Michael and Tara Gallina, the husband-and-wife team who left an acclaimed New York restaurant to start a pop-up project in St. Louis, are now working on their own full-service eatery in the Gateway City. The Gallinas hope to open Vicia this fall, according to a Tuesday announcement, focusing on "vegetable-forward cuisine driven by local farmers, with an emphasis on wood-fired cooking."
Michael Gallina previously served as chef de cuisine at Dan Barber's Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., and Tara worked the dining room as senior captain. In May 2015, Blue Hill claimed the James Beard Foundation's award for Outstanding Restaurant, and in October, the Gallinas announced their plans to relocate to Michael's native St. Louis. There, they established a home base for their Rooster and the Hen pop-up series, employing the farm-to-table techniques Michael acquired during his years working with Barber.
"Through our dinners we have been able to organically introduce ourselves to the chefs, farmers, artisans, and diners that make up the diverse and close-knit fabric of St. Louis," Tara Gallina said in a prepared statement. "It has been wonderful to share our passion for food and service on an intimate level and allow people to get to know us. We have received the warmest welcome, and we can't wait to join the growing and exciting restaurant community with our new, permanent home."
The 2,500-square-foot restaurant will take up residence in St. Louis's Central West End neighborhood. Further details are expected to be announced as the Gallinas get closer to opening Vicia.