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Jan 22, 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: Katie’s Pizza & Pasta to open Town & Country location

January 20th, 2017

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Katie and Ted Collier, owners of Katie’s Pizza & Pasta, will take their popular concept west. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the duo will open a second Katie’s location at 14713 Clayton Road in Town & Country.

Katie Collier said the space, which once housed Einstein Bros. Bagels and the adjacent storefront, will undergo a complete gut rehab. The end result will be approximately 1,000 square feet larger than the Rock Hill location with seating for around 100 inside and 40 seats on the soon-to-be-built patio.

The Colliers spent two years searching for just the right spot. Collier said there were many reasons the Town & Country location was attractive, including plenty of parking, a lack of other pizza and pasta places and a thriving restaurant community.

“The area has a lot of great restaurants that do really well,” she said. “We thought we would be a good complement to them.”

The restaurant will have the same seasonal focus and share the same menu as the Rock Hill location. Collier said she hopes for a late spring or early summer opening.

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DTWE: Wolpertinger at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

January 20th, 2017

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Prepare thy livers: it’s time for Urban Chestnut’s birthday party and the return of a mythological beast, Wolpertinger, this Sunday, Jan. 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. With live music including funk-centric Saint Boogie Brass Band, delicious UCBC kitchen fare, more than 35 local breweries pouring tasty suds and guest Bell’s Brewery bringing its seasonal heavy hitter Hopslam, what more could you want from a beer fest?

Answer: The debut of UCBC’s anniversary beer, Wolpertinger. This deep, dark brown brew is more robust than years past. It’s also slightly tart thanks to the addition of raspberries before it spent two years in Scotch whisky barrels. Don’t miss this, plus three other beers I’m excited to drink this weekend:

1. Bell’s Hopslam: All the hops and honey make this highly anticipated, 10-percent Imperial IPA a party in your mouth. Honey sweetness up front and good body balance out the intense bitterness. Look for grapefruit, tropical fruit and some soft floral notes.

2. Bell’s Double Brown Ale: Also from the out-of-town guest, search out the exclusive firkin of 8.5-percent cask-conditioned brew boasting a rich, chocolaty flavor profile, smooth mouth feel and a nice bitterness on the finish to balance it all out.

3. Mark Twain/The OG Collaboration Orion’s Apprentice: This recently released, 10.5-percent Imperial IPA is smooth, medium-bodied and full of tropical fruit notes from a heavy dosage of Citra and Simcoe dry-hopping. Look for juicy pineapple and vibrant grapefruit in a beer that drinks like it’s less than 10 percent.

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

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The Scoop: Good News Brewing Co. to open in O’Fallon, MO

January 18th, 2017

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Chalk up another player on the area’s growing roster of craft breweries. Good News Brewing Co. is set to open at 330 Sonderen St., in north O’Fallon, Missouri. Co-owners Dan Tripp, Josh Miller and Matt Fair are planning for mid-June opening. The three have backgrounds as homebrewers, but this will be the first time they’ll brew on a commercial level.

Tripp said the brewery will start with five house styles: a Belgian white, a pale ale, an IPA, a brown ale and a stout. They are also planning on brewing an additional five rotating seasonal beers. Since they’re using a one-barrel system, Tripp said they hope to get creative and brew smaller batches of specialty beers like a dark chocolate pomegranate stout or an India pale lager.

Along with craft beers, the trio will also create and fire small pizzas made in a brick oven. Though the 40-seat tasting room is slated to open this summer, Good News’ won’t have its brewing license at that time. It could take another six to nine months, but since the partners are paying rent on the space, Tripp said they hope to connect with area breweries to provide beer for guest taps and possibly contract brew with them.

Eventually, Tripp said Good News plans to distribute its beers to area bars and start canning. “Our long-range goal is to make and sell as much beer as we can,” he said.

 

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The Scoop: Grub Go delivery service appears to be closed

January 17th, 2017

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From all appearances, it looks like local restaurant delivery service Grub Go is no longer doing business.

