505 Cherry St
Columbia Missouri 65201United States
In what's genuinely an underground culinary laboratory, the chef here creates delicious concoctions using as much local food as possible.
"Cellar" is no metaphor here--this restaurant really is in a basement, where the chef does his utmost to work locally produced ingredients into every dish on the menu. Offerings include fresh beef liver pan-roasted with Lion's Mane mushrooms, crispy local rainbow trout and roasted chestnut ravioli. (Chestnuts are particular favorites of the chef; he's joined forces with the University of Missouri's agroforestry department to come up with new ways to use them in the kitchen.) At lunchtime, we raved about the spinach, broccoli and Havarti bisque and a creative concoction called the French toast sandwich--sauted mushrooms, roasted peppers and Gruyre between thick slices of the breakfast treat and drizzled with thyme-infused honey. The wine-cellar effect is easy to achieve, given that the only windows are those along the ramp leading down to the dining room and heavy wooden bookcases loaded with hundreds of bottles of wine line the walls. So there's plenty of wine to go with your meal, although if you'd rather not consume a whole bottle, a Cruvinet dispensing system keeps wine on tap for drinks by the glass.