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  • April 24, 2014

Platinum List - Ladue News: Living

Platinum List

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:29 am, Mon Sep 9, 2013.

You voted, we listened! Ladue News readers know what they like; and with this year's Platinum List, you've made your voices heard. This list compiles the best of what St. Louis has to offer. As you peruse its pages, you'll find old favorites--and also new ones, waiting to be discovered. Each winner is listed in boldface text, followed by the runners up. When you visit, tell them LN sent you!

 

Best Antiques

Jules L. Pass Antiques

You can kiss the days of digging through junk for that antique treasure goodbye, as Jules Pass has kindly assembled a phenomenal, high-quality collection for you to peruse. Specializing in English and Continental furniture, Jules L. Pass Antiques remains St. Louisans’ favorite place to buy antiques for another year.

Warson Woods Antique Gallery

Clark Graves Antiques

Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers

Small World Antiques

 

Best Furniture & Home Accessories

Expressions Furniture

With enough brightly colored patterns to make even the most girlie-girl faint, Expressions offers furniture and home accessories unlike anything available outside of Wonderland. If your home could use a dose of happy—or an overhaul of ecstatic—look no further than LN reader favorite Expressions.

Savvy Surrounding Style

Dau Home Furnishings

Crate & Barrel

Arhaus

 

Best Children’s Clothing

The Woman’s Exchange

Cute children’s clothing and an admirable mission? St. Louisans love that combination, as the organization has been offering handcrafted goods for 130 years. Whether it’s the iconic cherry dress—yes, that adorable handmade delight selected by style icons like Jacqueline Kennedy and Gwyneth Paltrow for their children, to name a few—or the beyond popular Woman’s Exchange Salad Bowl that brings you there, the Children’s Boutique is sure to please.

Chocolate Soup

Egg by Susan Lazar

City Sprouts

Nordstrom

 

Best Lingerie

Jule Lingerie & Loungewear

Pay your two best girls some attention at Jule, where designer products are waiting to grace every woman’s décolletage, as well as other unmentionables. With shelves full of quality brassieres, comfortable loungewear and steamy lingerie, it’s no wonder why Jule is a favorite in St. Louis—and winner of best lingerie, yet again.

Margaret's

Ann's Bra Shop

Victoria's Secret

Neiman Marcus

 

Best Women’s Clothing

Paperdolls Boutique

With locations in both Kirkwood and Ballwin, there’s no excuse not to shop at Paperdolls. Specializing in women’s attire for all age groups, Paperdolls offers a more localized shopping experience than its national competitors, and is a sincerely cuter way to spend an afternoon than prowling for clothing online.

Pink Magnolia

Esther

VIE Ladies Clothing

Ivy Hill Boutique

 

Best Men’s Clothing

Savile Row

Why buy off-the-rack when you can have it custom made? We all know a man needs a properly fitting suit, and here in St. Louis those—and other exquisitely crafted items—come from Savile Row. Gentlemen, if that last line made you look regretfully at your own disheveled outfit, contact Savile Row about The Wardrobe Management Solution and transform your style from dud to stud.

Mister Guy Clothiers

Kim Kuehner Sportswear

Woody's Mens Clothiers

Sam Cavato Men's Wear

 

Best Shoe Store

Laurie’s Shoes

Please your soul and soles when you shop local for your next pair of shoes. Laurie’s offers the best of both retail worlds: It’s a family business with a gigantic stock and multiple area locations. This third-generation company sells shoes for men, women and children with a wide array of sizes and widths to help find your most comfortable and stylish fit.

Nordstrom

Saks Fifth Avenue

Neiman Marcus

Marmi Shoes

 

Best Fine Jewelry

Elleard Heffern Fine Jewelers

For all things that sparkle, Elleard Heffern Fine Jewelers is the place to go. This family business houses several designer lines featuring cultured pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other fine gemstones swimming in layers of silver, gold or platinum. And the service here is the gold standard. Need we say more?

Genovese Jewelers

Simons Jewelers

Huffords Jewelry

Mary Pillsbury Company

 

Best Fun Jewelry

Melanie’s

Because accessories really do make the outfit, Melanie’s provides an unparalleled stock of fun jewelry that’s equal parts beautiful and budget-friendly. With a tagline “For jewelry and accessories since 1985,” shoppers definitely know where to go, as Melanie’s continues to reign supreme.

