- Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 11:47
- Written by Breanna Bright
John Eric and Vanessa Klein have been in the restaurant business since they were 18, waiting tables and hosting at various eateries in Cape Girardeau. After their lives crossed paths while working at Celebrations they decided it was time to combine their passion and start their own restaurant, a place of fine dining, top quality food, and above all an experience patrons will appreciate.
With the restoration of Downtown Cape Vanessa and John saw an opportunity and took it. “Cape is on the way up,” John said, “people want more culture.” John saw his chance to bring fine dining to Cape Girardeau, a place not just to eat, but to enjoy an entire evening out.
That is the emphasis he and Vanessa are putting into 36 Restaurant - an experience of atmosphere and palates, where people can enjoy an entire evening without having to eat and run. And with the food available, there is certainly no rush. All meals are made with fresh produce, from scratch. John put special emphasis on the steak, proudly boasting their top quality beef, and unique wine selection. He collaborated with chef Huston Sutton who created their menu. While working at Celebrations Sutton did food styling for a scene in Gone Girl. Celebrations was also how he met Vanessa and John, they have been friends now for almost four years.
A graduate of L'École Culinairein St. Louis, Sutton agreed that the steaks and The Grouper are the menu favorites. “Since all our produce is fresh the menu changes with the seasons,” John said, “I’m excited for the riverfront farmers market so we can bring in locally-grown food.”
With food like that not much more encouragement is needed, but Vanessa, who has a keen attention to detail says ambience is just as important, “It’s all in our mission statement, we want the restaurant to be warm, comfortable, and inviting. People are limited on options, and some will go all the way to St. Louis for fine dining, but now they have another place close to home.”
With the boom in art and new business 36 Restaurant is fitting in well with the downtown community, “we’ve been approached by the Chamber of Commerce, and Old Town Cape, plus we’ve had support from all our neighbors,” John said, “there’s a great community feel.”
As for the name, well, it’s as simple as liking numbers, “I originally wanted to call it 21,” John said, “but that was too similar to the 21 Club in New York, so I used the address number.”
That at least makes it easy to remember where they’re located, at 36 N. Main Street in Cape Girardeau. There is also a beautiful upstairs area for private parties, and an outdoor patio to enjoy with the warm weather. Dinner starts at 5:00 p.m. and goes until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.