Treat Yo SelfAs the fine folks from “Parks and Recreation” preached, at least one day a year, you need to treat yourself. Feel like ordering a sky-high triple-stack pie? Treat yo self. Crave a waffle drowning in banana butter sauce and ice cream? Treat yo self. Got a hankering for a porterhouse steak the size of your face? Treat. Yo. Self. It’s time to blow big money on food and drink around town. All you have to do is save the date and plan your itinerary from among these 15 lavish picks so that nothing and no one come between you and your day of decadence.
One of everything, Brevan’s Patisserie
In a perfect world, you’ve got a bangin’ bod even though you eat dessert for every meal. I can get you halfway there. At Brevan’s Patisserie in Edwardsville, you can eat breakfast like Buddy The Elf thanks to the pastry shop’s treasure trove of decadent desserts. Try the Brendan, a chocolate mousse dome filled with a silky peanut butter cremeux covered in chocolate ganache and garnished with peanut brittle, or The Nutty Colombian, coffee mousse, hazelnut cremeux and coffee caramel on a hazelnut candy bar. And don’t miss the most luxurious sandwich of all time – ultra-smooth ganache with a hint of salted caramel sandwiched between two chewy chocolate chip cookies. Can’t decide? No need. On a day like this, get one of each; most items are $5 or less – and you deserve it.
Prices vary. Brevan’s Patisserie, 1009 Century Drive, Edwardsville, 618.307.5772, brevanspatisserie.com
Bananas Foster waffle, Olivette Diner
Diner food is joyful food whether you’re drunk, nursing a hangover or just starting a regular day. At Olivette Diner, the waffles bring me joy, especially the bananas Foster version. A hot, Belgian waffle is generously gilded with a glossy, buttery banana-brown sugar-cinnamon sauce and capped with a humongous scoop of melting vanilla ice cream that turns this work of art into an overindulgent, delicious mess. Don’t apologize.
$7. Olivette Diner, 9638 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, 314.995.9945, Facebook: Olivette Diner
Honey and Wine Wrap, Chaumette Vineyards & Winery
There may come a point on this glorious day when you feel guilt for all this extravagance. When that moment comes, rid yourself of doubt by applying wine and honey to your whole body. The spa at Chaumette Vineyards & Winery originally developed its Honey and Wine Wrap to strengthen the body’s immune defenses. A warm paste of dry honey powder, chardonel wine and wine yeast will exfoliate and revitalize your skin and, more important, restore your conviction to buy whatever you want on Treat Yo Self Day. After a 90-minute session, bask in the glory of renewed confidence in the spa’s sanctuary room overlooking picturesque Saline Creek Valley and unwind with a complimentary glass of one of Chaumette’s award-winning wines. Darling, you look mahvelous!
$175. Chaumette Vineyards & Winery, 24345 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, 573.747.1000, chaumette.com
Milkshake, Baileys’ Range
If I had my way, I’d have a milkshake a day just like I did when I was a kid. At Baileys’ Range, all 15 flavors of rich, silky ice cream are made from scratch. There’s white chocolate-raspberry, coconut crunch, triple chocolate, salted caramel, pistachio … and my favorite, cookies and cream. With so many options, it’s difficult to choose. However, if you order the large (of course you’re ordering the large), you can mix any two flavors and save yourself the trouble of making such a difficult life decision.
