A Wine And Chocolate Lover’s Dream In St. Louis

If you have yet to try the eclectic combination of a crisp salad with a chocolate vinaigrette or a spicy chili infused with dark chocolate, St. Louis catering company 23 City Blocks can aid the process. The company relies heavily upon the artisanal chocolate of their sister company, Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier, and the unique palette of executive chef Nick Miller. Amanda Bradham-Little, vice president of marketing and events at 23 City Blocks, calls it “the finest chocolate you can get in the world” and Miller “the most superhuman chef I’ve ever worked with.”

This summer, Miller’s chocolate-infused menus will be available at 23 City Blocks Catering’s latest endeavor, a new concept cafe in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood where Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier once resided. Opening to the public on Wednesday, June 14, the new space, Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, will now feature breakfast, lunch and evening menus in a newly redesigned space. 

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The new space will now feature more classic café fare throughout the day. Early birds can kick-off their mornings right by enjoying cold-brewed coffees, flavored coffees and delicious breakfast breads. A variety of sweet and savory quiches will also be available during morning hours. For lunch, guests can find some quiet space to finish work while enjoying a salad, sandwich or Miller’s signature french-onion soup. When the sun goes down, the café will transform into more of a lounge environment—with dim lighting, plush leather chairs and fireplaces—where diners can enjoy chocolate fondues, handmade charcuteries and Bissinger’s delectable chocolate.

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The new space also boasts a 24-bottle self-serving wine wall. Customers can purchase a re-loadable card that will allow them to choose between a two-ounce tasting pour, a five-ounce house pour or an eight-ounce wine-lovers pour. Bradham-Little says the inspiration came from a desire to give customers more chances to find some new favorites. “If customers want to taste a few different wines, they can find one they really love by sampling some first and then go for the full glass. That’s my kind of wall.”

Though 23 City Blocks Catering is well-known for lavish food and creative catering design, the true test is when each plate hits the table. “What sets us apart from other caterers is that we take a restaurant approach to our events,” Bradham-Little says. “People leave our events saying that they just had the best wedding food they’ve ever had. That’s what we strive for. On our team, everything is done with purpose and care. By respecting our high-quality ingredients, we’re respecting our guests.” Hence, they’ve been featured in national publications like The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings.

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The new Handcrafted by Bissinger’s will also allow 23 City Blocks Catering to host private parties, offer guests wine-and-chocolate pairings and draw in a younger clientele, with attractive price points and great happy-hour digs. “We feel like the whole culinary experience should be fun. Handcrafted by Bissinger’s is going to bring some contemporary sass to the Central West End. There will be something for everyone here.”

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Cover photo by J. Pollack Photography, all others from Photo Elegance.

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