Dining NewsFeb 01, 2013
Three new eateries join the ranks of the area’s rich mexican culinary scene.
Story: Christopher Reilly
Photos: Christopher Gibbons
The Mexican food scene in St. Louis is hot, to say the least, and as new south-of-the-border eateries pop up beyond the tried-and-true cluster on Cherokee Street, it appears that it’s not cooling down anytime soon. We’ve got our eye on three brand-new and coming-soon spots, each offering original takes on how to dish up the genre.
Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina
Before you write off the Galleria’s new Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina as just another mall restaurant, take a closer look. Serving what it declares “evolved Mexican cuisine,” Vida features 120 varieties of blue agave tequilas, so tequilaphiles and margarita-lovers have plenty of exploring to do. The food menu runs the gamut, from lump crab nacho appetizers to specialties like ceviche and chicken tinga with a fried egg on top, to oven-warm churros with dark Belgian chocolate dipping sauce for dessert. Vida also offers creative takes on expected fare like tacos, enchiladas and burritos. 1137 Saint Louis Galleria, Richmond Heights, 314.863.1150.
Adam and Jason Tilford, owners of Milagro Modern Mexican in Webster Groves and Tortillaria in the Central West End, are opening a new late-night restaurant and bodega in The Loop called Mission, serving simple but authentic Mexican fare. The Tilfords have always made their own tortillas in-house, which they say “takes a lot of labor we don’t get credit for.” So this time, the tortilla-making station will be viewable from the street with a walk-up window to tempt passersby. Look for reasonably priced platter combos of tacos, enchiladas, burritos and other Mexican favorites. Expect Mission to open in late February with a bodega (grocery story) opening in the adjoining space soon after. 6235 Delmar Blvd., The Loop.
When the owners of Pi Pizzeria announce that they’re opening a taco joint, you can be sure they’ll be doing something out-of-the-ordinary with it. Restaurateurs Chris Sommers and Frank Uible say Gringo will be centered around tacos, featuring table-side guacamole and pozole, as well as larger entrées and a kid’s menu—all designed by Pi chef Steven Caravelli. What really sets Gringo apart is that all meats are to be prepared sous vide—air-sealed then cooked low and slow in a water bath—resulting in succulent, highly flavorful meats. It’s a time-consuming and thus expensive process that’s normally reserved for a higher price point than you’ll see at Gringo. The owners expect to open this spring in the 3,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Rothschild’s Antiques, right across the street from the CWE Pi. 398 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End.
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