$5.50. Baileys’ Range, 920 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.241.8121, baileysrange.com
Heart Stopping BLT, Crown Candy Kitchen
Step inside this little North St. Louis spot and be transported into a Norman Rockwell painting. Grab a seat at one of the booths and order Crown Candy’s famous Heart Stopping BLT. Some 14 to 15 slices of fatty, crispy, crunchy, salty bacon are unabashedly piled between slices
of Texas toast smeared with Miracle Whip. It doesn’t get more opulent
$9. Crown Candy Kitchen, 1401 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9650, crowncandykitchen.com
Wow Board, Annie Gunn’s
Chef Lou Rook III has earned my trust. Even though I never know exactly what I’m going to get when I order the Wow Board, when this gustatory spread arrives at the table, I always squeal “Wow!” and then devour everything. Now it’s your turn. This repast comes with various meats like Cajun andouille sausage, a pork terrine, fried chicken livers with horseradish or boudin balls. Accompanying those savory flavors, you’ll find a sweet foil such as a gooseberry or bacon chutney. Cheese is essential, and local favorite Baetje Farms’ Bloomsdale has made cameos in the past. One mainstay is the thinly sliced Irish soda bread, toasted to a golden hue and slathered in butter. With all those lardaceous elements, pickled vegetables like carrots, onions, jalapenos and radishes add the perfect briny bite.
$24. Annie Gunn’s, 16806 Chesterfield Airport Road, Chesterfield, 636.532.7684, smokehousemarket.com
Chocolate Tasting, VB Chocolate Bar
Alcohol and sugar are mankind’s two biggest food vices, and at VB Chocolate Bar, they pair them like evil geniuses. Reserve a tailor-made, four-course tasting party, and they will give you an experience that matches your every whim. If chardonnay is your thing, they might pair one that holds notes of tropical fruit and melon with a milk chocolate strawberry-sage-goat cheese truffle. If you prefer a dry red, your lips might meet a cabernet and affogato a la mode: a cream cheese brownie with a scoop of ice cream swimming in a shot of espresso. The first Thursday of the month, VB brings cigars into the tasting mix; spend an evening puffing a few boutique cigars while swigging a couple craft beers and sipping fine whiskeys, then finish with specially made desserts. If cigars, sweets and adult beverages sound like a love triangle, this one’s for you, baby.
Four-course chocolate tasting: $25 per person; Sip and Smoke: $30 per person. VB Chocolate Bar, 5326 State Highway N, Cottleville, 636.352.1139, vbchocolatebar.com
Volcano Bowl, Taste
Four straws, please. The Volcano Bowl at Taste requires a bit of teamwork. This fruity punch is a mix of freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices, a little dark maple syrup and a lot of rum – Plantation 5-year, Angostura 5-year and Rhum Barbancourt 4-year. A classic recipe from cool cocktail dude Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, this punch is the perfect way to usher in warm weather and balmy nights. If you go it alone, know that this is a quick ticket to get faded. However, there is such a thing as a siesta.
$45. Taste, 4584 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.361.1200, tastebarstl.com
Table Punch, Blood & Sand
Membership has its privileges. Ten bucks a month at Blood & Sand gets you in the door Monday through Thursday, guaranteed. After all, the weekdays aren’t just for work; they’re also for happy hour. Grab five of your closest friends (or maybe just the most deserving one) and post up with the Table Punch, a seasonally changing libation served in an ornate crystal bowl with six cups. This month, expect a refreshing floral concoction called Silver Springs that contains Ebb & Flow gin, falernum, lime juice, honey and bitters. Floating inside will be two kinds of flavored ice – raspberry-tea-citrus-gin and mint-Zucca – melting at different rates, each imparting its flavor over time. It’s almost like three cocktails in one. Now that’s a steal.
$50. Blood & Sand, 1500 St. Charles St., St. Louis, 314.241.7263, bloodandsandstl.com
24-ounce Porterhouse, 801 Chophouse
A charred, marbled, juicy steak is the ultimate in luxe dining, especially if it weighs 1½ pounds. 801 Chophouse’s steaks are aged four to six weeks, turning hunks of meat into dishes so tender and flavorful that adding a fancy rub or marinade is a sin. The steaks are seasoned simply, with just sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then cooked in a raging hot 1,800-degree broiler, lending the outside the flavorful crust that I covet. I’m talking steak that’s perfectly seasoned, seared and succulent – anything less would be uncivilized, especially on your day of days.
