Taking Sardella on the Road
ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – For years, Restaurateur Extraordinaire, Gerald Craft, has contemplated closing his popular and very successful brainchild, Niche, located at 7734 Forsyth Blvd in Clayton. At least as far back as the recession in 2008. He first opened its doors in 2005 in a Benton Park storefront, and then relocated to Clayton in 2012.
The restaurant has received both local and national acclaim for both its ambitious tasting menus and extreme dedication to local produce. Last year, it earned Craft a James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Midwest,” and more recently, a second consecutive #1 ranking on the Post-Dispatch’s STL100. But while it was a fun ride to the top, Craft found it can be agonizing trying to hold that spot.
His newest venture, Sardella, will replace the longtime Niche, which closed June 11th. It will operate in the same space in Clayton, and include the same team, Executive Chef Nick Blue, Pastry Chef, Sarah Osborn, and General Manager, Christopher Kelling. But that’s where the similarities stop. This restaurant will have a much different feel. Expect an Italian-inspired cuisine in a more relaxed, fun atmosphere.
Sardella’s breakfast and lunch menus will include pastries, sandwiches, and salads. The dinner menu will feature hand-stuffed pastas and roasted meats. Craft plans to continue to place emphasis on seasonal produce and continue his established relationships with local farmers, but unlike Niche, Sardella will not exclude ingredients not grown or raised locally.
Before the restaurant opens at the end of the month, Craft is taking Sardella’s lunch menu on the road. He has partnered with Seoul Taco to feature his lunch items on the red Seoul Taco truck this Monday. All the proceeds will go to the St. Louis MetroMarket, the converted bus that delivers fresh produce to the needy in St. Louis City.