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Peno Soul Food

(7600 Wydown Blvd., 314-899-9699)

With the exception of a few dishes, Peno’s menu is what you’d expect to be served if you were a guest in someone’s Calabrian beach house. Mussels fra diavolo pairs the fresh bivalves with delicate, chili-spiked tomato sauce that begs to be soaked up scarpetta-style with a slice of housemade crusty bread. The same sauce accents sautéed calamari. Served without breading in all of its tentacled beauty, the appetizer is a far cry from the deep-fried rings you’ll find on most menus. — Cheryl Baehr

Photo by Mabel Suen