Codi the Boutique

Paperdolls Boutique

Ivy Hill Boutique

Giddyup Jane

 

Best Toy Store

Imagination Toys

Whether you’re looking for dolls or trucks, science kits or bathtub play things, Imagination has got you covered. Imagination, who recently celebrated its 27th birthday, even sells products adults will adore, like board games and puzzles. Admit it—this place is just as fun for you as it is for your kids. We won’t tell.

Bright Idea Toys

Spicer's Toys & Candy

City Sprouts

Ladue Pharmacy

 

Best Place to Buy Wine

Schnucks

The specialized wine stores are great, but here in St. Louis finding a good bottle of wine is as easy as crossing off the other items on your grocery list at Schnucks. Whether you’re browsing the aisles to look for something to pair with dinner or a special bottle for a get-together, the wine specialists at Schnucks are at the ready with suggestions that are sure to please.

The Wine and Cheese Place

Saint Louis Cellars

Wine Merchant

Parkers Table Wine and Food Store

 

Best Customer Service

Nordstrom

It’s a common fact—Nordstrom is known as the definition of proper customer service. Look it up. Because of this, it’s no surprise that St. Louisans voted this go-to department store their No. 1 in the customer service category, yet again.

The Gatesworth

Schnarr's Hardware Company

Straub's

Ladue Pharmacy

 

Coffee House

Kaldi’s Coffee

For the folks at Kaldi’s, coffee really is all about relationships—from the relationships their guests develop as they share stories over a cup of steaming coffee, to the ones the roasters themselves foster with growers around the world. Another key to the company’s success is freshness: Every bean is roasted in a vintage roaster at Kaldi’s Midtown facility, and delivered at peak freshness to its five area locations.

Deer Creek

City Coffeehouse + Crêperie

Northwest Coffee Roasting Company

Nadoz Euro.Bakery + Cafe

 

Family-Friendly Restaurant

Lester’s Restaurants

What could be more family-friendly than a burger and a ball game? The laid-back sports atmosphere is what makes Lester’s a success, with more than 30 HD TVs in each location. There’s something to please everyone—from the in-house smoked meats to the kid-approved menu for the little ones. And with three locations—in Ladue, Chesterfield and the CWE—there’s one nearby no matter where you are!

Dewey’s Pizza

Sugo’s Spaghetteria

Bricktop’s

Brio Tuscan Grille

 

Pizza

Dewey’s Pizza

Why Dewey’s? Because where else could you get a slice of the Green Lantern or chomp down on an Edgar Allan Poe? Top off the creative names with unique flavor combinations, and you have a pizza that can’t be beat. Maybe we’re partial because Dewey’s is the LN staff’s go-to for a conference-room lunch gathering; but here, we defer to your vote.

Pi Pizzeria

Red-L Pizza

Katie’s Pizzeria Cafe

Farotto’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

 

Caterer

Butler’s Pantry

For more than 45 years, Butler’s Pantry has been adding panache to occasions of every stripe—whether it’s a corporate event, a friendly gathering or even a wedding. Led by second-generation company president Richard Nix Jr., the Butler’s Pantry family has grown to include venues such as Palladium Saint Louis and Bixby’s at the Missouri History Museum. But it’s the perfect combination of fresh, seasonal foods, phenomenal service and a passion for creativity that makes every Butler’s Pantry event memorable.

Catering St. Louis

The Art of Entertaining

Steven Becker Fine Dining

Ces & Judy’s Catering

 

Burger

5 Star Burgers

A newcomer to the Clayton dining scene, 5 Star Burgers has really made our readers sit up and take notice! A range of burgers is made with fresh, natural Angus Beef from right here in the Midwest, topped by a variety of toppings to suit any fancy. Add to that a choice of sides that spans from the typical fries, to fried pickles or crispy cheese curds—sign us up! We’re sure they’ll be pleasing our palates for years to come.

Annie Gunn’s

Sportsman’s Park Restaurant

O’Connell’s Pub

Carl’s Drive In

 

Italian Food

Pastaria

Another newcomer to downtown Clayton, Pastaria offers fresh, house-made pasta served in a casual setting. It’s the rustic details (like water served out of mason jars) and the downright comfort-food freshness that really make Gerard Craft’s newest eatery stand out. We recommend you start off with the kale salad, and let your taste be your guide for the entrée. Remember to save some for the doggie bag—or you won’t have room for gelato!

