Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Vicia's Michael and Tara Gallina to Take over Winslow's Home

Posted By on Tue, Aug 27, 2019 at 7:55 AM

Michael and Tara Gallina have big plans for the forthcoming Winslow's Table. - JONATHAN GAYMAN
  • JONATHAN GAYMAN
  • Michael and Tara Gallina have big plans for the forthcoming Winslow's Table.

Vicia (4260 Forest Park Avenue, 314-553-9239) owners Michael and Tara Gallina are about to add one more feather to their already illustrious cap: The restaurant power couple is taking over the University City neighborhood restaurant Winslow's Home (7213 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-7559) and renaming it Winslow's Table.

The Gallinas announced the news in a press release yesterday afternoon, noting that they plan to "stay loyal to the farm-table, neighborhood feel that helped establish Winslow's Home as an iconic St. Louis institution, while bringing their own innovative spin to the restaurant." The pair will take over the restaurant in October, close for a brief redesign and then reopen in November.

“We’ve always wanted to have a casual, neighborhood spot where locals can return time and time again for great food in an inviting atmosphere," Tara says. "This was a natural fit for us, and we are excited to give diners a superb service experience in a laid-back setting."



The Gallinas have been a driving force for excellence in the St. Louis restaurant community ever since they arrived on the scene in 2015. A St. Louis native, Michael gained national acclaim as sous chef at the revered Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York, one of the country's top restaurants. It's where he met his wife, Tara, who was the restaurant's service captain and went on to become a catalyst for the couple's return to St. Louis.

The pair moved back to St. Louis four years ago and, after a series of pop-ups under the name, Rooster and the Hen, opened Vicia in March of 2017. The restaurant was an immediate success and has racked up a number of accolades in its two-and-a-half years, including being named the "#2 Best New Restaurant in the Country" by USA Today and one of the top 50 best new restaurants in the country by Bon Apetit for 2017. Vicia has also received two James Beard nominations — one for Michael as Best Chef: Midwest and the other for Best New Restaurant.

Though Vicia shows no signs of slowing down, the Gallinas see Winslow's Table as an opportunity to offer a more approachable experience to the everyday consumer. "We can't wait to expand our reach and introduce our food to an even bigger audience in a more casual setting," Michael says. To that end, the restaurant will continue to offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and an expanded prepared foods case.

Hours and takeaway offerings are not the only thing the Gallinas hope to retain from Winslow's Home at the new Winslow's Table. The pair want to maintain the restaurant's spirit including its farm fresh dishes and inviting, neighborhood feel. Expect new dishes but the same locally sourced ethos that made Winslow's Home special.

In fact, this shared philosophy is what brought together the Gallinas and Winslow's Home owner Ann Sheehan Lipton in the first place. The parties met when Michael and Tara began buying produce from Sheehan Lipton's other venture, Winslow's Farm. A passionate local and ethical farming advocate, Sheehan Lipton is confident that she has found the right people to carry on the legacy of what she began in University City in 2008.

"Utilizing food grown close to home has benefits beyond the consumer, the environment and the local farm economy and has always been a part of our mission," Sheehan Lipton says. "In handing the reins to Michael and Tara, I feel comfortable in their ability to build on the hard work and dedication of so many amazing people who made us better and left their mark over the years.”

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com.

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