3257 Ivanhoe Ave
St. Louis, MO 63139
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Get a taste of the ocean breeze and Chef Kevin Willmann’s Florida culinary training. Dive into an order of his Pensacola red snapper, fish that is duck-fat roasted and seasoned with heirloom tomatoes raised in Florida from local seeds ($24). Chef Willmann’s style is an edgy Southwestern cuisine with a taste of the Midwest sprinkled in. He understands St. Louis diners from the perspective of a family with Southern Illinois farming roots mixed with exquisite culinary training and extraordinary menu items inspired by his childhood in the St. Louis area. He uses ingredients that are locally grown to cook up specialties like his bacon-wrapped meatloaf with pearl onions in a tomato merlot reduction sauce with smashed potatoes made from sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes ($15).
The grandson of Italian immigrant North County restaurant owners, Chef Anthony Devoti knows St. Louis appetites and tasty desires well. He was born in the area, studied culinary arts at St. Louis County Community College Florissant Valley and then finished his studies at a French culinary school before bringing his talent back to his hometown. This young energetic chef serves up a five-course meal for $55 paired with three wines for $25 or Benne’s half farm chicken for $26 with Ozark Forest fiddlehead ferns, Claverach Farms sunflower shoots and Rissi Farms turnip and pan jus. Chef Devoti even makes a basic burger amazing by starting with grass-fed ground chuck on a housemade brioche bun served with local greens and a Rissi Farm cucumber pickle for $11 on the Five After Ten menu. Add a selection of local cheeses, grilled organic mushrooms, caramelized onions, fresh red onion marmalade, farm-fresh eggs, hickory-smoked pork jowl and a side of housemade pommes frites.
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3600 Watson Road
St. Louis, MO 63109
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Chef Steve Komerek’s enthusiasm is perhaps only outshone by his love and honor for his family and mother, whom he named the restaurant after. From his shaved brussels salad, complete with fontinella, toasted almonds and a lemon-rosemary vinaigrette for $7.50, to his specialty straw and hay pasta, which includes spinach and egg noodles, mascarpone cheese, coppa ham, crimini mushrooms and sugar snap peas for $13.99, Chef Komerek adds a twist of class to the St. Louis Italian restaurant scene. He even dishes up a sensational calves liver. He adds flavor to this meat, rich in nutrition, with caramelized onions, pancetta, rosemary, marsala wine, grilled vegetables and hand-whipped potatoes.
Top of the Riverfront – Millenium Hotel St. Louis
200 S 4th St
St. Louis, MO 63102
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There’s no better way to get a 360-degree view of downtown St. Louis while dining than atop the Millennium Hotel, a must-see for any St. Louis visitor. Personable chef Beau Meadows accents the revolving scenery diners see outside with his unique and creative menu items inside. Make your dining experience complete with his pistachio-crusted prawns for $13, lamb meatballs for $10 or apple jack onion soup, which is a combination of sweet vidalia and red onions, natural beef broth with garlic brioche croutons and gruyere cheese for $7. Have a feast with chef Beau’s specialty duck two ways. This comes with a grilled duck breast, confit’ leg and thigh, cauliflower gratin with white truffle essence, frisee salad and Grand Marnier sauce for $26. Indulge in his signature to the city as you take in breathtaking views of the town that holds the name of the St. Louis pepper steak that is pan-seared tenderloin medallions, cracked pepper and cognac mustard sauce for $35.
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Eau Bistro – Chase Park Plaza Hotel
212-232 N Kingshighway Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63108
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Chef Joe Sanders has a way of combining organic produce that is grown in or around St. Louis and using it to create a unique menu of fresh palatable portions at Eau Bistro inside the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. Enjoy his specialty Irish organic salmon complete with shrimp, mussels, onions, tomatoes, fennel, white wine and garlic broth for $28 or the coq au vin made up of mushrooms, lardoons, brussels sprouts, cipollini and brioche for $24. Chef Sanders brings back comfort food from your childhood with an adult twist in his lobster mac’n’cheese made with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and three-cheese mornay for $16. Chef Joe has something for everyone and serves delights for vegetarians as well with dishes like vegetable wellington which includes seasonal grilled vegetables, beet coulis and saffron beurre blanc for $19.
Tere Scott is a freelance writer and author of e-books and two educational blogs. She loves to research information to share. She currently resides in St. Louis. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.