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Dec 13, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Privado’

Best New Restaurants: No. 2 – Privado

Friday, December 1st, 2017

To be the best, everything matters – atmosphere, service and food. Here are St. Louis’ 12 best new restaurants of 2017.

 

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Reservations only. Open just two seatings on Friday and Saturday. Sixteen diners, max. A 12- to 15-course tasting menu that changes nightly.

But don’t get the wrong idea. Privado is high-concept dining performed to a Bruce Springsteen soundtrack by a Midwestern chef who is genuinely having fun – and guests are having a blast, too. This is fine dining according to Mike Randolph.

“I really wanted to prove to myself as much as anyone else that we could – in this particular market, two nights a week – change the way the people thing about a ‘fine dining’ experience,” Randolph said.

Yes, there are a handful of seats at the bar, where those who still pine for Randolfi’s can walk in and select from a tight menu of pasta and snacks. Randolph even hosts occasional weeknight pop-ups to stretch his creative muscles (curry, anyone?). But to truly experience Privado, book a reservation online and prepare for a three-hour multisensory meal.

When you arrive, you feel like you’re in on a secret – sneaking into a restaurant for a private meal on the chef’s day off. Swing by the open kitchen before service and chat with Randolph and his team (no starched chef whites here, just a couple of guys in baseball caps and aprons) while you sip an aperitif and snack on an amuse bouche served at the pass. That’s the whole point: to create a relaxed, organic interaction between diner and kitchen. “We want people to feel disarmed, like they can come in and be themselves,” Randolph said.

 

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As First Aid Kit’s cover of “America” cues up, settle in to the first course – perhaps Missouri paddlefish caviar atop a crema cloud – and feel free to audibly marvel. Everyone else is, and it gets louder as the wine pairings flow to a steady playlist of rock, bluegrass, soul and jazz.

The meal features two- to three-bite dishes you’ll stretch into seven or eight nibbles just to study their complexity and savor the moment. Observe the crisp skin atop a meaty cube of pork belly and how it provides textural contrast to the unctuous liver (yes, liver) ice cream. Swoon over a raviolo stuffed with braised turnips and buried under a snowbank of white truffle shavings, presented on its own hand-carved spoon.

Swipe the perfect cylinder of mind-blowing Taleggio cheese wrapped in dried pear through vibrant sorrel ice cream. Wonder why on earth you never thought to pair earthy porcini mushrooms with rich dark chocolate ganache before now. Savor the last bite as Roy Orbison croons “It’s Over” and collect your thoughts between sips of Madeira and French-pressed coffee. You’ll never experience that meal again – and neither will anyone else.

Photos by Carmen Troesser

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• First Look: Privado in The Loop

• Mike Randolph will open Privado in former Randolfi’s space

• Sauce Magazine: Best New Restaurants 2017

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

A viral sensation is moving to accommodate more diners and a chef realizes his longtime goal of an exclusive fine-dining restaurant, ICYMI…

 

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1. Privado, the new weekend-only tasting menu concept from chef-owner Mike Randolph opened Friday, Oct. 20, bringing a fine-dining experience to the Delmar Loop.

 

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2. After just a little more than two years in business, Twisted Ranch will soon move to a new, larger location just a block away.

 

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3. St. Louis has danced with the dual sushi bowl and poke trends for years, but cousins Kati Fahrney and Ron Turigliatto have brought the first fast-casual sushi bowl and roll restaurant to St. Louis with BLK MKT Eats.

 

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4. There are three commandments you must follow to achieve flame-kissed, grilled pizza nirvana that no conventional oven-baked pie will ever reach.

 

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Scoops in the St. Louis restaurant scene. 

 

First Look: Privado in The Loop

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

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Privado, the new weekend-only tasting menu concept from chef-owner Mike Randolph opens tomorrow, Oct. 20, bringing a fine-dining experience to the Delmar Loop.

Privado is located at 6665 Delmar Blvd., in the space that once housed Randolph’s Italian restaurant, Randolfi’s, which closed last month. As The Scoop reported in September, Privado is reservations-only, offers one tasting menu (usually between 12 and 15 courses) and has a single seating on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Only 16 seats are available per service.

The menu changes constantly, giving Randolph a unique chance to experiment with a wide variety of flavors and ingredients. It also gives diners a different culinary experience each time they visit.

The restaurant’s interior has been tweaked a bit since the Randolfi’s era to enhance the new concept. Two community tables now sit directly in front of the open kitchen for a full view of the action. LED lights mounted in shadowboxes above each seat create the perfect spotlight (and phone-friendly photo lighting) for each dish.

The kitchen has been streamlined for service with new workstations and shelving, though the signature wood-fired oven remains (as does the poster of “Born In The U.S.A”-era Bruce Springsteen). The front of the space, which used to serve as the main dining room, is available for private events during the week.

For those who want to stop by Privado for a drink and a bite, the bar area is available for walk-ins and reservations. A small a la carte food menu is available, as well as a drinks list that includes four classic cocktails, four rotating cocktails, plus a limited selection of beer, wine and spirits. The bar menu incorporates ingredients that appear on the tasting room bill of fare and includes an appetizer, two pastas, an entree and a dessert.

Tickets for each seating are available online in two-month blocks – October is already sold out, and November and December are starting to fill up. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Randolph’s newest project:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Mike Randolph will open Privado in former Randolfi’s space

• Randolfi’s will close in The Loop Sept. 9

• Best New Restaurants: No. 1 – Público

Mike Randolph will open Privado in former Randolfi’s space

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

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Mike Randolph is finally getting his experimental fine-dining restaurant. As The Scoop reported in late August, Randolph closed his Italian Randolfi’s at 6665 Delmar Blvd. earlier this month. He plans to open Privado in the same space in October.

“It is exciting,” Randolph said. “It took a little bit of time to just get over the hurt of Randolfi’s, but once we figured out what was possible and what we wanted to do, we kept coming back to this.”

Privado will be a fine-dining tasting menu restaurant open on Friday and Saturday evenings for one service of about 15 courses for just 16 patrons. Tickets for each dinner will be available online for $100 each. The first service is planned for Oct. 20.

“I’ve thrown a ton of things at the wall, but I’ve never given [fine-dining] a fair chance,” Randolph said. “We want to be in there two, three, four days a week experimenting, tweaking techniques, processing ingredients.”

He plans to design the space and experience – the plating, lighting, music, even the smell in the room – in ways that were impossible at his previous fine-dining projects (Little Country Gentleman and the Diversion Dinners series), since they took place in other, permanent establishments. “This is no longer a divergence from work – this is work,” Randolph said. “This is a singular focus.”

The bar will be open around weekend dinners, so customers can have a cocktail before or after their meal. A handful of snacks and desserts will be available for those who just want to pop in for a drink as they wait for a table at Público or wander in from The Loop – though reservations are encouraged for bar seats as well.

During the week, Privado will serve as a private event space, available for everything from baby showers to cooking demonstrations, and a kind of commissary kitchen that Randolph’s other restaurants can use when they need extra space. “This will give us a really flexible space,” he said. “We can do anything we need to do within the restaurant group out of that space.”

“We’re excited – that’s the long and the short of it,” Randolph said. “It’s switched from sorrow to excitement.”

 

Photo by Greg Rannells for Mike Randolph

Heather Hughes is managing editor at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
Meals That Changed My Life: Mike Randolph

Randolfi’s will close in The Loop Sept. 9

Best New Restaurants: No. 4 – Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen

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