As a bona fide hub for business, politics and culture, Clayton caters to a multitude of different taste buds, with dining establishments ranging from ice cream and pizza parlors to elegant restaurants that have graced the area for generations.
For this reason, Clayton Restaurant Week, a biannual event which returns for its ninth winter edition Monday, Jan. 22, through Jan. 28, leaves the particulars to the participants when it comes to special meal deals during the annual event.
“We have over 80 restaurants in Clayton that I think a lot of people don’t know about,” said Nicholle Hinkle, Clayton’s Events Coordinator. “We try to pull together the restaurants that are more on the higher end of the scale in Clayton and invite them to highlight their menus, and provide an opportunity for people that might not normally be able to go out and visit them and enjoy their menu at a discounted price.”
Starting next week, 17 of Clayton’s best fine dining establishments reunite for a winter edition of Clayton Restaurant Week. For those unfamiliar with the Restaurant Week concept, they are a vital part of over 75 major cities’ annual schedule of events.
There are no passes to buy, coupons to carry or cards to punch — patrons simply attend the restaurant of their choice and select from a special 3-course dinner menu for either $25 or $35 per person, plus tip, plus tax.
“It’s super easy for anyone who wants to go,” Hinkle said. “You just take a look at the menus that sound best to you, make a reservation and enjoy a great meal.”
Patrons are also being asked to consider adding an “Extra Helping” donation. A donation of $5 or more goes directly to Operation Food Search, which provides food and nutrition education to the hungry in our community. Every month, through a network of 330 community partners, Operation Food Search helps to feed more than 200,000 individuals, a third of whom are children.
The city of Clayton has partnered with Operation Food Search for each of its Restaurant Week celebrations.
“They’re a food bank in the area and the largest distributor of free food,” Hinkle said. “We use this event as a way to give back to them so they can continue serving the St. Louis area.”
The Capital Grille, a nationally beloved steakhouse specializing in dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood, opened its doors in Clayton in September and is one of three new establishments joining Clayton Restaurant Week.
“Anybody who’s in this business knows that January is one of the slowest months of the year with the hangover of the holidays and everything. So I think the opportunity to see the masses in one week is pretty cool to me,” said Geoff Dill, Managing Partner with Capital Grille. “From the guest’s perspective, the value in having a menu that’s $25 and $35 I think is really cool and the visibility for this area in St. Louis I think is tremendous.”
While the weeklong event is designed to benefit customers, Dill said it is also good for his employees.
“Usually when you’re cutting back in January you’re so busy with this that it gives your employees an opportunity to make money, or your hourly employees more hours, if you will, just because of how busy the restaurant is,” Dill said. “It’s kind of like a subconscious thank you to the market for being so generous over the last year.”
Sardella, a contemporary fare with Italian and Californian influences, along with Pastaria, and update on Italian cooking in a slick, modern trattoria with a soaring ceiling and an open kitchen, are also new to Clayton Restaurant Week this year.
Visit claytonrestaurantweek.com/2018 to view each of the participating restaurants’ menus. Reservations are highly recommended.
BARcelona — 34 N Central Ave
C.J. Muggs — 200 S Central Ave
Cantina Laredo — 7710 Forsyth Blvd
Crushed Red — 8007 Maryland Ave
801 Chop House — 137 Carondelet Plaza
801 Fish — 172 Carondelet Plaza
Avenue — 12 N Meramec Ave
Café Napoli — 7754 Forsyth Blvd
Capital Grille — 101 S Hanley Rd
Dominic’s Trattoria — 200 S Brentwood Blvd
Herbies — 8100 Maryland Ave
Louie’s Wine Dive — 16 S Bemiston Ave
Parigi — 8025 Bonhomme Ave
Ruth’s Chris Steak House — 1 N Brentwood Blvd
$25 & $35 Menus
Océano Bistro — 44 N Brentwood Blvd
To be determined
Sardella — 7734 Forsyth Blvd
Pastaria — 7734 Forsyth Blvd