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Mar 29, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop: St. Louis Soup Dumplings to open in University City

March 28th, 2017

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{Private Kitchen co-owners chef Lawerence and Emily Chen }

 

Fans of Private Kitchen, the reservations-only Chinese restaurant in University City, will soon have a more casual venue to indulge in one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. As reported by the Riverfront Times, Private Kitchen owner Lawrence Chen will open St. Louis Soup Dumplings at 8110 Olive Blvd.

Chen said he was inspired to open the restaurant because many Private Kitchen customers enjoyed the pork soup dumplings, but didn’t always want to make reservations and text ahead to order. St. Louis Soup Dumplings will be a no-reservations affair with 15 to 20 seats, quick service and carryout.

In addition to pork, Chen said St. Louis Soup Dumplings will offer chicken, shrimp and vegetable versions, along with some non-dumpling dishes. The full menu is still a work in progress.

“I’m still thinking about how many different kinds we can make,” Chen said.

He expects the restaurant, which used to house a cell phone store next to Private Kitchen, to open late spring, depending on renovations.

Photo by Greg Rannells

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The Scoop: Nadoz Cafe & Catering sold to Deer Creek Cafe owner

March 28th, 2017

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Steven Becker Fine Dining has sold Nadoz Cafe & Catering, located at 12 The Boulevard in Richmond Heights, to Deer Creek Cafe owner Kent McCarty. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, McCarty took possession of the space on Tuesday, March 14.

“I liked the feel of the cafe,” McCarty said. “And it’s far enough away from the first Deer Creek to complement it.”

McCarty said he’ll rebrand the restaurant as another Deer Creek Cafe this summer, but for now, it will remain open as Cafe Nadoz and feature the same menu. He said in the coming weeks the hours will be expanded from 3 to 7 p.m. McCarty also owns a Mississippi chain of coffee shops called Java Moe’s.

Steven Becker said the cafe was the last restaurant or banquet facility owned by the company. Going forward, he will concentrate on hospitality consulting and management work; the company has been renamed Steven Becker Hospitality Consulting. Becker said 35 years in the industry have given him a unique perspective to help others up their game.

“The plan is to help people out and use some of the experiences that I’ve lived through from all of the different ventures and facilities and things that I’ve done,” he said.

 

The Scoop: Riverbend Restaurant closes

March 27th, 2017

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Riverbend Restaurant & Bar, located at 1059 S. Big Bend Blvd., in Richmond Heights, has closed. The last day of service was Sunday, March 26, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

Owner Sam Kogos opened Riverbend in 2010 in Soulard after relocating from New Orleans. The restaurant moved to its Richmond Heights location in 2014.

Kogos did not return requests for comment, but Riverbend’s website and a message on the restaurant’s voicemail confirmed the closure.

This follows on the heels of another prominent closing, Three Flags Tavern, in early March, also reported by St. Louis Magazine. Owner John O’Brien did not respond to multiple requests for comment since the closure. The restaurant opened in 2014; Sauce reviewed it in August of that year.

 

DTWE: 6 must-drink beers at Lupulin Carnival

March 24th, 2017

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It’s almost time for 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s yearly hop-induced coma: Lupulin Carnival. It takes place April 1 at Union Station this year, and it means the return of carnival acts, the smell of dank IPAs (and sweaty festival goers) and the release of 4 Hands’ Imperial IPA, War Hammer. (Tickets are available online.)

Beer festivals can overwhelm, especially when the lineup is ridiculously amazing. Some of the best breweries in the IPA game pour at Lupulin, highlighting their prodigious hop usage. Heed some sage advice from an IPA fiend: Do not pass up that beer you’ve had before.

Why? With all the variations in hops, styles and brewing techniques, this is your chance to see just how versatile hops can be. Look for classic West Coast-style usage from Ballast Point or Stone Brewing Co., the trendy Northeast-style pale ales from local breweries like Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. and Shared, and game changers with some of the best hop experimentation in the game (i.e. Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s Leo v. Ursus and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Tropical Torpedo.)

