According to most restaurant critics, the perfect American meal is served on a plate, which rests on a table with legs. Try some authentic, homestyle cuisine the way it was meant to be served with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of fine American dining and drinks at Soulard's.
The venerable Soulard's is housed in a two-story brick building paneled with wooden doors and cupped by a black awning. Outdoor sidewalk seating scurries from its rabbit hole whenever weather permits, allowing gorgeous views of the riverfront and the Arch. Peruse the lunch menu and dinner menu from within Soulard's clean, calm interior, dappled in warm hues. Engage in midday munching with an entree of crab cakes over capellini pasta in lemon beurre blanc sauce ($16.95). Alternatively, sample Southern-influenced fare such as red beans and rice cooked with andouille sausage ($9.95), or choose from numerous sandwiches, soups, and salads. Dinner crowns the soup and salad standbys with decadent stomach-warmers such as barbecue shrimp ($9.95) with petit biscuits, fresh chives, and flash fried spinach. The celebrated staple dish of this family-owned villa of victuals is the peppered black Angus filet ($29.95), rolled in cracked black pepper and grilled with cognac sauce. Soulard's wine cellar is well stocked with ample samples (plus a few walled-in Italian noblemen) for oenophiles and discerning sommeliers alike, so you'll find plenty of leggy libations for the main course to tango with. Save some room in your torso purse for desserts, which vary in price and selection but include signatures such as Amish cheese pie and bread pudding.
After becoming the full-fledged proprietor of Soulard's Restaurant, Tim Badock fused his family restaurant's tradition of serving upscale homestyle fare with an approachable yet elegant dining space. Head chef Russel Byers draws inspiration from New Orleans cuisine to conjure up plates of expertly seasoned seafood and succulent steaks and poultry, as well as fresh salads and hearty sandwiches. In the main downstairs dining area, oceans of warm light bathe marble-topped bars and ruddy brick walls as two suits of armor stand guard at the fireplace to protect diners against Santa Claus infestations. Upstairs, a private dining area dazzles eyeparts with views of St. Louis's picturesque brickscapes and parabolic Gateway Arch.