Serving Customers and Building Community – The Living Room Coffee and Kitchen
Maplewood, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Cool things are happening in Maplewood. Local residents are well aware of the wealth of nifty little shops and cafes that call their community home. One of those cool little cafes is the Living Room Coffee and Kitchen at 2808 Sutton Blvd. It’s the culmination of five years of socially responsible efforts that began with Arthouse Coffees, an independent, small batch coffee roaster created to find a sustainable job for a person with disabilities. Arthouse soon added to its mission, purposefully becoming a way to connect with a whole new community of people. Just about two years ago (December 2014) Arthouse Coffees opened the Living Room, a coffee shop and bakery in the old Black Cat Theater. The Living Room is an extension of the Arthouse mission.
Just like its parent, the Living Room does everything fresh and from scratch. From the delicious baked goods, to the all-day breakfast and lunch menus, and the Arthouse Coffees they serve, everything at the Living Room Coffee and Kitchen is created with care and community in mind.
Besides a full range of Arthouse Coffees, the cafe also serves a variety of herbal teas from their Maplewood neighbor, Re-Trailer Teas, and single estate teas from Spirit Teas. The Living Room is open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday — Saturday, and Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Their fall menu is in full swing now, and features classic combination in dishes like the Autumnal Salad: mixed greens topped with roasted butternut squash, balsamic vinaigrette, chèvre, spiced pumpkin seeds and pickled red onions. The fresh bread served with it takes this salad over the top.
At breakfast, you’ll find the granola jam parfait layers cultured yogurt with blueberry jam and fall-spiced granola made with walnuts, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. It’s light, sweet, and creamy, with a warm, spicy edge that’s just right in cooler weather. And Benny’s Eggs is a simple, delicious twist on Eggs Benedict: two soft boiled eggs and bacon on baguette with their “faux” hollandaise sauce. It comes with a side salad, making it, perhaps, the ultimate brunch dish.
The cleverness of the menu is matched only by the deliciousness of the food at the Living Room. For instance, ever had French Nachos? That’s a pile of crostini chips smothered in sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, gruyere cheese sauce and then a little dressed green salad. How come no one ever thought of that before, right?
Even a simple roast beef sandwich at the Living Room is an elegant feast. Theirs is expertly roasted, layered on asiago focaccia (which they bake themselves), and then topped with white cheddar, pickled red onions, lettuce and horseradish cream.
Prefer vegetarian? Try the roasted zucchini sandwich. It’s a baguette loaded with roasted zucchini, fresh mozzarella, tomato jam, pesto yogurt and arugula. They toast it, so it’s all warm and toasty and gooey.
New this fall: The Living Room is serving a series of special dinners. Like the pop-up dinners they have hosted in the past, seating is limited. Unlike their past collaborative efforts, they are creating the entire event this time. The first of these dinners, playfully tagged “Dinner Series I: Autumn,” was a BYOB, vegetarian affair held for 18 people on November 5th. For $50 each, diners enjoyed an autumn themed meal of French Onion Soup, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and Mushroom Polenta with grana padano, Chocolate Espresso Torte and Baked Brie, dressed with apple cider syrup, date chutney and pistachios. There’s no word yet what will be served at the second Dinner Series I event, but I think a winter theme is a safe bet. Whatever the menu, you can bet it will be fresh, clever, and scrumptious, and tickets will sell out quickly. Pretty cool.