8 Date-Night Restaurants In St. Louis

 In Feature, Food

A smattering of glorious St. Louis date-night spots heat up as the temperatures cool down for autumn. If you’re stumped for where to have your next date night—whether you’re heading out for a first date or treating you and your partner to a night on the town—these venues will provide the perfect atmosphere for an unforgettable night. 

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Elaia and Olio
Head over to St. Louis’ up-and-coming Botanical Heights neighborhood for a dining experience to remember at Elaia and Olio, two next-door restaurants that offer up unique dining experiences. Originally founded by acclaimed chef Ben Poremba, each restaurant offers a distinct experience. For a more casual first-date evening complete with crafty cocktails, check out Olio, which is located in a remodeled service station and serves Mediterranean-style small plates. For an upscale, intimate dining experience, head upstairs to Elaia, where executive chef Ben Grupe crafts nightly four-course fare in a small apartment-style space.

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Arguably the most Instagrammable restaurant in the city, Gerard Craft‘s Sardella opened just last year and has already garnered a cult following. Visit this spot in Clayton for a vibrant dining experience, with a menu full of small plates to choose from. For dinner, start with the burrata that comes with salsa verde, sunflower seeds and fry bread, and keep the flavors flowing with the roasted half chicken, which is the perfect size for sharing.

The Preston
Dinner and a movie? Before heading into the cinema at the Chase Park Plaza, visit in-house restaurant The Preston. Appropriately named after the building’s creator, Preston J. Bradshaw, The Preston’s menu aims to evoke flavors of the past with a contemporary twist. Don’t miss the restaurant’s impressive cocktail menu, which features lively libations like The Pink Elephant (St. George absinthe verte, plantation pineapple rum, house coconut syrup, watermelon water) and a laundry list of bourbons to choose from.

best st louis restaurants alive magazine vin de set

Photo credit: Vin de Set

Vin de Set
Located just outside of Lafayette Square, Vin de Set offers up a taste of authentic French fare in the heart of the city. Kick off your meal with a few selections of rich, flavorful fromage alongside a glass of wine and keep things going with signature entree dishes like the eggplant Napoleon, beef au poivre and prime-rib crepes. If you’re able to grab a seat on Vin de Set’s rooftop, you’re in luck. The outdoor dining space offers excellent skyline views of the city.

The Libertine
The Libertine sits in the heart of downtown Clayton and is the perfect spot for seasonal, farm-driven fare. The restaurant’s overall vibe is warm and inviting, with all of the rustic touches that make for an unforgettable dining experience. Don’t miss the menu’s hearty supper mains, like the heritage pork steak and Sam’s Burger, as well as lighter offerings like the halibut and sunflower pistou.

best st louis restaurants alive magazine publico

Photo credit: Público

Público brings Latin-style small plates and tapas to the Delmar Loop in a vibrant, inviting space. Check out the restaurant for a flavorful and spice-infused dining experience, with the menu broken down into raw-bar eats, small plates, arepas, tacos and a la parrilla dishes. In the mood for an inventive cocktail? Look no further than Público’s drink menu, which is home to creations like El Diablo (cimarron blanco, creme de cassis, lime, ginger beer) and Pretty in Pisco (watermelon pisco, dry curacao, lime, sugar, elderflower tincture).

Russell’s on Macklind
Venture over to South City for a down-home dining experience with Russell’s on Macklind. Chef Russell Ping’s dinner offerings focus on familiar flavors incorporated into an eclectic array of dishes: the grass-fed burger sits next to the bahn mi on the menu, for example. Large plates like the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, pork chop and gnudi round out the menu, perfect for sharing over lively date-night conversation.

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