THE BOATHOUSE AT FOREST PARK

The Boathouse

Making Lakeside Memories Year Round – The Boathouse

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – There’s nothing quite as special as dining lakeside, especially if the lake sits in the middle of beautiful Forest Park.  Boating has been a part of Forest Park since it first opened in 1876.  The lake has been expanded several times since then.  The most recent expansion added an island devoted to wildlife conservation and made it easier for boaters to travel all the way to the restored Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill.  Everyone knows the Boathouse is a terrific summer destination offering leisurely boat rides, lakeside patio dining, live music, and beautiful sunsets.  But recent improvements have turned this summertime oasis into a year-round dining destination.

When they created the new and improved Boathouse, Forest Park Forever teamed up with the event experts at Catering St. Louis, tapping them to manage it as a family-friendly destination.  And it is.  The menu at the Boathouse includes homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees at affordable prices.  Some signature items include the Seafood Pot Pie (a creamy mix of shrimp and clam under a flaky crust), Fish & Chips (Guinness-battered cod with beer-battered fries, sweet corn hush puppies, and cumin-lime slaw), and the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich (fresh hummus, olive tapenade, feta cheese, lettuce and red onion on flatbread).  They offer full service dining as well as a “grab & go” option.

As if the setting and the lunch/dinner menu wasn’t enough, their desserts are worth the trip.  It’s a short, but well curated list of choices that includes St. Louis classics like Gooey Butter Cake, and Bread Pudding with caramel sauce.  There’s also homemade cookies (and milk), plus ice cream.  My personal recommendation is the Salty Sweet Brownie Sundae, which combines chewy brownies, pretzels, vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce!  The Boathouse has an adequate bar that includes a nice wine selection, several local craft brews (Schlafly, Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands, and Civil Live) along with some AB standards.  There’s also a kids menu and on Sundays they do brunch!  Be sure to try our signature fish & chips!  On Sundays, come by with the morning newspaper and enjoy a relaxing brunch by the lake.

In fall and winter (November 1, 2016 – May 1, 2017), the Boathouse is open Monday – Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday – Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  They’re also open Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  They don’t take reservations except during special events, so when the weather’s nice, there could be a wait for a table.  But the lake is at its most sparkling best on a beautiful day.  And weather-permitting, paddleboats are available for rental year round ($17.00/hour) up to an hour before sunset.  Each boat seat up to 4 adults (560 pounds) and life jackets are included.

Whether you plan to take a leisurely paddleboat journey on the picturesque Post-Dispatch Lake, or simply enjoy the view from the water’s edge, the historic Boathouse is a jewel in Forest Park.  So it’s not surprising that it’s an extra special venue for special events!  And there are a couple of special events coming up at the Boathouse.  One is an elegant evening that includes a fabulous meal and artisan cocktails.  The other is a Boathouse family holiday tradition.

On November 16, 2016, The Boathouse and North Shore Distillery team up for a Four-Course Spirits Dinner that will showcase Illinois’ first craft distillery.  North Shore Distillery, 13990 Rockland Road in Libertyville creates artisan spirits using the best ingredients possible: Midwestern grain, fresh citrus fruits, wild-harvested herbs, etc.

Catering St. Louis chefs Grace Dinsmoor and Lisa Slay will collaborate on the menu.  Each course will be paired with specialty cocktails from North Shore Distillery.  The first course will pair a Bake Portabella Cap stuffed with Boursin (Gournay cheese) with a Spiced Apple Sparkler featuring North Shore Vodka.  The second course compliments grilled shrimp with tomato-citrus chutney with a Norwegian Bear Hug (North Shore Aquavit Private Reserve, Lemon Juice, Spiced Honey Syrup, Bitters).  That’s followed by a third course of rosemary beef tenderloin with Duchess Potatoes and braised leeks.  It’s served with the Woodsman; a martini made with North Shore’s Rosemary infused Gin No. 11.  The dessert course matches cheesecake with a Redberry Sol Fizz which blends North Shore Sol Chamomile Citrus Vodka, with double crème de cassis and Cava.

Dinner will also include a presentation by guest speaker Sonja Kassebaum from North Shore Distillery.  The price per person is $60 plus tax and gratuity. You’ll need reservations for this special event.  They can be made by email to customerservice@boathouseforestpark.com, or by calling 314-961-7588, ext 265.

December 4th is a special Sunday at the Boathouse this year because Santa is coming for a visit!  Sunday brunch at the boathouse is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  It’s an ala carte affair with a nice selection of classic dishes.  You’ll find standards like egg dishes, Biscuits & Gravy, and assorted salads, along with more unique fare like Lobster Casserole, Chicken & Waffles, and Shrimp & Grits.  The beverage menu includes juice and coffee, plus Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and Seasonal Bellinis.  You don’t have to be there when they open to participate, but if you get there early, you’ll be on hand to welcome Santa when he arrives by boat at 11:00 a.m.  He’ll be there until 2:00 to pose for snapshots with you, your kids, and your pets.  This should be terrific fun for the whole family.  Remember that socially-friendly dogs on leashes are welcome in the Boathouse’s outdoor dining area only.

Contact Information:

The Boathouse at Forest Park
Managed by Catering St. Louis, LLC. (314) 961-7588
6101 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 367-2224

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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon is an experienced writer, editor, and broadcast journalist with a strong news background. She’s worked in radio and television news, and for national and international newswire services.

She began her career in public radio while still a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (where she earned a B.A. in Communications). She soon made the jump to news/talk radio, handling assignments from field reporting, airborne traffic, and news anchor, to producing and hosting daily talk shows. She’s also worked in television, most recently as the inaugural producer for The Allman Report on KDNL-TV 30, and as a news writer and reporter for national and international newswire services.