$65. 801 Chophouse, 137 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314.875.9900, 801restaurantgroup.com
Grand Plateau, Herbie’s Vintage ’72
The Grand Plateau is undeniably grand, a platter loaded with steamed and raw fruits de mer – one lobster, four shrimp, eight snow crab claws, 16 Blue Point oysters and a trio of dipping sauces atop crushed ice. Order it with a glass of white Burgundy like the crisp Domaine des Chazelles and get a seat at table No. 30. Celebs, pro athletes and even a prince (hello there, Prince Albert II of Monaco) have taken a seat at the storied Turkey Table because it’s the perfect spot to see and be seen. Watch passersby cut their eyes: They’ll want your seat, what you ordered, basically your life. It’s good to be you.
$125. Herbie’s Vintage ’72, 405 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.769.9595, herbies.com
2010 Château Lafite Rothschild Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux, Cielo
If you’re going to buy expensive wine, you’re going to buy a Bordeaux. We could rhapsodize about Château Lafite Rothschild’s earning First Growth (Premier Cru) status in the historic Bordeaux Classification of 1855, or the estate’s epic 2010 vintage. But those are just details. This is one of the world’s greatest wines. It’s a bottle for those who are wine romantics, who understand that satiety has almost nothing to do with quantity and everything to do with how long the wine stays with you. Long after you try it, this big Bordeaux will linger on your palate like a beautiful memory and long after you leave, the staff will speak of you and the night they sold the Lafite. This is how legends are made.
$2,900. Cielo, 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.881.2105, cielostlouis.com
Grand XIII, The Lobby Lounge
Drink like you’ve got royal blood coursing through your veins. The Grand XIII is a decadent mix of 150-year anniversary Grand Marnier, top-of-the-line brut Champagne from the House of Veuve Clicquot and the crown jewel: Louis XIII de Rémy my Martin – an unparalleled cognac made from a blend of 1,200 eaux-de-vie, some aged up to a century, that carries deep notes of figs, vanilla and oak. This gold-medal drink is served in a gleaming Waterford crystal martini glass, yours to take home after you’ve savored every last magnificent drop.
$500. The Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, 100 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314.863.6300, ritzcarlton.com
Stack Pie, Sugarfire Pie
I can’t imagine a more decadent dessert than this: three spectacular pies stacked one on top of the other on top of the other. Go with a tried-and-true combo like pecan pie topped with Mississippi Mud (a dense, gooey brownie pie baked in a graham cracker crust) crowned with a Sugarfire Pie (a chess pie that tastes like a Bit O’Honey candy bar). Lately, pastry chef Carolyn Downs has been touting her new favorite stack: red velvet gooey butter pie on the bottom; then Funfetti pie with its gooey filling of sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate and sprinkles; and an Oreo brownie pie on top. But wait, there’s more! A swath of chocolate ganache fuses together the bottom and middle pies, while a spread of marshmallow fluff unites the middle and top pies. But you’re the guest of honor, so customize your stack pie with whatever you fancy. Just give them 24 hours to get the job done. These triple threats truly let you have dessert your way.
Slice: $7.50; whole stack: $84. Sugarfire Pie, 9200 Olive Blvd., Suite 108, Olivette, 314.736.6300, sugarfirepie.com
Flambée for two, Cyrano’s Cafe & Wine Bar
At Cyrano’s, take your pick of three flambées for two, then settle back for some entertainment. The server wheels a cart tableside, cooks the fruit in sugar and butter, adds booze and ignites it. Once the flames die down, she pours some of that sticky, sweet sauce over three scoops of vanilla ice cream – unless it’s just you, which would make it one bowl and six scoops. And you’re not done yet. The crowning glory to your day: the bread pudding to go. With 24-hours’ notice, you can get enough dessert to feed 24 people. Pour the bourbon cherry sauce over the bread pudding, pop it in the oven until it bubbles, and have your way with it at home, lying down, binge-watching “Parks and Recreation,” just as it should be.
Flambée for two: $20; bread pudding whole pan: $96; half pan: $48. Cyrano’s Cafe & Wine Bar, 603 E. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.963.3232, cyranos.com