The owners of Harry's Restaurant & Bar are just as passionate about music as they are about food. The restaurant hosts live music performances every Friday and Saturday night, as well as a summer Thursday-night concert series, and staff provide shuttle service to concerts and sporting events around town. In the kitchen, chefs fuel their guests for music appreciation with a range of casual American dishes. Using bread from Fazio's Bakery, they assemble steak burgers, creole-style grouper sandwiches, and their signature beef tenderloin sandwich. They also create regionally inspired entrees ranging from veal-mushroom ravioli to grilled salmon and Cajun-style chicken pasta.
Whether accompanied by a large private group, a few dinner companions, or just a few past and future versions of themselves, visitors to Harry's Restaurant can partake of food and drink in four areas. For special events, Harry's accommodates audio-visual needs in the Atrium, a private dining room with a historic fireplace. Meanwhile, the main bar features several wide-screen TVs, and a multi-level outdoor patio houses its own stage for live performance. The restaurant's onsite nightclub, Horizon, offers views of the St. Louis skyline.
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.
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.
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).
Though it sits squarely in St. Louis, Broadway Oyster Bar might as well inhabit New Orleans. Even from the outside, the 150-year-old building exudes the revelry of the French Quarter, as an art-deco neon sign emblazoned with music notes joins colorful string lanterns to form an illuminated invitation for patrons to come in and live a little. Of course, inside is where the Cajun atmosphere is most apparent, especially in whiffs of dishes named the favorite Cajun/creole cuisine of the Sauce Magazine readers? poll every year since 2003. Chef Brad Hagen's acclaimed recipes include marinated alligator with homemade tartar sauce, shucked oysters topped with spinach cream sauce, and fresh-baked Gambino's bread filled with traditional po' boy fixings, such as fried catfish and shrimp. Feasts unfold in a cozy dining room or an open-air patio enclosed and heated in winter. There, local and national musicians grace the stage seven nights a week to play funk and blues tunes, just like Mom used to.
Every Thursday through Saturday night, two pro piano players sit down at Jive and Wail's two baby grand pianos and proceed to bang out Top 40 hits from a plethora of eras, including time that has not yet come to pass, though these future-songs cannot be heard by present-day ears. Audience participation is not only encouraged but demanded by the dueling pianists—who are not above threatening their audience with atonal jazz if no song requests are forthcoming. Once you've made your request, the bar's high-tech sound system makes sure you won't miss it while refreshing your tipple at the full-service bar.