This Week's Dish: Layla And MX Movie Debut New Menus, Matt McGuire Back At Niche, Halloween Prix Fixe At Panorama

In Food
Image courtesy of Layla.

Image courtesy of Layla.

Lebanese eatery Layla, located in The Grove, reopened in early October after a brief hiatus. The new chef-owner, Jason Sparks, has broadened the scope of the menu to include Middle Eastern fusion selections. Check out the Beirut Burger, made with seasoned beef, roasted lamb, Monterey Jack cheese and sumac onions. The Layla “Pitza” is topped with goat cheese, sliced leg of lamb, dates, figs and roasted apples. And you can’t skip dessert. Creative treats include Gooey Butter Baklava and housemade shakes. And perhaps most notable are the specialty craft cocktails that feature Mediterranean flavors.

Movies aren’t the only hot new releases at MX Movies. According to Sauce Magazine, the Downtown movie house recently changed up its in-theater dining menu as well. Patrons who order restaurant-style fare from the convenience of touchscreen menus located under their seats have new options available to them; a number of items have been added that are easier to eat in the dark. Those items include shrimp and beef tacos, quesadillas, shrimp cocktail and a variety of flatbread pizzas, including the barbecued chicken—a crisped pita topped with barbecue sauce, southwest-seasoned chicken, bacon, smoked cheddar and red onions.

Local food scene fixture (and owner of the former and beloved King Louie’s) Matt McGuire recently announced he was leaving his position as GM of Central Table Food Hall to return to the Niche family of restaurants. Previously GM of Brasserie, McGuire will now serve as GM at Niche in Clayton, the fine-dining flagship restaurant of Gerard Craft. With Craft and McGuire collaborating at this local hot spot, you’re sure to see some impressive new ideas hit the St. Louis dining scene very soon.

Panorama at St. Louis Art Museum will serve up a special Halloween lunch on Oct. 31 called Halloween Before Dark. The prix fixe menu ($19 per person, plus $6 for wine pairings) features three courses that keep the focus on local ingredients while delighting in the spirit of the season. Diners will start with “The Presence of a Ghost?”—a soup of two celeries with Prairie Farms sour cream. Entree choices include “Liver, Fava Beans and a Fine Chianti”—Rain Crow Ranch beef liver, roasted and caramelized onions, fava bean and Ozark mushroom ragout and Chianti vinaigrette—or “Legs Sinking in the Quicksand”—roasted dark meat chicken from Double Starr Farms, Kentucky corn grits and red wine-braised greens. Dessert is “Pumpkinhead Lives On”—a luscious compilation of Sugar Pie pumpkin pie, sweet cream and gold. Reservations can be made by calling 314.655.5490.

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