by Ian Froeb
Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina (South Brentwood Boulevard & Clayton Road; 314-863-1150), the new, higher-end Mexican restaurant at the St. Louis Galleria, has its official grand opening tomorrow evening, but a phone call reveals that the restaurant is open for business right now.
Vida is located at the north end of the Galleria, next to its other new(ish) restaurant tenant, BlackFinn American Grille (South Brentwood Boulevard & Clayton Road; 314-726-5300).
This is the second Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina nationwide; there is also a location in Charlotte, North Carolina. Gut Check will have a more extensive First Look at Vida very soon. In the meantime, you can peruse the restaurant's menu online.
The selection of "Large Plates & Stews" includes such familiar dishes as fajitas, carnitas, carne asada -- though at price points ($17.99, $16.49 and $19.99, respectively) a bit higher than your neighborhood Mexican-slash-Tex-Mex joint.
There are even more upscale dishes -- in price, at least; obviously, we haven't been there yet to judge the execution -- like spice-crusted ahi tuna at $25.99 and the "Surf and Turf" tacos, with butter-poached lobster and chipotle filet mignon, for $23.99.
(The $24 tacos do include your choice of a side item, however.)
There are also selections of burritos, enchiladas and (not $24) tacos as well as soups, salads and, in the fine tradition of gringo-friendly Mexican joints everywhere, even a few combo platters.
Vida's regular hours are 11 a.m.-midnight Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.