A modern neighborhood restaurant recently debuted in Fox Park. Little Fox held a soft opening on Nov. 29, featuring appetizers, small plates and entrees inspired by the owners’ experiences in Brooklyn as well as traveling throughout Europe.
The concept comes from St. Louis native Craig Rivard and his wife and business partner, Mowgli Rivard. As reported by Feast in October, the chefs met while working in Brooklyn kitchens and started a restaurant group, Postcards from Bklyn, aiming to bring a taste of their experiences in New York to Fox Park, where they currently reside.
SPACE Architecture + Design worked with the Rivards to bring a warm, modern feel to the approximately 2,300-square-foot space, which previously housed The Purple Martin. The walls are painted a dark teal blue, balanced with wood tones, white tile, exposed brick and geometric design features. New elements in the space include a relocated bar, an open kitchen and the removal of a section of a former dividing wall to provide a flow throughout the dining rooms, which contain seats for around 54 guests.
The dinner menu is broken down into snacks, plates and large plates developed by the Rivards. Choose from highlights such as a tomahawk pork milanese with grilled Japanese turnips, pickled mustard seed and gribiche. Another popular pick so far is delicata squash, a dish that riffs off of classic onion rings, featuring masarepa (corn flour) breaded squash with fried lemon, locally produced hawthorn honey and scallion.
“The menu is very naturally gluten-free, pescatarian and vegetarian. I’m gluten-free myself, so I’m proud of that,” Mowgli says. “I just love that you can come in and get a bowl of really tasty greens and veggies. Clams, salad and a glass of wine would be my go-to.”
Little Fox’s littleneck clams are prepared in sherry with shallot, garlic and grilled sourdough. One of Craig’s favorites, crispy fingerlings, are inspired by Spanish patatas bravas and come with little sweety peppers, scallion and tonnato (a tuna aïoli).
The bar program features a robust natural wine program developed by beverage director Kelly Nyikes, formerly of Sardella. The list includes a selection of glass pours and around 75 bottles. Canned beers are available as well as four beers available on tap; cider and wine draft selections are coming soon.
St. Louis native Shannon Ponche, who Craig met while working at Clover Club in New York, developed the cocktail list. Ponche trained with mixologist Ted Kilgore before moving to the east coast, where she currently serves as the head bartender of Leyenda in Brooklyn. Highlights include a Little Fox Martini with gin, blanc vermouth, fino sherry, tomolive and lemon oils.
A “social hour” menu is available from 3 to 6pm. The selection includes a few cocktails and small plate options such as such as riblettes with Calabrian chile, Italian fish sauce and honey. Service will tentatively expand to include a morning coffee bar and pastries, weekend brunch and monthly themed suppers.
“We’ve spent around eight years thinking about ideas, and to actually see it all come together, have diners come in, feel really welcome, enjoy the space and be blown away by the food has been really wonderful,” Mowgli says.
Little Fox is currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 11pm, with the kitchen closing at 10pm.
Little Fox, 2800 Shenandoah Ave., Fox Park, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.553.9456, littlefoxstl.com