Layla owner Jason Sparks said he found out Friday, Jan. 13, when Grubhub, the online platform Grub Go uses to process orders, contacted him about an overdue meal delivery. Sparks said he contacted the Grub Go office and couldn’t get through. He then called his representative at Grub Go, who said the company was no longer in business.

Sparks said Grub Go still owes him approximately $2,200. “We’re talking a lot of money here,” he said.

Grub Go owner Peter Wheeler did not respond to repeated requests for comment or to confirm the closure. No closure information was available on the company’s social media or website, but all restaurants have been removed from the website.

Taco Circus manager James Lopez said the South City restaurant stopped using Grub Go about two months ago, and he still hasn’t received the remaining money Grub Go owes them.

“We haven’t heard anything from them, he said. “It’s a sad thing for a company to go out of business, but to go out like that is even more disappointing.”

5 Star Burgers owner Stephen Gontram said via text message that Grub Go still owes him for several weeks of deliveries during the holiday season. In his message, Gontram said he’s reviewing his agreement with Grub Go to see what recourse he may have, and he urged restaurants to use caution when using future-pay delivery services.

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

January 14th, 2017

From new locations of popular barbecue joints and brunch spots to the closing of a 40-year-old Fairview Heights institution, here’s what happened last weekend in the St. Louis dining scene, ICYMI…

 

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1. Scott Sandler, owner of Pizzeoli in Soulard, has announced he will open a new restaurant called Pizza Head at 3196 S. Grand Ave., in the former Absolutli Goosed and Brickyard Tavern space.

2. Pastry chef Alex Feick is bringing her baking game to area restaurants and retailers. Prioritized Pastries aims to supply area restaurants, stores and individuals with quality artisan breads, pastries and desserts.

 

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3. Mike and Liz Randolph, co-owners of Randolph Restaurants,  have announced a second location of Half & Half in Webster Groves. The breakfast and lunch spot will open in late spring or early summer at 220 W. Lockwood Ave., in the current First Watch space.

4. The Tom & Chee location at 1280 Highway K in O’Fallon, Missouri, has closed. The closing was announced on the location’s Facebook page Jan. 9, citing “circumstances beyond our control.”

 

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5. Delmar Loop favorite Salt & Smoke is getting ready to expand its barbecue empire to South St. Louis this summer. Owner Tom Schmidt has announced that he will open a new location of the restaurant at 5625 Hampton Ave., the former home of Mathew’s Kitchen that shuttered last year.

6. Another longstanding Metro East establishment is shutting its doors. Dandy Inn Pub in Fairview Heights is scheduled to close on Sunday, Jan. 15, after 40 years in business.

7. Moya Grill, located at 567 Mehlville Ave. in University City, has been shuttered. The casual Ethiopian eatery from the owners of Meskerem on South Grand closed over the holidays.

 

Don’t miss out on all the St. Louis restaurant news – follow Sauce Magazine on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Scoops and Sneak Peeks!

 

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Trendwatch: 7 trends on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list now

January 13th, 2017

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1. Smash and Grab
St. Louisans don’t have to wait until Shake Shack opens later this year to get their griddle burger fix of thin patties smashed on a flattop. Get a taste at Reeds American Table, where two patties are smothered with Swiss cheese and tallow aioli, or head to Olive & Oak in Webster Groves, where the kitchen keeps it classic with American cheese and dill pickles. The smashed Farmhouse Burger has been a fixture at Retreat Gastropub since it opened in October 2015, and The Dam in Tower Grove South does smashed patties – though the burgers are stacked so high with fixins, it’s hard to tell. Find griddled burgers at Brasserie, Local Chef Kitchen and Baileys’ Range, too.

2. Drinking like a Vegan
Aquafaba, aka the cloudy liquid in a can of chickpeas that usually goes down the drain, has seen new life as a vegan egg replacer in baked goods. Now it’s found its way behind the bar and into Pisco Sours at Los Angeles establishments like Birch and Gracias Madre. Small Batch pulled a similar move in its Cicer Sour with aquafaba, smoked almond Pisco and dry curacao. Bengelina Hospitality bar manager Drew Lucido shakes it with Old Tom Gin, Becherovka and lemon juice in The Walden at Olio, while the team across the street at Nixta uses a cream whipper to add a foamy, egg-free head to the No. 3.

