Vicia’s Much Anticipated Opening Is This Week

Vicia Restaurant, St. Louis, MO
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New Veggie-Forward Restaurant by Tara and Michael Gallina

St. Louis, MO/March 20, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It may be the most anticipated restaurant opening of the year.  Vicia will begin feeding Central West End diners this week. Michael and Tara Gallina began creating their signature culinary magic for St. Louis diners about a year ago with a series of pop-up dinners playfully named Rooster and the Hen (gallina is Spanish for hen).  Now, they’re ready for the next step.  Their new brick-and-mortar restaurant Vicia is set to open this week in the Cortex Innovation Community (4260 Forest Park Ave.).

Like the Gallina’s pop up dinners, Vicia will be seasonally driven and feature vegetable-forward cuisine.  But the menu won’t vegetarian.  It will focus on spotlighting produce and using proteins (meat, fish, chicken) as an accompaniment to the vegetables.  The restaurant will also specialize in wood fired cooking and offer an ever-changing menu.  The brand new space will seat about 50 inside the modern, glass, wood, and stone dining room and another 30+ in the outdoor dining space when weather permits.

The unofficial grand opening March 21st will be Tuesday night’s $200 per plate James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour dinner.  It will feature culinary creations by the host, Chef Michael Gallina, as well as celebrity chefs from Nashville, Chicago, and St. Louis—including 2017 JBF Best Chef finalist Kevin Nashan (Sidney Street Café & Peacemaker).

Daily service at the Central West End eatery will begin with lunch Wednesday, March 22.  It will feature a small rotating menu of quick, delicious, seasonally driven items like tartines, grain bowls, soups, salads and sandwiches every Monday – Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Dinner service will be Tuesday – Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday – Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. beginning March 28, 2017.

Dinner will feature a frequently changing a la carte menu of shareable starters, snacks, and innovative entrees—all created with the same vegetable-forward approach.  Vicia will be destination dining that’s both casual (no tie needed), and elegant, with an emphasis on creating a whole meal experience.  Along with an elevated dinner menu, the bar program will feature cocktails made with seasonal ingredients and a carefully curated wine list reflective of small, organic, and sustainable producers from across the globe.  In another nod to freshness, the Gallinas have purchased a stone mill that will allow Pastry Chef Summer Wright to grind flour in house daily.  It will be used to create fresh pastries (both sweet and savory), as well as whole grain cookies which will be available all day at the pastry counter.

Michael and Tara Gallina met while working as chef de cuisine and service captain, respectively, at Dan Barber’s internationally renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York.  They married in 2015.  Rooster and the Hen was their first endeavor together, and Vicia is their first restaurant.  The couple chose Michael’s home town of St. Louis for their business because they wanted to bring forward-thinking, inventive, delicious dining home.

Contact Information:

Vicia Restaurant
Owners: Tara and Michael Gallina
Cortex – Central West End
4260 Forest Park Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: (314) 553-9239


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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.