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.
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).
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).
From its lobby-level outpost in the majestic Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch, 400 Olive serves executive chef Michael Smith's renditions of American and Italian favorites made with locally sourced ingredients. Smith's background growing up on a small-town farm is what informs much of the food he serves?andinstilled in him a preference for farm-to-table local ingredients. His other great influence is the time he spent spent studying Italian gastronomy at the Culinary Institute of Florence, which surfaces in the menu's pastas, bruschetta, and eggplant parmigiana. But local favorites don't get short shrift either: St. Louis?style smokehouse ribs give diners an upscale taste of one of the city's most famous dishes. Beyond the menu, the dining room's Greek revival columns and extra-high ceilings ooze elegance and call back to an earlier time when the building?built in 1889?housed a bank.
When most people think of art, their minds may fill with images of famous paintings or sculptures. But at Prime 1000, diners alight on a different kind of art––one the eatery dubs "the art of steak." With this approach, each dish is painstakingly prepared, with special attention paid to its presentation, which may include sprigs of fresh parsley or the autograph of da Vinci across a T-bone. Steaks are carefully selected for their flavor and tenderness, whether they hail from Australia or the nearby grassy fields of Missouri.
You wouldn’t think that food could change a city. But that’s exactly what Travel + Leisure praises Mosaic for, declaring that its innovative dishes and inspired design scheme have helped bring the former urban industrial St. Louis Garment neighborhood from “grimy to glam.” Since the their 2004 opening in downtown St. Louis, Mosaic restaurants have sprouted up in airport and Des Peres locations, bringing with them the contemporary gourmet menu of founder and head chef, Claus Schmitz. The highly trained, award-winning culinary whiz folds fine ingredients into internationally inspired tapas, soups, and entrees, whipping up dishes such as roasted grass-fed bone marrow or sustainable Chilean sea bass and pairing them with seasonal cocktails and fine wines. Outside the kitchen, Schmitz’s dining room’s interior design is equally appealing, with high ceilings, a freestanding bar, and tall windows that stream in sunshine while filtering out the glares of the jealous, hungry cars parked outside.