tim’s chrome bar in south city photo by michelle volansky

5 new St. Louis-area places to try this month

Tim’s Chrome Bar
Now under new ownership with a stylish renovation, Tim’s Chrome Bar makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a time capsule. The design of this revived South City staple is cozy and ’70s. There are patterns and textures everywhere: flowers on the ceiling, plaid wallpaper in one corner and pink shag carpet on the bar. The enlarged space features plenty of tables and chairs, as well as comfy couches outfitted with vintage melamine TV trays. The food and drinks fit the theme too: After-school classics like housemade pepperoni pizza rolls with ranch for dipping are larger than the freezer section version but just as enjoyable. Bugles – yes, Bugles – with French onion dip and crudites are another delightful throwback. On the drinks side, the Gimme Gimme Gimlet with gin, strawberry, lime and edible glitter, as well as the Tim’s Punch of the Moment with vodka, Kool-Aid, citrus and a tiny scoop of sherbet, are the kind of drinks that make you forget the place and time.
4736 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314.742.7881, timschromebar.com

the pitch // photo by michelle volansky

The Pitch
The Pitch effortlessly evokes the look and feel of a big-city British pub with high ceilings, leather upholstery and chandeliers. Certain dishes transport you to that part of the world, such as fish and chips and a chicken pot pie that’s ideally shared between two to leave room for sides. The broader menu is a crowd-pleasing collection of shareable bar snacks and sandwiches that include meat from New York City’s famous Carnegie Deli. Even if you’re primarily here for a beer, order the jumbo Bavarian pretzel, served with beer cheese and a potent horseradish mustard. Despite the fine beer selection, the frozen Irish coffee is the must-have drink. St. Louis City SC’s CityPark stadium is just across Market Street, but The Pitch serves sports fans seven days a week. Grab a couch or armchair in one of nine lounge areas, and choose your team’s game on your own personal screen.
2 S. 20th St. (inside Union Station), St. Louis, 314.802.3400, thepitch-stl.com

Kain Tayo
Kain Tayo’s relocation from Trenton, Illinois, to Midtown is a welcome addition to the area’s slowly expanding dining options. Fans of chicken and rice must try the complexly flavored, impossibly tender chicken adobo. Marinated and cooked in a combination of soy sauce and vinegar, seasoned with bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic and served with rice, it’s a superlative example of what the menu refers to as the Philippines’ national dish. We also tried the pancit, a stir-fried noodle dish with chicken and pork, and loved the textual combination of the glassy, extra fine rice noodles with tender meat and crisp, lightly cooked vegetables like celery, cabbage and carrots.
2700 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.396.2110, kaintayostl.com

rotisserie chicken at chicken scratch at city foundry stl // photo by izaiah johnson

Chicken Scratch
Chicken Scratch, which first opened inside City Foundry STL, has brought its beautiful roasted chicken and fried chicken sandwiches to its first free-standing location. The new carryout spot in Glendale builds on the original menu, with new ideas like a snacks section with crispy chickpeas, roasted shishito peppers and potato skins. Move over bacon – Chicken Scratch’s potato skins use crispy chicken skin instead of the usual porky bits along with cream cheese, cheddar and Farm Spirit’s chile crisp for a smart and spicy twist on the traditional version. Other new menu items include a Caesar chicken wrap, a couple of salads and new sides like green beans with bacon and onions and sweet potatoes with buttermilk dressing.
9900 Manchester Road, Glendale, 314.274.2254, chxscratchstl.com

Afghan Kabob House
Kebabs are rarely a bad choice, but at Afghan Kabob House, exploring beyond the eponymous kebab section is worth the extra effort. We were obsessed with the bolani, a flaky filled flatbread served with a mint dipping sauce. We tried the potato, but it’s also available with a leek filling; next time we won’t hesitate to order both. Mantu – delicate pasta dumplings stuffed with ground beef – is dressed with yogurt sauce and lentils and garnished with dried mint, which plays nicely with the richness of the beef and lentils. Aushak, a flat, half-moon shaped dumpling stuffed with a leek filling and likewise topped with lentils, is a similarly tangy, comforting dish.
3500 Watson Road, St. Louis, 314.449.1110