be a great compromise. Casual with a local beer on the side, this was a great place to dine alone.
Mango Peruvian Cuisine: Home to the best pisco sour I've ever had, I enjoyed this restaurant immensely, if only because I wasn't eating alone as my boss shared this spot with me, one of her favorites. I ordered the sea bass ceviche (left) which was perfectly spicy without numbing my mouth and the Ensalada de Palta which had a generous amount of fresh avocado and a dreamy citrus dressing. It was all so healthy and fresh, I topped off my meal with a delicious slice of chocolate layer cake. I will definitely be back!
Copia Restaurant & Wine Garden: The last dinner of my past trip was at this Italian wine garden. With the exception of the ballgown-festooned mannequins standing around the dining room, this place was great. You can't really go wrong with arancini (flash-fried garlic, herb, parmesan risotto balls, tossed in grated parmesan cheese over tomato cream sauce) and a French 75 cocktail (which the bartender had to look up, but he followed the recipe perfectly). After my appetizer, I tried king crab legs for the first time. Although the photo doesn't really do them justice, they were very good (a close second to lobster for me) and were served with steamed asparagus and whipped potatoes. Yum!
If you live in St. Louis or have been enough to have some recommendations, I'm all ears and will be back to try them out in May. Thanks for stopping by!

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