Exciting things are happening in the Delmar Loop including the building of Wash U. student housing, the opening of exciting new restaurants, and the creation of a much needed grocery store. The owners of Global Foods Market in Kirkwood recently opened their newest venture, United Provisions. This specialty supermarket features items you would find in a typical American grocery store as well as products from around the world. Another component unique to this location is a restaurant called The Dining District, located inside United Provisions. Chef Ben Poremba, James Beard nominated chef and owner of Olio and Elaia, has partnered up as chef in this new venture.
The Dining District offers a variety of foods including old favorites from Porembra’s other restaurants such as Olio’s egg salad and burrata as well as a huge menu of new creations. They feature a raw bar, a long list of sandwiches, grill items, and full sushi menu which is overseen by Chef Naomi Hamamura.
I started my meal with two appetizers, the burrata and crudo. The burrata was topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper and served with beets on the side. It came with a large portion of warm pita bread although I was happy eating the dish on its own. The crudo included five thinly sliced pieces of fish that were also lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I was a little nervous about ordering this on a Sunday night because it is hard to expect much freshness out of seafood at that time of the week. However, this fish was perfect and tasted like it was caught that morning!
Next up was a marinated artichoke and provolone warm-pressed sandwich. It was filled with marinated artichokes that were just a little too lemony for my liking but delicious nonetheless. There was a thin layer of a mayo based spread over the bread which was crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish the sandwich at the restaurant but ate the rest at home later that night. My husband ordered the goat burger which was a hamburger topped with a healthy serving of goat cheese and medjool date tampenade for sweetness. The burger was served medium rare and was devoured before I could even finish half of my sandwich.
Because there was a sushi menu sitting in front of me the whole night, I couldn’t help but order one roll. I went with the Hamma’s tuna roll which is Chef Hamma’s signature spicy tuna roll. The tuna was incredibly fresh and the sauce was not overpowering as it sometimes is. The sushi was a bit more expensive than most restaurants in St. Louis with prices averaging $8.50 for basic rolls and $10 to $22 for specialty rolls.
Somehow, I managed to save just a tiny bit of room for dessert. Desserts at the restaurant are provided by La Patisserie Chouquette and are displayed in a case at the front of the restaurant. Since I had just eaten the equivalent of about three meals, I stuck to macarons. Although there were lots of interesting flavors such as absinthe and lavender, I chose to play it safe with pumpkin and chai. They were both fresh, delicious, and probably the best I have found in St. Louis.
Overall, I was really impressed with both the grocery store and restaurant and I think that this space adds so much to The Loop. Whether you need groceries, takeout, a fast lunch, or want to sit and enjoy a nice meal with a bottle of wine, you will be able to find something at United Provisions and The Dining District that works for you.