3. Kung Pao That
The Chinese staple is popping up outside the takeout box these days at restaurants like Mission Chinese in San Francisco, which has a kung pao pastrami we hope someone in town will replicate. Chefs at Cleveland-Heath were inspired by a celery dish at Mission’s NYC location to create a shaved raw beef and celery kung pao special for St. Louisans to enjoy last summer. The Preston swaps in calamari for a sophisticated take on the dish, and the pop-up and future restaurant Good Fortune is crazy about kung pao. It incorporated the flavors into a bratwurst made for a collaboration with Brasserie, and made a kung pao pizza for an event with Delicious Pizza in Los Angeles.

 

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4. Rise and Shine
The Egg McMuffin will always hold a special greasy place in our hearts, but area restaurants are taking breakfast more seriously these days. Whole concepts, like Egg on Gravois Avenue and Yolklore in Crestwood, are devoted to breakfast beyond the standard flapjacks, eggs and bacon. Quick counter-service options at newly opened eateries like Sardella and The Garden on Grand mean we’re setting our weekday alarms a few minutes earlier. Even pop-up eateries are getting in on the action: Revel Kitchen chef-owner Simon Lusky and chef Adam Altnether recently hosted the breakfast-themed Waffle Nut Pop-up, serving sweet and savory waffle combos and cereal milk coffee beverages.

5. Lightning in a Mug
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and a large dose of caffeine, yerba mate is a light, herbaceous tea that’s creeping its way into local spots like SweetArt, where it’s served hot, and Comet Coffee, where it’s found in two forms: as hot tea and as a mocha-nut mate made with toasted mate leaves, chocolate, hazelnut and marigold flowers for a sweet treat. Pick up some of the loose-leaf tea to brew at home from international grocers like Global Foods Market or United Provisions.

6. Meat Lollipops
Some St. Louis chefs are frenching chicken drumettes, trimming classic wings into little meat lollipops. The trend has a confusing extra-work-for-less-meat quality, but we’ve bought jeans with holes in the knees, so we’re not here to judge. Try the lollies at Mona’s, where they’re smoked and served with a creamy giardiniera sauce and salsa verde, or at Copper Pig with a Vietnamese fish sauce caramel or a sweet chile basil sauce. Scapegoat offers a more traditional Buffalo version.

7. Taste the Magic
Magic Shell is making appearances outside grandma’s sundae bar these days. We noticed it with caramelized honey and honeycomb candy on soft serve at The Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, and over caramel corn and vanilla malted milk balls at Girl & the Goat in Chicago. But Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. has offered the topping on soft serve since it opened in 2014, and our favorite matcha-chocolate cookie gelato pop from Porano this summer was dipped in Magic Shell. Taste’s new brownie dessert with candy cap ice cream and toffee sauce lives in a Magic Shell house, too.

 

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Just Five: Onion Jam

January 11th, 2017

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Onion jam: a phrase that will either horrify or intrigue you. When I brought a jar to a party recently, one woman wrinkled her nose and asked if I was joking, while the host (a true gourmand) merely raised an eyebrow and smiled. After the woman bid farewell, we agreed good riddance to that riffraff.

While this is a lovely accompaniment to a cheese tray, it shines brightest in a panini. This sweet jam with a hint of bitterness from coffee is quite magical when paired with gooey cheese. It would also be delicious served alongside pork tenderloin or roast chicken.

 

Onion Jam
2 cups

¼ cup olive oil
3 large white onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary*
1 cup sugar
¼ cup brewed coffee
½ cup white or regular balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, warm the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and saute 10 to 15 minutes, until they soften and start to brown. Add the rosemary and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant.
• Sprinkle the sugar atop of the onion mixture, but do not stir. Let the sugar melt, 6 to 7 minutes.
• Stir in the coffee and balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
• Remove and discard the rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let cool. The jam will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.

