Nice Restaurants

Brasserie

4580 Laclede Ave.
Price: $$$

Brasserie is not the most affordable restaurant in a city where there are many, many very affordable options; however, it is really, really tasty. So I highly recommend it as a dining choice for special occasions such as when your parents come to town (and are paying), when you discover something in your lab that will make you a lot of money, when you are trying to impress a love interest, or when you just really need a good meal and figure the dinner bill will be a rounding error when you consider how much debt you will be in when you graduate anyhow. (A large glass of wine goes particularly well with this last option.) Brasserie boasts delicious French classics and a great drinks list. I highly recommend the bibb lettuce and the steak frittes. Comforting, delicious, and immensely satisfying.

— Frances C., M1

Charlie Gitto’s

5226 Shaw Ave.
Price: $$$

The Hill is a historic district in St. Louis, known for great Italian food, and Charlie Gitto’s has earned its place here. The servers here are welcoming, though sometimes they can be a little slow. But the food, starting with the free bread, is worth the wait. Their pastas and meats run the gamut of flavors: seafood pasta, filet mignon, and special pesto-crusted lamb chops, just to name a few. If you can’t decide what to order, the servers are great at recommending dishes and wines to go with them. The price is reasonable, with higher-end entr.es costing less than $40. It’s probably not a first-date place, but if you are looking to impress, you can’t go wrong here.

— Jerry F., M1

Mango

1101 Lucas Ave.
Price: $$-$$$

Looking for a reason to get out of the neighborhood? A great place to try for an upscale date or dinner with visiting family, Mango is located downtown just off Washington Avenue. The specialty here is Peruvian food, which, for the inexperienced, is reminiscent of tapas or Spanish cuisine with traditional South American flavors such as chile, plantain, and herbs. While there are several entr.es offered, it’s also totally possible to make a meal out of the many appetizer options including exotic options like beef heart. Special shout-outs go to the tamales, empanadas, and fresh fruit cocktails!

— Jessica H., M1

Scape

48 Maryland Plaza
Price: $$$

Scape is right in the Central West End on the beautiful Maryland Plaza, where the street décor of year-round Christmas lights and a dancing water fountain sets the tone for the night before you even enter the restaurant. Dimmed lighting, private booths, attentive servers, and a gorgeous bathroom (candles in the bathroom, anyone?) are the cherry on top of delicious, high-brow American food. Besides the endless bread and biscuits, each entrée is beautifully presented and well worth the $20 – $40. And don’t forget the dessert! Scape was a winner for best dessert in St. Louis, especially the Banana Cream Pie. I’m not even a big fan of bananas or cream, but that stuff is heavenly.

— Debra Y., M1

Sidney Street Café

2000 Sidney St.
Price: $$$

This is a must-visit for anyone, but especially for foodies. The best meals I’ve ever eaten have been at Sidney Street Café. It’s definitely a splurge (you can easily drop $100 – $150 on a meal for two), but it is absolutely unbeatable. It has a great, quietly romantic ambience with exposed brick walls and candlelight, and has been consistently rated the best restaurant in the city. With a menu that changes seasonally and professional, knowledgeable and passionate waiters, you won’t find anything else like Sidney Street’s “continental and contemporary American cuisine” in the city.

— Shari B., M1