Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vicia is Now Open in Cortex — and It's Simply Stunning

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 6:38 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
  • PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

Vicia (4260 Forest Park Avenue), which opens today in the city's Cortex district, is that rare St. Louis restaurant capable of drawing national attention before it's served a single dish. Co-owners Michael and Tara Gallina are both alumni of the Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and their decision to leave New York for Michael's native St. Louis drew headlines even before they honed their concept.

After a successful run of pop-ups, that concept, Vicia, opens with lunch service today — a casual beginning to what's certain to become one of the city's most coveted reservations. The Gallinas plan to offer quick counter service at lunch with a frequently changing menu at dinner, "driven by the best of what's available at the moment." Dinner service begins next Tuesday, March 28.

As their press kit notes, "By presenting an experience reflective of the season, based on best practices from the land to the kitchen, the Gallinas look to create an element of surprise, and a restaurant experience that constantly feels fresh and innovative."

The space certainly lives up to the hype. Designed by Sasha Malinich of R/5 and Casco Architects, it's a 2,500-square-foot glass-enclosed space with a cool Nordic look. It will seat 54 inside, with room for another 34 outside in view of the restaurant's wood-fired grill.

click to enlarge "Echinacea" is the work of local artist Andrew Millner. - PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
  • PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
  • "Echinacea" is the work of local artist Andrew Millner.
Local artists are represented in the striking room. The custom-made white oak tables are by St. Louis' Martin Goebel of Martin Goebel Design, while the artwork that serves as a focal point in the dining room, “Echinacea," is by Andrew Millner, an artist based in St. Louis.

Vicia will serve lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner will be served Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. Reservations are encouraged for dinner, but not for lunch.

See more photos of Vicia below, all courtesy of the restaurant.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
  • PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
  • PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
click to enlarge PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
  • PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS
  • PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

Editor's note: A previous version of this story included incorrect hours for lunch. It begins at 11 a.m., not 11:30. We regret the error.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


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