*If you want to keep rosemary leaves out of your jam, wrap the sprig in kitchen twine to hold it together.

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

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The Scoop: Pizzeoli owner to open Pizza Head on South Grand

January 11th, 2017

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{ Pizzeoli owner Scott Sandler }

 

South Grand will soon have an old-school pizza joint to complement its array of international restaurants. Scott Sandler, owner of Pizzeoli in Soulard, has announced he will open a new restaurant called Pizza Head at 3196 S. Grand Ave., in the former Absolutli Goosed and Brickyard Tavern space.

Sandler described the concept as “can beer, large pies, slices and punk rock music.” Like Pizzeoli, all the pizzas will be vegetarian (cashew cheese will also be available for vegans), but they’ll be akin to New York style instead of the Neapolitan pies Pizzeoli turns out. Sandler will use electric pizza decks for their high heat, so he can get the pizzas out quickly. The current plan is to have a cheese pizza and a white pizza available, plus around eight classic toppings to choose from at the counter-service spot.

Sandler said he’s had his eye on South Grand for a while, and when the opportunity to get into the neighborhood came up, he went for it. “I’ve always thought this would be the perfect place for pizza,” he said.

The space won’t require much work, and if all goes according to schedule, Sandler said he hopes to open in two to three months.

Photo by Dave Moore

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The Scoop: Salt & Smoke to open second location in Southampton

The Scoop: Half & Half to open second location in Webster Groves

 

The Scoop: Salt & Smoke to open second location in Southampton

January 11th, 2017

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Delmar Loop favorite Salt & Smoke is getting ready to expand its barbecue empire to South St. Louis this summer. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, owner Tom Schmidt has announced that he will open a new location of the restaurant at 5625 Hampton Ave., the former home of Mathew’s Kitchen that shuttered last year.

“I’ve actively been looking for a space for two years,” Schmidt said. “I looked at hundreds of places. But the moment I pulled in the lot, I thought ‘This is it.’”

Schmidt said the new building has a large kitchen, which will facilitate the restaurant’s burgeoning catering business, and the 100-person private event space on the second floor will allow for more private parties, something the smaller University City space wouldn’t accommodate. Schmidt said he hopes for three barbecue pits initially, and that pitmaster Haley Riley will oversee the barbecue and kitchens at both locations. Schmidt credits Riley with much of the success Salt & Smoke has enjoyed, and said he is now a co-owner of both locations.

Schmidt said he bought the building instead of leasing it, which will make it easier to make some of the changes needed. These include a complete gutting of the space and changing the floor plan. Schmidt said he expects “months of intense construction ahead,” but hopes to be open in June. Hunter Construction, which has worked on such spaces as Porano, Sugarfire Smoke House and Seoul Taco, will be the general contractor.

Schmidt said there may be some menu tweaks made at the new space, though nothing he could reveal yet. But fans of the original Delmar Loop location shouldn’t worry about missing their favorite dishes in South City. “I want to make sure it’s recognizable as Salt & Smoke,” he said.

Photo by David Kovaluk 

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The Scoop: Mathew’s Kitchen in Southampton to close

• Lunch Rush: Salt & Smoke

The Scoop: Franco to close on Feb. 20 

The Scoop: Tom & Chee closes in O’Fallon, Missouri

January 10th, 2017

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The Tom & Chee location at 1280 Highway K in O’Fallon, Missouri, has closed. The chain specializes in custom grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soups, as well as gluten-free and vegetarian fare.

The closing was announced on the location’s Facebook page yesterday, Jan. 9, citing “circumstances beyond our control.”

According to franchisee Doug Mating, those boiled down to parking. Mating said the 2015 addition of Monical’s Pizza to the shopping center that Tom & Chee was located in caused a shortage of parking that adversely affected businesses there.

“It just got too crowded,” he said. “People aren’t going to park behind a strip center and walk.”

Tom & Chee’s last day of business was Sunday, Jan. 8. Mating said he donated all of the remaining food to Messenger Worship Center in Fenton. He has no plans to reopen in a new location.

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