Drawing on his Thai heritage and more than 20 years of experience behind the grill, Executive Chef Manop Vasant showcases the flavors and traditions of Southeast Asia while sizzling up morsels of meat and veggies behind tableside hibachi grills. Chefs showboat as they slice, dice, and sizzle up patrons' meals and incriminating photographs across the hot iron griddles. Kitchen cooks whip up rice noodles and curry, and sushi chefs coil thin, sashimi-style slices of tuna, avocado, and cucumber in edible rice and seaweed cylinders.
At Bacana Brasil, diners pay a flat fee for unlimited grilled meats, salads, and side dishes. Grill chefs circulate around the rustic and elegant dining area, slicing meat onto plates until feasters can feast no longer, as indicated by a frowny-faced emoticon painted onto a plate using steak sauce. The focused menu features 13 grilled meats, including top sirloin, fillet, bacon-wrapped chicken, sausage, pork, lamb, shrimp, and brisket. On top of that, patrons can grab unlimited salads, hot side dishes, desserts, and roasted banana and pineapple from a buffet. All-you-can-eat dinners are $29.95 Monday through Thursday nights and $31.95 Friday through Sunday. To help a dry palate or dryer conversation, toss back a glass of Argentinean cabernet ($7), Australian shiraz ($10), or a Brazilian beer such as Xingu Black or Palma Louca ($4 each).
Though cafes and steakhouses may offer different fare, they both excel at the same thing: creating a cozy, welcoming vibe. In 2006, Joe and Dana Gisi opened Jilly's, a cafe?steakhouse hybrid brimming with family-friendly comfort. With its romantic yet casual atmosphere, the restaurant offers food fit for its dual personality. Homemade yet artfully presented, items range from center-cut pork chops and 14-ounce ribeyes to salads, burgers, and hearty pastas. Visitors can explore these dishes while having a drink and relaxing at the mahogany bar, or they can opt for the quiet, softly lit dining room?the ideal setting for an intimate date or laid-back parent-teacher conference.
Servers bearing 3-foot skewers of slow-cooked meat circulate the dining room looking for green ?go? cards. When diners flash them, they arrive at tables and carve slices of top sirloin, lamb, pork, and chicken?each smoked over mesquite wood?until they?re told to stop. Although the restaurant undoubtedly caters to carnivores, guests who prefer veggies can munch on meatless feasts composed of 35 different items, including caramelized bananas, Brazilian mashed potatoes, and pasta.
"For many Cardinals fans, Mike Shannon has become as much a part of Cardinals baseball as the 'Birds on the Bat,'" Cardinals chairman William O. Dewitt, Jr. once said. Shannon played his first Major League game as a Cardinal in 1962, and took the field as part of three World Series teams. And he's stayed part of the organization for more than 50 years, moving from the dugout to the broadcasting booth, and becoming an Emmy-winning sportscaster in the process.
Today, Mike Shannon continues to celebrate his Cardinals legacy at his eponymous sports bar. Visitors are greeted at the entry by a trophy case stocked with awards from Shannon's personal collection, illuminated by repurposed gym lights. On another wall, more than 500 baseballs bear the autographs of greats including Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Mickey Mantle. The Grill is far from a kitschy sports bar, however?in one room, guests sip pisco sours at a gleaming zinc bar set against walls the hue of a night-game sky; in another, they cut into steak oscar at lamplit tables in stately leather booths.
Though the menu does have an upscale slant?featuring classic dishes such as roast chicken with brussels sprouts and seared jumbo scallops?there's burgers and fries, too, which diners dig into as they watch the game on one of the 18 flat-screen TVs. Outside, they can sip beers around the firepit or their neediest friend on a patio that overlooks the Park at Plum Creek.
Executive Chef James Solomon and owner Dino Karagiannis enrich each of The Tenderloin Room's charbroiled steaks?from New York strip sirloins to porterhouses?with a special blend of seasonings, taken from a secret Karagiannis family recipe. With these tender slabs as its focal point, Chef Solomon builds the rest of his menu around other choice meats such as grilled lamb and seafood including broiled tilapia.
To help wash down each juicy bite, bartender Mary?Dino's oldest daughter? keeps domestic and imported wines on hand. She uncorks selections beneath a shimmering stained glass ceiling, one of several touches that evokes an elegant atmosphere like steakhouses of old. Eleni ?Dino's youngest daughter? greets you at the door, revealing chandeliers illuminating three dining rooms, shedding light on polished wood, wraparound booths, and comfy chairs that have consumed the loose change of stars such as Frank Sinatra and George Clooney.