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).
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.
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.
Triumph Grill's eclectic menu of lunch and dinner fare tosses a melting pot of international flavors through a sausage grinder of American comfort food for a bold, contemporary dining experience. Upgrade mallrat memories with a shareable starter of Milwaukee’s finest soft pretzels ($6)—served with tangy dijon and Guinness dipping sauce and house-made potato chips—and a cup or bowl of creamy forest mushroom and leek bisque ($4/$5.50) before heading to a savory sandwich, gooey melt, or enticing entree. The smoked shrimp enchiladas ($16)—a shrimp-stuffed crêpe filled with roasted corn, avocado, and green chile cream sauce, with a side of cilantro rice pilaf—whisk rowdy coed taste buds south of the border for spring break, while the grilled vegetable and three-cheese lasagna ($15) sates the sober salivary glands of mature herbivores. Even Triumph's classic burgers showcase culinary imagination; the ISDT Burger ($9) is topped with melty gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and roasted garlic mayonnaise before luxuriating languidly on a divan of toasted brioche.
The Precinct takes its name from the nearby St. Louis Police Department headquarters. Though that proximity inspires the decor and a few police-themed puns on the menu, such as the Hot Pursuit Wing Challenge, the restaurant focuses more on serving good food and drink than on a gimmick. Local baseball legend Jim Edmonds co-owns the eatery, and he hired St. Louis native and culinary whiz Ben Welch to put together the menu. Welch opted for a friendly, down-to-earth array of barbecue, flatbreads, wings, and steak burgers, using fine ingredients to make the simple fare even more delicious. The eats are paired with an array of beers on tap and a handful of craft cocktails, including the Lucille Ball, a glass of Angry Orchard cider spiced up with Tanqueray 10 gin and ginger liqueur.
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).