At Piara Tandoori King, spicy sauces cover seafood and goat dishes alongside paneer—Indian-style cheese—and other herbivorous fare. Biryani entrees are filled with saffron-infused basmati rice laced with succulent meat or vegetable pieces, and flatbreads such as aloo paratha and naan are browned in a traditional tandoori oven, rather than a newfangled chocolate fountain. An all-you-can-eat lunch buffet lets diners sample diverse Southeast Asian flavors without settling on one, and yogurt-based mango lassis and other beverages neutralize the burn of spicy dishes.
A'mis Italian Restaurant garners compliments from area natives and transplants for its kitchen's mastery of regional pizzas ranging from hand-tossed New York–style pies to Chicago–style pizzas baked in a deep pie dish. St. Louis pizzas sport a thin-crust base that's sprinkled with a blend of provel cheese and mozzarella. All pizza dough is baked fresh every day in a brick oven. Entrees also include steak and pasta dishes, as well as lighter dinner options, such as grilled chicken or poached cod, that give diners fewer calories and grant increased aptitude for speaking in fishtongue.
At DeCarlo's Bar and Grill, chefs take an innovative approach to burger making. Rather than piling toppings on the outside of the burger, they stuff flavorful ingredients—such as pepper jack cheese, bacon, or jalapenos—directly between two quarter-pound patties. These signature burgers ooze juicy fillings and gossip with every bite, and they star on a menu of pub fare also populated by hearty sandwiches, fried appetizers, customized pizzas, and a variety of draft beers and cocktails.
With a welcoming atmosphere and a bountiful menu of hearty tavern fare, Madison's Cafe fills its guests with succulent pastas, grilled steaks, daily specials, and more. Chow down on lunchtime sandwiches such as the Missouri club, a mélange of ham, turkey, bacon, provel cheese, tomato, and lettuce bookended by toasted sourdough ($8.49). Tongues can arrange an impromptu meet-and-greet with the beef vernaise, a genteel portion of filet mignon sporting a tasteful chapeau of gulf shrimp and white wine sauce ($25.99). To fend off post-entree depression, diners are invited to revel in the welcoming tavernous maw of the bar for a digestif or polish off a satisfying meal with a sweet cheese strudel ($4.99) or scoop of spumoni ($2.99).
The doughsmiths at Cecil Whittaker’s Pizzeria craft thin-crust pizzas bubbling with an untouched surface of cheese or loaded with toppings such as jalapeño peppers, bacon, and shrimp. It’s their specialty and what they’re known for—“This is the place to go if you like St. Louis-style, thin-crust pizza (though they do offer a thick crust pizza, too) or just want to kick back and have a beer,” raves Metromix.
But the menu isn’t limited to pizzas. Each day, the kitchen roasts and slices tender beef for roast beef sandwiches dipped in savory au jus. The au jus is prepared in house, as is the meat sauce that graces Cecil Whittaker's pasta, chicken parmesan, and meatball sandwiches. There’s also a hearty selection of smokehouse dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, and brisket served with homestyle sides of green beans and coleslaw. A weekday lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. gives diners a chance to sample different entrees and sides–along with a salad and pizza bar–and creative additions the chefs cook up like sloppy joe's one day or bacon cheeseburgers the next.