By George Mahe, STL Magazine
Last year appeared to be a banner year for restaurant openings in St. Louis–memorable places like Mission Taco Joint, The Libertine, prasino, Mi Linh, Table, Tripel, Element, Juniper, Planter’s House, Nathalie’s, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta, Small Batch… The Cheshire alone added three restraurants to the local pot–Basso, The Restaurant, The Market–and a one mile stretch of Euclid Avenue saw five newcomers–Central Table Food Hall, Gringo, Cucina Pazzo, Gamlin’s Whiskey House, and Evangeline’s Bistro. Although it appeared 2013 was some kind of wild and crazy record setter of a year, a quick check of Relish’s Ins, Outs, and Almosts indicates there were only about 10 more restaurant openings than in 2012 (and for the record, about 10 more closings). It so happened that quite a number of notable openings occurred in the last month of 2013, But before we begin looking ahead to what’s ahead in the new year, let’s catch our breath and take a quick look back–just to December–when a slew of notable openings occurred. Here are ten newbies to add to your one’s-to-try list–we know you were too busy to check them all out last month anyway.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant
The folks at Cooper’s Hawk devoted a large chunk of first-impression real estate to a snazzy, Napa-style tasting room for good reason: the Chicago-based restaurant group is proud of the wines it makes, so proud that’s all Cooper’s Hawk sells–45 varietals strong–award-winning wines, all priced in the under-$40 sweet spot. The menu shoots wide and will appeal to a large audience; the restaurant proper seats 300, but is so well-designed it doesn’t feel that big. 1146 Town & Country Crossing, 636-489-0059, coopershawkwinery.com.