There will be too many beers to try (because you will all be responsible drinkers), so prioritize with my six must-try beers at Lupulin 2017:

1. Yes, War Hammer is the guest of honor, but surprise! 4 Hands hopped up a Pilsner for its second City Wide offering. City Wide Pils is a Citra dry-hopped American Pilsner that’s perfect for crushing during the hot St. Louis summer.

2. If one Imperial IPA wasn’t enough, 4 Hands’ also debuts an Imperial wheat IPA, White Flannel, rumored to be aggressively hoppy with intense notes of tropical fruit.

3. Expect lots of hoppy goodies from Chicagoland breweries. One of Chicago’s finest breweries (IMHO), Half Acre Beer Co., brings Tuna Extra Pale, its 4.7-percent ABV brew ripe with citrus, tropical fruit and a slightly sweet malt bill to uphold that flavor.

4. Pipeworks Brewing Co. rolls in with Ninja vs. Unicorn, an unfiltered, balanced Imperial IPA with massive amounts of peach and citrus aromatics and extreme drinkability. Be careful, y’all – this one does not drink like it’s 8-percent ABV.

5. Mile Wide Beer Co., a new Louisville, Kentucky brewery and brainchild of former Schlafly brewer Kyle Tavares, brings Idlewild Pale Ale (5.5-percent ABV). This crisp, light-bodied pale ale sees a new hop addition every few months for a refreshing and fun take on the classic American style. It currently boasts Mosaic and Equinox hops for a dank and tropical fruit aroma.

6. Finally, try one of the first breweries that got me into the hop game: Ale Asylum. Its Velveteen Habit has juicy hop presence with a mildly sweet malt undertone is finished with a satiable bitterness. Look for light grassiness, citrus, pineapple and a little herbal character as you drink.

Photo by Ed Aller for 4 Hands Brewing Co.

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

Sauce Magazine is a sponsor of Lupulin Carnival.

 

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Budget Crunch: 9 delicious deals to devour now

March 22nd, 2017

Got $10 and a friend? Then contributor Kevin Korinek has 9 tasty deals you must try now.

 

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1. The new Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood is offering a special $9 chicken and waffle deal Thursdays from 4 p.m. until sold out. And yes, it will probably sell out, so make sure you’re first in line. While Boardwalk supplies the delectable waffle, the fried chicken slingers at Byrd & Barrel supply the Chicken Nugz. Adding hot sauce gets you to Flavortown fast, but a little maple syrup goes a long way.

2. A classic Italian bistro that is always adding good times and new flavors, Mangia Italiano might just be one of the best post-work spots for a good deal. Just in time for warm weather and patio dining on South Grand, you can get half off appetizers and a well-made $3 rail cocktail every weekday. Your best bet is the Honey-Cayenne Wings – a generous $5.50 pound of mouthwatering wings in Mangia’s signature sauce. They’re crunchy, spicy and oh, so satisfying.

 

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3. Every taqueria in St. Louis claims to have the best fish tacos, but The Red Shack in Dogtown may have the best monthly deal to prove it. Fridays during Lent, the Tex-Mex haven has a killer special of two, scrumptious salmon tacos with house-made chips and salsa for a mere $5.50.

4. Of course life isn’t all about tacos. It’s also about pizza. If you find yourself near Lafayette Square during the week, run (don’t walk) to happy hour at Eleven Eleven Mississippi, where you can snag a gorgeous, Tuscan-inspired flatbread for $6 to $7 each Monday to Thursday. Try the Italian sausage for authentic Old World flavor or the poached pear and fig if you’re feeling adventurous.

 

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5. Craft beer has turned a scientific corner, and we are now seeing an explosion of flavors that would make Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch do a double take. One of the more recent highlights to hit our beloved craft scene is sour beers. Retreat Gastropub in the CWE wants you to get more acquainted at its Thursday Sour Hours. In March, select sour beers are only $5 from 4 to 7 p.m., giving you the chance to pucker-up buttercup and experience some new flavors. Rest assured, the craft beer revolution carries on – what a time to be alive.

