an idyllic friday in the lou

The city of Saint Louis sits sturdily on the edge of the Mississippi River, making itself known to the world with blow-your-mind-BBQ and the towering Gateway Arch. Unfortunately the latter was surrounded by construction so we were unable to journey our way to the tip top this time around, so took extra care to experience the former, feeling (rightfully) that it would more than make up for our loss.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Brent and I toured to Missouri to celebrate friends making their lifelong marriage covenant, which was to be held on Saturday. Our plane landed around 10:30am on Friday morning so we took a cab to our hotel, the Hilton at the Ballpark. Unfortunately, hotels gross both of us out quite a bit (unless they’re 5-star…insert hair flip), so we knew we would need some extracurricular activities to keep us out of the room until it was time to get ready for dinner. The hotel was excellently located in the heart of downtown, so we set out for a long walk to explore.

After self-touring the perimeter of the Busch Stadium, changing into shorts, walking all over downtown, then taking a photo as close as we could get to the Arch, we decided it was high time for some lunch. We found a quaint, yet modern, glass-boxed restaurant sitting on the edge of Citygarden, a park full of funky sculptures and relaxing green ambiance. Death in the Afternoon did not sound like dining we would enjoy, but their menu quickly put us at ease and we were able to devour creative, fresh sandwiches in a wonderfully refreshing and sleek environment!

Once fed, we walked another million miles to come back to the welcoming arms of Citygarden and plopping ourselves down on the green grass. We listened to the entire new Lumineers album and finally accepted that there were no errands we could run or chores we could complete this weekend. It was fantastic!

Dinnertime eventually rolled right along, which we were very much looking forward to. We had last-minutely decided to make reservations at a restaurant my friend from Saint Louis recommended to us, called Sidney Street Café. The restaurant was located in the most idyllic of neighborhoods – Benton Park!

The exterior of the restaurant was timeworn yet everything about it was sophisticated. Like a really great, aged bourbon. I don’t drink bourbon much but do know that those two characteristics combined can make some people’s taste buds sing!

My date and I were early arriving for our reservation so sat at the antique bar with some locals, watching in awe as the ‘tenders concocted impressive glass after glass of colorful potion, while we happily sipped on our Hendricks and tonics (made with the good ice). At our table, the service was flawless and each course better than the last. The Veal Dumplings and Lobster Turnovers came in the chefs tasting for appetizers, and I’ve never wished for seconds so hard in my life. For the main course, I got the Wood Grilled Snapper with squid ink gnocchi, clams, bok choy, nduja, and brown butter vinaigrette, and Brent opted for the Pan Seared Scallops. I can’t think of one complaint. Food-wise, this restaurant was definitely the highlight of our entire trip!

Friday Highlights:

  • Seeing where the Cardinals play
  • Yummy sweet potato apple jam on my turkey sandwich at Death in the Afternoon
  • Kicking our feet up in Citygarden
  • All-around perfect night with my forever date at Sidney Street Café (complete with decadent brownie and ice cream for dessert!)
  • Brent becoming an Uber app master
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