The Riverfront Times has a story detailing what they believe are the 10 best places to eat pasta in St. Louis. Seriously. They really did this in a city with pasta places practically on every corner. Each place is accompanied by a photograph of the dish being described. The first is from Basso, a small plates/bar in the Cheshire hotel complex. This place has such good food, Dale and I go over a lot since it's so close to us we could walk. It's in a basement and when you walk in there is a huge 4 sided bar in the middle with booths surrounding the walls.
The Basso menu features many items meant to be shared. You order, say, roasted brussel sprouts and everyone in your booth gets a plate. They specialize in wood fired pizza which is some of the best I've ever had. All the small plate items are amazing as well. It's always busy and it's best to go online or call for a reservation if you want to go. You'll see people in there after work, parents with small children, seniors, just about anyone and it's casual enough that dressing up isn't necessary. I'd say most patrons are in business casual except before Cardinal games when everyone seems to be wearing red.
If you haven't been to Basso, you should try it. The best part as we tell our students who love pizza but are on strict budgets, from 4-7 is happy hour with 7 dollar pizzas. You can't beat that for great food at a low cost.