Famous for the artisanal chocolates that have satisfied St. Louis’ collective sweet tooth since 1927, Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier has now dipped into new territory with the September opening of a new private event space Downtown, The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s. Situated on the fourth floor of the company’s chocolate factory, the 14,000-square-foot venue offers guests a feast for the eyes, ears and palate.
It goes without saying that Bissinger’s has put its stamp on the menu. Under Executive Chef Nick Miller’s deft hand, a scallop corndog gets an additional revamp with the addition of white chocolate raspberry mustard for dipping. White chocolate again makes an appearance alongside that eponymous caramel on Miller’s bread pudding, an update of the dish that first delighted fans of his food at the now-shuttered Harvest.
“A first course could be something as simple as a baby Bibb lettuce salad with chocolate vinaigrette. Another example would be perhaps a cocoa-rubbed fillet – or one of the fun things we’ve done is dark-chocolate chili cheese fries,” says Amanda Bradham-Little, director of events for 23 City Blocks Catering, the company that owns and manages the space. “We certainly don’t incorporate every course or every item with chocolate – that would be overpowering – but where it makes sense, or as little or as much as our client allows, we love to infuse the menu with our culinary twist.”
While clients will always have the core menu as a guide, the food can be tailored to each specific event. “One of the things that’s really important is to infuse Bissinger’s chocolate into the menu as much or as little as guests would like,” she says. “You’re not going to have just a simple dinner; you’re going to experience a complex fusion of your style and The Caramel Room’s style.”
Located in a converted warehouse, The Caramel Room features large windows that let ample natural light (and spectacular city views) into a space that’s decorated with hardwood floors and lux treatments, accented with dramatic chandeliers.
“Everything has what I call a ‘whiskey chic’ look to it – warm and modern, yet not too modern,” says Bradham-Little. “When you first enter the space, it’s very inviting.” Guests can mingle in the “pre-function space” for cocktail hour at the custom-curved bar or catch a breath of fresh air on a 4,500-square-foot terrace that overlooks the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge and the Mississippi River. Parties as small as a couple dozen won’t feel lost in these areas, and larger events with up to 350 guests offer plenty of elbow room.
Bradham-Little says The Caramel Room was also designed by audio visual experts Holthaus Technologies to accommodate the audio-visual needs of both corporate and private guests. A large ceiling drop-down projector screen and multiple flat-screens let businesses and wedding parties, for example, display slideshows and presentations without compromising space and sightlines. The modern, zoned sound system allows guests to play different music from an iPod in each area of the venue, if they choose – and keep partiers dancing, even when there’s no band or DJ on the payroll.
Visitors to The Caramel Room will appreciate one more all-too-rare amenity: complimentary gated parking for up to 200 cars. But if you want to take advantage of the generous accommodations at this unique venue, don’t dally: The Caramel Room is booked nearly every Saturday from June through November 2015, and availability is going fast.
People looking to book a party should not despair, however: 23 City Blocks Catering is also the proud owner and operator of the newly renovated and updated Lumen Private Event Space located just 23 city blocks from The Caramel Room. Both feature the same experienced executive chef and sales team. Clients at both enjoy the same experience and personal touch.
The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s, 1600 N. Broadway, Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.615.2480, caramelroom.com
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