Lafayette Square: The Food Lover's Guide to One of St. Louis' Tastiest 'Hoods
|Dramatic interior at Baileys' Chocolate Bar | Laura Miller|
Baileys' Chocolate Bar
(1915 Park Avenue; 314-241-8100)
Besides serving as one of St. Louis' go-to romantic locales, Baileys' serves up some of the tastiest desserts, including classic selections such as crème brûlée and a chocolate sundae alongside whimsical takes on favorites, like the banana-bread split. Of course, you could just go with the signature desert, the chocolate cake with buttercream and chocolate ganache paired with one of the many chocolate martinis. More than just sweet, the menu is inventive: white-chocolate-coated jumbo Bavarian pretzels, Venezuelan fudge, chocolate-covered dried pineapple rings, brownie trail mix. Use your imagination; your sweet tooth will thank you.
Ricardo's Italian Café
(1931 Park Avenue; 314-421-4833)
Ricardo's has been cooking up Italian fare since 1989, serving as an engine of renewal in Lafayette Square. Starters include calamari and the requisite T-ravs, with sandwich, wrap and panini options as well. Ricardo's also boasts an ample selection of pastas, such as tortellini Roberto, which is stuffed with pork and chicken and covered in a cream sauce with peas and ham. Other entrees include steak, chicken, seafood and veal or, for veggie lovers, the linguine Dolano with pine nuts, fresh basil and sun-dried tomato sautéed with olive oil and fresh garlic. The lunch specials offer terrific value, but come dinner you will want to take your time, enjoy a glass of wine from the Italian-heavy list and savor several courses of hearty, comforting classics.
1919 Park Ave., St. Louis, MO