I was batching it tonight and landed at the Washington Street Grille at the advice of a number of my friends. Sans my missus and young ones, I solicited social interaction with two couples that are friends of mine. I arrived about 45 mins early in an attempt to put a damper on work induced head strain. I checked in and was directed to the bar area where I was warmly greeted by two lovely bartenders. The toonies were quite fine and the conversation was stimulating. I forgot that I was alone and the time passed quite quickly. The visual display of fresh dishes, particularly the sandwiches, passing by me made me most inquisitive about the menu. My friends arrived on time and started with a warm-up cocktail. We were promptly seated thanks to reservations and attentive staff. By luck, our bartender, Stefanie, was chosen to seat us and took drink/appetizer orders right away. The fried calamari were crispy and tender w/ plenty of lemon wedges and the spinach/artichoke dip had house-made tortilla chips that garnered accolades table-wide. The Ceasar salads were plentiful although they were laden w/ just a tad too much dressing. The entrees arrived made to order. Two of us had the daily special which was an ample cod fillet coated in breadcrumbs, flash-fried, and adorned with a lemon butter provel artichoke/pimento sauce. The sauce was quite good although I believe that the choice of fish might be better served by a piece of grouper or slightly firmer fish. The flavor was still quite good and I soaked up the sauce with the readily supplied rolls encrusted w/ garlic and salt on a platter of garli butter. Everyone wanted to double dip and I was later told that the waitresses will gladly supply personal dishes of garlic butter. The other two men chose the strip steak au poivre w/ demiglace and gave it two thumbs up for flavor, tenderness, and quality. Nice size on the steaks and they were cooked as ordered. Our remaining lady friend ordered chicken parm and finished it post haste with murmurings of satisfaction. The most expensive dish we had was topped out at about $17. I also observed an adjacent table ordered a mussel appetizer that was quite significant in size and would obviously satisfy a table full. The service was great and we adjourned to the bar for aperitiffs. I have to admit, I was somewhat reluctant to dine locally with all of the culinary venues across the river in St. Louis. Shame on me for not realizing we had a jewel close at hand. Downtown and centrally located . I will be back. Casual atmosphere + good food + reasonable prices + A#1 staff = A must do experience. Hours MT 1 1-9;WT 11-10;F 11-11;S 4-11 and closed on Sunday at this time. 318 E. Washington St. Belleville, IL (618) 239-9529. I recommend reservations. Bon Appetit'