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  • August 1, 2014

The 2014 LN Platinum List - Ladue News: Special Features

The 2014 LN Platinum List

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:13 pm, Thu Mar 20, 2014.

There’s no question LN readers are in-the-know, so who better to ask about the things that make St. Louis stand out and stand proud? You voted for your favorites in every category—from shopping to dining, entertainment to customer service. Well, now the votes are in and the numbers have been tallied.

Here, we present the very best, as selected by our readers, in the 2014 Ladue News Platinum List!

Best Antiques

Jules L. Pass Antiques

Since its founding in 1980, antique aficionados have been able to find their latest treasure at Jules L. Pass Antiques. Owner Jules Pass takes several trips to Europe each year to keep the selection of 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century pieces at its finest. It’s no surprise that this shop continues to top the list of Best Antiques.

Runners Up:

Clark Graves Antiques

Emporium St. Louis

Small World Antiques

Warson Woods Antique Gallery

Best Furniture & Home Accessories

Expressions Furniture

Why buy out-of-the-box furniture when you can go custom? St. Louisans clearly echo that thought, as Expressions Furniture remains a Platinum List victor for another year. Whether you’re working with a neutral palette or aiming for a color explosion, Expressions’ custom pieces allow you to stay as safe or spirited as you like.

Runners Up:

Amini’s

Arhaus

FRILL Home

Savvy Surrounding Style

Best Children’s Clothing

The Woman’s Exchange

It’s common knowledge: When your salad becomes an institution in itself, you’ve made it. So with diners and shoppers constantly flocking the store, it only makes sense that The Woman’s Exchange is a Platinum List winner, especially when it comes to its handmade children’s clothing, which is equal parts iconic and adorable. Trust us: If it was chic enough for one of Jackie Kennedy’s children, it’s chic enough for yours.

Runners Up:

City Sprouts

Dandelions

Nordstrom

Roberts Fine Apparel for Boys to Men

Best Lingerie

Jule Lingerie & Loungewear

Lace, chiffon, silk… We won’t mention much about these unmentionables, as leaving a few things to the imagination is a key part of the lingerie business. Jule was a beloved shop and frequent LN Platinum List winner that will surely be missed by St. Louis shoppers. In its absence, try out these runner-up favorites. Farewell, Jule!

Runners Up:

clair de lune

Nordstrom

Soma Intimates

Victoria’s Secret

Best Women’s Clothing

Paperdolls Boutique

Chevron, monograms, lightweight scarves, printed leggings… You know those fashion trends that you see all over St. Louis? They can be found at Paperdolls Boutique, a women’s clothing and accessories store that holds its Platinum List title for another year. When you’re not visiting one of Paperfolls' two locations—Kirkwood and Ballwin—be sure to check out its weekly Facebook sales, which post online every Friday.

Runners Up:

Ivy Hill Boutique

Neiman Marcus

Pink Magnolia

Vie

Best Men’s Clothing

Mister Guy Clothiers

In St. Louis, the men’s clothing destination is Mister Guy Clothiers. Whether you’re a golfing gentleman seeking some Peter Millar, a polished pro looking for more Hugo Boss, or even a classic prep craving some Vineyard Vines, the stock—which is primarily focused on timeless pieces—at Mister Guy is unparalleled.

Runners Up:

Brooks Brothers

Kim Keuhner Sportswear

Sam Cavato Men’s Wear

Woody’s Mens Shop

Best Shoe Store

Laurie’s Shoes

For another year, family business Laurie’s Shoes remains the Best Shoe Store in St. Louis. Laurie’s stocks men’s, women’s and children’s styles for a variety of occasions and in a surplus of sizes. And with its four area locations, supporting local business while finding your next favorite pair is a breeze.

Runners Up:

Marmi Shoes

Neiman Marcus

Nordstrom

Saks Fifth Avenue

Best Fine Jewelry

Genovese Jewelers

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then Genovese Jewelers must be family. This shop is filled to the brim with those sparkling stones, as well as on-trend fashion jewelry. Whether you’re picking out a wedding ring for your soon-to-be spouse or finding a glistening treat for yourself, Genovese’s quality pieces are sure to please.

Runners Up:

Elleard Heffern Fine Jewelers

Huffords Jewelry

Simons Jewelers

YLANG-YLANG

Best Fun Jewelry

Codi The Boutique

Fun, fashion-forward pieces mesh perfectly with quality materials at Codi. With a slogan like, Funky for day, fancy for night, what else could be expected? Courtney Hopson, Codi owner and designer, has storefronts in Ladue and Town & Country, in addition to her well-stocked website. Not seeing exactly what you want? Email her directly to talk about customized orders.

