Sitting a spell at the Kitchen

OK. It's called the Kitchen, and it's in a space that has housed close to half-a-dozen restaurants. So you might go in looking for a meal, right?

If you do, you're going to be limited to the sushi available from a couple of chefs (who'da thought that there were Banana Yoshimoto fans in Ladue?) and a short list of chips, finger sandwiches and a shepherd's pie. Otherwise, it's upscale martinis and wine, with seating at your choice of booths, barstools or couches and a fireplace and occasional live music. Available board games include such hard-to-find titles as "Batman," "The Partridge Family" and "All in the Family," and smokers are definitely more than welcome.

So what's up with the name? "Think about what happens at a dinner party," says manager Eric Dubois. "Everyone winds up with a drink in the kitchen." Hey, all they need is a bartender named Dinah, and the metaphor will be complete.

THE KITCHEN, 9906 Clayton Rd. (Ladue), 994-9393. Hours: 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-1 a.m. Sat.

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