Panorama's Art at the Table Launches a New Era for the Art Museum (PHOTOS)

Categories: Food Porn

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Escargot Provençal with oven-dried heirloom tomatoes, fennel, tarragon and Schlafly Pale Ale. | Nancy Stiles

Ivy Magruder came on as the executive chef at Panorama (1 Fine Arts Drive; 314-721-0072) in May after a stint at Gamlin Restaurant Group and running Vin de Set for years. Panorama launched at the Saint Louis Art Museum in July 2013 but struggled to garner the same recognition as the Missouri History Museum's restaurant, Bixby's. After overhauling the menu a few weeks ago, his first Art at the Table event debuted last night, and Gut Check was on hand to check it out.

See also: Chef Ivy Magruder on Whiskey, the Next Big Local Chef and Secret Nocturnal Behavior

"Part of me coming on board was, I felt like we needed to do a better job of connecting with the community," Magruder tells us. "This gives us a chance to do stuff we don't do on daily basis and get to know people more intimately. We're not looking to sell out at 200, but keep it intimate -- the more intimate the better, that way we can talk to as many people as possible."

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Schlafly Hefeweizen, ready to go. | Nancy Stiles

The first Art at the Table dinner was a collaboration with Schlafly; each course was paired with a different beer, and some used it as an ingredient. Magruder says that the decision to work with Schlafly was a no-brainer.

"We want align ourselves with them because they share our core values -- what it means to be hospitable and invested in St. Louis," he says. "That was a very conscious decision to invite Dan Kopman. He's a humble pillar of the business community."

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Mini pulled pork sliders with cole slaw were served before the museum tour. | Nancy Stiles

Last night's dinner began with a peach caprese salad made with local peaches, fresh mozzarella, a balsamic reduction and fresh basil paired with a Schlafly Hefeweizen. The second course was escargot Provençal: escargot with oven-dried heirloom tomatoes, fennel, tarragon and Schlafly Pale Ale, and paired with the Bière de Garde. Next it was an Oktoberfest-braised leg of lamb with mint-pea purée, crash hot potato and braising jus paired with Schlafly Oktoberfest. Dessert was a foam rush made with macerated raspberries, Oatmeal Stout foam and shaved dark chocolate paired with Schlafly's Oatmeal Stout.

Involving the community in Panorama is very important to Magruder -- a native St. Louisan, he knows that the art museum is (and should be) a big deal. He wants the restaurant to be a place you'd be proud to bring out-of-town guests, but also suitable for lunch on a random Wednesday; it doesn't have to be a special occasion.

"It's a very cognizant effort on our part to rebrand and relaunch this. I do very much believe that this was never broken. For some reason the perception was skewered," Magruder says. "My job, I feel, is just to be part of showing St. Louis that -- this is my St. Louisan talking -- we're on the top of Art Hill. This is the coolest park in all the country -- and the coolest art museum -- and it deserves the coolest restaurant."

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Peach caprese salad was paired with Schlafly's Hefeweizen. | Nancy Stiles

The next dinner, on September 24, will be a collaboration with Juniper's John Perkins. Magruder plans to alternate Art at the Table so one month it'll be all him and the next he'll join forces with a local chef.

"It's kind of embarrassing to talk about yourself, but I think I was brought in to make things more approachable -- we want to stay true to who we are, and [managing company] Bon Appetit's philosophy of keeping local was a big reason why I was attracted to this, besides the stubbornness of the St. Louis pride, that I wanted to be a part of the Saint Louis Art Museum," he says. "This is something I really believe in, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it."

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Schlafly Biere de Garde. | Nancy Stiles

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Oktoberfest-braised lamb with mint-pea puree, crash hot potato and braising jus. | Nancy Stiles

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Foam Rush with macerated raspberries, Oatmeal Stout foam and shaved dark chocolate. | Nancy Stiles

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

Follow Nancy Stiles on Twitter:




Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

Follow Nancy Stiles on Twitter:




Location Info

Panorama

1 Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant


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