St. Louis’ Vicia is Vying for Best New Restaurant in Nation

St. Louis’ Vicia is Vying for Best New Restaurant in Nation

Vicia is Among 20 Finalists in USA Today Best Restaurant Poll

St. Louis, MO/December 7, 2017 (STL.News) – One of St. Louis’ most acclaimed new restaurants has been nominated for yet another national honor.  Vicia, the slick new restaurant in the Cortex innovation district (4260 Forest Park Ave.) is one of just twenty restaurants nominated for USA Today’s 10Best New Restaurants 2017.  Chef Michael Gallena and his wife, Tara Gallena, opened Vicia last March.  Since then, it’s been very well received by St. Louis diners, as well as local and national food critics.

The Gallinas met while working at Dan Barber’s internationally renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, New York.  He was chef de cuisine; she was service captain.  They married in 2015, and returned to Michael’s home town of St. Louis.  By early 2016 they were creating a series of pop-up dinners under the name “Rooster and the Hen” (the word “gallina” is Spanish for “hen”).  When they announced plans to open Vicia, it quickly became one of the most anticipated new restaurants of the year. And Vicia has lived up to the hype.

The restaurant has already received local and national acclaim for its seasonally driven, vegetable forward menu and sleek decor.  Vicia was named one of the 12 best new restaurants in America by the national food and restaurant publication Eater.  They were also a finalist for Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurant list in August.  Chef Gallina and his team have been lauded for their celebration of vegetables in thoughtful, precise shared plates.  But Vicia isn’t a vegetarian restaurant.  Diners will find plenty of animal proteins as both mains and accents on the menu: eggs, cheese, sustainable seafood, grass-fed beef, and Berkshire pork.  The seasonal menu is driven by the best ingredients available at the time.  The Gallinas have cultivated relationships with Midwestern farmers and food producers to ensure they can focus on what’s fresh and create dining experiences that are new and different each time.

For USA Today’s 2017 10Best, the publication’s editors assembled a panel of food and travel experts and asked them to nominate the 20 best new restaurants in the nation.  To qualify, the restaurant needed to open sometime in the last 18-months.  The winners will be chosen by USA Today readers.  Online voting is open until 11:00 a.m. Central Time on New Year’s Day, Monday, January 1st.  You can vote online once per day.  As of this writing, Vicia was leading the voting.  The 10 winning restaurants will be announced on Friday, January 5th.  Visit Vicia website.


By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (MS)