Runners Up:

Giddyup Jane

Ivy Hill Boutique

Melanie’s

Paperdolls Boutique

Best Toy Store

Imagination Toys

Why imagine a great toy when one is so easy to find? Longtime favorite Imagination Toys houses a plethora of games—from the creative to the educational to the just plain fun—in its 4,000-square-foot location on Clayton Road.

Runners Up:

Bright Idea Toys

Ladue Pharmacy

LEGO Store

Spicer’s Toys & Candy

Best Wine Store

Schnucks

The best place to buy a bottle of wine in St. Louis isn’t some hole-in-the-wall spirits shop, and you don’t need to know a guy who knows a guy to find it—it’s as simple as stopping by your neighborhood Schnucks, and as convenient as buying your groceries. Now, use all that extra time to enjoy another glass. Cheers!

Runners Up:

Grapevine Wines & Spirits

Parker’s Table Wine and Food Store

The Wine and Cheese Place

The Wine Merchant

Best Customer Service

Nordstrom

Considering the superb customer service at Nordstrom has been immortalized into a book, there’s just not much left to say. For another year, Nordstrom holds the title of Best Customer Service in St. Louis and—judging by all the attention—possibly across the country.

Runners Up:

Bright Idea Toys

The Gatesworth

Laurie’s Shoes

Paperdolls Boutique

Best Coffee House

Kaldi’s

Whether you’re in the mood for a work-of-art cappuccino or just a mug of plain Joe, Kaldi’s has you caffeinated. The company prides itself on its sustainable sourcing of top-quality coffee beans from around the world, showing locals the power of a good, quality cup. With locations across the state, it’s easy to see what the buzz is all about.

Runners Up:

Deer Creek Coffee

Northwest Coffee Roasting Company

Starbucks

City Coffee

Best Family-Friendly Restaurant

Lester’s Restaurant and Sports Bar

Brimming with good drinks, house-smoked meats and families sitting down to share a meal together, Lester’s is the neighborhood joint. Friendly bartenders and servers supply a great selection of beer and barbecue to enjoy while watching a game or catching up with the family. The extensive menu has something for everyone. Order the brisket quesadilla—you can thank us later.

Runners Up:

Five Star Burgers

Dewey’s Pizza

Sportsman’s Park

Pastaria

Best Pizza

Dewey’s Pizza

In the cutthroat world of St. Louis pizza, Dewey’s is the great unifier. Complemented by gourmet salads, its not-too-thick, not-too-thin crust is topped with fresh meats, veggies and cheeses in refreshing combinations. Dewey’s drink menu rotates constantly, featuring libations from both local and national micro-breweries and wineries. If your kids haven’t yet watched the cooks toss the dough, they’re in for a treat.

Runners Up:

Imo’s Pizza

Katie’s Pizzeria Café

Pi Pizzeria

Red-L Pizza

Best Caterer

Butler’s Pantry

If you’ve ever attended a fine St. Louis wedding, party or corporate meeting, chances are you’ve tasted—and loved—food from Butler’s Pantry. Serving the area for almost 50 years, the full-service catering company takes all the work out of hosting, from décor and the menu to security and valet. Those who want tasteful, memorable events turn to Butler’s Pantry.

Runners Up:

The Art of Entertaining

Ces & Judy’s

Gourmet to Go

Steven Becker Fine Dining

Best Burger

Five Star Burgers

The black-angus beef of Five Star Burgers’ winning hamburgers comes from hormone- and antibiotic-free, humanely treated, pasture-grazing cows. So it’s no wonder the burgers taste so delicious. (The restaurant also serves veggie, lamb, fish, mushroom, chicken and bison burgers to please every palate.) Topped with flavorful extras on a butter-toasted brioche bun and paired with a craft beer and crispy fries, these ambrosial burgers are living up to their name.

Runners Up:

Blueberry Hill

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

O’Connell’s Pub

Sportsman’s Park

Best Italian Food

I Fratellini

For an indulgent taste of gourmet Italian, a trip to The Hill no longer is necessary. I Fratellini serves refined cuisine made from classic ingredients, in a setting that transforms from bright and cozy during the lunch hour to romantic and elegant in the evening. With dishes like the mushroom ravioli in brown butter and sage, and pistachio-encrusted trout with citrus butter over sautéed spinach, you might not be visiting The Hill for a while.

Runners Up:

Café Napoli

Pastaria

Sugo’s Spaghetteria

Tony’s

Best Mexican Food

Hacienda Mexican Restaurant

Bringing authentic Mexican food to the area for more than 40 years, Hacienda has again nabbed the No. 1 spot on our list. The restaurant’s smashing happy hour, festive atmosphere and substantial menu, featuring traditional favorites and a few unexpected twists—crab meat enchilada, anyone?—make every meal there a fiesta. Olé!

