Where in St. Louis can you get a better view than Forest Park? We can’t think of anywhere else but on the second floor of the Missouri History Museum, where Bixby’s takes full advantage of its location with its panoramic windows. “The first thing you get hit over the head with when you walk in is the view,” says Richard Nix Jr., president of Butler’s Pantry, which manages the restaurant.
Once you get settled in, the next thing that you’ll notice is the menu. Serving lunch daily, along with a Sunday Champagne brunch, the offerings change about five times per year, Nix notes. “We focus on local products and artisans, things that are made here in our region—it is so important to our restaurant,” he says. “There are so many farmers, artisans and producers here, whether it be G&W sausage, Volpi salami, Mangia pastas or Schlafly beer. It goes further than just using tomatoes that were grown in southern Illinois. We take it from the drink menu all the way back to the appetizers and entrees so that as many local products as possible are featured.”
Not only are the items local; they’re also prepared with great care. At the Sunday Champagne brunch, for example, items are served buffet-style, with additional items available on the á la carte menu. “You can go to the buffet and get fresh fruit salad or entrees, but also included is an omelet made your way, or eggs Benedict any style or bread pudding. It might take longer, but it’s a better product,” Nix says. In fact, Bixby’s won the LN Platinum List 2012 award for Best Brunch.
Since the restaurant is only open for lunch, the space is available in the evenings for private events. “That’s one of the hidden attributes of the restaurant,” Nix notes. “We’ve hosted wedding anniversaries, rehearsal dinners, small weddings, corporate events, wine dinners—you name it, if it’s 100 people or so, we’ve held it at Bixby’s. It’s a very contemporary space, especially at night when Forest Park is aglow, it offers a beautiful backdrop.” He adds that while the space is arranged to take advantage of the view, the configuration can be personalized to the needs of individual events. Nix notes that the location at the ‘front door’ of Forest Park within the landmark History Museum adds to the wow factor of the venue.
Other events at the restaurant often revolve around happenings at the museum, such as the upcoming Underneath it All exhibit, showcasing fashionable silhouettes for women from the 19th through 21st centuries. To complement the exhibit, Bixby’s will host Above It All, a series of happy hours every Tuesday in July and August from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Bixby’s was also the setting of the LN Charity Awards on June 14.