Shake 38 boosts its dramatic menu with actual food | Culture Club

Chef Ben Grupe of Elaia dreamed up a dish of porchetta, braised artichokes, lentils and bitter greens — all inspired by “Julius Caesar.”

Bill Cardwell of Cardwell’s on the Plaza includes a favorite romantic fruit in his “Romeo and Juliet” salad of compressed strawberry and tomato, served on a bed of mixed greens with burrata cheese and white basil balsamic dressing.

In the mood for dessert? Consider Crown Candy Kitchen’s Crown Sundae: two scoops of vanilla ice cream served with homemade hot fudge and caramel sauces and bejeweled with salted, roasted pecans. Think “Henry IV, Part I.”

Or sink your teeth into a tasty pun, Simone Faure’s “Taming of the Choux” at La Patisserie Chouquette.

These are among the many Shakespeare-themed dishes that St. Louis restaurants will serve during 38 Eats, the latest offering from Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. The event runs at restaurants around town, along with Shake 38, April 19-23.

Some restaurants are creating new dishes for the celebration, while others will highlight apt ones already on their menus. The participating restaurants, which cover a wide range of cuisines and price points, will serve their Shakespeare dishes throughout Shake 38 week.

As in the past, Shake 38 leads up to the festival in Forest Park (May 31-June 25) with community-wide performances representing all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays. Some are performed by professional actors, others by ad-hoc troupes of students, co-workers or friends. Some are traditional performances; some are off the wall.

The other participants include Jim Fiala and Eric Gibbs of Acero, Stephen Ledbetter of Atomic Cowboy, Aya Sofia, Bixby’s, Tim Brennan of Cravings, the Cup, Matt Galati of the Dam, Matthew B. Borchardt of Edibles & Essentials, Hendel’s, Holy Crepe truck, Brian Pelletier of Kakao Chocolate, La…

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