The Joint: Kota Wood Fire Grill 522 North Grand Boulevard; 314-535-5577
The Hours: Mon.-Fri. 2-6 p.m. when there's a show at the Fox, 2-7 p.m. on non-show nights, Sun. 4 p.m.-close (no happy hour Sat.)
The Deal: $2 domestics, $3 well cocktails, $5 wines by the glass, half off pitchers of beer, 2-for-1 appetizers
The Scene: No one can deny that the block of Grand Boulevard that houses the Fox Theatre and Powell Symphony Hall oozes theatricality. Located across from the Fox, Kota Wood Fire Grill soaks up the glow of the marquee lights and fits in perfectly with the drama of Grand Center. Decorated with a mix of earthy primary colors and metallic and mineral tiles, Kota is the perfect place for some noshing. The staff is friendly and provides attentive and informative service, and the food covers the spectrum of deliciousness. The stuffed-mushroom appetizer offers a creative mix of textures, from its crunchy coating to the tender 'shroom within and, finally, a soft, gooey goat-cheese center. The wine list contains a little bit of everything, with a focus on of-the-moment wines from South America and Spain. With all of the by-the-glass options included in the Happy Hour special, this is definitely a place to explore new wine and food pairings.
Why You'll Go Back: Because whenever you catch a show at the Fox you'll know to start your evening at Kota. The sophisticated menu and lively atmosphere make for a perfect launching pad for the quintessential night out on the town.
The Verdict: Kota has a big-city feel that is hard to find in St. Louis. Its menu and wine list will grab you by your taste buds, guaranteeing this'll be a regular destination in your Happy Hour bar rotation.