In his 2010 review, Riverfront Times reporter Ian Froeb revealed the origin of Ernesto's Winebar?s distinctive name. Instead of honoring a chef or long-lost relative, the name pays homage to the owners' love for Ernest Hemingway's simplistic style. Chef Stephanie Hay has risen to the challenge, translating the clean complexity of The Sun Also Rises or the masculine energy of Green Hills of Africa into a menu of tapas and hearty entrees. Diverse flavor profiles mimic Papa Hemingway?s wanderlust, corralling global flavors including chili lime, wasabi tobiko, and even red pepper sauce to create festive tapas such as the truffle-infused grilled cheese, which was named the best grilled cheese of 2010 by Riverfront Times.
The cheese-and-charcuterie menu details hearty repasts from all corners of the globe, with plates of smoky blue cheese from Oregon and salchich?n white pork from Spain joining notes of green peppercorn, tomatillo, and even brown sugar for nods to Latin America and the Mediterranean. Ernesto's has also gone to great lengths to locate wine varietals from France, Germany, and Spain for pairing with large steaks and seafood entrees delicately saut?ed in a wide array of wine sauces.
Ernesto's butter-hued walls appear to melt in the light from wall sconces and flickering red candles. Above lush hardwood paneling, several framed photographs offer a glimpse of Hemingway at his most virile??aggressively writing at his desk, and using a large steak as a body pillow. For a touch of warmth during fall weather, patrons can also retreat outdoors, where a mammoth brick fireplace casts rich glow on Ernesto's sleek cobblestone patio.
Provoke your palate with empanadas de camarão, pastry-encased shrimp, cream sauce, and spicy tomato dipping sauce ($9), or let fresh mussels swim to your belly from a wine-bathed marisco buzios plate ($9). Yemanja Brasil's menu of Brazilian dinner bitables organizes proteins by their proper names: de carno/porco (beef/pork), do mar (seafood), de frango (chicken), or vegetariano. Feijoada de Ogum ($17), Brazil's national dish, is a stew of black beans, dried beef, smoked sausage, and pork ribs with rice and collard greens. Or get mouth mitts on frango minas with shredded chicken in a four-cheese raisin-cream sauce ($16). Vegetarians delight in the curried seasonal vegetables of arroz feijao botafogo ($11), whereas strict dessertists feel wholly respected with decadent layers of paveé da nena (champagne cookies layered with chocolate, egg-custard cream, and flavored whipped cream topped with chocolate sauce, $6).
Sometimes the only way to fully appreciate a beer is to see where it came from. Before popping into the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten, visitors of all ages can take a complimentary tour of the step-by-step brewing process in the historic brewhouse. When the tour comes to an end, stop by the Biergarten to sample from 18 suds on tap. The menu offers single-beer and four-beer-flight pairings for every appetizer and entree.
Pint glasses fill with fresh drafts of craft beers from Parma Grill and Tap's microbrewery while cooks prepare platters of Italian fare, such as lasagna and eggplant parmesan, inside the kitchen. A selection of specialty pizzas includes buffalo chicken with blue-cheese or ranch dipping sauce and Elizabeth's Favorite, a vegetable pizza topped with roasted eggplant and fresh tomatoes.
Led by executive chef Dylan Cunningham, the crew at Sage Urban American Grill works hard to shrink the eatery's carbon footprint by employing a number of green practices. First and foremost, they craft dishes using fresh ingredients from local harvests, including herbs plucked from the organic garden on the restaurant's outdoor dining patio. Second, the staff ensures all kitchen waste gets reused when possible, by composting food scraps, recycling recyclables, and setting aside fry oil for biofuel.
John Adam Lemp arrived in the United States in 1838, intent on seeking his new life and fortune. He established a grocery in St. Louis, but it was something else that catapulted him to success: a recipe for lager beer. The beer made his fortune, and the Lemps became one of the most wealthy, prominent families in St. Louis. As the money flowed in and the beer flowed out, Lemp decided to purchase a mansion where successive generations could rule their empire of breweries. That's exactly what they did, for a time.
Family fortunes began to turn, however, with the century. In 1901, the heir apparent to the family business died under mysterious circumstances, leading his father to take his own life in a mansion bedroom. The brewery persisted somewhat tenuously until Prohibition fell upon it like a hammer, shattering family fortunes. This led to a further spate of suicides, two of which were committed in the family mansion. The mansion's history of tragedy has led many to suppose that beneath its elegant, 100-year-old veneer are hiding dark secrets and supernatural presences.
Today, the parlor serves as a restaurant, richly appointed with original African mahogany and hand-painted ceiling murals. The rest of the house, though, is a venue for paranormal investigations and a stage for murder mystery dinner comedies. Many of the rooms even serve as guest suites for those brave enough to face ghosts dressed in Victorian-era undergarments.