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.
Kota’s menu of cruise-ship-sized portions (half and whole orders available for dinner) starts your Caribbean mouthcation with an order of Kota barbecue-duck and wild-mushroom quesadillas ($9) and some island chicken wings with Jamaican jerk spices ($8) before taking a shortcut to the Pacific with a coconut-curry duck linguini tossed with portobello mushrooms, baby spinach, peppers, and shredded duck (half plate $11, full $15). Although Lycanthropic Americans relish espresso-rubbed beef filet medallions (half plate $15, full $20) smothered in blue-cheese cream and served with fresh asparagus, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and crispy onion straws; herbivores can also savor the smoky, flavorful effects of wood-fire grilling with the cheese-drizzled hickory-fired vegetable orzo (half plate $11, full $15). For something a little closer to home, cubicle-farm escapees can score a Louisiana-style lunch with the N’awlins po’ boy ($9.50), which piles your choice of oyster, shrimp, or catfish into a toasted baguette with remoulade. Neither meal is complete without a dessert of Kota’s specialty milkshakes, so get in your daily recommended dosage of pastel colors with the Miami Vice (strawberry and piña colada with coconut and pineapple, $6) or blow out your stomach’s TV with an Elvis in the House (chocolate-banana shake with Reese's peanut-butter cup pieces, $6).
The idea that you can only get good Cajun food in Louisiana has been challenged. The chefs at J. Gumbo's craft classic creole and Cajun dishes, balancing heat and spice with skill. Homestyle gumbo begins with a deep brown roux and, like viewing The Big Easy both forward and backward, takes about four hours to complete. Crawfish ?touff?e teems with the plump shellfish while jambalaya is made creole style with shredded chicken and sausage. Chefs pile these into bowls atop a bed of rice, and diners who can't decide can opt for two or even three options in one bowl.
The eatery itself is intimate and casual. On the walls hang New Orleans?inspired art, such as a crawfish wearing a chef hat and Mardi Gras masks and beads. Diners are also welcome to scrawl their names in between the art, and they often write messages commemorating their visit or love letters to the chef written in French.
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.
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Tucker's Place is 'The place for steaks' and famous for their original lemon pepper dressing which sells in major grocery chains and other stores. They have been serving traditional American cuisine for over 30 years. They also have a small bar. This location is in Soulard, a historic area of St. Louis, and is the original of what is now in three locations. There is deep history in the building that still has its original brick, wall-to-wall woodwork, and gas fireplaces, all of which makes for a warm atmosphere. They won many 'Best Steak', 'Best Value' and 'Best Steakhouse' awards from 1984 to 2014. If you're going to have a steak, why not enjoy the best at Tucker's Place?