The owners of Vino Vitae welcome newcomers and connoisseurs alike to the wide world of wine appreciation. They constantly research wines, sharing bottles not typically found in the aisles of grocery stores with groups during classes and tastings held indoors at their shop's bar or, in warm weather, on an outdoor patio. Guests may learn how to describe the scent of wine using an aroma wheel, how to judge quality, and other skills.
Llywelyn's menu introduces an impressive assortment of traditional pub classics to salads, flatbreads, wraps, and ambitiously portioned sandwiches. Start with an order of Welsh potato chips ($3.95); flaky, fried Irish pies ($7.95); beer-battered fried pub pickles ($7.25); or the much-talked-about chicken chili ($4.95 for a bowl). Then wrap mouth muscles around fish and chips ($10.25): two beer-battered and fried cod fillets served with house-made tartar sauce. From meaty chunks of lamb, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and green beans swimming in Guinness-Jameson stock ($9.95) to shepherd's pie ($10.95), the selections side well with a sudsy sip. The beer menu includes an exhaustive library of selections by the draft or bottle. Llywelyn's also offers a menu of kid-friendly fare.
• For $25, you get a ticket for seating in sections 107–112 (a $49.50 value before fees, or up to a $62.05 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $45, you get a ticket for seating in section 104 or 115 (a $99.50 value before fees, or up to a $113.25 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees).
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.
The chefs at D's Place add their own spin to three classic pub staples: wings, pizzas, and burgers. They toss their traditional and boneless chicken wings in 14 sauces, including Atomic and lemon pepper, and top pizzas with ingredients such as whole pieces of roasted garlic, and hamburger. When not sprinkled onto pizzas, hamburger meat arrives in the form of half-pound patties.
Glasses rise in toasts full of domestic beers and cocktails in the exposed-brick dining room. After meals, guests can enjoy weekly rounds of karaoke and trivia, vie for a hole in one during games of PowerPutt, or play rounds of skeeball for rewards such as free beer or pizza.
After becoming the full-fledged proprietor of Soulard's Restaurant, Tim Badock fused his family restaurant's tradition of serving upscale homestyle fare with an approachable yet elegant dining space. Head chef Russel Byers draws inspiration from New Orleans cuisine to conjure up plates of expertly seasoned seafood and succulent steaks and poultry, as well as fresh salads and hearty sandwiches. In the main downstairs dining area, oceans of warm light bathe marble-topped bars and ruddy brick walls as two suits of armor stand guard at the fireplace to protect diners against Santa Claus infestations. Upstairs, a private dining area dazzles eyeparts with views of St. Louis's picturesque brickscapes and parabolic Gateway Arch.