After many months of anticipation, The Chocolate Pig is now open at 4220 Duncan Ave. inside Innovation Hall at the Cortex Innovation Community in the Central West End.
A sister company to Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier, The Chocolate Pig is a progressive addition to St. Louis dining, offering an opulent yet affordable dining experience complete with a dessert show kitchen.
“You can reserve the entire bar, so you can watch as desserts are made while enjoying your dinner and drinks,” says Amanda Bradham-Little, vice president of marketing for 23 City Blocks Hospitality Group, the parent company that operates The Chocolate Pig.
On the sweets menu, diners will find items like the Peanut Butter Bomb, a dark chocolate, peanut butter and berry bomb with peanut butter cookie crumble, warm mixed berry compote and mixed berry sauce drizzled over the bomb at your table, as well as Milk & Cereal, which includes malted milk ice cream with caramelized pork rinds, dulce de leche and caramelized bananas, all conceptualized by executive pastry chef Tyler Davis.
“The Milk & Cereal dish encompasses our vision and gives this feeling of innovation mixed with nostalgia that the restaurant fosters,” Davis says.
The savory menu includes elevated comfort food like Barbecue Chicken Deviled Eggs, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Beet Ceviche, Duck Confit Cassoulet, Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop and much more, with lunchtime prices ranging from $9 to $15 and dinnertime from $18 to $35.
“We want to ensure good value for the lunch crowd, while using more detailed plating at night,” says executive chef Patrick Russell. “Lunch feels more like the food you grew up with, while dinner is more international. We source as much as we can locally from places like Buttonwood Farm, Root + Holler, Mushrooms Naturally and more, and we do our own butchering in-house.”
There are even a few sweet-and-savory options like chocolate-covered bacon, which is delightful on a burger and the bacon flight.
Dinner and dessert aren’t the only draw at The Chocolate Pig, however. The full bar includes an extensive wine list, myriad bourbon and other liquor options, and beer aplenty, along with many signature cocktails like the 30 Minute O, with Jamaican rum, overproof rum, Crème de Banan, white cocoa, lemon and egg yolk.
“It’s named 30 Minute O because [there’s speculation that] pigs have a 30-minute orgasm,” Bradham-Little says. “Aren’t pigs so lucky?”
Along with delectable food and drinks, The Chocolate Pig’s ambiance is modern and sophisticated with a comfortable, homey vibe.
“Our designer, Brett Clark of Savvy Surroundings, really brought our vision to life,” Bradham-Little says.
Yet another added bonus at The Chocolate Pig is the convenience to rent many flexible spaces at Innovation Hall.
“Innovation Hall is a physical space that extends the mission of Venture Cafe St. Louis to connect innovators to make things happen,” says Jessica LaBozzetta, director at Innovation Hall. “We believe you need community and food to help achieve that mission. The Chocolate Pig and 23 City Blocks Catering, as our onsite restaurant and catering partner, brings the food part of that equation.”
The flexible gathering spaces are ideal for events of all sizes, including small conference rooms known as “pods” that can seat four, 10 or 20. There’s also an assembly event space that seats 300 and includes a 12-foot LED wall for presentations.
“There’s built-in tech in each space for presentation and video teleconferencing,” LaBozzetta says. “The tech is super-easy to use and works with a client’s computer to project up their ideas to those screens.”
In addition, the Civic Lounge is available as a drop-in, free workspace weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This space with flexible seating and writable walls allows entrepreneurs without an office in Cortex to come work, participate in our programming and attend events in the space,” LaBozzetta says. “All of this is so we can support entrepreneurs on ‘step zero’ of their process, as they are beginning to build up their business. It’s about breaking down barriers to the start-up world and giving everyone a space to participate.”
The restaurant will also operate The Market — a grab-and-go kiosk in Innovation Hall just outside The Chocolate Pig — slated to open in early December, offering specialty coffees and quick snacks, wraps, salads and sandwiches, along with other options like Bissinger’s gourmet chocolate and beverages from The Republic of Tea. The Market will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Chocolate Pig is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The restaurant currently offers carryout and plans to later add delivery. For reservations, visit thechocolatepig.com or call 314-272-3230. If calling, ask for the secret booth when reserving for a party of six or less.