First Look: The Last Kitchen in downtown St. Louis
Executive chef Evy Swoboda, a member of the 2018 Ones to Watch class, helms all culinary operations at the boutique hotel, including the restaurant, banquet services, room service and upcoming rooftop bar. The Last Kitchen offers breakfast, lunch and dinner service, as well as late-night eats at the bar.
Swoboda, who most recently served as Pastaria’s chef de cuisine, spend the last year touring and staging in restaurants along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans. Swoboda said she wants to tell the story of the Mississippi River through her cuisine, putting her own spin on dishes like tater tot hot dish or boudin-stuffed toasted ravioli.
The Last Hotel and The Last Kitchen have made several nods to the building’s history as the headquarters for International Shoe Co., right down to the name. (Cobblers use a tool called a last to create the shape of a shoe.) The restaurant’s signature dessert is, of course, a seasonal cobbler.
The bar wraps around the right side of the lobby, offering seating for 40 at a variety of high-tops, lounge areas and a custom bartenders' table by David Stine Woodworking. The beverage menu features 10 riffs on classic cocktails, as well as three nonalcoholic options, draft and bottled beer options, and wine by the glass. The bar menu features sharable options like fried pickles and shoestring fries, as well as larger meals like sandwiches, salads and house-made pasta. The bar is open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.
The Last Kitchen offers dinner service daily from 5 to 10 p.m. The 50-seat dining room is located behind the bar across from the open kitchen, where Swoboda and her team prepare dishes using a griddle, stove, wood-fired grill and wood-fired pizza oven. The Last Kitchen butchers meat in-house, so the chef’s plates will rotate depending on the cuts of meat available. Sides will also rotate depending on seasonality and availability from area purveyors; current options include fire-roasted oyster mushrooms from Mushrooms Naturally and summer squash.
Daily breakfast service is also available from 6:30 to 11 a.m. and features classics like a breakfast sandwich with prosciutto, Gouda and egg, a seasonal omelet and bacon cut to the diner’s desired thickness. The upcoming rooftop bar (The Last Rooftop) will feature a separate bar and food menu, as well as a pool meant for lounging. The Last Rooftop will be open to the public (21 and older) beginning Aug. 1.
Take a first look at what to expect from The Last Kitchen.
Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.
Editor's Note: The article originally said Evy Swoboda was Pastaria's former executive chef. She was the former chef de cuisine. It was updated at 9:10 a.m. July 22 with the correct title. The article also originally stated the restaurant opened July 28. It was updated at 11:30 a.m. July 23 with the correct date.
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