A tunnel runs through it

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

When construction is completed later this summer, there will be a handsome new pedestrian tunnel under the elevated Forest Park Parkway where it meets Kingshighway at a 4-way intersection.

Here is a progress report on completion from the BJC websiteForest Park Ave. lanes east of Kingshighway will open in July. Forest Park Parkway west of Kingshighway will open in August.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project   Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project   Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project   Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

The new tunnel will connect the beautiful and underutilized eastern edge of the park from Lindell south to Hwy 64/40. Presumably, this area will become more accessible and popular.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project   Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project   Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project   Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

The photo above shows a section of that bucolic area where a “desire path”* exists, most likely created by BJC/WU personnel heading to and from their cars parked in Forest Park.

*A desire path is a route traversed by humans or animals as more efficient way to get from Point A to Point B. Visit the 99percentinvisible website to see examples of desire paths around the world.

Jam-packed weekend in June: CWEA House Tour, CWE Family Night at Circus Flora, CWE Cocktail Party

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  CWEScene CWE Cocktail Party Circus Flora Central West End Families & Friends Central West End Association

Don’t plan on heading out-of-town the weekend of June 9 through 11. Some of the best the CWE has to offer is taking place that weekend. You won’t want to miss the CWEA House Tour, the CWE Cocktail Party, and a family event at Circus Flora.

The Central West End Association and CWE Families & Friends have partnered with Circus Flora in Grand Center for a family night on Sunday, June 11.  Tickets, which are discounted 20%, include a special backstage event featuring complimentary refreshments in the Hospitality Tent and a chance to mingle with Time Flies‘ performers an hour before the performance, which starts at 5:30 p.m.

Purchase tickets at metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111 and using code “CWE.” This link automatically fills in the discount code. The event is sponsored by the CWEA Events Committee working with  CWE Families & Friends on this and the yearly Easter Egg Hunt in Kennedy Park.

After a year’s hiatus, the CWEA House Tour returns from June 9 through 11 featuring the mansions of Fullerton’s Westminster Place. Details on the stellar Preview Party, Friday, June 9, and ticket information for Saturday and Sunday’s tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to follow. In the meantime visit the website for more info and to purchase tickets.

And on Saturday night, June 10, CWEScene is hosting the 2nd Annual CWE Cocktail Party from 7 to 10 p.m. on Euclid Avenue stretching from Maryland to McPherson.  There will be entertainment, dancing in the street, and signature cocktails from neighborhood restaurants. People are still smiling at the mention of last year’s party, it was so much fun for all ages. The event is free and open to the public.

Lunchtime at Vicia in Cortex Innovation District

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

After more than a year’s guesswork by local foodies about where restaurateurs Tara and Michael Gallina, formerly of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, would finally settle following a series of pop-up dinners all over town, Vicia, the couple’s new restaurant celebrating “vegetable-forward cuisine” opened in the Cortex Innovation District at the end of March. The restaurant’s address is 4260 Forest Park Blvd., though it’s situated at the south end of the building, near the corner of Boyle and Duncan Avenues, adjacent to the Tech Shop.

As frequently happens when restaurants are new and as buzz-worthy as this one (Eater tagged it one of the most anticipated restaurants in the country), dinner reservations on weekends are hard to come by – they’re currently booked 3 weeks out. It’s much easier to get into Vicia at lunchtime, when reservations are not required and service is “counter-style” (explanation follows), or for a weekday dinner (this week’s menu here).Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

The menu, shown left, changes frequently depending on what’s in season. Choices can be ordered singly, $7 to $12, in which case they will be larger portions, or in combinations of two or three items, $11 to $14. Patrons place their order at the bar, above right, pay for it at the same time, and then receive a text message when the lunch is ready for pick up in the kitchen, below right.

The first time I was there I instinctively put my phone away and started visiting with friends, so didn’t hear the text. The waitstaff brought our lunches to us, and now I’ll remember why they ask for your phone number.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

Patrons pick drink orders up at the bar too, above left. Right & below, a view into the open kitchen showing lunch trays waiting for pick-up.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

On a recent Tuesday the selections included grilled ham, prosciutto, rhubarb mustard, cheddar, and spicy greens on focaccia, and a grain bowl of wheat berries, oyster mushrooms, asparagus, ramps and goat cheese.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

If you chose 3 items that day they might have included a chilled spring onion soup with charred vegetable mole, a tartine featuring turnip top marmalade, whipped ricotta, marinated radishes, on porridge bread, and shiitake mushroom, spinach & scallion quiche. $14, (quiche served à la carte comes with mixed green salad).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

The pastry case held an Apple Butter Turnover, $4, Hazelnut and Aronia Berry Crumb Cake, $3.50, Ginger Molasses Cookie, $3, and Double Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Cookie, $3.50.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

There are two dining areas. The main dining area (not shown) seats 54, and the outside space, a small portion of which is shown above and in the opening photo, seats 34 and has a long communal table in front of the wood-fired grill.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

Flower arrangements at Vicia are created by Rebecca Bodicky, proprietor of Alice Blue Collective, 3700 S. Jefferson.
Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News    Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are two seating areas in the handsome bar, above. If you’re lucky enough to find a seat at the bar, you could order dinner there too.

Vicia, 4260 Forest Park Ave. (corner of Duncan & Boyle). Lunch is served Mon. thru Fri., 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner, Tues. thru Thurs., 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 5:30 to 10 p.m. Walk-in dinner seating more available on weeknights. Reservations online, or (314) 553-9239, info@viciarestaurant.com.