6. Back to tacos, because tacos. If you’re eating lunch in Brentwood and looking for a quick fix, Whole Foods kitchen now has you covered. The market recently opened up a lightning fast taqueria where you can grab a made-to-order burrito or three tacos for $8. Where else can you get Mexican food and finish grocery shopping on your lunch break?

 

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7. Copper Pig in beautiful Southampton has an amazing happy hour this month. Weekdays between 4:30 to 6 p.m., appetizers are $6 bucks and most drafts are a cool $3. The deal does not include its famous winter app, bacon jam and Brie (bummer!), but I’m sure you can find something to love between the General Tso’s cauliflower or the duck confit poutine.

8. Ramen is all the rage in St. Louis these days, and Hiro Asian Kitchen aims to keep it that way by offering a Ramen Happy Hour Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Sample from an assortment of ramen dishes that will make your head spin. If you miss the first window, don’t worry – the deal also happens for evening diners from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Two ramen happy hours in one day is one way to keep customers happy.

9. Again, life is nothing without damn good pizza, and Plank Road Pizza has them in spades. The Cottleville pizza den offers lunch special: an 8-inch pizza and side salad for $10. My go-to: the honey-bacon-chicken pizza. It’s a work of art – house-made crust topped with olive oil, brown sugar, roast chicken, bacon, honey, red onion and bubbling mozzarella. The lunch special is good from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also comes with a side salad.

 

Kevin Korinek is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for making homemade pie.

The Scoop: Fire erupts at Soulard’s Restaurant

March 22nd, 2017

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Longtime neighborhood staple Soulard’s Restaurant & Bar caught fire Friday, March 17.

St. Louis Fire Department Capt. Garon Patrick Mosby said the fire started at the restaurant, located at 1731 S. Seventh St., when an employee was burning off some grease from a stove, and the fire “got away from him.” No one was injured. “Investigators have ruled it was an accidental incident,” Mosby said.

Soulard’s owner did not return requests for comment, but did announce the fire on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

This marks the fourth St. Louis-area restaurant fire in six months. Fellow Soulard business The Sweet Divine caught fire in October 2016; Waterloo brewery Hopskellar also suffered a fire just one month after opening. Most recently, a fire broke out on the second floor of Giovanni’s on The Hill, causing smoke and water damage to the dining room.

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Fire Department

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Sneak Peek: Vicia in Midtown

March 20th, 2017

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More than a year after announcing their move to St. Louis, Michael and Tara Gallina’s highly anticipated Vicia opens for lunch this Wednesday, March 22 in the Cortex Innovation District at 4260 Forest Park Ave. Dinner service will debut on Tuesday, March 28.

The Gallinas, both alums of the internationally acclaimed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, made news in October 2015 when they announced a return to Michael Gallina’s hometown to open a seasonally driven, vegetable-forward restaurant where he would serve as executive chef and Tara Gallina as general manager.

The 2,500-square-foot space features a 14-seat bar, an exposed kitchen and a covered patio, all separated from the main dining room by walls of windows. The patio is bookended by a lounge area with more casual seating on one end and an enormous wood-fired grill on the other.

“I’d love to have that thing covered with meat and vegetables basically all day,” said Michael Gallina. His menu incorporates meat as a condiment more than main attraction and features vegetables as the unexpected stars of Vicia’s dishes. He plans to utilize the grill for everything from slowly cooking large cuts of meat to burying vegetables in the coals for unique charred sauces.

Lunch will consist of soups, salads, sandwiches and tartines with pick-two and pick-three options, supplemented by sweet treats from executive pastry chef Summer Wright. “The menu will not be set at all,” said Gallina, who plans to print offerings daily.

Though some dishes will have the same general structure – like a grain salad made with fruits or vegetables, goat cheese and vegetable-top pesto – the specific ingredients will depend on what the restaurant gets day-to-day from area farmers.

Dinner will have a more varied menu of bite-sized snacks, shareable plates and entrees. “I want it to change as much as we can,” Gallina said. “I’m holding off to see what’s available next week.” The restaurant also plans to eventually offer a tasting menu.

