Some of the allstars of the local restaurant scene came together and had a restaurant baby and its name is Reeds. The collective front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house expertise come together to bring about a truly wonderful dining experience. It’s American cuisine with an ode to the Midwest, made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients and inventive cocktails to boot. Don’t fall too in love with anything on the menu as it changes with the seasons (miss u, summer corn bruschetta). The good news is something just as tasty will likely be in its place. Oh, and don’t forget to order the bacon fat-fried cornbread.
The brewing space for St. Louis’ second largest brewery, Schlafly, has a large indoor dining space and a bar, plus a huge patio, and a menu of American fare with many dishes featuring, of course, Schlafly beer. The food isn’t going to change your life, but it’s solid enough, and with something like 20 beers on tap at any given time, you’re really just looking for something to soak up the booze.
It may seem a bit premature to have a brand new restaurant on here, but considering the level of food, service, and drinks we’ve experienced so far, its absolutely deserving of it. Elmwood brings together some of St. Louis’ most talented FOH and BOH people to create an experience that’s fun, sexy, and delicious. Our prediction: This will be right alongside Louie on most of St. Louis’ "Best Restaurants" lists going forward.
There aren’t a lot of restaurants in town that have a vibe like The Benevolent King. Ben Poremba called back to the Moroccan cuisine of his childhood to create a menu of small plates, not unlike Olio, that pair perfectly with the restaurant/lounge’s strong cocktail menu. The interior feels casual and exotic, making it great for a date, or a pre/post-dinner fix. The food menu changes often based on what’s available or what the kitchen team feels like doing, so try not to fall too in love with anything.
We’re afraid to tell you how good Acero is because we don’t want one of our favorite spots to get too crowded. Head here for one of the best meals in town—deliciously authentic, farm-to-table Italian in a comfortable but upscale environment. A real Italian once told us, “I like that place.” The wine list is 100 percent Italian and they offer several wines by the quartino (one-third of a bottle)—a great way to try out a new-to-you bottle. The four-course tasting menu is an absolute steal, and you must try the egg raviolo once in your life.
Come early, stay late, and if you’re lucky enough to grab a table, keep it. This tasting room features local brews from abroad and around the region, including owner Cory King’s own Side Project brews, sold exclusively here. For those without a palate for beer, the bartenders are happy to oblige and show you the ropes, or ask for the barrel-aged Manhattan. There’s no food, but Side Project’s small-batch brews are a must-try for beer enthusiasts.
Photo courtesy of Side Project Cellar
Breakfast and lunch options in Maplewood are surprisingly sparse, so we like to frequent the combined La Cosecha Coffee and Great Harvest Bread for morning meetings, coffee breaks, and sandwiches. You walk in and you know what you’re in for—they’re roasting coffee beans right in the front, and once you get past that, you’re hit with the wafting scent of all the fresh breads baking. Good luck leaving with just a cup of joe.
We like how The Crow’s Nest describes itself: “Situated in a sweaty corner of Maplewood, MO, The Crow’s Nest has been proving that degenerates can successfully run a restaurant/bar for over five years...it’s kinda sad, and a little rad, but definitely the gnarliest bar in Mapleweird.” Besides the fact that the bar is open until the wee hours, it has a chef-driven lunch menu and a brunch menu that will revive you.
Photo courtesy of The Crow's Nest
This is technically not in Maplewood, but we technically do not care. It’s close enough, and it’s tasty AF. Southwest Diner is a funky little spot that feels like a 1960s diner in New Mexico. Everything is delicious, but the Olio team loves their breakfast burrito, buttermilk cornmeal pancakes, and Jonathan’s Famous Fiery Scramble the most. Expect lengthy lines on the weekend.