To the sounds of rollicking live piano music, Ragin Cajun Piano Bar celebrates the cuisine and culture of Louisiana with a tempting menu of crayfish, bourbon-glazed steaks, juicy burgers, and spicy andouille. Bowls of crayfish étouffée in a creamy roux and chicken wings slathered in a piquant voodoo sauce evoke images of the sunny South, and an open-air balcony and a second-story patio frame stunning views of a river town that shares the Mississippi with New Orleans. On weekends, live piano players bang out popular rock and pop tunes as patrons sing and dance along, contrasting with somber weekday lectures on the differences between English common law and Napoleonic code.
Globe lights hang from Delmar Lounge's red awning, beckoning nighthawks in to enjoy homestyle Cajun fare and live music late into the night. The kitchen churns out house-smoked barbecue ribs, southern-style shrimp and grits, and po boy sandwiches until 2 a.m. every night of the week, fortifying bodies and fueling feet in preparation for live DJ dance parties, jazz sets, and hourly potato sack races that sustain the convivial atmosphere until 3 a.m.
At each of Drunken Fish's upscale restaurants, chefs create traditional and specialty sushi, along with stir-frys and other Japanese entrees. Fresh tuna nigiri and 10 oz Teriyaki glazed strip steak make for tasty pairings with signature cocktails, such as the Madame Butterfly with raspberry vodka, mango puree, and pineapple juice. Drunken Fish has three convenient locations within St. Louis, each featuring modern decor.
Established in 1876, Charles P. Stanley Cigar Company and Lounge caters to tobacco enthusiasts with a variety of rolled cigars, which can be paired with libations from their full bar. Mosey through Stanley’s shelved humidor stocked with more than 1,000 cigars from such brands as Arturo Fuente, Rocky Patel, Ashton, and Romeo and Julieta, a company known for combining tobacco leaves grown by feuding families ($6.75+ each). After selecting a cigar, stroll to Charles’s full bar and order a mug of Guinness ($6), a glass of Crown Royal ($9), or a Jack Daniels and soda-pop mixture ($8). As guests puff and sip, they can admire the lounge’s 42’x12’ Cuban mural and the 21-foot ceiling equipped with an exhaust system before settling into an Italian leather couch to catch a game on one of the lounge's flat-screen TVs or to try lighting stogies with nothing but an imaginative spark.
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.
Al Waha is best known for their Bedouin cuisine, but also serves Afghan food and offers a hookah and full bar. The meal begins with a traditional cup of Bedouin coffee infused with cardamom; this is an important ritual in Bedouin hospitality that involves the host preparing the beans in the presence of guests. As such, the highest compliment of generosity in Bedouin culture is "he makes coffee from morn till night," whereas the most grievous insult is "the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup." Following this stimulating aperitif, diners can pass around plates of velvety musakaah ($5.50) and hummus ($4.99), both served with bread. From there, let your stomach wander to classic nomadic entrees such as tender butter chicken seasoned with chili pepper and served with creamy tomato sauce over a bed of basmati rice ($10.95). The Al Waha plate provides a sultan's feast of ground beef and pomegranate-tomato sauce piled high on top of raisins, crushed almonds, and dried-apricot-flecked rice ($9.95). In addition to vegetarian options such as kodar bleban (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, and green beans simmered in yogurt sauce with rice), many dishes can be prepared sans meat upon request. Cool concoctions such as mango lussy (sweet mango puree blended with cream) and irfa beljoze (cinnamon boiled in water and topped with coconuts and walnuts) wash down the salt and spice at $3.49 each and provide a delightful segue into a dessert of fruit-flavored hookah smoke.