Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Name: Lyndell Williamson

Age: 55

Hometown: O’Fallon, IL (St Louis Metro area)

Occupation: Director of Operations–Midwest Operations, BAE Systems

Status: Lovelorn

Diva Minds Want to Know…

1. Where do you like to flirt?

Baileys Chocolate Bar—St. Louisans love its chocolate-themed menu, but also its warm and romantic atmosphere. It’s consistently ranked among the best places in St. Louis for a first date. Start with drinks like a chocolate martini or chocolate vodka and end your meal with one of their incredible desserts. Some favorites are Bailey’s chocolate brownie, milk chocolate bread pudding or its flourless molten cake.

2. Where is your favorite table for two?

Tony’s—It’s the place where society, from local corporate tycoons to visiting sports celebrities, come to bask in the good vibes, the great food and the all-encompassing hospitality of owner Vince Bommarito. It’s famous for steaks, veal, seafood and pasta. Morton’s The Steakhouse, the nation’s premier steakhouse group, specializes in classic, hearty fare, serving prime aged beef, as well as fresh fish, lobster and chicken entrees. Morton’s is famous for its animated signature tableside menu presentation: steaks, whole Maine lobsters and other main course selections. The staff will cater to your every need. Giovanni’s on the Hill—rated one of the finest Italian restaurants in the city, is the perfect location for a special romantic evening or a night out with family and friends. Zia’s on the Hill is all that one could wish for in an Italian restaurant. Serving classic Italian gourmet and the St. Louis-style cuisine at affordable prices has made Zia’s a favorite for both locals and out-of-town visitors. McGurk’s Irish Pub & Garden; It’s brought the finest artists from Ireland to America for over 20 years. You’re invited to come together with neighbors, friends and family to raise a pint and enjoy some of the best music this side of County Cork.

3. Where should we stay when we visit?

Renaissance St. Louis Grand & Suites Hotel located downtown—this historic Saint Louis hotel is an architectural masterpiece just a short walk to upscale Washington Avenue, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife, close to top attractions like America’s Convention Center and Gateway Arch. As the premier St. Louis luxury hotel, the Renaissance St. Louis Grand & Suites Hotel blends lavish amenities with classic 20th century American style. The Ritz Carlton St. Louis—warm, relaxed and refined, the Ritz-Carlton St. Louis stands as the business and social center in the fashionable district of Clayton, just minutes from The Gateway Arch, historic Forest Park, and within walking distance of the city’s best shops, restaurants and art galleries. Combining old-world elegance with Midwestern hospitality, our country-manor atmosphere attracts the business and social elite for every occasion.

4. What qualities do you find irresistible in a woman?

Integrity—highest attribute that can be extremely hard to find. A good sense of humor—someone who can handle herself in amusing situations. Independence—a woman who is independent does not need you to give her focus and direction. Faith—I am a follower of Jesus and would want to have another Christian as my soul mate.

5. Where can we find you on a free Sunday afternoon?

You may find me driving the southern hills of Illinois and Missouri on a wine tasting trip. You may find me watching our own St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium or dining at one of my favorite restaurants. I love to camp and float down a clear river in southern Missouri. You may also find me roaming the streets of Rome, Venice, Prague, London, Paris, Edinburgh, or Munich.

6. What do you love most about your hometown (besides our arrival)?

St. Louis is a small city with a hometown flavor. It has many of the attributes of a big city but it is not uncommon for someone to greet you with a wave and a hello. It has one of the best zoos in the nation and also boasts many fine dining, sports and attractions. Visiting the City Museum, Gateway Arch, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, and Forest Park are all musts.

7. What should we bring when we visit? What should we leave with?

You will need to bring clothing that will accommodate all types of climates. The saying goes: “If you don’t like the St Louis weather, wait ten minutes.” Bring a good appetite—the Italian restaurants on the “Hill” are awesome.

8. What do we absolutely have to see while we’re there?

Gateway Arch, the loft district on 10th and Washington, Soulard district; Forest Park, Delmar Loop, a Cardinals game, and the Central West End.

9. Any areas of town we should avoid?

The North side and East St. Louis Illinois.

10. Any local secrets you want to share?

Ted Drewe’s—The best frozen custard on the planet.

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