Five Places to Catch Pop-Up Dinners in St. Louis
We love our restaurants in St. Louis, but sometimes we just want to fly under the radar—which is why we also love these pop-up dinners. From seasonal experiments to international family favorites, there’s a wealth of creativity on the plate at these five pop-ups.
1. Spirit House
Ekkachai Danwanichakul and Chelsie Hellige hold dinner parties out of their Dogtown home for the pure fun of it. Danwanichakul is from northern Thailand and has an unending passion for and interest in Thai cuisine. The couple met while Danwanichakul was a server at King and I and Hellige was a frequent customer. Now, the duo hosts two multi-course weekend dinners a month; the series is called Spirit House, in reference to the Thai shrines that are kept to hold and protect the spirits of a place.
The pair will announce the dates for their next dinner on Instagram, and all guests have to do is request the number of seats and make a donation of about $50.
The couple frequently visits family in Thailand, and each time they learn how to make a traditional dish. As Thai cuisine combines a number of dishes and courses served family-style, Spirit House dinners are thoughtfully put together and typically include a soup, curry, stir-fry dish, salad and a sauce or relish that balance each other out. For more information, follow them on Instagram or Facebook or sign up for their e-newsletters.
Frequent customers of the eclectic Milque Toast Bar on Jefferson Avenue may recognize owner Colleen Clawson down the street at the colorful Baba Xavi, just a few blocks south of Cherokee Street. The pop-up Indian bistro is named after her son, Xavier, who grew up in the family’s restaurant.
Baba Xavi serves Indian-inspired dishes with an exciting menu of small, mid-size and large entrees. The full bar offers cocktails plus both Indian and American beers on draft. Follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for details—because pop-ups don’t last forever.
3. Like Home Comme à la Maison
Although it sounds dramatic, Like Home Comme à la Maison truly transports you to a Franch bakery. Guests can hear chef and owner Clémence Pereur’s French accent as she flits around the kitchen, visible from the front counter. Pereur and her mother, Christine, are from Condé-Sainte-Libiaire, a town outside of Paris, and the two work hand in hand at the bakery. With degrees in cooking, pastry and chocolate-making, Pereur oversees the bakery while her mother is in charge of the bread.
Pereur hosts French-inspired five-course dinners with wine pairings at the bakery every couple of months, serving an amuse-bouche, appetizer, entree, salad and cheese and dessert. Check the website or follow on Facebook or Instagram for dates and menus.
4. FOOD ROOF Farm
The FOOD ROOF Farm is the lush Downtown rooftop garden from Urban Harvest STL, the local nonprofit that works to increase access to fresh produce among all communities in the area. The organization has a total of seven urban farms in the city and donates the majority of its produce to other nonprofits that serve St. Louis neighborhoods with limited access to grocery stores and offer classes for the community.
The FOOD ROOF hosts a monthly summer Harvest Dinner series, with sunset dinners served by guest chefs. Each dinner is a multi-course meal with beverage pairings and live music. Find the Harvest Dinner schedule and tickets online and follow the Facebook page.
5. Café Osage
Café Osage is the light-filled café at Bowood Farms in the Central West End. During the summer, the restaurant hosts a Harvest Dinner series outdoors in the courtyard garden. For $90, guests receive a botanical cocktail and hors d’oeuvres as well as a four-course meal, dessert and drink pairings. The menu highlights items that are grown fresh in the on-site garden.
Featured image courtesy of Spirit House.