Cini, named for the Italian street food arancini, packs its menu with a variety of these traditional rice balls that are crispy on the outside and packed with fresh veggies and meat on the inside. Guests first pick their cini of choice as their appetizer, with options including the Original packed with sausage and peas, a Primavera cini with zucchini and squash, or the four-cheese rice ball. From there, customers can select a base for their main meal, choosing either a thin-crust wrap called a piadina, a bowl of angel-hair or penne pasta, or a salad bowl of mixed greens. The wrap, pasta, or salad is then topped with a grill item such as meatballs, salmon, or steak and then adorned with a choice of hot or cold sauces such as fresh basil pesto, pomodoro, or creamy parmesan. And for dessert, the meal comes full circle with the addition of a sweet cini stuffed with hazelnut chocolate and sweet arborio rice.
At Time Out Bar & Grill, patrons sip beers and cocktails over friendly games of pool, scarf down appetizers of chicken tenders and toasted ravioli, and wrap their hands around meaty half-pound burgers. Diners quell hunger pangs with savory bowls of pasta or plates of cheesy pizza, or take on the ocean's most—skewers, salads, and pastas made with blackened shark.
The Soulard building has come a long way since its days as a turn-of-the-century shoe factory. Its newest tenants, however, still pay homage to their space’s industrial origins, keeping the original concrete pillars and exposed brick walls in Franco's dining room. That isn't to say the owners scoff at modernity—they've updated the charmingly rustic environs with sleek, undulating light fixtures. This balance between past and future extends to the cuisine, which has been lauded by St. Louis Magazine as a “minor masterpiece.” Chefs spotlight classic French meats and cheeses and infuse them with Midwestern flourishes such as molasses-bourbon gastrique sauce. Additionally, servers happily recommend wine pairings or the best wine bottles for trapping genies, a feat that earned Franco’s staff the Best Service in a Restaurant award from Riverfront Times.
Since a menu comprised entirely of mouth-watering steak would be both unimaginative and difficult to read if overcooked, Chef Andrew Shrensker lets 15 Steakhouse's diners choose from a wide range of favorably flavored menu options made fresh from rotating, seasonal ingredients. Lead off with some toasted chorizo dumplings dipped in tomato jam ($8)—or skip the appe-teasers entirely and head straight for home plate with options such as build-your-own burgers or one of Jim Edmonds' 14 oz. rib eye steaks ($29). If you want to separate the men from the boys without dividing the turf from the surf, combine beer battered ribs ($9) and pesto crusted salmon ($20). A lengthy list of sides lets you pair your main plate with wild mushrooms, cheddar, garlic or butter mashed potatoes, fries with buttermilk basil peppercorn aioli, or mac 'n' cheese ($5 each).
The chefs at Kobe Steak House of Japan practice the delicious art of teppanyaki grilling. The spectacle happens at every table, where expert personal chefs flip foodstuffs into the air and saut? veggies before diners' very eyes. Specialties on the dinner menu include the filet and scallops combo and the USDA strip-loin steak and salmon pairing. Vegetarians can consider the veggie delight platter, with ingredients cooked until crispy-tender. Purists at heart, the staffers reject the use of microwaves and prosthetic extra arms in cooking, and all of their sauces are prepared in-house with fresh ingredients.
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.