As temperatures rise, Como Snow starts cranking out frosty shaved ice from underneath a colorful canopy. Attendants pump snow cones full of sweet syrups to cool off the masses and their sweaty upper lips at group gatherings and parties. Each catering package includes all the necessary supplies, as well as set-up and break down so that party hosts can spend time enjoying good company and making sure no one is stealing their stuff.
As you approach the ornate 1916 building now known as Bevo Mill, you may notice two storks on the chimney. They aren't pausing en route to deliver twins—the stone birds were added as a good luck symbol in the German and Dutch tradition. When August A. Busch Sr. of Anheuser-Busch commissioned the structure in the years leading up to World War I, he sought to bring Europe's Flemish architecture and culture back to his native St. Louis. The historical building eventually closed its doors to the public, but in 2009, it reopened as Bevo Mill, an elegant events center that welcomes weddings, corporate gatherings, and other large-scale happenings.
Visitors can still watch the 60-foot-wide aluminum blades of the original windmill spin, and admire the exterior stucco walls’ multicolored stones, each hand-picked by Mr. Busch from his home farm. Brass chandeliers illuminate the main dining area, where vaulted cathedral ceilings curve down into arches whose bases are guarded by stone-carved gnomes. Local artisans restored the Mill Room's painted tile murals and ornate wooden beams, and the Oak Room's artisan glass and art deco light fixtures were meticulously repaired or stolen from Jay Gatsby's mansion.
In the kitchen, chefs prepare refined event menus and samplings of hors d'oeuvres such as flaky feuilletes, glazed pot stickers, quiches, and quesadillas. Buffets feature dishes as diverse as grilled Norwegian salmon, chicken roulades, and seasonal vegetable medleys. On Sundays, chefs prepare a brunch buffet that features dozens of internationally inspired recipes such as hardwood smoked bacon, belgian waffles, potato pancakes, and Hungarian-style sausage. Once a month, Bevo Mill holds an authentic German night, complete with live music and a German buffet.
After graduating from cake-decorating school in Basel, Switzerland, Karl Knodel immigrated to America and opened his own cakery in 1901. In the 109 years since then, his family members have inherited recipes for his signature baked delights and used them to continue delighting discerning St. Louis sweet teeth and winning acclaim from picky incisors far and wide. Knodel's cakes, which vary in price depending on design decadence, are available in flavors such as caramel fudge, strawberry shortcake, red velvet, and eternity. For handheld treats, there's a 1 lb. cookie box ($9.95) or individual decorated cookies ($0.65+). Cupcakes strut down tongue catwalks in a variety of edible outfits (individual cupcakes start at $0.80). Call no less than five days in advance for custom cakes.
Building on more than 50 years in the restaurant industry, the chefs at Talayna's Italiano's draw on culinary traditions from Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean to craft their menu. The restaurant takes its name from the Yiddish word for Italian, reflecting its ability to fluidly blend a variety of cuisines. Chefs assemble pastas, kebabs, paella, and beef and lamb dishes alongside pizzas in five distinct styles—either gourmet preassembled pies or customizable pizzas with dough in the thin St. Louis style, deep-dish Chicago style, or semithick New York style. The menu also boasts a roster of American and European wines, as well as imported and domestic brews. When not mastering their own kitchen, the culinary crew performs offsite catering services, including setting up the space with bartending tables, chairs, linens, and glassware, as well as providing live music and servers.