mixed grill at afandi sweets & cafe photo by michelle volansky

3 new St. Louis restaurants you need to try

Afandi Sweets & Cafe
On entering Afandi Sweets & Cafe, diners are greeted by an enormous pastry case filled with baklava of all different shapes – square, diamond, rolled, bird’s nest – and flavors like pistachio, walnut and chocolate. While it’s all fabulous (the restaurant’s chef and owner is a third generation pastry chef), the baklava with pistachio shines, its shattering top layers of fresh phyllo giving way to a bright green pistachio filling and more phyllo, perfectly soaked in honey. Those who like their sweets balanced by a savory note shouldn’t miss the kenafeh, a disk of warm, melty white cow’s milk cheese topped with crispy shredded phyllo and pistachios. Don’t just come for dessert though; the kabob is also excellent, and the mix grill platter is a great way to sample it. Tender lamb, chicken and kofta (a blend of ground beef and lamb) kabob are accompanied by your choice of bulgur or rice pilaf, pita and salad with tzatziki.
6997 Chippewa St., St. Louis, 314.359.5144, Facebook: Afandi Sweets & Cafe

kenafeh at afandi sweets & cafe // photo by michelle volansky

Casa Maya
Earlier this summer, Maplewood experienced a big transition as Casa Maya opened in the place of the former Maya Cafe. Though Casa Maya has different owners, it keeps Mexican food in the game with plenty of tasty, fresh dishes. We enjoyed the nachos as a starter, and relished moving on to the earthy, smoky cheese enchiladas, which were delicious alongside creamy refried beans and fresh lettuce, tomatoes and guacamole. The chile poblano relleno packed a punch with its Monterey Jack cheese and satisfying red sauce. All in all, Casa Maya is a great new option for Mexican food lovers in Maplewood and beyond.
2726 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.282.0408, Facebook: Casa Maya STL

the dining room at timothy's the restaurant // photo by adam rothbarth

Timothy's The Restaurant
In the space previously occupied by the Olive Street Cafe now sits Timothy’s The Restaurant, Creve Coeur’s newest date-night spot. Though its strip mall location may be unassuming, the interior is sleek and updated – be sure to check out the wall made of wine corks. The menu skews toward elevated comfort food like lobster pot pie and truffle mac and cheese. The filet of sirloin was cooked to perfection and served with asparagus topped with a lobster hollandaise that is not to be missed. For dessert, order the carrot cake fritters; you’ll be asking for extra cream cheese icing to take home.
12710 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.786.5301, timothysstl.com