If you follow the right cobblestones on the Landing, you'll end up in front of Jake's Steaks, an eatery known for serving steaks, barbecue, and burgers within a T-bone's throw of Sidewinders Saloon. As the name implies, the focus is on steak. The culinary crew collects wet-aged Angus beef to create artistic interpretations of meat—cowboy rib eyes with perfect marbling, for instance, and Kansas City strip steaks topped with house butter. Their magnum opus is The Bull, a 25-ounce bone-in fillet that, if finished, earns the eater a spot on the Wall of Fame and a new accomplishment to include on their Viking resumé. The kitchen also churns out dry-rubbed barbecue ribs and pulled-pork sandwiches made from meat infused with flavors from the steak house's own round-the-clock smokers.
Jake's stands just in front of Sidewinders Saloon, a bar that dispenses a bevy of tequila and beer. Throughout the week, the bar hosts theme nights with live music and karaoke, and on select nights holds the doors open until 3 a.m. The building's close proximity to Busch Stadium and The Arch make it a prime spot for postgame celebrations or steak-tossing competitions on the banks of the Mississippi.
The intimate Grove bar and performance venue plays host to a diverse mix of musical stylings, offering everything from up-and-coming hip-hop artists and bluegrass bands to under-the-radar rock, jazz, funk, pop, and reggae. Cover prices vary but are typically in the $5–$20 range. With a capacity that caps at about 300, the small space allows for ease of viewing and close-range undergarment flinging, guaranteeing your knickers will lasso the targeted drumstick every time. Every Wednesday at The Gramophone, the amateurs take to the stage in a weekly cover-free open-mic night; for the rhythmically possessed, the club hosts a bi-weekly DJ-spun dance party, allowing for ease of score-settling dance-offs or move-assisted seductions.
The chefs at Sir's Restaurant take great care of the barbecued meats that populate their menu, marinating beef briskets, pork, and ribs for two days before cooking them in outdoor smokers for no less than six hours. Sir's signature smoked ribs ($11.99), prepared with a 60-year-old family recipe, entice bites of fall-off-the-bone meat, and the St. Louis–style rib-tips dinner ($12.99) plates cuts of trimmed full-pork rib brisket bones tenderized for morsels softer than a verbal jab from a Care Bear. Wield a smoked turkey leg ($6.99) to stave off encroaching hunger pangs, or wrap mitts around a pulled-pork sandwich ($8.99) swaddled with homemade barbecue sauce and served on a buttered bun. Diners can choose from a variety of homemade sides to wingman their meals, including steamed veggies and mac 'n' cheese ($1.50 each).
Scents of pimento, scotch bonnet peppers, and jerk chicken and pork waft through the air at Mi Hungry Jamaican BBQ & Catering's two casual locations. The county location’s menu of barbecue and Jamaican fare “makes it a dining destination,” according to St. Louis Magazine, and the city location serves up a similar multicultural duet of spice and flavor. Barbecue rib tips and crispy snoot coexist with Jamaican beef patties and tender red snapper. Island specialties such as the curried goat and brown stew chicken get a special flair from owner Rueben, who was born in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
The modern flourishes on Copia's menu are grounded in the kind of American culinary tradition that chef Dave Rook knows best: raised in a family that ran a drive-in burgers-and-root-beer stand in Alton, Illinois, an appreciation for the comfortable side of dining runs in his blood. Globally inspired dashes of red chilies and champagne-goat-cheese cream take off from Midwestern classics, such as slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, house-smoked trout, and pork-rib chops.
Aided by a wine market whose bottles pour into the dining room at retail price, the downtown eatery aims to shuttle city dwellers directly into wine country with 18,000 square feet of exposed brick walls, wood-beam ceilings, and white tablecloths. Elsewhere within the rambling complex, natural light pours into an atrium garden, a glass waterfall neatly partitions off the bar to prevent diners from impulsively ordering every dish and drink they see, and stainless-steel vats age several of Copia's own wines. Much missed after a fire shuttered its initial incarnation, Copia was roundly welcomed back onto the St. Louis scene in 2010: among other praise, St. Louis Magazine called its calamari "as crispy-crunchy delectable as any seafood you’ll find in a New England clam shack" and its smoked ribs "the best upscale version of barbecue in the area."
You wouldn’t think that food could change a city. But that’s exactly what Travel + Leisure praises Mosaic for, declaring that its innovative dishes and inspired design scheme have helped bring the former urban industrial St. Louis Garment neighborhood from “grimy to glam.” Since the their 2004 opening in downtown St. Louis, Mosaic restaurants have sprouted up in airport and Des Peres locations, bringing with them the contemporary gourmet menu of founder and head chef, Claus Schmitz. The highly trained, award-winning culinary whiz folds fine ingredients into internationally inspired tapas, soups, and entrees, whipping up dishes such as roasted grass-fed bone marrow or sustainable Chilean sea bass and pairing them with seasonal cocktails and fine wines. Outside the kitchen, Schmitz’s dining room’s interior design is equally appealing, with high ceilings, a freestanding bar, and tall windows that stream in sunshine while filtering out the glares of the jealous, hungry cars parked outside.
Classic barbecue flavors abound at Randy’s House of Bar-B-Que, where cooks rub pork shoulders and brisket with a special seasoning blend before sending them into the smoker. They also smoke chicken and racks of ribs, adjusting cooking temperatures to unlock the meat's flavors while retaining natural juices. Sides of slaw and baked beans round out meals, which are served picnic-style, while afterward guests can enjoy desserts such as Who Dat's famous gooey butter cake. Visitors can also enjoy a full bar and live music every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon.