I almost hate to do this, as crowded restaurants are not my thing, but I have to join the chorus of fans for these two restaurants. The Chowhounds deserve it!
I personally think Arthur Clay (Maplewood) blows Harvest and Monarch out of the water - EXCELLENT food and PERFECT (which never happens to me) service and the coziest atmosphere in town since Herb sold Balaban's. I had caviar (piggy, piggy), short ribs and great wine. It's been a while since I was there, so I don't remember the specifics, but everyone at our large table was swimming in a pool of happiness over all the dishes. High priced.
Mirasol was this past weekend. It definitely has the flavor of Modesto, but smaller and better. The menu is much more adventurous - lots of different ceviches. I had a mojito (yummy rum drink, refreshing, with limes and mint), salad that was tasty and generous, and the pork skewer (small tapas portion but perfectly cooked in a rum sauce). Other notables were the wild mushroom tamales and the queso con dried meat. The server and other staff were just amazing, considering that this place has no high chairs and we had a one-year old with us. They handled disaster after disaster, complete with various members of our group jumping up to take turns with the toddler, with grace and seemingly ease. We had Colleen as the main server, if anyone want to have a really gracious repeat. I can't wait to go back without the kid. Medium priced.
Also had a fantastic meal at Moxy's on Laclede in the CWE a few weeks ago. I recommend the lobster potstickers and any fish on the menu. I don't recommend the Thai meatballs. But, again, great service and a nifty place to go that is open 7 days a week. Medium priced.
On the other hand, I have tried Graffiti (on Euclid in CWE) 4 times and have decided I don't like it. The idea is great - a mix of culture and food - but the execution is severely lacking. Food is just not that great. In fact, some of it is downright bad.
If you are eating in the CWE, be sure to check out Brennan's - new cigar/wine shop but oh, so much more! The owners are really nice guys who have worked hard to make it a happenin' joint. We went the other night and there were lots of people spilling out onto the sidewalk, enjoying themselves. Apparently on the weekends they have a daytime, neat - o buffet with various picknicky offerings so you can get all the fixin's, a bottle of wine and a cigar and go have a picnic. What a concept for the lazy among us.