Tony’s

Kemoll’s

Café Napoli

Trattoria Marcella

 

Mexican Food

Hacienda Mexican Restaurant

With claims of being the area’s first full-service Mexican restaurant, Hacienda also makes a strong case for being St. Louis’ best. The menu is full of traditional Mexican fare done right, with a sprinkling of updated options that are sure to please. Whether you’re looking for a happy-hour hangout near the bar, a quiet meal in the dining room or a relaxing evening on the spacious patio, you’ll find it at Hacienda.

Amigos Cantina

Chevy’s Fresh Mex

Nachomama’s

Pueblo Solis

 

Indian Food

House of India

Ready for some curry or chicken straight from the tandoor? You won’t have to go far to get an authentic take on Indian cuisine. Our readers chose House of India for its wide selection of Indian meals cooked to perfection. And for those taking the plunge for the first time, the lunch buffet is stocked full of offerings that will keep you coming back for more! (Editor's note: Following a minor fire last week, House of India hopes to reopen in a few days.) 

Haveli Indian Restaurant

Rasoi

Mayuri India Restaurant

Flavor of India Restaurant & Bar

 

Wait Staff

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

How about a side of welcoming hospitality with that steak? An attentive, friendly staff can take an excellent meal and turn it into a magical evening. This Frontenac restaurant’s efforts to abide by the highest standards make it a repeat winner of our best-service award.

Sidney Street Café

Cardwell’s at the Plaza

Sugo’s Spaghetteria

Annie Gunn’s

 

Chef

Gerard Craft

Achieving success is one thing in the restaurant business, where new ventures come and go like last week’s news. But achieving success repeatedly is a whole other level. Gerard Craft has wowed the St. Louis dining scene with success after success—Niche, Brasserie, Taste and now, Pastaria—as well as his repeat nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards ‘Best Chef Midwest.’ Throw in a couple of titles as the LN Platinum List Best Chef; and keep an eye out, because you know more accolades are on their way.

Kevin Nashan

Cassy Vires

Bill Cardwell

Justin Haifley

 

Outdoor Dining

Brio Tuscan Grille

After a long day of shopping, the best way to wind down is with a glass of wine, a comforting meal and a warm breeze. As your choice for best outdoor dining, Brio offers all three in its welcoming Plaza Frontenac space. So sit down, take a load off, and stay for awhile.

Vin de Set

Bricktop’s

BARcelona Tapas Restaurant

Boathouse Forest Park

 

Steak

Citizen Kane’s Steak House

Nestled in a Victorian Kirkwood home, Citizen Kane’s offers a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts, using only the freshest ingredients. But let’s not kid ourselves—the steak is the main event, and LN readers have spoken. Three cheers to the juiciest, most succulent steak around!

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Kreis Steakhouse & Bar

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Morton’s The Steakhouse

 

Best Place to Have Cocktails

The Ritz-Carlton

Whether your evening is just beginning or you’re ready for a nightcap, The Ritz-Carlton is the place to wet your whistle. In the famed Lobby Lounge, master mixologists offer a menu of more than 200 martinis, or you may choose from 7,000 select labels and rare vintages at the Wine Room. And if you crave the cocktail’s classic companion, indulge in a visit to the Cigar Club.

 

Truffles

Three Sixty Rooftop Bar

Bar Les Frères

Sub Zero Vodka Bar

 

Best Beer

Schlafly's

Since popping its first top in 1991, Schlafly’s has become St. Louis’ largest locally owned independent brewery. Its beer is available in more than 50 styles—from Raspberry Hefeweizen to Coffee Stout—so there’s a pint for every palate. Belly up to the bar at Schlafly Tap Room (downtown) or Schlafly Bottleworks (in Maplewood), or find a selection of its best brews at your neighborhood grocer’s.

 

International Tap House

Schneithorst's

Lester’s

Urban Chestnut

 

Best Fine Dining & Best Romantic Dining

Tony's

It's no surprise that this world-class restaurant tops the list in both these categories. Tony’s has racked up so many honors over the past four decades that it simply defines fine dining in St. Louis. Executive chef Vince Bommarito's signature menu includes lobster albanello, veal loin chop with truffle sauce, filet mignon with Chianti sauce, and an array of seafood dishes plus, of course, pasta dishes galore and decadent desserts. A chef's tasting menu for two is an outrageous but unforgettable indulgence and, as if it were needed, showy tableside preparation adds flair to the food. But, on those special evenings, the unparalleled service means you’ll barely notice anything but the person across the table.

