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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Form Skybar Offers St. Louis-Centric Food — and a Soaring View of Downtown

Posted By on Tue, Mar 26, 2019 at 6:54 AM

click to enlarge CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling

Earlier this month, Form Skybar (705 Olive Street) opened on top of the new Hotel Saint Louis — and diners have been raving ever since about the rooftop restaurant and bar, which sits sixteen floors above the Louis Sullivan-designed building.

With windows covering three of its walls, Form Skybar lets you gaze out on downtown. On warmer days, one side of the windows retract. According to Chef Mathew Birkenmeier, the windows were open even on the first day.

The bar takes its name from Sullivan's idea that "form follows function," Birkenmeier notes, while explaining that he wants this to be an everyday kind of place and wants everyone to have a fun and enjoyable experience.

So that's the function. The form that follows is a menu that pays homage to the city's roots. Birkenmeier says the menu is "uniquely St. Louis centric," with items that are quick and affordable.

click to enlarge "Mississippi Crawfish Nachos in a Can" - CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling
  • "Mississippi Crawfish Nachos in a Can"

The biggest hit so far is the "Mississippi Crawfish Nachos in a Can." The appetizer comes out from the kitchen with the toppings in a can in the middle of the plate, with the can taken off at the table because, says Birkenmeier, "Nobody likes soggy nachos."

Other favorites include the smash burger, which is topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, pickles and Form sauce, and the "Sullivan's Smokehouse Flat Bread," with smoked bacon, burnt ends, Provel and house marinara. Or try the "Country-Fried Steak Sliders," with three buttery Southern buttermilk biscuits topped with chicken-fried steak and country pepper gravy.

click to enlarge Sullivan's Smokehouse Flatbread - CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling
  • Sullivan's Smokehouse Flatbread

Form also features vegetarian options, including the Impossible Sloppy Joe (which uses meat from the Impossible burger as its base), a pickled seasonal fruit salad, sweet potato fries and the "Soulard Market Flatbread," which includes Provel and seasonal vegetables, along with marinara sauce.

The food isn't the only thing representing St. Louis. The cocktail menu features its own fun St. Louis-themed drinks such as the Mississippi Mojito, the Gravois Gin Martini, the Soulard Sangria, the Olive Street Old Fashioned and the Missouri Mule. 

click to enlarge Josh Schindler, left, and Matt Birkenmeier. - CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling
  • Josh Schindler, left, and Matt Birkenmeier.

Birkenmeier says Form Skybar should be a fun place to get a quick bite before Cardinals' games. Sitting with his "right-hand man," Josh Schindler, Birkenmeier says he's been thrilled with the reception so far.

"It is amazing to see all of the progress we have made here," he says.
"There is no 'I' in 'Journey.'"

Schindler and Birkenmeier previously worked together at the late, much-lamented Quincy Street Bistro, where Birkenmeier was the executive chef. After that, Schindler worked at Three Sixty and Union 30, the restaurant on the first floor of Hotel St. Louis. "He literally worked his way to the top," jokes Birkenmeier.

The $68 million Hotel Saint Louis renovation was led by Amy and Amrit Gill of Restoration St. Louis and now operates as an Autograph collection Hotels by Marriott. Form Skybar is now open 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Scroll down for more photos.

click to enlarge CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling

click to enlarge Olive Street Old Fashioned, Mississippi Mojito, Gravois Gin Martini, Aviation - CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling
  • Olive Street Old Fashioned, Mississippi Mojito, Gravois Gin Martini, Aviation

click to enlarge "Country-Fried Steak Sliders." - CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling
  • "Country-Fried Steak Sliders."
click to enlarge The view from Form Skybar via our fish-eye lens. - CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling
  • The view from Form Skybar via our fish-eye lens.

click to enlarge CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling

click to enlarge CHELSEA NEULING
  • Chelsea Neuling

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