Nestled in the Silent Forest?a place rich with local legends and tall tales?Hidden Lake Winery and Banquet Center carves out a cozy spot among the canopy of trees. The rustic lodge plays host to tastings where folks sample a selection of the winery's award-winning, hand-crafted wines. Each of the varietals is made from locally-grown fruits and bottled on-site. On weekends, chefs craft dishes from a quaint menu to pair with the wines, such as artisanal flatbreads, spinach-artichoke dip, and crispy deep-fried ravioli. For folks who'd like to make a weekend of it, Hidden Lake opens up deluxe cabins complete with jacuzzis and fireplaces.
"For many Cardinals fans, Mike Shannon has become as much a part of Cardinals baseball as the 'Birds on the Bat,'" Cardinals chairman William O. Dewitt, Jr. once said. Since playing his first Major League game as a Cardinal in 1962, Mike Shannon has stayed with the organization for more than 50 years. Beyond playing on three World Series teams and becoming an Emmy-winning sportscaster, Shannon has left his mark on the local sports culture with his eponymous restaurant.
As guests walk into Mike Shannon's Grill, repurposed gym lights glint off a trophy case stocked with awards from Shannon's personal collection. On another wall, more than 500 baseballs bear the autographs of greats like Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Mickey Mantle. The Grill is far from a kitschy sports bar, however?in one room, guests sip pisco sours at a beautiful zinc bar set against walls the hue of a night-game sky; in another, they cut into steak oscar at lamplit tables in stately leather booths.
Though the menu does have an upscale slant?roast chicken with brussels sprouts, seared jumbo scallops?there's burgers and fries, too, which guests can dig into as they watch the game on one of the 18 flat-screen TVs. Outside, they can sip beers around the firepit or their most narcissistic friend on a patio that overlooks the Park at Plum Creek.
Executive Chef James Solomon and owner Dino Karagiannis enrich each of The Tenderloin Room's charbroiled steaks?from New York strip sirloins to porterhouses?with a special blend of seasonings, taken from a secret Karagiannis family recipe. With these tender slabs as its focal point, Chef Solomon builds the rest of his menu around other choice meats such as grilled lamb and seafood including broiled tilapia.
To help wash down each juicy bite, bartender Mary?Dino's oldest daughter? keeps domestic and imported wines on hand. She uncorks selections beneath a shimmering stained glass ceiling, one of several touches that evokes an elegant atmosphere like steakhouses of old. Eleni ?Dino's youngest daughter? greets you at the door, revealing chandeliers illuminating three dining rooms, shedding light on polished wood, wraparound booths, and comfy chairs that have consumed the loose change of stars such as Frank Sinatra and George Clooney.
Though upgraded and modernized with new amenities, Sam’s Steakhouse is housed in an early-20th-century building and preserves an Old World charm while offering a selection of succulent steaks. Patrons can sidle up to a wooden bar or sit beneath soft track lighting at a table near a gently crackling fireplace. Large banquet settings and private party rooms are also available to host larger parties. Soft music enhances the atmosphere as appetizers such as lobster ravioli and shrimp fromage pave roads toward massive 24-ounce porterhouse steaks and fried lobster tails accompanied by delicate wines.
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).
Servers bearing 3-foot skewers of slow-cooked meat circulate the dining room looking for green ?go? cards. When diners flash them, they arrive at tables and carve slices of top sirloin, lamb, pork, and chicken?each smoked over mesquite wood?until they?re told to stop. Although the restaurant undoubtedly caters to carnivores, guests who prefer veggies can munch on meatless feasts composed of 35 different items, including caramelized bananas, Brazilian mashed potatoes, and pasta.