Cafe la Vie rendering

A rendering of Cafe la Vie

When Le Méridien St. Louis Clayton debuts this fall, it will be home to a new restaurant: Café la Vie.

As announced in a press release, the restaurant will focus on European inspirations blended with flavors from St. Louis. It will serve as a breakfast café in the morning and transition to serving chef-inspired entrees, dessert cocktails and gelato by night.

“We are crafting an experience where a hotel guest feels as comfortable as the locals in a setting that blends European design with an approachable but inspired menu with inviting and authentic service," general manager Andrew Hargis said in the release. "We feel Café La Vie will fit right in with Clayton’s diverse and exceptional food scene as a spot to grab a morning coffee and pastry, to socialize with friends and colleagues for happy hour, to grab a delicious dinner, and to mingle afterwards with dessert cocktails and gelato.”

St. Louis-born chef Michael Frank will be at the helm of the restaurant as executive chef. Frank will be in charge of the menu for Café la Vie, as well as the menus for the hotel's meeting spaces and pool deck. Mostly recently, Frank has served as chef de cuisine of Farmhaus and as executive sous chef at Grand Tavern at the Angad Arts Hotel. This will be his first executive chef role.

"First and foremost, I want to focus on just good, delicious food that showcases solid technique," Frank tells Feast. "Really, when I think about writing a menu, I think about food that I would like to eat. That's kind of where I start, things that get me excited. And there's gonna be some playful nods to St. Louis here and there. And then certainly there's gonna be a real focus on seasonality and utilizing our amazing local farms that we have."

The restaurant will also feature a "sparkling program" from 4 to 7pm each night, meant to celebrate the aperitif culture of Europe. The program will feature six fizzy libations and at least two nonalcoholic bubbly drinks, alongside a menu of "chic" bites designed by Frank, similar to an amuse-bouche. 

"For me, that's exciting as a chef," Frank says. "It's really exciting for a diner as well, especially in this Clayton market. When people start getting back into their offices and wanna come out for happy hour, I think it's gonna be one of the more exciting takes on a happy hour around."

Le Méridien St. Louis Clayton, 7730 Bonhomme Ave., Clayton, Missouri,