Eating through the STL Top 100 Restaurants – Date Night Edition!

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If you read my blog post last month, then hopefully, you’re already working through the family-friendly version of the STL Top 100 Restaurants by Ian Froeb.   With summer comes a lot of family time but it’s important to take a break to spend some date nights with your partner when you get the opportunity. While you’re checking restaurants off the Top 100, here are my picks for great date night options from the 2022 list:

 

Acero – Maplewood

Lovely romantic restaurant with a tasting menu that is by far the best bang for your buck. Four courses for $58/person allow you to indulge without breaking the bank. If it’s a special occasion, splurge on the seven-course chef’s grand tasting!

 

 

 

Akar – Clayton

Creative Asian cuisine in the Wydown neighborhood. Patio seating is available to enjoy the beautiful weather this summer.

 

 

Annie Gunn’s – Chesterfield

One of the most classic and recognizable steakhouse names in St. Louis. Always great quality meals, and I love the marketplace located next door with ready-made options to stock your fridge at home!

 

 

The Benevolent King  – Maplewood.

Another beautiful option in Maplewood. This is one of Ben Poremba’s family of restaurants (more of which I’ll mention later). Snag a window table if you can get one, and enjoy all the small plates to share!

 

 

Brasserie by Niche – CWE.

This one is my husband’s favorite date night and special occasion restaurants. If you aren’t feeling like an upscale meal, you can opt for their wonderful weekend brunch instead. Gerard Craft is practically a household name in St. Louis food, and this is one of my favorite restaurants in his portfolio.

 

 

 

Bulrush – Grand Center

This is possibly one you haven’t heard of before, as it’s one of the best kept secrets in St. Louis. A hyperlocal Ozark-inspired tasting experience that’s definitely reserved for a special occasion. But it’s a meal you’ll always remember.

 

 

 

Cinder House – Downtown

One of the most romantic backdrops and patios in St. Louis. Located on the rooftop at the Four Seasons Downtown, it would be hard to find a more romantic photo op for your night out, and the food matches the ambiance.

 

 

 

Cleveland-Heath – Edwardsville

If you’re someone who doesn’t venture over to the Illinois side very often, this is a really good reason to make the trip! Beautiful location in Edwardsville with great food and cocktails. Make a day trip and enjoy the city while you’re at it!

 

 

The Crossing  – Clayton

An upscale option with great service in Clayton. I love that they have lunch service that’s just as high quality. Sometimes lunch is the only time you get together while the kids are in school, so if that’s your date, this is a great option!

 

 

Indo – Botanical Heights

A newer but highly acclaimed restaurant on the scene. Indo is another special night out option as the food is higher end, but it’s an incredible culinary experience. Also, it’s located on one of my favorite foodie blocks in the city! It includes many of the restaurants I mentioned in the family-friendly version.

 

 

Louie – Demun

Speaking of foodie neighborhoods, the Demun neighborhood is another high up on my list. Louie has a great ambiance and even more incredible food. It’s right by Sasha’s if you want a nightcap or Clementine’s if dessert is more your style.

 

 

Olio/Elaia – Botanical Heights

Another couple of restaurants in the Bengelina group. Elaia is highly acclaimed, but I have to admit I haven’t made it there yet. But its sister restaurant downstairs has a great patio and wine menu.

 

 

Olive and Oak – Webster Groves

This one is a favorite of mine from the first year they made the list until now— a beautiful space with a creative cocktail menu and fantastic food. I will always recommend this for a date night, and the blue crab dip is a must.

 

 

 

Planter’s House – Lafayette Square

Arguably the best cocktail menu in St. Louis. The drinks are expertly crafted and complement the food. Don’t miss the patio seating. It’s a beautiful space! 

 

 

Sidney Street Cafe  – Benton Park.

Another very recognizable name in romantic St. Louis restaurants. The service and food here are top-notch! Another fun fact, prior to COVID, my husband and I enjoyed a pasta-making class on a day the restaurant was closed. Hopefully, in the future, they will offer more unique date night experiences like we had!

 

 

Tempus – The Grove

I’m going to need a moment of your time while I give some love to my favorite restaurant in St. Louis currently. Ben Grupe is changing the game on creative food and drink, and gives overall an experience that truly has you feeling like everyone was there just for you. Don’t be scared by the prepay when you reserve— it’s completely worth it and so much more. Also of note, if you want an upscale take-out experience, this is life changing. It’s perfectly prepared and literally gift packaged for your at-home enjoyment.

 

 

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Vicia – The Cortex

This one continues to rake in the National acclaim and James Beard nominations year after year. It’s one of those you just have to make your way to at least once. It’s also a veggie-forward restaurant for those needing vegetarian options you’re not finding on this list. They have special experiences you can book, or if you just want a table for dinner, the enclosed patio is lovely.

 

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Haley was born and raised in small town Kansas. She moved to St. Louis after graduating from the University of Kansas to attend graduate school at Lindenwood. Her 2 year plan to live in St. Louis turned in 12 when she met her husband. They were married on home plate at Busch Stadium in 2015 and are parents to two girls, Presley (4) and Piper (7 months), Haley stared her career as a Certified Athletic Trainer working at high schools all throughout St. Louis. After returning to nursing school she was a Trauma ICU nurse for 5 years before taking on her current role as the Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator at a Level 1 Trauma Center. Outside of work Haley blogs about local food and businesses as part of the Yelp Elite Squad, volunteers for Make-A-Wish MoKan, and loves strength training and self care. Haley considers herself a “wrangler of tiny females”. She loves raising a strong willed preschooler who both challenges and amazes her. Haley loves living in St. Louis and feels it has so much to offer to inspire children and foster creativity. You can follow her at @mamastrebs.

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