Cocktails/Wine Bars in St. Louis, MO
The gothic-inspired sign outside Sanctuaria might raise some eyebrows, but just wait until you get inside and see what adorns the wall behind the bar. Yet Sanctuaria is about much more than the 17th and 18th century church art that adorns its walls. This place is a serious cocktail haven. Mixologist Matt Seiter was formally trained at the Academy of Spirits in Chicago and has competed at the Iron Bar Chef of America Competition in New York. In 2010, he was voted St. Louis’ Best Bartender named A-List Mixologist. His Sanctuaria creations were nominated for the World’s Best Cocktail Menu at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in July of 2011. As if all this isn’t enough, Matt is one of only four people in America who hold the title Advanced Bartender, and is currently working on his thesis to become a Master Mixologist. The bottom line? At Sanctuaria, you're sure to find the pefectly concocted cocktail to meet your needs.
Hidden gem. Under the radar. Hard to find. These are phrases you might hear bandied about to describe Brennan’s wine and cigar bar in the trendy Central West End area of St. Louis. Once inside (provided you can locate the front door,) it’s hard not to love Brennan’s tongue-in-cheek décor. A wall clock display features the local time as well as the time in booming metropolis of Festus, Missouri (rather than New York or London — get it?). A moveable-letter display above the bar features a rotation of au currant quips and phrases often posted to Facebook by Brennan’s regulars. Seating options abound — choose the main bar, upstairs lounge, cellar basement or even the patio outside. On weekends, get there early to get a good spot — and be prepared to walk a bit, as parking is tight in the West End. Smoke-phobes, beware: this is not an ideal hangout for those who don’t love cigars.
We’ll just give it to you straight: it doesn’t get much more romantic than this. The lighting, the décor, the drinks…oh, the drinks! The white hot chocolate with Bailey’s is to die for. That’s got to be whole milk they’re using in this creamy, decadent delight. The ambience is sexy; may we direct your attention to the nude chalk figure sketches on the walls? As the name may imply, Bailey’s Chocolate Bar is about desserts and dessert drinks, yet also features a full bar with beer, spirits, wine and champagne. Snuggled in the trendy up-and-coming Lafayette Square neighborhood, it’s the perfect spot for a date night — or, if anything, the perfect ending to one.
Infrequently confused with Onesto — the South City Italian café with a phonetically similar moniker — Ernesto’s wine bar can be found nestled in the historic Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis. This warm and welcoming neighborhood café and wine bar features international wines and wine flights all complemented by lovingly prepared small plates and tapas. The vibe is casual and low-key; creature comforts include a cozy patio with built-in firepit. Named after Ernest Hemingway, the restaurant boasts photography and memorabilia honoring the American literary icon. As one advanced sommelier described it, “It’s sort of a celebration of food, wine and travel.” Who could resist?
It was a harrowing two and a half years as St. Louis locals awaited the reopening of Copia after it closed its doors following a tragic fire. Now it’s back, and the general consensus is that it’s better than ever! Named after the Roman goddess of abundance, wealth, pleasure and harvest, Copia is a wine country oasis in the heart of downtown St. Louis. The space is architecturally stunning, comprised of several rooms featuring modern décor, original wood beam ceilings, glass waterfalls and copious (no pun intended) amounts of greenery. The outdoor wine garden with its retractable roof is jaw-droppingly beautiful and a sought-after space for receptions and private parties. The indoor atmosphere is intimate and relaxed, while the wine garden tends to become livelier on the weekends and later hours.