 

Best Romantic Dining

Sydney Street Cafe

I Fratellini

Vin de Set

Niche

 

Best Fine Dining

Kemoll’s

Sydney Street Cafe

Paul Mineo’s Trattoria

Stone Soup Cottage

 

Best New Hot Spot (2 Years)

Pastaria

Expectations were high as St. Louis’ preeminent chef and restaurateur Gerard Craft prepared to open Pastaria last year. And Craft's new venture, a casual Italian eatery offering fresh pastas and wood-fired pizzas, quickly lived up to the reputation he'd established with Niche, Taste and Brasserie. Pizza aficionados will tell you that Craft spins the best pie in town and you'll love the risotto balls. "Sorta close to Italy?" Not geographically, perhaps, but in most definitely in spirit.

 

Bar Les Frères

Basso

5 Star Burgers

Mia Sorella

 

Best Place for a Sweet Treat

Jilly's Cupcake Bar & Cafe

Tasty trends come and go, but Jilly's exemplifies why the grown-up cupcake is here to stay. Its creative and sometimes crazy confections are big enough to share, although with eight daily standbys—including the Twisted Pink and 24-Karat Carrot Cake—plus monthly and holiday specials, you’ll be hard-pressed to pick only one.

 

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Bissinger’s

Chill Frozen Yogurt

FroYo

 

Best Brunch

Bixby's

An attraction unto itself, Bixby’s Champagne brunch, held each Sunday, has become as much of a draw as the exhibits at the Missouri History Museum. A seasonal, locally sourced buffet includes made-to-order Eggs Benedict and omelets, Belgian waffles, sausage, salmon, chilled salad, pastries and more—and don’t forget a mimosa or Bloody Mary!

 

Chase Park Plaza

Ritz-Carlton

Rooster

Half & Half

 

Best Spa

Four Seasons Spa & Salon

Step into an urban oasis of tranquility and indulge yourself in pampering regimens that encompass both the body and the spirit. Located in the very heart of downtown within St. Louis’ most acclaimed hotel, the Four Seasons Spa & Salon offers a classic menu of massages, facial and body treatments and salon services, plus a staff that makes your pampering a priority.

 

Ginger Bay

The Face & The Body

Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa

Stonewater Spa & Boutique

 

Best Nail Salon

Ladue Nails

For a quick polish change or hours or a leisurely interlude, savvy St. Louisans know where to go for nail design plus facials, massages, waxing and more. Selected by our readers for the third year in a row, Ladue Nails boasts four locations, offering all the pampering perks of an upscale salon but without the wait—or the prices.

 

Beautiful Nails

The Face & The Body

Ginger Bay

Salon Elysium

 

 

Best Gym

Nutriformance

The results have paid off, and our readers have again voted Nutiformance as the area's best bet to get fit. A skilled staff of personal trainers, registered dieticians, physical therapists, sports-performance coaches, licensed massage therapists and innovative fitness instructors mean its clients are in good hands.

 

Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa

The Fitness Edge

Life Time Fitness

The Bar Method

 

 

Best Hair Salon

Dominic Michael Salon

Hair salons may come and go, but Dominic Michael Salon has been a fixture on the St. Louis style scene for decades, thanks to its fashion-forward stylists, cutting-edge (so to speak) space and fearless leader, the legendary Dominic Bertani.

 

Elan Salon

Vakkar Salon

Studio Branca

Mitchell James Salon

 

Best Place for Pet Pampering

Kennelwood Pet Resorts

Discriminating doggies—and their owners—know that Kennelwood is the best in the business. That’s why its boarding, grooming, training and daycare services continue to lead the pack with our readers. At its seven area Pet Resorts, a devoted and compassionate staff treats your furry friend like one of the family.

 

Lola & Penelope’s Pet Boutique

Town & Country Veterinary Hospital

Treats Unleashed

Petropolis Pet Resort

 

 

Top Spot to Buy a Luxury Car

Plaza Motor Company

When LN readers picture their dream vehicle, many imagine rolling one off the Plaza showroom floor. The popular luxury car dealership boasts the best in driving, from the newest models of Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguars to Porsche and more. And for our readers, the superior customer service is what really sweetens the sale.

Bommarito Auto Group

Parktown Imports

Suntrup Automotive Dealers

Mungenast Automotive Family

 

Most Trusted Dry Cleaners

Marquard's Cleaners

LN readers have once again voted Marquard’s No. 1 for dry cleaning. Since 1931, St. Louisans have trusted the local family-owned business with their finest garments—from dress clothes to wedding dresses, heirlooms and oriental rugs. All the while, the staff goes out of the way to offer each service with a smile.

