mainlander supper club in the central west end photo by michelle volansky

Mainlander is a prix-fixe supper club worth visiting in the Central West End

At prix-fixe supper club Mainlander, the lights are turned down low, but the restaurant is never moody, thanks partly to co-owner and maître d’ Gordon Chen’s effervescent hospitality. Chen and chef-co-owner Blake Askew have cultivated an oasis that combines mid-century modern furnishings and a subtly tropical aesthetic with effortless style. Reservations are required, dining is pre-paid and service is included, meaning you’ve done the hard work by the time you arrive; all that’s left is to enjoy the company, food and drinks. 

Askew’s modern takes on Midwestern favorites like versions of ambrosia and Watergate salads exude creative nostalgia. Seasonal, local produce is elevated with the lightest of touches, exemplified lately by the marinated Ozark Forest mushrooms and tomato Provençal. 

The menu changes each month, and Askew keeps dish descriptions vague, enabling him to adapt dishes as the month progresses. A recent menu included General Grant’s chicken, a spin on General Tso’s, while dishes like the dumpling appetizer take cues from Chen’s mother’s Taiwanese cooking.

8 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis,