One of St. Louis’ Newest Restaurants – Vicia Garners National Acclaim
St. Louis, MO/July 30, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year, and so far, Vicia in the Cortex Innovation Community (4260 Forest Park Ave.) has not disappointed. Vicia’s seasonally driven, vegetable forward menu has been well received here. And now, Vicia is drawing national attention, being named one of the 12 best new restaurants in America by the national food and restaurant publication Eater. The St. Louis restaurant was included in a “best of” list that hopscotched coast to coast and included some of the best food cities in the United States—New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and New Orleans among them.
It’s not surprising that a restaurant in St. Louis made the cut, since there are some world-class eateries here. Vicia is one of those. Owners Michael and Tara Gallina are both alums of the Dan Barber’s famous Blue Hill at Stone Barns outside New York City. The farm-to-table establishment is considered by some to be one of the best restaurants in the world. Tara Gallina was service captain at the famed establishment. Her husband Michael Gallina was chef de cuisine there for four years, before the couple returning to his native St. Louis to share their culinary brilliance.
Vicia is an elegant, modern restaurant that wasn’t an instant creation by the Gallinas. They spent about a year creating their signature culinary magic for St. Louis diners with a series of pop-up dinners playfully named Rooster and the Hen (gallina is Spanish for hen). Like those pop-up dinners, Vicia’s menu spotlights seasonal produce, using meat, poultry, and fish as an accompaniment to the vegetables. Lunchtime brings reasonably priced soup, sandwiches, quiche and a counter service dining model. Middays (think tea time), diners will find charcuterie, pastries, and various other nibbles. Dinner features a frequently changing a la carte menu of shareable starters, snacks, and innovative entrees—all created with the same vegetable-forward approach. Or diners can choose the $85-per-person, six to seven-course tasting menu the Gallinas introduced just this month. Michael Gallina says it’s akin to just letting the chef cook for you. He says each meal is special and different, “depending what we have available at the very moment, what guests are excited to experience, and of course, what we, in the kitchen, think would make for an amazing feast.”
An amazing feast is a terrific description of the dining experience at this sleek and elegant Central West End restaurant. In his accolades about Vicia, Eater food critic Bill Addison praised Michael Gallina’s skill and the “Midwestern witticisms” he weaves into his cooking. Those witticisms—the Gallinas’ whimsical approach to food are what set Vicia apart.
Owners: Michael and Tara Gallina
4260 Forest Park Ave.
Cortex – Central West End
St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: (314) 553-9239