Chef’s Table at Cielo in the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Our contributor describes what it's like to sit at the best table in the house

Cielo is at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis.

The best table in the house: we’ve all heard that movies stars, rock stars, and business moguls demand special seating when they approach the maître d' in a fine restaurant. It’s a table where they can see and be seen, but discreet enough to do whatever business is at hand.

The best table in the house doesn’t apply to me. I’m neither angling to have the paparazzi snap a photo of me having dinner with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon nor brokering deals that will change the course of American commerce. I’m just a gal with a blog and column, I make reservations at good-to-great restaurants, and I’m happy wherever I’m seated.

Really, I’m there for the food.

But boy, oh boy, did I ever get a taste of the sweet life. I may be ruined for good!

My friend and colleague, Sherma Mather, was visiting St. Louis from Richmond, Va., and I wanted to introduce her to one of the best fine-dining experiences in St. Louis, Cielo at the Four Seasons Hotel*. Rather than call for a reservation, I Facebooked** Stephen Wancha — the fab food and beverage director — to ask whether I needed a late reservation for a Wednesday night.

He Facebooked me back and said that my reservation was set.

I thought to myself, "Wow, how cool is that?" Even after all of the years I’ve known this wonderful staff, I’m honored by the way they take care of me. And let’s face facts: I was being lazy by not calling. (Yup, I own it.)


You simply can’t imagine my reaction when I received a reservation confirmation phone call that told me that Sherma and I would be sitting at the Chef’s Table***. Yes, I got weak in the knees. Yes, I felt a little woozie. Yes, I got flushed. It’s a big deal, and I couldn’t stop giggling.