Vicia will be open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. When it begins next week, dinner service will be Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect from one of this year’s most anticipated new restaurants:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

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Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

March 19th, 2017

From national honors for hometown chefs to a new restaurant announcement from Dave Bailey, here’s what went down last week in the St. Louis food scene, in case you missed it…

 

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1.The St. Louis restaurant scene experienced a bit of déjà vu when the finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced March 15. Two St. Louis chefs moved on as finalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category: Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan and Farmhaus chef-owner Kevin Willmann. Both chefs were finalists in this category last year.

 

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2. Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade officially opened doors Saturday, March 18, at 2236 First Capitol Drive in St. Charles. As The Scoop reported in December 2016, Two Plumbers is the brainchild of owner Robert Schowengerdt and head brewer John Simon.

 

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3. Restaurateur Dave Bailey, owner of Baileys’ Restaurants, will soon add another concept to his stable of eateries. Hugo’s Pizzeria is slated to open this summer at 3135 Olive St., in Midtown, just two blocks away from another of his restaurants, Small Batch.

 

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4. Tapped, a restaurant and bar that will allow customers to pour their own beer and wine, will open in April at 7278 Manchester Road. Co-owners Ryan and Lindsay Reel will open in the former A Pizza Story space.

 

The Scoop: Pour-your-own bar and restaurant Tapped to open in Maplewood

March 16th, 2017

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Tapped, a restaurant and bar that will allow customers to pour their own beer and wine, will open in April at 7278 Manchester Road. Co-owners Ryan and Lindsay Reel will open in the former A Pizza Story space, as reported by Feast Magazine.

While the kitchen will remain basically the same, Ryan Reel said changes to the space include new windows, a new front door and a walk-in cooler. A large part of the build-out process involves installing the lines and electronics for the iPourIt tap system, the first in Missouri.

To utilize the system, customers will check in, start a tab and receive a radio frequency identification (RFID) wristband. Each tap will have an iPad mounted above it with information about the beverage. Customers then activate their chosen tap with the wristband, and the system tracks how many ounces customers pour. There will be 48 taps – 40 for beer, cider and Bitts coffee from Living Room in Maplewood, and another eight taps for wine.

“It’s a pretty extensive undertaking,” Reel said.

Reel said the Tapped beer program will be centered on local breweries. “Our focus is putting the craft beers next to each other so you can come to one location and be able to try a bunch of different things,” he said, adding that beers from other craft breweries around the country may eventually be added.

Customers will order food via a point-of-sale system at the counter, where they will pick up the finished product. Reel said Tapped staff will be available to answer questions and bus tables.

A Pizza Story’s wood-fire pizza oven will fire once more with a menu of pizzas and “elevated bar fare,” an assortment of larger plates and a build-your-own charcuterie and cheese board. Dessert options will include items from nearby Maplewood businesses Pie Oh My!, Kakao Chocolate and Encore Baking Co.

“The whole concept is really around the beer and the wine, and the pairing of food,” Reel said. “It’ll really be a social house type of atmosphere.”

 

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Just Five: Guinness Beer Bread

March 16th, 2017

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Luck of the Irish indeed! Sauce Magazine tips the hat to all things beer this month, and March also celebrates all things Irish. This month rocks!

I wondered how to make a Just Five recipe with beer as one of key ingredients. After a little research on beer bread and soda bread, I threw both recipes together, picked out the parts I liked, and hoped for the blessing of St. Honoratus of Amiens (Google him).

A note on this recipe: If you do not sift the flour, you’ll have a dry biscuit, not bread. Sift, sift, sift! This simple quick bread has a crunchy crust from baking in butter and a lovely sweetness from the beer and brown sugar, proving once again that beer makes it better.

 
Guinness Beer Bread
6 servings

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
12 oz. Guinness or other dark beer
6 Tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Break up the packed brown sugar with a fork, then add it and the rosemary and stir well to combine the dry ingredients. Add the beer and mix until a sticky dough forms.
• Spread the dough evenly into a cast-iron skillet or greased 9-by-9-inch baking dish and pour the melted butter over the dough. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
• Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Bread will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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