The Fourth of July celebrates everything great about summer -- being outside, pools, beer, hot dogs, setting off illegal explosives, oh, and freedom. You already know about the annual Fair Saint Louis, but some of our favorite restaurants are throwing parties and serving up special holiday eats just for Independence Day.
Bixby's (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-361-7313)
Bixby's at the Missouri History Museum has got you covered if you're going down to Fair Saint Louis. We love the weekend brunch, but it's usually not offered on Fridays. But from 7 to 10 a.m. on July 4, you get get the yummy breakfast buffet at a reduced price ($17.75 for adults and $12.50 for kids). Eats include Bixby's buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, mini waffles, omelets, fresh fruit and yogurt, pastries, maple-cured bacon and more. Plus, there's free parking if you're headed to Forest Park festivities. Reservations are required; call 314-361-7313.
Llywelyn's Pub St. Charles (100 North Main Street, St. Charles; 636-724-8520)
The western outpost of Llywelyn's is throwing its fourth annual Red, White and Brew Bash, a VIP Fourth of July celebration, from 4 to 11 p.m. Tables of two are sold out, but gather up some friends to watch the St. Charles fireworks on the riverfront from Llywelyn's patio. Tickets will get you guaranteed seating, a barbecue buffet, drink tickets, prizes, live music and more. Snag your seat here.
Three Sixty St. Louis (1 South Broadway; 314-241-8439)
We can think of few places better to watch Busch Stadium's fireworks than Three Sixty. Watch the Cards game on the glam rooftop bar of the Hilton followed by fireworks. There's no cover, and delicious signature drinks and dishes are available all night. The party continues on Saturday if you're looking for a cocktail after all that Fair Saint Louis-ing. DJ Jason Stiegler will be spinning beats with Spencer Ludwig of Captial Cities on trumpet beginning at midnight.
Basso (7036 Clayton Avenue; 314-932-7818)
Basso at the Cheshire is hosting a three-day celebration with shuttle service to Fair Saint Louis, including with parking. It's a block party with live music at the Cheshire's pool with Basso's delicious menu available. There will also be an outdoor bar and snow cones. Parking is $20 and gets you shuttle serve to the fair and $10 off at Basso. The party starts Thursday at 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m.
Cielo (999 North Second Street; 314-881-5800)
If you want to get fancy for the Fourth, Cielo is the place to be. On July 4 and 5, enjoy a special four-course meal and a reserved rooftop table all night -- a primo fireworks-viewing spot. To start, choose from a carmelized onion tart or panzanella salad, followed by tomato nudi with basil and fresh mozzarella or spaghetti and meatballs. For the main course, pick an American red snapper with a Yukon Gold and Nantucket Bay scallop hash with Carnival cauliflower, the lamb chop with peach agro dolce, lemon verbena, granno and charred zucchini or filet mignon with blue potato croquettes, white asparagus and pepperonato. Finish up with a dessert choice of the "Stars & Stripes," panna cotta with housemade biscotti or the "Rasberry Bomb," which is a blueberry coulis with meringue kisses. Tickets are $70 per person on Friday, and $110 per person on Saturday with a reserved terrace table. Call 314-881-5759 for reservations.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
Follow Nancy Stiles on Twitter: