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Jul 23, 2016
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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First Look: 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s new tasting room

July 22nd, 2016

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One day in late June, a staircase appeared in 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s tasting room. It was the last element of the massive expansion, one that tasting room manager Cyle Lunsfordhodson said required drilling through solid concrete to construct. The brewery quietly opened the new space to the public a month ago.

As The Scoop reported in January, the tasting room expansion is the first of several projects on tap for the 5-year-old brewery. The space, which once housed 4 Hands’ wine and spirit barrels and pallets stacked high with thousands of cans, now more than doubles the brewery’s seating capacity. A second bar upstairs will offer nearly the same number of taps as downstairs, and two 70-gallon serving vessels suspended above the bar are set to soon pour the brewery’s most popular beers, City Wide and Single Speed.

A new menu has debuted with the new space. The Fifth Wheel, which is owned by Baileys’ Restaurants, helms the kitchen at the brewery and has swapped larger sandwiches for more snackable items, like chips and guacamole, street corn and a la carte tacos. All tacos feature ingredients made with 4 Hands’ beers, like the Incarnation Asada with skirt steak marinated in the Incarnation IPA and Pastors at War with Warhammer-infused pastor sauce.

Patrons of the new tasting room can also relive their mall arcade glory days with six cabinets including Tapper, Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. There are also two skee-ball machines available, and a custom Contact High pinball machine is in the works. Here’s a look at what to expect when you climb the new stairs at 4 Hands:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

Tweet Beat: The week’s top tweets from #STL foodies

July 22nd, 2016

Think you should be on this list? Prove it. Follow and tag @SauceMag

 

By the Book: Preserving the Japanese Way by Nancy Singleton Hachisu

July 22nd, 2016

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Canning, pickling and preserving are great, ancient ways to make the most of a harvest. In Preserving the Japanese Way, author Nancy Singleton Hachisu dedicates 350 pages to the methods, ingredients and dishes of her Japanese husband’s heritage by way of his mother.

While there are instructions for making one’s own soy sauce, miso and rice vinegar, the recipes do not require homemade everything. As the reader and cook, you choose how much time and effort you want to invest. I opted not to make my own soy sauce or mayonnaise for the ginger-soy pork sandwiches and instead happily picked up the items at the store.

The recipe was simple – thin-sliced pork butt soaked in a two-ingredient marinade overnight. I tossed it in a smoking hot pan with a dash of sesame oil, then assembled the sandwiches. The result was fine – just fine. We all agreed the pork was too salty and, should I attempt it again, would use a reduced salt soy sauce. The marinade also needed something else for brightness. More ginger? Herbs? More acid? With some tweaking – and a tomato slice or two ­– this little sandwich might have prevailed.

Skill Level: Easy to super difficult. I know this isn’t helpful, but this book truly contains recipes for the novice sandwich maker and the professional preserver.
This book is for: The curious and adventurous of most any ability.
Other recipes to try: Fish sauce fried rice, green beans cloaked in miso
The Verdict: While it has potential, the recipe as written falls short and Asian-American emerges the victor.

 

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Ginger-Soy Pork Sandwiches
6 sandwiches

2 Tbsp. grated ginger
14 oz. thinly sliced pork butt with some fat
½ cup soy sauce
Mayonnaise, preferably homemade (see Note)
2 small onions
1 small head of red leaf or butter lettuce
12 slices pain de mie or another soft bakery bread
Dijon mustard
About ½ tbsp. sesame oil, for cooking

• Scrape the peel off of the ginger with the back of a spook and grate. Place the pork slices in a medium-sized bowl, pour the soy sauce over them and drop the grated ginger into the bowl as well. Pick up the pork slices one by one and smoosh in some soy sauce and grated ginger until all of the slices are coated with soy sauce and no longer pink. Slide the pork slices and marinade into a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Roll the bag up, squeezing out all of the air as you go, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
• Assemble the sandwich components when you are about 45 minutes or so from eating.
• Make the mayonnaise, if using homemade (see Note); otherwise use jarred French mayonnaise. Avoid Japanese Kewpie mayo because it contains MSG. Cut the ends off of the onions, peel, and slice crosswise into ¼-inch half-rounds. Wipe the lettuce and make a stack of around 18 leaves (about 2 per sandwich) depending on the size of each leaf. (I prefer a thick layer of lettuce to one scraggly leaf.) Set up a bread station by laying the slices side by side on the counter or cutting board. Arrange them in a row of top pieces and a row of bottom pieces. Slather on the mayonnaise, dollop ½ teaspoon mustard onto the bottom slices, and spread. Lay 2 piece of lettuce on each of the bottom slices of bread and strew some onion half-rings on the lettuce. Lay another piece of lettuce on each of the top slices of bread.
• Set a large frying pan over high heat and film with a small amount of sesame oil when the pat is hot (hold your palm over the surface of the pan and you will feel the heat start to rise). Lift the pork pieces out of the soy-ginger marinade, shake off the excess liquid, and throw the pork pieces into the hot pan. Cook by tossing and separating the pieces that are clinging together with tongs until the pieces caramelize a bit over high heat.
• Lay 2 to 4 slices of pork on top of the piece of bread with the sliced onions and cover with the top slice of bread. Cut in half and serve immediately. Be warned – you may want more than one.

Variation: Throw on a couple of slices of ripe tomato in the summer.

NOTE: To make homemade mayonnaise, stir 1 tsp Dijon mustard (or ¼ teaspoon dried mustard) and ½ teaspoon brown rice vinegar into a farm-fresh egg yolk at room temperature. Whisk in about ¾ cup best-quality canola oil at room temperature very, very slowly. Once the mayonnaise looks like a creamy sauce (not oily looking), you can add the oil a bit faster. Season with a sprinkling of fine sea salt and dribble in a bit more brown rice vinegar to taste, if you like. Stir in ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar or honey if you prefer a more Japanese style of mayonnaise.

 

Reprinted with permission from Andrews McMeel Publishing

The Scoop: Chef Carl Hazel takes helm at West End Grill & Pub

July 22nd, 2016

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After taking six months off, chef Carl Hazel is once again top toque in the kitchen. Hazel started as executive chef at West End Grill & Pub (WEGAP) on July 13.

As The Scoop reported in January, Hazel spent the majority of the last nine years running The Scottish Arms’ kitchen before departing at the beginning of the year. “The pub atmosphere is something I really enjoy,” he said. “(WEGAP) runs the gamut from super, super casual, cold beer and flip-flops at the bar to a really nice date-night place in the dining room.”

The 20-year industry veteran plans to change the menu’s focus to an emphasis on local, sustainably grown and responsibly raised ingredients, but he will balance that change with what restaurant regulars have come to know and love. “We’re definitely going to change things quite a bit, but we’ll be real careful not to lose the personality of WEGAP,” he said. “People are more aware of what we eat and what we put in our bodies.”

Hazel also said he plans to improve plating presentations and perhaps incorporate wild game dishes. “People will see more than the standard beef, chicken and pork choices,” he said.

In addition to the menu, the 8-year-old restaurant will also update its interior and beverage selections. Hazel anticipates the new menu will be released in mid-August. “I’m excited to be back in the kitchen, doing what I love to do,” he said.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Baked: Peaches and Cream Popsicles

July 21st, 2016

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The Song household has gone peach crazy. We recently went peach picking at Eckert’s Farm, and my overzealous husband came home with 11 pounds of this summer stunner. Of course, peaches are juicy and tasty as is, but I wanted to toss them in fresh fruity desserts.

Peach popsicles are incredibly easy and fun to make. Freshly roasted peaches and gently sweetened vanilla yogurt make for a wonderful combination. It’s light, refreshing and healthier than a scoop of peach pie a la mode. These are perfect for summer – the oven sees minimal use, and cold treats are the perfect antidote to this blistering heat wave. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Peaches and Cream Popsicles
Adapted from a recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking 
6 servings

4 large peaches, pitted and chopped
½ cup honey, divided
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
Small pinch of sea salt

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
• Toss the peaches in a bowl with ¼ cup honey, then spread the peaches out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until the peaches are soft and fragrant, about 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove and let cool to room temperature.
• In the bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse the peaches once or twice to create a chunky mix. Set aside.
• In a separate bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, milk and the remaining ¼ cup honey. Stir in the vanilla and sea salt until smooth.
• Alternate spoonfuls of the peach mixture and yogurt mixtures in the ice pop molds until they are filled. Add sticks in the center of each ice pop and freeze until set, 4 to 5 hours.
• To remove, run the mold under warm water  15 seconds, then pull gently until the popsicle release.

 

The Scoop: LuLu Asian Kitchen to open in Olivette and Rock Hill

July 20th, 2016

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Expansion has been the theme this year for LuLu Seafood and Dim Sum, which recently launched its first food truck and, as reported by St. Louis Magazine, plans to open two locations this fall called LuLu Asian Kitchen. They will feature a pared down, casual menu with items that food truck and LuLu Fresh Express customers will recognize.

“We learned a lot selling at Dierbergs and at the food truck,” said Julia Li. “We learned that people want orange chicken and crab rangoon.”

In addition to Americanized Chinese dishes, the menu will see rotating authentic Chinese dishes as well as LuLu Seafood classics like steam buns and pot stickers.

The Olivette location will be at 9626 Olive Blvd., while the Rock Hill restaurant will be located at 9737 Manchester Road. Coincidentally, the building on Manchester used to house a Chinese restaurant at which Li’s mother took her first job after immigrating to the United States in 1993.

Li eventually plans to expand LuLu Asian Kitchen out of state, starting with locations in Chicago and Miami.

 

The Scoop: Gamlin brothers unveil concept for new project

July 20th, 2016

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The Central West End’s newest establishment, courtesy of Derek and Lucas Gamlin (of Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar) will be called 1764 Public House and, as previously announced, will open at 4910 W. Pine Blvd. Breaking with the spirit themes of their other establishments, 1764 Public House will instead honor the history of the building, as well as the city of St. Louis.

“When we started researching the building, we discovered it had so much crazy St. Louis history, we felt we had to do something that would harken to that history,” said Lucas Gamlin.

Gamlin said the building used to house Circus Snack Bar nightclub in the middle of the 20th century during which time pianist Liberace was a weekly fixture, as were other famous artists.

To harken to that history, the food menu at 1764 Public House will include versions of the Lou’s most iconic dishes including “a twist on hand-made toasted ravioli.” While the menu is still being finalized, diners can also expect St. Louis-style pizzas with and without Provel.

In a move Gamlin admits is ambitious, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night crowd. Customers can expect to see local doughnuts, as well as de rigueur local beers on 16 or so taps. A curated spirits and cocktail list, as well as a wine list, will round out the beverage program.

An opening date has not been set, but when doors open, the space will accommodate around 120 diners inside with additional space for guests outside. “We want to open a comfortable, casual place that people can come to every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Gamlin.

 

First Look: Stone Summit Steak & Seafood in Wentzville

July 20th, 2016

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Stone Summit Steak & Seafood opened doors at 17 Cliff View Drive in Wentzville on Monday, July 18. As The Scoop reported in May, Stone Summit is partially owned by the same restaurant group as Hotshots Sports Bar & Grill, and former J. Buck’s executive chef Patrick Viehmann developed the menu and helms the kitchen. The massive 300-seat restaurant serves everything from 60-day dry-aged steak to yellowfin tuna.

Aptly named as it’s perched atop a hill, Stone Summit has a rustic feel thanks to stonework and reclaimed materials used as design elements. The wood used for some walls and material for the tin ceiling were taken from a nearby 180-year-old barn nearby.

The full bar features a selection of national beer, several red and white wine options and a dozen house cocktails including takes on margaritas and mules. Stone Summit is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. Here’s what to expect at Stone Summit Steak & Seafood:

 

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Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 3:30 p.m. July 20 to clarify Stone Summit Steak Steak & Seafood’s ownership. 

-photos by Michelle Volansky

Edible Weekend: Jump start the weekend with 4 more events

July 20th, 2016

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There are plenty of ways to fill up this weekend: Beer for breakfast and dinner downtown, to name just two. Can’t wait? Jump start the weekend with four more delicious events now through Friday.

1. Fortune Franks
German brats take an Asian turn as Brasserie and forthcoming Good Fortune join forces for a kung pao brat and fries at the Central West End eatery.
Through July 22 – 5 to 7 p.m., brasseriebyniche.com

2. Happy Hour & Wine Tasting
Unwind with an evening of California wine tasting and barbecue and ballpark-themed appetizers.
July 21 – 6 to 10 p.m., Facebook: Barnett On Washington

3. Sardella Pop-Up at Porano
Get a sneak peek of highly anticipated Sardella at the upcoming restaurant’s third pop-up. Tickets available online.
July 21 – 7 to 9 p.m., brownpapertickets.com; July 22 – 7 to 9 p.m., brownpapertickets.com

4. Bourbon vs. Whiskey
Test your taste buds and learn the difference between bourbon and whiskey at this spirited evening.
July 21 – 7 to 9 p.m., Facebook: Stur Restaurant

Still hungry? Sign up for the Edible Weekend newsletter to get the top four food events of the weekend delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

The Scoop: Vero Pasto to deliver pizza and pasta kits

July 19th, 2016

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After a limited trial run earlier this year, Katie and Ted Collier, along with Katie’s mother Belinda Lee and brother Johnny Lee, have secured a space in Creve Coeur where they will launch Vero Pasto – a meal delivery service initially offering a weekly selection of pizza and pasta. The Colliers, who also own Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria, hope to have the business open by the holiday season.

Unlike some other local options, Katie Collier said Vero Pasto (that’s “real meal” in Italian) will deliver the raw ingredients and customers will cook the dishes courtesy of written recipes, as well as You Tube tutorials.

“We’re doing this because we love our restaurant and love serving the community,” said Collier. “With a restaurant we can only reach so many people and we’ve been thinking how to expand and reach more people with our food.”

Meal kits will include the raw ingredients necessary to prepare pizza or pasta at home, including handmade pizza dough and extruded pasta along with raw vegetables and other components. New kits are available each week. The Lees and Colliers plan to source fresh, seasonal ingredients and hope to use local vendors like Volpi and Salume Beddu.

“We want this to be a fun experience,” said Collier. “We want it be easy but interesting so people can cook then say, ‘Wow, I made that.’”

Orders will be placed online. Delivery will follow a couple of days later with ingredients arriving in temperature-controlled packaging. Pricing is still being determined, but each kit pizza kit will contain items for two pizzas, and each pasta kit will serve four people and will run between $25 and $30.

“We’ll pivot and learn as we grow,” said Collier. “We’re starting off humbly and small, but we chose a space where we can grow quickly if we need to. The meal delivery system, like Blue Apron, is a new phenomenon within the last few years. We’ll learn and grow it naturally.”

 

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