I looked over past comments on St. Louis dining before our recent trip but didn't see much in the way of post visit reviews.
We were in St. Louis for 4 nights for a conference but between the conference and social demands did not get to explore much beyond the hotel area near the river. So what follows are just one person's comments on what we did do.
For reference our home dining area is New Orleans.
The first night we were taken out by St. Louis friends who took us to their favorite place on The Hill. We went to Favazza's just after six hoping to beat the Saturday crowd but were't too successful. There were two buses parked there and we parked two blocks away. The wait was supposed to be 35 minutes but was closer to 45. But it was quite pleasant sitting in the patio and catching up on old times. Contrary to some things I've read, we found the bar service and maitre de to be quite friendly and attentive. By the time we got our table the crowd was even thicker.
Our friends went with red sauce pasta dishes while my wife had the veal Marsala and I the sole. We also had the mandatory toasted ravioli. All in all we thought it was good food for the price and would probably return. Fine dining...no. But it met expectations. The service was very good. I wanted to buy a round for the kitchen as I was amazed that they could put out decent consistant food after being slammed by two bus loads, but couldn't get a manager to our table.
I tasted the Italian sausage in our friends dish and it was how we liked it, high on fennel. Any suggestions on a seller I could contact? My search of St. Louis sausage makers was a little murky.
The next two nights we had time (and weather) constraints so at eat our hotel. It was 400 Olive at the Hilton. For a hotel kitchen I think it is very good and would put our dishes with some second tier restaurants. We had soup (Tuscan Bean and beer onion)and salads (Merchant and wedge)the first night and my wife went with tortilla soup and wedge our second night while I had the seared encrusted tenderloin. The wine list is OK with a decent spread in prices.
The final night we went to RuthChris. I'm not a steak house fan and have never been to RuthChris, even though it started in New Orleans. I have been to a number of Morton's and Palm's so have a point of comparison. Everyone had steak except me, as I had one the previous night. (Ruth Chris was not my choice). The steaks were good. The roasted brussel sprouts were good. Everything else was forgetable. For several months I've been trying ravioli's during my trips. I ordered ossa bucco ravioli, and Favzza's toasted ravioli was a better dish. The service was the most amateurish I've ever seen in an expensive restaurant. I've had high school kids in mom and pop places do as well. That failure is all about management.
We did enjoy St. Louis and the downtown area is beautiful. But where are all the people? I know we could have called a taxi but we never saw one all weekend. (OOps, not Chowhound topic)
5201 Southwest Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63139