A new restaurant in Manchester called Gist Bistro opened last Friday at the former site of the Sapore Italian Cafe, 403 Lafayette.
Gist Bistro owners Michael Miller and chef Ben Anderson have created a truly French-themed, contemporary dining experience. "We have a cozy storefront, and are keeping everything in small batches and locally sourced foods," said Anderson.
Every inch of the bistro was just painted, and all new electrical and plumbing updates were done.
Anderson said he and Miller looked at different name combinations, and knew they wanted to develop a real bistro, not just one in words or concepts only. "Webster's definition of gist is 'the main point,' and we really liked that thought for a bistro."
Anderson said they've employed the food-to-the-table approach, by purchasing local meats and produce from farmers and suppliers within a 50-mile radius. For example, he said the bistro's pork and chicken are secured from Bene's Best Meats in St. Charles, and their beef comes from a grass-fed ranch in Doniphan, MO. He said he currently is getting winter vegetables from Yellow Tree Farm in South St. Louis County.
Gist Bistro employs eight, and seats 60. It can be booked for special events.
Anderson said they already are making adjustments to the menu, and plan to add fingerfoods, such as sliders, flatbreads and "nibblers," next week. "Based on customer feedback, we want to add a happy hour of sorts for weekdays. And hopefully customers will come back on weekends for the fuller menu."
He said customers have shared positive feedback so far. "We hope to have a really nice Easter brunch, too."
Anderson got hooked on cooking and baking from this family's influence. "My grandmother and mom started me at an early age with food. I think it first clicked for me while in my grandmother's very large garden," he said.
"We used to make pickles. It cemented my connections with the farm-to-the-table concept."
He said he also worked at the former Agostino's off Clarkson Road in Ellisville.
Gist Bistro's current hours are:
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 5-9 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday 5-10 p.m.
- Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Closed Mondays
Anderson said starting this Tuesday, the bistro will open at 4 p.m. during the weekdays.