House Sourdough Bread – Butter
Yellowtail Crudo – Avocado, Cucumber, Crispy Shallots, Aji Panca
Hen of the Woods Mushrooms – Chorizo Butter, Pomme Puree
Feijoada – Pork Belly, Pork Loin, Brisket, Short Rib, Black Beans, Rice, Kale, Farofa, Chimichurri, Orange
Manioc Polenta – Spicy Honey, Goat Cheese
Dia’s Cheese Bread – Country Ham, Lardo, Pickled Vegetables
Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches – Fresh Passion Fruit, Coconut Lime Sorbet, Pomegranate Ice
Having last dined in St. Louis mid-2012, it was prior to Gerard Craft’s recognition by the James Beard Foundation that a remarkable meal took place at niche, the Chef’s star since risen to a total of seven concepts including Brazilian-themed Cinder House along the waterfront at Four Seasons.
Opened in late-August 2018 and touting live-fire cooking, Craft’s childhood nanny and her Pão de Queijo a lasting influence across nearly fifteen years of professional cooking, it is after ascending eight stories that guests find themselves with a privileged view of The Gateway Arch, service predictably meeting luxury hotel standards from complimentary valet to the hostess podium and within.
Situated alongside a Bar and Lounge, seasonal décor plus live jazz greeting diners on Thursday night, it was with reservations confirmed that window-side seating was offered, a waiter mix-up briefly delaying the description of specials including a traditional Turkey dinner that was graciously declined in favor of menu options from Executive Chef Aaron Martinez.
Quiet despite being one of St. Louis’ few Restaurants open past eight o’clock on Thanksgiving, only a dozen guests in attendance and most occupying the bar area, it was with three courses decided that dinner began with housemade Bread, rustic Sourdough with a robust Crust performing well and followed quickly by self-selected Mushrooms bathed in saporous Butter plus vibrant Yellowtail Crudo, compliments of the Chef.
Warned of a 25-minute wait for “Dia’s Cheese Bread,” Ms. Cecelia Assuncao’s recipe lovingly baked from scratch per Chef Craft’s instruction any time it is ordered, it may seem odd to some that the Appetizer actually arrived shortly after Entrees on this particular evening, yet for those who’ve been fortunate enough to visit Brazil it would be difficult to name any better version of the cultural staple, whether at a casual café of Michelin 2* table.
Fascinated by Cinder House’s Feijoada, $30 yielding a sharable portion of Beef, Pork, Beans, Rice and Farofa with atypical additions including Kale and Citrus, another intriguing dish is Manioc “Polenta” featuring the mashed Root with Spicy Honey and Goat Cheese, while Desserts from Pastry Chef McKenna Schuetz-Reyes equally take liberties with tradition, IE Chocolate Coconut Tres Leches with contrasting Fruit textures and flavors.
*6 days after this visit Chef Martinez stepped down and Josh Adams was promoted to Chef de Cuisine.