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Restaurant Review: Cinder House

The interior of Cinder House, located on the eighth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis downtown. Photo by Cristina M. Fletes, cfletes@post-dispatch.com.

If you have missed the ambitious, creative tasting menus Gerard Craft served at his late flagship Niche, you need not wait long for a similar experience.

The acclaimed chef will soon launch Dia's Room, a tasting-menu concept inside Cinder House, the restaurant he opened last August in partnership with the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis.

The opening service is June 13.

The Dia of Dia's Room is Cecelia Assuncao, Craft’s late childhood nanny and a native of Brazil. Assuncao's cooking was a formative influence on Craft's own cooking and is referenced throughout Cinder House's menu in such traditional Brazilian fare as feijoada, moqueca and pão de queijo (a.k.a. Dia's Bread).

Craft tells Off the Menu the Dia's Room menu will feature 13 or so courses that are more “Brazilian-inspired” than traditional Brazilian.

“This will be more modern and whimsical, a little more like Niche,” he says.

As an example of a dish, Craft describes a riff on Brazilian pirão made with scallops: “Like a scallop porridge, almost,” he says, but served on a puffed scallop chip with smoked, dried scallop grated on top.

Dia's Room will take over what was the chef's-table space in Cinder House's predecessor, Cielo.

“Because we had this space, we always knew we wanted to do something,” Craft says.

More specifically, he says, Dia's Room “allows both myself, who constantly wants to be more creative, and all the other cooks express (ourselves) a little bit more.”

Dia's Room will be a limited experience, open for one seating of 10 diners on Thursday and Friday, though Craft says the concept will expand to Saturday as well.

The cost will be $125 per person. An optional beverage pairing will be available in two price tiers. Ticketed reservations will be available through OpenTable.

Ian Froeb is the restaurant critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.