Runners Up:

Amigos Cantina

Mi Ranchito

Nachomama’s

Pueblo Solis

Best Indian Food

House of India

Ask any local their favorite Indian restaurant, and they’ll likely start to rave about House of India. The creamy kormas, spicy curries and always-fresh naan will have you hooked. Indian-food novices should try the lunch buffet to get a sampling of all the delectable and authentic flavors this U-City staple offers.

Runners Up:

Flavor of India

Haveli

Mayuri India Restaurant

Rasoi

Best Wait Staff

Brio Tuscan Grille

From the breadbasket to the main course to the chocolate mint on the way out, everything about Brio Tuscan Grille is delicious. But it’s the helpful wait staff that leaves the biggest impression. Knowledgeable and personable, every member of the house is poised—and pleased—to serve. Try a new drink with guidance from the bartender, or explore their desserts with tips from your server. With their top-notch menu, you can’t go wrong.

Runners Up:

Annie Gunn’s

Cielo

Circle 7 Ranch

Tony’s

Best Chef

Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Café

In his 10-year tenure at Sidney Street Café, chef and co-owner Kevin Nashan has cooked for President Obama, revamped the menu and turned the restaurant into one of St. Louis’ institutions. The five-time James Beard Award semifinalist draws on his time living in the Midwest, Southwest, New Orleans and New York City to create innovative and unforgettable dishes—just like the man himself.

Runners Up:

Gerard Craft, Niche, Pastaria, Brasserie and Taste

Josh Galliano, The Libertine

Kevin Willmann, Farmhaus

Brian Hardesty, Element

Best Outdoor Dining

Vin de Set

We’re about to enter the time of year when there’s nothing better than breaking bread outside. Luckily for us, there’s Vin de Set. The rooftop bar and bistro offers French cuisine in one of the city’s best settings, bathed in sunlight and with a calm breeze and a great view. Or go later in the evening for a romantic canoodle under the stars.

Runners Up:

Bar Italia

The Boathouse Restaurant

Brio Tuscan Grille

The Chase Park Plaza

Best Steak

Citizen Kane’s

The results are in, and it’s no surprise: For yet another year, you’ve recognized Citizen Kane’s for its superior steak. In addition to the finest cuts of meat cooked just the way you like it, along with exceptional service, this Kirkwood standby uses only fresh ingredients in its classic homemade dishes.

Runners Up:

Annie Gunn’s

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Kreis’ Restaurant

Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood

Best Place to Have Cocktails

Truffles

What better way to unwind after a hard day at work than a cocktail with friends? And what better place to have that drink, than at Truffles? A menu rooted in simplicity and seasonality, paired with a neighborhood ambiance that’s both classy and comfortable, makes for one memorable night out.

Runners Up:

360

Bar Napoli

Cielo Restaurant & Bar

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis

Best Craft Beer

Schlafly

St. Louis is a town that’s blessed with a rich brewing history. From one of the industry’s biggest players to smaller brewers that pack a big flavor punch, we’ve got it all. And whether your preference is for a beer that’s light or dark, slightly sweet or robust, Schlafly has a beer for you—and they’re serving them up with a friendly smile at their Tap Room and Bottleworks restaurants, as well as pretty much every first-rate watering hole in town.

Runners Up:

International Tap House

Lester’s

Schneithorst’s Restaurant & Bar

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

Best Romantic Dining

Tony’s

Soft, romantic lighting, a white tablecloth, and a certain understated elegance, complemented by an exquisite meal…All of these come to mind when you’re planning a special night out with that special someone. These elements and more come together at Tony’s, a local restaurant that perennially tops best-of lists the world over. And with unparalleled service, you can focus your attention on what really matters—the person you’re dining with.

Runners Up:

Bar Les Freres

Brasserie by Niche

I Fratellini

Sidney Street Café

Best New Hot Spot (2 Years)

Bar Les Freres

A tiny space on Wydown Boulevard was transformed from drab to fab when restaurateur Zoe Pidgeon opened Bar Les Freres at the end of 2012. The petite French-inspired eatery complements Pidgeon’s other venture, I Frattelini, with an upscale, eclectic vibe and low lighting perfect for a romantic rendezvous. With its elegantly simple menu items and creative cocktails, this little restaurant is here to stay. Now, if only spring would arrive so that we could nab a spot on the patio!

