Throw Back (A Cocktail or Two) Thursdays at The Ritz

Beginning July 16, on Thursday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, The Lobby Lounge will step back into the days of Prohibition for Barrels, Bourbon and the Bee’s Knees.

For fans of classic cocktails and nostalgia, here’s your fun! There’s no cover, no reservation required.

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For each week’s event, The Lobby Lounge lighting will dim to replicate historic Edison light bulb levels, and vintage cocktails will be created throwback-style. Beverage offerings will include the Bees Knees — influenced by the honey, lemon and orange initially used to mask the taste of Prohibition’s “bathtub gin,” as well as the Mary Pickford, the Champagne-based French 75, and the Ward 8, shaken with rye.

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The signature drink for the Ritz’s Prohibition nights will be a classic Manhattan, prepared in 1930s style using beakers and pipettes, and featuring Missouri’s own Defiance Rye Bourbon along with sweet vermouth, house-crafted orange-infused bitters, bourbon-marinated cherries and lemon juice.

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Prohibition nights will continue each Thursday evening at the Ritz through August. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is located at 100 Carondolet Plaza in Clayton.

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Valentine’s Day—One Of The Big Ones

V-day is huge for restaurants. This year it falls on a Saturday. Convenient for couples. But owners would prefer V-day happen on a weeknight, since tables are generally in greater demand on Saturdays anyway.

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Here’s what a few local restaurants have planned for Valentine’s 2014.

Panorama at the Art Museum is offering a special 3-course prix fixe dinner on Friday night, February 13, 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For $65 per couple, you can share an Aphrodisiac Menu For Two, created by chef Ivy Magruder:

Roasted Asparagus with avocado, arugula salad and basil honey vinaigrette

Rum and Coffee Marinated Filet with artichoke-tarragon risotto and butter-poached lobster

Double Chocolate Brownie Tart with raspberries and vanilla ice cream

Panorama will offer brunch on Valentine’s Day and Sunday, Feb. 15 from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. The view is spectacular! Call 314-655-5490 for reservations.

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The Ritz-Carlton in Clayton is featuring a Romance Menu on Friday and Saturday nights (February 13 and 14), 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in The Grill. It’s priced at $99/person. (They’ll also have a la carte items available.)

The Ritz has an overnight stay package that includes deluxe accommodations, dinner for two, breakfast for two, a “rose petal turndown” for $459. Available Friday and Saturday nights. Call 314-719-1433 for dining reservations or 800-241-3333 for the overnight package.

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Kemoll’s is hosting a Valentine’s Dinner and Dance on Saturday, February 14 up on the 42nd floor of the Met Square building.

Cost is $100/person which includes your meal, open bar, tip and parking. (Not to mention a nice view of the Arch!) Dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. Here’s the Kemoll’s V-day menu:

1st course: Caesar Salad with shaved parmesan, 5 cheese croutons, and grilled anchovies

2nd course: Farfalle Pasta tossed in a creamy wild mushroom alfredo and fries procuito

3rd course: Grilled Filet Mignon with garlic bourism and Tiger Shrimp sauteed in a roasted red pepper scampi butter served with balsamic marinated asparagus

4th course: Belgium Waffle Strawberry Shortcake topped with vanilla bourbon syrup glaze.

Call 314-421-0555 to make your reservation.

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Tenacious Eats, which matches a 5-course food and cocktail menu to a movie, is sold out for its Valentine’s Day presentation of When Harry Met Sally. But, at last check, tickets are available for Friday, February 13. For info visit TenaciousEats.com.

You should note that a Tenacious Eats dinner is not your usual formal dinner date. It’s not quite Rocky Horror at the Tiv, but it is a looser, more fun kind of night out. $65/person.

Whatever restaurant you may be thinking about for Valentine’s Day, it’s important to make your reservation soon.

Also, consider that Valentine’s Day means a bit of an adjustment for restaurants, since most V-day reservations are for parties of 2. (A normal Saturday may include several parties of 4 or 6.)

And now, to conclude this post and put you in a romantic state of mind for Valentine’s Day, here’s a classic love song from the Reverend Al Green!

Kaldi’s Coffee Dinner at the Ritz

Many restaurants have spectacular wine dinners. Some offer intriguing beer dinners. We’ve even seen the occasional whiskey dinner recently. Now, here comes a Spring Coffee Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton on Saturday, May 17.

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The meal will feature Kaldi’s coffees in each course. Menu items include coffee-glazed pork belly, coffee-rubbed beef tenderloin, halibut sauced with coffee beurre blanc and coffee créme brulée. Click HERE for the complete menu.

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Paired coffee cocktails and Urban Chestnut beers will accompany the meal.

Cost is $150/person plus tax and tip. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House. For reservations, call the Ritz at 314-719-1433.

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is located at 100 Carondelet Plaza in Clayton.