The Preston, a new restaurant and bar, opened on Feb. 1 at the Chase Park Plaza. In the space formerly home to Eau Bistro, which closed in early November, The Preston features modern American cuisine paired with handcrafted cocktails.
Named after St. Louis architect Preston J. Bradshaw, the designer of the Chase Hotel, the 104-seat concept pays homage to the historic space with a contemporary yet decidedly vintage-tinged vibe highlighted by distressed-wood details and antique floors.
“I would call it a progressive restaurant with an old-school feel,” says concept chef Bryan Byard. “We’re focusing on a communal dining experience with smaller, affordable portions of really nice food so you can try different things and build your own experience.”
Byard worked with fellow colleagues of the Pyramid Hotel Group including executive chef Kyle Lipetzky, chef de cuisine Collin Smelser and sous chef Theron Pajares to create the Preston’s debut small-plate menu. Pastry chef David Laufer oversees the desserts.
The menu begins with options including bread and cheese boards as well as charred shishito peppers with lemongrass aioli and sea salt. The chefs’ recommended dishes include dishes such as octopus with sunchoke puree, brown-butter gnocchi and smoked-paprika vinaigrette. Another option, a pork belly plate, comes with Brussels sprouts, gingered soy glaze, peanut and chili oil.
On the sweet side, treats including milk-chocolate panna cotta with Ferrero Rocher gelato, smoked candied hazelnut and a nutella beignet await. Another specialty features a chocolate sphere melted by warm caramel to reveal salted-peanut gelato and a chocolate-streusel crunch.
Joshua “Doc” Johnson and Sasha Alms, who work together under the moniker Cocktail Collective, created a drink menu for The Preston filled with modern classics and signature cocktails alongside bottled beer and wines by the glass. The duo’s resume includes managing bars at restaurants including Central Table Food Hall and Element.
“We came on board with the hopes of making this a great crafted cocktail bar,” Alms says. “We do a lot of classic stuff but we also try to keep up with what’s going on in the industry. We’re always creating new things and will keep changing the menu seasonally.”
Classics include the Big Trouble In Little China with Cruzan black strap rum, Chinese five spice, lime and ginger beer. Signature drinks include creations such as the Mayfair with Plymouth gin, sorel, lemon, sugar and egg white.
The Preston is open daily for dinner from 5 to 10pm, with bar service until 11pm Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on weekends. Breakfast is also served daily from 6 to 11am, with Sunday brunch from 10am to 2pm.
The Preston, 232 N. Kingshighway Blvd., Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.633.3036, chaseparkplaza.com