Runners Up:

Basso

Circle 7 Ranch

Pastaria

Prasino

Best Sweet Treats

Piccione Pastry

Imagine you’re walking down a dusty street in Italy when you stop at the glass storefront of a little bakery selling homemade treats. You walk inside, order a cannoli…and what you bite into is startlingly similar to the sweets served at Piccione Pastry. Staffed by the team that created Butler’s Pantry and Bixby’s at the Missouri History Museum, this newcomer to the Delmar Loop is even better than what your nonna used to make.

Runners Up:

Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier

Cyrano’s Café

Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Café

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Best Fine Dining Restaurant

Tony’s

When it comes to fine dining, being the best means every plate that goes out is given the utmost attention, just like every guest. And the team at Tony’s, put together by executive chef Vince Bommarito, treats even the most subtle of details with great care. Rather than resting on its sterling reputation, this perennial favorite has just completed a 10,000-square-foot renovation. Perhaps it’s time to take a new look at this old favorite.

Runners Up:

I Fratellini

Kemoll’s

Sidney Street Café

Stone Soup Cottage

Best Brunch

The Restaurant at The Cheshire

We can’t think of a better way to start off a relaxing Saturday morning than with a truly indulgent brunch. And you’ve chosen The Restaurant at The Cheshire as your top spot for sharing an order or beignets with friends, paired with a Bloody Mary or perhaps a blood orange mimosa. To follow it up, don’t miss the prime rib hash. Bon appétit!

Runners Up:

Bixby’s

Brio Tuscan Grille

Café Madeleine

The Ritz-Carlton

Best Spa

Four Seasons

If you have been to the spa at the Four Seasons, then you truly have been to heaven. Forget your worries as you step into one of the spa’s serene treatment rooms, where you will enjoy your choice of relaxing massage, purifying facial or indulgent body treatment. Don’t forget to save plenty of time for savoring the luxurious steam rooms and relaxation lounge with a hot cup of the spa’s special blend of herbal tea. This is what you’ve been waiting for!

Runners Up:

The Face & The Body

Ginger Bay Salon and Spa

Stonewater Spa & Boutique

Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa

Best Nail Salon

Ladue Nails & Spa

In need of an emergency manicure after the dry winter air sucked all the moisture from your cuticles? Want to treat someone special to an hour of relaxation? Or just ready for your weekly appointment with your favorite manicurist? You’ve chosen Ladue Nails & Spa as your go-to for all three! And with four centrally located locations, their beauty specialists are never too far for a little beauty pick-me-up.

Runners Up:

Beautiful Nails

Just Nails

The Face & The Body

Ginger Bay Salon and Spa

Best Gym

Nutriformance

For stellar personal training, holistic pilates, hard-core spinning and more, Nutriformance is the place to go! But you already knew that, didn’t you? After all, they’re a repeat winner for the Platinum List’s Best Gym. To kick-start a new weight-loss goal, or for the inspiration to keep going when it seems almost impossible to stay on track, the professional trainers at Nutriformance are in your corner.

Runners Up:

The Fitness Edge

J.O.E. Exercise Inc.

The Bar Method

Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa

Best Hair Salon

Dominic Michael Salon

At its new digs in Colonial Marketplace, Dominic Michael Salon has achieved a look that’s somehow trendy, classy and cool all at the same time. But a salon is much more than its interior design, and that’s why LN readers have made it their repeat pick for Best Hair Salon: because its skilled stylists somehow manage to make you look trendy, classy and cool all at the same time!

Runners Up:

David’s in Clayton

Guy and Carmelo Salon

Robert Ramsey Hair

Studio Branca

Best Place for Pet Pampering

Kennelwood Pet Resorts

Kennelwood is a one-stop-shop for all your pet needs: From finding the perfect pet for your family with its in-house matchmaker, to training classes, and through your pet’s whole life with day camps, grooming and boarding. But more than that, you chose Kennelwood as the Platinum List winner for Pet Pampering because their trained staff loves your pets just as much as you do!

Runners Up:

Lola & Penelope’s

Petropolis

Town & Country Veterinary Hospital

Treats Unleashed

Best Luxury Car Dealership

Plaza Motors

LN readers prefer to drive their new Lexus, Jaguar or BMW off the showroom floor of Plaza Motors. And automobile lovers rest assured that the luxury car dealership is committed to a pleasant customer experience for the life of their vehicle.

Runners Up:

Autohaus BMW

Bommarito Automotive Group

Mungenast Automotive Family

St. Louis Motorcars

Best Dry Cleaners

Marquard’s Cleaners

For care of their most precious garments, LN readers continue to count on Marquard’s Cleaners. The third-generation, family-owned business has set the standard in St. Louis dry cleaning since 1931. From your everyday laundry to the cleaning of your oriental rugs and the preservation of your wedding gown, Marquard’s always strives to provide superior clothing care and personal service.

