In 1999, Jimbo Sinovic opened the first Big Daddy's on the Landing and Soulard in the historic Soulard district, less than a half-mile from the iconic Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The eatery's drink specials and tasty pub staples—served for lunch, dinner, and late-night owl watching—established the bar as a neighborhood favorite and inspired its owner to declare it "The Best Bar in the Whole Wide World."
There's plenty of entertainment at Silver Creek Saloon & Grill: live bands perform throughout the week, and RedZone football games are broadcast on an oversize projector and nine flat-screen televisions. In the warmer months, visitors can play sports themselves, serving volleyballs across Silver Creek’s sandy court.
Lump crab cakes, steak sandwiches, and hand-breaded shrimp po’ boys are just a few of the snacks available to patrons who arrive hungry or who work up an appetite on the court. Bartenders mix cocktails and pour cold beers to slake thirsts indoors or on the outdoor patio. Groups of friends can also gather in the pub's private party room, which can be reserved without a fee.
A new player in the O'Fallon restaurant scene, K Pub & Grill shakes up the dining experience with an expansive pub menu and a smoke-free atmosphere. Pummel hunger pangs with the beef brisket in a zesty barbecue sauce ($13.99), or slap them with the chili-teriyaki-glazed tails of crispy fried jumbo shrimp (10 for $12.99). Seven specialty pizzas, including the Philly beef and cheese, slathered in A1 steak sauce ($15.99), vie silently for gustatory attention. A carnivorous theme runs through the menu, with wings available in barbecue pork ($6.99) and superhot chicken ($6.29). Flame-retardant mouths can test their strength by taking the hot-wings challenge, a 15-minute eat-off that ends with a photo on either the Wall of Champions or the Wall of Shame.
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 salchichón 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 sautéed 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.