ALIVE Dining Exclusive: A Sneak Peek Inside Nathalie’s
On Friday, Dec. 13, culinary entrepreneur Nathalie Pettus will bring a taste of her Clarksville estate, Overlook Farm, to the Central West End. Pettus has transformed the former Mayer Funeral Home (aka the former locale of restaurants Savor and Salt) into Nathalie’s, a farm-to-table restaurant that also gives a nod to the history and beauty of St. Louis and the surrounding area. We joined Pettus and her executive chef, Jimmy Voss (previously of Duff’s Restaurant) for a sneak peek of the forthcoming restaurant.
Upon first entering Nathalie’s, one can’t help but note the stunning decor. A complete 180 from the building’s previous life as Salt Restaurant, guests enter through the front of the Belle Epoque mansion and are greeted by a formal front room. “I wanted to restore the building’s original design as a residence,” says Pettus. “I want people to feel as though they’re coming into my home.”
The main floor dining rooms have been dressed to impress, with antique rugs, luxe draperies, framed artwork and silver service. To add that personal touch of home, Pettus commissioned replicas of her grandfather’s paintings of Missouri landscapes. You’ll also find portraits of her family members, and even her sons’ high school graduation pictures adorning walls throughout the building.
But let’s get to the main course: The food. Jimmy Voss, executive chef at both Nathalie’s and Overlook Farm’s restaurant, has prepared a menu sure to please. How can we be confident in that statement? Says Voss, “When you cook for a lot of people [over the years], and you really listen to them, they tell you exactly what they want.” Voss has listened carefully throughout his tenure in the local food scene, and he’s brought some long-time favorites along with inspired new dishes to the Nathalie’s menu.
Regulars from Duff’s will be reunited with his black bean ravioli, served with smoked pepper cream and grilled onion guacamole; French onion soup with housemade croutons; housemade pate with red onion jam, grain mustard and dried cherries; and the cranberry chicken with buerre noir, root vegetable mash and made-to-order sweet potato cornbread.
New items of note include the Bow Thai (pictured), an Asian-inspired dish of bow-tie pasta, garden vegetables, free-range chicken and a light but flavorful Thai coconut cream. The Crispy Sesame Quinoa Crab Cake (pictured) is a personal favorite of the chef. It’s made with gluten-free breadcrumbs and served with avocado-grapefruit salad and an oil-free ginger-citrus vinaigrette.
Of course, high-quality ingredients are of the utmost importance in the kitchen. “We do the best we can to raise what we can [for the restaurant], and the rest is sourced from growers who think like we do,” says Pettus, known for her progressive sustainable practices at Overlook Farm. Heritage Angus-cross beef, heritage red waddle pork, free-range chicken and sustainably raised tilapia are all produced at Overlook Farm, along with a full range of produce. “Vegetables will be the crowning glory of the dishes [at Nathalie’s],” says Pettus. “As they should be.”
Those who have been to the stately manor on Lindell Boulevard know that there’s a lot of ground (literally), we haven’t covered yet. This includes a second floor dining room and theater space (pictured) for live music and performance, as well as a lower level chef’s tasting room with seating for 16 and a temperature-controlled wine cellar (pictured). And it must be mentioned, the memorably over-the-top bathrooms have been preserved in all their glory.
Nathalie’s will be open for dinner six nights a week and closed on Tuesdays. Pettus anticipates starting brunch service in January. Plans are in the works for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve dinner. Make your reservations now.
4356 Lindell Blvd., Central West End, 314.533.1580