6 Restaurants Worthy of Your Brightest Sparkle

 In Food, Guide

Fine dining sometimes gets a rap as being stuffy or out of touch with modern tastes. Not so at these six restaurants. Part of the secret to their success is understanding what drives dining decisions—and, in the case of some longtime favorites, adapting with the times as needed.

Morton’s the Steakhouse
Its recent move to Downtown’s Lumière Place Casino means a new look and feel for Morton’s—with touches like a polished black granite bar and luxurious crocodile-leather booths—but all the same amenities as the previous Clayton location, including stellar service and outstanding wine selections. Although it’s located across from the slot machines, where anything goes style-wise, the steakhouse adheres to its business-casual-or-nicer dress code. If you can, after indulging on its famous steaks, save room for a key-lime pie or double chocolate mousse.

The interior’s elegant black-on-black décor is the perfect backdrop for a splash of color or glint of jewelry. Those who’ve visited restaurateur Zoe Robinson’s other venues on Wydown Boulevard in Clayton—including Bar Les Freres and I Fratellini—will recognize the attention to details small and large, both in the ambiance and on the menu. What may be surprising are the menu combinations of Asian influences on Mediterranean cuisine, but Billie-Jean pulls off the unexpected with pizzazz.

Cinder House
Daytime dining doesn’t have to be boring. The latest restaurant from Gerard Craft proves that point with its Latin American-inspired asado brunch. As the focal point of dining at the Four Seasons Hotel, Cinder House is open for every meal, but its Sunday spread is particularly noteworthy. The brunch is inspired by backyard barbecues, which means meat, and a lot of it: selections include leg of lamb, smoked brisket, smoked turkey, whole-roasted chicken, salmon, ceviche and more. Also on the menu are seasonal roasted vegetables, salads and traditional breakfast items.

There’s something to be said for dining above the Downtown skyline, and Kemoll’s customers have been enjoying that pleasure for 30 years. But in just a couple of months, the restaurant will shift gears and take its steaks, seafood and Italian dishes to Westport Plaza, under the name Kemoll’s Chop House. Those looking to admire the view from the 42nd floor over lasagna or cannelloni should make reservations now.

Blood and Sand
After relaxing its members-only admission rules in July 2018, Blood and Sand quietly became one of the more upscale public dining venues Downtown. Its cleverly designed food menu features sophisticated riffs on local favorites, yet it’s the cocktail menu that draws the most attention, including the namesake drink of Monkey Shoulder Scotch, cherry heering, sweet vermouth and fresh orange juice.

The wildly inventive dishes at this Central West End restaurant have earned national attention for restaurateurs Tara and Michael Gallina. Its location within the Cortex Innovation Community is an apt metaphor for the wholesome experimentation that meats and vegetables undergo within Vicia’s kitchen. Each meal is a memorable experience worth dressing up for.

Featured image of Morton’s The Steakhouse courtesy of Landry’s.

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