Farmhaus Restaurant had Zimmern at bacon-wrapped meat loaf.
“There are plenty of reasons to love St. Louis,” says Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods and Bizarre Worlds. “With the region’s weather finally warming up, now is the perfect time to go. Take in a ballgame at Busch Stadium, hit a jazz concert or two and discover some of the heartland’s most underrated dining. It’s time to put The Lou on your radar screen.”
Brasserie by Niche
Named to Food & Wine’s best new chefs list a few years back, Gerard Craft earned rave reviews for his inventive take on American fare at his restaurants Niche and Taste. His third venture is Brasserie. Craft keeps it simple, focusing on French classics such as garlic-butter escargot, roast chicken and a duck-confit cassoulet studded with pork belly and saucisson l’ail. Fittingly, a city named for King Louis IX of France now has a fantastic brasserie.
Sidney Street Café
It opened in the mid-1980s, but in the hands of chef Kevin Nashan since 2002, its meat-and-potatoes repertoire is anything but outdated. Kick off a meal with veal dumplings and lobster turnovers and follow up with a rib eye (served with bone marrow pudding and beet ragout) or pecan-encrusted rabbit leg. For dessert, think classic strawberry shortcake. This is a restaurant that any food geek could take their parents to and everyone would leave happy.
It had me at bacon-wrapped meat loaf. Illinois-born chef Kevin Willmann learned how to cook in the Florida panhandle, and the menu marries his Midwestern roots and Southern cooking influences—roast turkey with chive spaetzle, mahi-mahi with andouille and the aforementioned meat loaf. The daily lunch blue-plate special gets you a rib-sticking meal (such as fried chicken), complete with two sides, salad, pickles and iced tea—for just 10 bucks.