the bellwether opened in the former element space on may 31. photo by meera nagarajan

First Look: The Bellwether in St. Louis


The Bellwether, the new eatery from the minds behind Polite Society, opened to the public May 31, in the Power Plant Building at 1419 Carroll St. on the eastern edge of Lafayette Square. The building most recently housed Element, but as the old saying goes, if you haven’t seen it lately, you really haven’t seen it at all.


Element had its main dining room and open kitchen on the second floor, reserving the third floor for a bar/lounge space. The Bellwether switches things up with the dining room and bar now on the third floor, along with the adjacent patio. The second floor and its patio are being revamped as a standalone private event space called The Reference Room, slated to debut later this summer, and the once open kitchen has been closed off.


The dining room, which seats around 60, is in dusky lavender, black, burgundy and cream hues. Seating is a combination of tables, booths and banquettes, upholstered in fabric resembling rolled leather. Heavy drapes add a sense of privacy to the booths and serve to subtly define the dining room and bar area. The patio seats another 50 and is now surrounded by a wooden slat fence and matching planters filled with various herbs and edible flowers for the kitchen and bar.


Read More // Polite Society’s Brian Schmitz discusses newest endeavor, The Bellwether

The spacious Bellwether bar area seats 12 to 15 and features a massive back bar and several flat-screens for those who need to keep up with the game of the day.


Executive chef Thomas Futrell’s menu offers elevated fare to match its upscale surroundings. Entrees include hearty plates like octopus, poached and served with roasted carnival cauliflower, and a hefty sous-vide pork steak topped with compressed red cabbage and served with German potato salad. Small plates include bites like mushroom and ginger dumplings braised in tamarind and soy.


On the beverage side, beverage director Travis Hebrank has curated an extensive wine list, including plenty of bottles and by-the-glass options, along with bottled and canned beers and cocktails. The back bar has plenty of spirited options for guests who want to call out their favorite drink.


Bellwether opens at 4:30 p.m. daily. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 p.m. on Sunday. Here’s a look at Lafayette Square’s latest:


Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Tags : Places, New Restaurants, Restaurants, First Looks