Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Extra Brut Brings Champagne, Oysters and an Upscale Vibe to Clayton

Posted By on Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 6:17 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SPENCER PERNIKOFF
  • Photo by Spencer Pernikoff
Break out the bubbly! The much buzzed-about champagne bar from the same minds behind Louie’s Wine Dive, Extra Brut (16 South Bemiston, Clayton; 314-669-9170), opened its doors last month in Clayton. This unique pop-up restaurant is only open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights, but is available for private parties every day of the week.

Note to self: This isn’t a place to enjoy bottomless mimosas and drink your face off on a Sunday morning. The super-chic concept is one that’s meant for enjoying a glass pre- or post-dinner — and one that’s for a low-key and intimate crowd.
click to enlarge PHOTO BY SPENCER PERNIKOFF
  • Photo by Spencer Pernikoff
They serve a rotating list of three sparking wines by the glass, and a larger selection of some of the finest bubbles from around the world by the bottle. The only drink on the menu is champagne and sparkling wine. No exceptions.

There is no large signage, and if you aren’t paying attention, you might walk right by the wooden door with the “EB” emblem. From here you enter into a dark hallway with backlit champagne bottles lighting your way. Once inside, the interior is dark and sexy, with a speakeasy vibe. There’s a small bar that seats four in front of an open kitchen, then the main dining area which holds two large community tables and four large, cozy booths.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SPENCER PERNIKOFF
  • Photo by Spencer Pernikoff

If champagne has a perfect food pairing, it’s surely oysters. Extra Brut has them flown in fresh every weekend, with two to three types available, served both cooked and raw. Chef Will Volny offers a number of different preparations, ranging from the classic charbroiled and Rockefeller to more unique options like Oysters Kathryn, baked and stuffed with baby artichoke, garlic, parmesan, EVOO and lemon; or Bienville, with shrimp, bacon, mushrooms and herbs.

Aside from the oysters, there are small plate options such as goat cheese crostini and caramel kettle corn. An expanded menu of housemade charcuterie and caviar will be debuting in the future. Although this is still more of an after or before dinner establishment, you could easily make a meal of oysters and small plates, then linger and chat throughout the evening. Cin cin!

click to enlarge PHOTO BY SPENCER PERNIKOFF
  • Photo by Spencer Pernikoff
The idea is to “spark conversation” says private event coordinator and certified sommelier Molly Greene. The space isn’t huge, so it can get noisy — especially when the music starts. Extra Brut has live acoustic entertainment on weekend nights to add to that romantic feeling. “We love the old school vibe and how it encourages guests to sit and relax over a glass,” she says.

The restaurant only seats 48 people, so to ensure a seat you can reserve a spot online. Included in the price of the reservation, naturally, is a glass of champagne. Walk-ins are always welcome, but if you are worried about getting a prime seat on a Saturday night, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. For more information head to Extra Brut's official website and check out the VIP experience tab.

Ellen Prinzi is our bar and nightlife writer, she likes strong drinks and has strong opinions. You can catch more of her writing via Olio City, a city guide app she started last year.

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