Van Goghz, a martini bar and bistro that one St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer called “a hidden gem”, is known for its trendy ambience and for cocktails such as the pomegranate cheesecake martini. Diners can pair sips of mixed drinks or wine with bites of bacon-wrapped steak, burgers topped with fried onion petals and whiskey sauce, or vegetarian specialties like the grilled portobello sandwich with spinach, artichokes, sunflower seeds, and Italian cheeses.
Serving what the Riverfront Times calls "jazzed-up American-grill standards," Fox Park Grille infuses its starters, sandwiches, and wings with signature touches. The grill's casual atmosphere ushers sports fans and foodies alike to its tables, where burgers stuffed with american, blue, and swiss cheese challenge hands to heft their kaiser rolls. From the meatballs to the sauces, including roasted red pepper, honey mustard, and marinara, the kitchen crafts many eats in-house and remains open until at least 10 p.m. six days a week.
Aside from innovative bar fare, Fox Park Grille also specializes in evening entertainment. Guests vie for the top spot during Wednesday trivia nights, and karaoke singers take the stage on Thursday and Friday. On Saturdays, DJ Rayn spins songs from the ’80s and ’90s for a nostalgic dance party that segues into a fight club for former prom kings.
With more than 11 years of cross-country dance experience, Almas Del Ritmo Dance Company LLC's artistic director and certified Zumba instructor Carmen Guynn promotes cultural awareness during a range of Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance classes, including Zumba, salsa, and bachata. The dance haven derives its name from the Spanish words for soul and rhythm, which Guynn hopes will inspire her students to summon their inner selves on the dance floor without toting along heavy x-ray machines. In addition, the studio donates money to charities such as International Crisis Aid, Feed the City, and the Ronald McDonald House.
A mix of sleek, brightly colored stools and weathered wooden tables creates a rustic, yet modern look inside The Purple Martin. And a mix of new and old is exactly what guests can expect from the executive chef, whose creative bistro dishes often incorporate traditional Mediterranean spices and flavors. The signature house dish is a Tunisian chickpea stew called lablabi. Chefs ladle cups of it atop a slice of bread, which soaks up the rich flavors of savory garlic and cumin broth, and top the bowl with a poached egg. For lighter dishes, chefs toss sprigs of arugula with purple beets and orange slices before drizzling the entire mixture in a North-African vinaigrette. They also shave off thin slices of seasoned lamb to tuck into doner kebabs or inscribe with secret messages marked "eat after reading."
Host to regular erotic art shows and sex-positive social events, Shameless Grounds serves up a dose of radical inclusiveness alongside its frothy espresso drinks. Customers 18 and older rappel down the human-sexuality lending library's bookshelves with care so as not to spill foamy lattes (a $3 value) or bold americanos (a $2.55 value) on erotic photography and gender-studies tomes. Alternatively, the S'creamer (a $3.85 value) combines ice cream and espresso with rich chocolate sauce for a dessert easily sipped during rounds of kinky bingo, fetish-themed karaoke nights, and other sex-positive events.
The product of an artistically inclined married couple with a passion for all-natural foods, SweetArt boasts a menu of organic and homemade cookies, cupcakes, cakes, sandwiches, and wraps, with an all-vegetarian lunch menu that features a bounty of vegan options. Co-founder Cbabi's colorful paintings cover the neighborhood bakeshop and art studio's sun-kissed, bright walls, making it a lovely locale to bust out your idea journal over a vegan Sweet burger ($7.25) paired with a spicy cup of flad ($3.95), Sweet Art's house-made, vegan, three-bean chili loaded with chunky sweet potatoes. The grilled Klemm ($5.95) is served stuffed with cheese, fresh broccoli, and roasted garlic, while the vegan Botanical ($6.85) swaddles baked tofu, black sesame seeds, cilantro, spicy peanut sauce, and veggies.