by Ian Froeb
A trip to the shopping mall rarely leads to a fine meal. This is the province of the giant cookie, the Orange Julius and the toothpick-skewered sample of chicken teriyaki. There are exceptions, of course, like Cardwell's at the Plaza at Plaza Frontenac -- though Plaza Frontenac is hardly the typical shopping mall. For the most part, if you expect to find culinary bliss between stops at Brookstone and Hot Topic, you'll be waiting even longer than the poor souls clustered around the entrance of the Cheesecake Factory.Visit the RFT restaurant page late tomorrow afternoon or check back here Wednesday morning to read the complete review.
I don't know that I can classify West County Center as another exception, but over the past year or so the Des Peres mall has stepped up its game. Last February McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, an upscale national chain, opened its doors, followed not long after by Bravo Cucina Italiana, another upscale national chain, something like Olive Garden on steroids.
Most recently, in November, the former J. Buck's space on the mall's first floor became Hanley's Grille & Tap.