Runners Up:

Frontenac Cleaners

Pleats Cleaners

Tide Dry Cleaners

West Oak Cleaners

Best Florist

Ken Miesner’s Flowers

For more than 40 years, Ken Miesner’s Flowers has offered quality customer service and top-of-the-line products, from gorgeous imported flowers to luxurious gifts. And Ken Miesner and his partner, John Sullivan, who have collaborated on stunning floral arrangements for some 1,200 weddings, use their design expertise to make your unique event extra-special.

Runners Up:

Bloomin’ Buckets

Ladue Florist

Mary Tuttle’s Flowers

Walter Knoll Florist

Best Wealth Advisor

Moneta Group

When it comes to management of family finances, many LN readers turn to Moneta Group. Since 1869, the Clayton-based financial services firm has offered advisors equipped with the knowledge and training to provide clients with the best in advice and services for their economic lives today and into the future.

Runners Up:

Buckingham Asset Management

Edward Jones

PNC Wealth Management

Wells Fargo Advisors

Best Real Estate Agency

Laura McCarthy Real Estate

LN readers trust Laura McCarthy realtors to help them buy and sell their dream home. With more than 100 seasoned agents specializing in the luxury residential real estate market of St. Louis’ central corridor, the top-ranked agency continues to be a local leader in sales volume and client satisfaction.

Runners Up:

Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty

Coldwell Banker Gundaker

Janet McAfee Real Estate

Prudential Alliance Realtors

Best Cosmetic Surgery Center

Ridenour Plastic Surgery

With 25 years of experience, Dr. Brock Ridenour leads Ridenour Plastic Surgery in helping patients look and feel their best. Through a wide range of innovative plastic surgery and professional skin care offerings, an exemplary staff ensures patients have an enjoyable experience that leads to quality results.

Runners Up:

Nayak Plastic Surgery

Parkcrest Plastic Surgery

St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery

West County Plastic Surgeons

Best Wedding Venue

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

With breathtaking views of the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis skyline, the Four Seasons is a beautiful backdrop to say ‘I do.’ Celebrate your big day with every last detail, from the setting to the food, flowers and music, planned to perfection by a top wedding specialist and carried out by an exceptional staff.

Runners Up:

Coronado Ballroom

Forest Park’s World’s Fair Pavilion

Missouri Botanical Garden

The Saint Louis Club

Best See-and-Be-Seen Spot

Basso

Descend The Cheshire’s spiral staircase to an upscale pub made for St. Louis’ ‘in’ crowd. LN readers like to see and be seen along the sophisticated restaurant’s zinc bar or seated in the cozy corner of an intimate booth. Activity not only among the crowd, but in the open kitchen, keeps guests entertained as they enjoy Italian-inspired cuisine.

Runners Up:

Bar Les Freres

Bar Napoli

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis

Truffles

Best Retirement Community

Mari de Villa

On more than 27 acres in Town & Country, Mari de Villa strives to offer everything a retiree could need. Residents, who can choose from independent living to various levels of assisted care, are steps away from on-campus amenities, such as upscale dining, daily live music, weekly exercise programs and book reviews.

Runners Up:

Aberdeen Heights

Friendship Village

The Gatesworth

The Willows at Brooking Park

Best Golf Course

Bellerive Country Club

For more than a century, golf’s greats have graced the greens of Bellerive Country Club. From last year’s 74th Senior PGA Championship to the 100th PGA Championship coming in 2018, the luxury golf club is only the third in the world to host all four rotating men’s major championships. Fore!

Runners Up:

Boone Valley Golf Club

The Country Club of St. Albans

Old Warson Country Club

Westwood Country Club

Best Kid’s Attraction

The Magic House

The Magic House constantly gives first-time visitors and dedicated patrons endless reasons to explore. A top national children’s museum and a long-time favorite of LN readers, the ever-evolving playground immerses attendees into the wonderful worlds of science, music, art, sports, history and more. Whether you are standing inside a bubble, peering through a garden kaleidoscope or playing an over-sized instrument, there’s always room for more imagination and adventure at The Magic House.

Runners Up:

City Museum

Myseum

Saint Louis Science Center

Saint Louis Zoo

Best-Kept Secret

Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House

Experience more than 60 species of the world’s butterflies in flight throughout the 8,000-square-foot glass conservatory of the Butterfly House. Through hands-on activities and living exhibits, such as the butterfly garden, guests learn while also having fun in St. Louis County’s Faust Park.

Runners Up:

The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center

Shaw Nature Reserve

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