West Oak Cleaners

Frontenac Cleaners

Pleats

Tide Dry Cleaners

 

Best Florist

Ladue Florist

A local staple, Ladue Florist is ever-committed to offering the community the finest floral arrangements and gifts. With an impressive range of fresh flowers, including roses, Holland imports, garden varieties and exotics, the neighborhood floral shop can add a flair of creativity and beauty to your party, wedding or other special event.

Bloomin’ Buckets

Ken Miesner’s Flowers

Mary Tuttle’s Flowers

Walter Knoll Florist

 

Best Wealth Advisor

Moneta Group

According to our poll, many LN readers trust their family finances to Moneta Group. Since 1869, the Clayton-based financial services firm has been providing economic guidance to St. Louisans, managing $11 billion in assets, with a focus on each client’s best interests throughout valued, long-term relationships.

PNC Bank

Wells Fargo Advisors

Buckingham Asset Management

Heise Advisory Group

 

Best Real Estate Agency

Laura McCarthy Real Estate

With many of its 100-plus agents specializing in the luxury housing market, Laura McCarthy is a top-ranked real estate company in sales volume. And because of its knowledge of residential real estate throughout the city’s central corridor, that success continues to carry over to client satisfaction.

Janet McAfee Real Estate

Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty

Prudential Alliance Realtors

Coldwell Banker

 

Best Place to Have Cosmetic Surgery

West County Plastic Surgeons

This Washington University Physicians Group has the newest technology in cosmetic surgery. Whether it’s a rejuvenating facial or a cosmetic surgery procedure, clients leave looking and feeling their best.

Ridenour

Nayak

Parkcrest

St. Louis Cosmetic

 

Most Beautiful Place for a Wedding

Missouri Botanical Garden

With 79 acres of stunning plant and flower gardens, including one of the world’s largest collections of rare orchids, Missouri Botanical Garden makes for a gorgeous and romantic backdrop when it comes to the special events in your life. That’s why LN readers hailed the national historic landmark the picture-perfect location for their big day.

Forest Park’s World’s Fair Pavilion

The Coronado Ballroom

Piper Palm House

St. Louis Country Club

 

Best Place to See and Be Seen

Truffles

Dress your best and grab a booth for a glass of premium wine, a farm-fresh dinner, decadent dessert and plenty of people-watching at Truffles. And join local—and maybe even national—celebrities at the restaurant during signature events, such as late-night bar jams.

Bar Les Freres

The Ritz Carlton, St. Louis

Brio Tuscan Grille

The Cheshire

 

Best Retirement Community

Mari de Villa

For more than 50 years, seniors have loved calling Mari de Villa home. The tight-knit retirement community offers all the comforts of home and more, including personalized living spaces, a whirlpool and spa, a beauty salon and a theater. And all of the luxurious amenities are right at guests’ fingertips on a beautifully landscaped 21-acre campus in Town & Country.

The Gatesworth

Willows at Brooking Park

Brookdale Senior Living

Delmar Gardens

 

Best Golf Course

Bellerive Country Club

Golf great Tiger Woods and the game’s newer stars, such as Camilo Villegas, have graced the greens of Bellerive Country Club. And the best golfers from around the globe will return to the course for the 74th Senior PGA Championship in May, making it only the third club in the world to host all four rotating men’s major championships. As if that wasn’t enough, Bellerive also has been bestowed the prestigious honor of hosting the 100th PGA Championship set for August of 2018.

Boone Valley

Old Warson Country Club

Country Club of St. Albans

St. Louis Country Club

 

Best Kid’s Attraction

The Magic House

Named one of the nation’s top children’s museums, The Magic House’s innovative and interactive exhibits and programs continue to wow first-time visitors, as well as long-time fans. Kids can find fun around every corner, from climbing Jack and the Beanstalk and standing inside a bubble to playing in the sand on the ‘beach.’ And new entertaining and educational exhibits ensure families always have a reason to come back and explore.

Saint Louis Zoo

City Museum

Six Flags St. Louis

Saint Louis Science Center

 

Our City’s Best-Kept Secret

Faust Park

One of the city’s most unique natural gems, Faust Park offers The Butterfly House, winding trails, a historic village and even a carousel. The park, which spans some 200 acres in the heart of Chesterfield, also plays host to free festivals and concerts at its amphitheatre.

Tower Grove Farmer’s Market

The Smokehouse Market

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Venice Café

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