Small Plates, Thursday, 10/5



This week St. Louis says hello to two new dinner options -- and goodbye (for now) to an old favorite.

The Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen opens for dinner today at 4:30 p.m. It's located at 34 South Old Orchard Avenue in Webster Groves, the space that once housed Ellie Forcella's. The menu offers Cajun cuisine, seafood and barbecue, including Memphis-style barbecue spaghetti, which has me intrigued and my fiancee (who lived in Memphis for four years) ecstatic. For info and reservations call 314-968-0061.

The espresso bar Cafe4u opened a few weeks back at 16 North Central Avenue in Clayton but introduced its dinner menu -- small plates such as bruschetta, quesadillas and fried calamari, all priced under $10 -- just last night. You can also stop by for lunch, dessert or a drink (Cafe4u has a liquor license as well as the expected lineup of espresso drinks) -- or to check out the sleek, modernist design and black, red and white furniture and fixtures. Coffee junkies take note: Cafe4u features espresso from Segafredo Zanetti, an Italian company popular throughout Europe but still relatively unknown in the U.S.

Meantime, Restaurant Space (1933 South Kingshighway) has closed -- temporarily, at least. As of yesterday evening, a sign on the door said the restaurant has been closed for renovations. I've got a call in to the owners to see how long the renovations will take and what they might entail.

-Ian Froeb