Winner of Mid Rivers Magazine's 2009 award for Best Pizza, 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.
A love of their community inspires Laura and Quincy Land, owners of The CoffeeHouse and Salon Systems. At their cozy café, they serve up piping-hot beverages culled from imported, fair-trade beans. Putting her expert barista skills to use, Laura meticulously brews drinks such as chai tea and cappuccino that tastily complement the freshly baked desserts she crafts daily. Adjoined to the coffeehouse is a quaint salon, where guests can enter to get milk mustaches trimmed after their meal.
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.
The culinary gurus at Thip’s Thai Cuisine blend pineapple, chili paste, and basil while churning out 50+ authentic curries, noodle entrees, and rice specialties. Patrons choose among chicken, pork, and tofu for nearly every dish, and upgrade to beef or shrimp to infuse their plates with a classic surf-and-turf vibe. Knives chop fresh veggies such as bell peppers, carrots, and green onions, which pile atop rice noodles and play water polo in steaming coconut milk.
A new player in the O'Fallon restaurant scene, K Pub & Grill shakes up the dining experience with an expansive pub menu and a smoke-free atmosphere. Pummel hunger pangs with the beef brisket in a zesty barbecue sauce ($13.99), or slap them with the chili-teriyaki-glazed tails of crispy fried jumbo shrimp (10 for $12.99). Seven specialty pizzas, including the Philly beef and cheese, slathered in A1 steak sauce ($15.99), vie silently for gustatory attention. A carnivorous theme runs through the menu, with wings available in barbecue pork ($6.99) and superhot chicken ($6.29). Flame-retardant mouths can test their strength by taking the hot-wings challenge, a 15-minute eat-off that ends with a photo on either the Wall of Champions or the Wall of Shame.
Treat generators at The Bakery Shoppe craft each bakery item and customized cake from scratch with natural ingredients. Hearty loaves of country-white ($2.88) and black-olive tomato bread ($4.48) sit juxtaposed against appetite teasers such as single turnovers ($1.49 each) and filled donuts ($0.85 each). Cookies on sticks ($2 each) serve as swords against hungry birds and as essential elements in birthday bouquets. Giant Elvis Presley cupcakes ($3 each) lull frosting eaters to sleep with their immense size and gentle ballads, and nonalcoholic chocolate-martini cocktail cupcakes (two for $6) induce visions of happy hours. Sink sweet teeth into french pastries such as Napoleons ($2.19 each) and crème puffs ($1.99 each) or an all-American caramel apple pie ($8.98 each).