natasha bahrami and michael fricker make custom spritzes for guests at salve osteria photo by virginia harold

DIY your perfect spritz at Salve Osteria on South Grand

Enjoying an aperitivo before a meal or a digestivo afterward is a long held culinary tradition in other parts of the world, but on these shores, where it’s less familiar, it can be a hard sell. The folks behind Salve Osteria, however, are doing their part to make curated pre- and post-meal imbibing the norm here with bespoke amaro cart service.

Whether guests are looking for something to open their palates and stomachs to prepare for an epic meal or help settle things down after, they’re not on their own to sift through the various flavorful pleasures each cart has to offer. Savvy servers are on hand to guide diners through the myriad bitter, sweet and effervescent selections.

amaro cart at salve osteria // photo by virginia harold

“We try to build it toward the individual guest, and it allows us to really customize what we’re doing to give the guest the perfect cocktail for the moment that they’re trying to have,” said partner and beverage director Michael Fricker. Potable bitters (another way to phrase amaro, the overarching category that comprises aperitivos and digestivos) can be a difficult category for guests to get into, so having someone there to guide them through the various choices is imperative to ensure a successful experience, according to Fricker.

“It really helps people understand the category, which is our ultimate goal,” Fricker said.

The inspiration for the tableside service came from a recent visit to Italy, when Fricker and his wife and business partner, Natasha Bahrami, found themselves going to different bars and creating their own cocktail experiences based on how they were feeling and eating.

“It just clicked while we were there that it doesn’t always have to be a certain spritz,” Fricker said. “It’s more important that we understand our bodies and what we’re feeling, what mood we’re in and what we’re doing over the next couple of hours and build from that.”

Cart service is available during Salve’s dinner service, and if guests want to further delve into amari, flights are available. If they take a fancy to something, most of the bottles on the carts are available just a few doors down at Salve’s sister business, Grand Spirits Bottle Co.

natasha bahrami makes a custom spritz at salve osteria // photo by virginia harold

How To Order From the Cart:

Step 1: Request the cart.

Step 2: Admire the cart as it rolls up to your table.

Step 3: Think about your taste preferences. Do you like a sweeter drink? Or one that’s more on the bitter side? Do you like citrus or herbal notes?

Step 4: Allow your server to guide your selection of a base spirit. Based on your preferences, they’ll offer a few different options and help you pick the right one for your tastes and mood.

Step 5: Relax while your server prepares your personalized beverage. Sip, and enjoy.

Salve Osteria, 3200 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.771.3411,

Tags : Cocktails, Places, Bars