Subscribe for 99¢
Nick Bognar Indo

Nick Bognar opens Indo in Botanical Heights.

Photo by Ian Froeb, ifroeb@post-dispatch.com

Update: Due to technical difficulties, tickets did not become available until Sept. 4.

The most exclusive dinner reservation in town? This week, St. Louis welcomes a new contender to the title.

Indo, the 2-month-old restaurant from rising-star chef Nick Bognar, has officially launched its omakase menu, a 17-course (or longer) dinner featuring Bognar's acclaimed nigiri sushi and other fare.

For now, the omakase menu is limited to only six diners during Indo's dinner service Tuesday through Thursday. Prepaid tickets for the menu's September dates are slated to become available today (Sept. 3) at Tock.

The cost is $150 per person (service not included). Wine pairings are an additional $60.

“There has been quite a bit of planning going into this because ... we just want it to be the most badass multi-course dinner you can have in town,” Bognar tells Off the Menu.

Per the official announcement, diners can expect such dishes as kanpachi aged for seven days and topped with a goji-berry glaze, shima aji with a smoky scallion paste and caviar rice with daikon and sesame oil.

Bognar, a James Beard Awards "Rising Star Chef of the Year" semifinalist this year for his work at Nippon Tei, waited to introduce the omakase menu partly because he wanted to be confident in the consistent quality of the seafood he is receiving from Japan.

“I didn't want to dilute the experience at all,” he says.

In the meantime, Bognar found a couple of additional seafood vendors to broaden the restaurant's sources beyond Japan (for example, langoustines from San Diego).

“I'm hoping if we have a delivery of fish from Japan one week that's not as awesome as we want it to be, I can probably supplement that dinner with some other cool little courses that maybe aren't necessarily completely traditional but (are) also just as fun,” he says.

Bognar also wanted to perfect the service and the wine pairings overseen by sommelier Zac Adcox.

“We want (diners) to be able to feel like you sit down and really just relax and then just get kind of obliterated by one piece (of food) after another,” Bognar says.

For Bognar, the omakase menu completes his vision of how Indo might entice diners to return to experience the restaurant in its different formats: an a-la-carte dinner, a fast-casual lunch and, now, a three-hour chef's-counter meal.

“That's really fun, especially for such a small restaurant,” he says. "It really  matters that we can bring back the people that come here, otherwise in a few years we won't have anybody eating here. We just want to keep things interesting."

Indo is located at 1641D Tower Grove Avenue in Botanical Heights. The phone number is 314-899-9333.

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