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Jan 19, 2018
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5 meals to pack for a perfect picnic

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Today is a hot one, but guys, have you seen the forecast for this weekend? We plan to spend every minute outside in that gorgeous 75-degree weather – with a picnic of course. Here, we packed up 5 picnic baskets perfect for anyone from vegans to kiddos to that special someone.




1. Spark some summer lovin’ with this Date Night Basket full of light (and garlic-free) fare. Start with this fresh, summery Shaved Zucchini Salad, then share a few Goat Cheese Balls, dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto. Keep your entree simple with local charcuterie, cheeses and good bread, then surprise your date with a bouquet of these adorable Pie Pops.



2. Who says vegans can’t enjoy some traditional American comfort food? Dig into this Vegan-approved Americana Basket starting with an egg salad using tofu and vegan mayonnaise. Get saucy (and spicy) with big bowls of cauliflower poppers and dip, and finish it all off with chocolatey – vegan – brownies.



3. If you’re feeling inspired, impress someone with these Gourmet Picnic dishes that are easier than you think. Start with a decidedly unleafy Bittersweet Chocolate, Pistachio and Fig Salad, then scoop up bowls of chilled Cantaloupe Soup garnished with prosciutto. This homemade Banh Mi project requires advanced prep, but they will blow your friends away. And for the grand finale: a very Berry Frangipane Tart, perfectly portable and delicious.




4. Feeling the heat? This (Almost) No-Cook Basket will come together in no time — no stove required. Serve up a crunchy, flavorful bowl of Daikon, Apple and Edamame Slaw, then assemble Open-faced Tomato Sandwiches onsite (OK, fine, you have to use your toaster before you leave. It’s worth it.) and hunting down a mangosteen turns this Fruit Salad into a gourmet, no-cook treat.




5. Odds are you kid won’t love cantaloupe soup or flip for figs, but this Kid-Friendly Basket is sure to please youngsters –without resorting to PBJs and Goldfish crackers. Let your little ones help stuff these homemade Pizza Rolls with their favorite fillings. You need greens somewhere, so keep it fresh and easy with the Simplest Seasonal Salad Ever (if they turn their noses up at arugula, swap it for good ol’ romaine). Finish the meal with a classic: homemade Chocolate Sandwich Cookies that are so much better than that prepacked childhood standby.

-Cauliflower poppers photo by Carmen Troesser, banh mi photo by Michelle Volansky, tomato sandwich photo by Greg Rannells, pizza rolls photo by Kristi Schiffman

Meatless Monday: Seitan Gyro at Frida’s Deli

Monday, July 14th, 2014



Since I went vegetarian seven years ago, I’ve been on the hunt for an authentic-tasting, satisfying meat-free gyro. I grew up eating my grandmother’s Greek food, but my picky childhood palate limited me to french fries, chicken fingers and pasta Alfredo. I only became adventurous enough to try a traditional gyro – sliced meat, tomatoes and onions slathered in thick, tangy tzatziki – just one year before I chose to eschew meat altogether. Now that I’m vegan to boot, finding a delicious substitute is harder still, but Frida’s Deli helped me take one step closer to veggie gyro nirvana.

Frida’s vegan seitan gyro comes in a warmed pita (not oiled and grilled like many traditional sandwiches – it’s a health-conscious restaurant after all) with plenty of crunchy lettuce, tomatoes and red onions. A hefty handful of shredded, chicken-style seitan serves as the gyro “meat,” dotted with flavorful dried oregano and other herbs. Everything is tossed in a light “tzatziki” sauce, which is tough to get right without thick Greek yogurt. Since Frida’s vegan tzatziki is a little on the thin side, I recommend slathering your pita with the side of hummus, adding moisture and an extra hit of flavor for a satisfying vegan meal.

The Scoop: Carondelet Diner reopens under new ownership

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014



If you missed Carondelet Diner at 321 E. Davis St., before it closed in November 2013, you now have a second chance to try it out under new ownership. Sue Stewart, who co-owns the space with Tiffany Cotton, managed a KFC for 15 years and said she always wanted to open a diner where customers could have a service-oriented experience. “[I was] tired of going to restaurants where the people don’t care,” Stewart said.

After leasing the space earlier this year, Stewart kept the name emblazoned on the side of the building. Doors opened in April and business has grown steadily. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., the diner is focused on classic heartland dishes like burgers, sandwiches, steaks, chili, omelets and hearty breakfasts, as well as more unconventional fare like a stuffed macaroni-n-cheese burger. Carondelet seats 49 at a mix of tables, booths and a long dark wood bar.

Stewart said weekend specials—fresh fish Fridays, barbecue Saturdays and fried chicken Sundays—draw a crowd. Stewart recently tried a new concept with the help of her sister-in-law Philomena Arnowitz and friend Debby Wahby, created traditional Lebanese dishes like kibbe, meat pies, cabbage rolls, grape leaves and baklava. Stewart said the day was so successful, she hopes to host Lebanese-themed menus monthly.


The Scoop: Lemmons in South City to close

Friday, June 27th, 2014



Tonight is your last night to grab a slice of pizza at Lemmons. The South City bar and music joint located at 5800 Gravois Ave., is closing doors, according to an annoucement yesterday, June 26, on Facebook. The post added that the restaurant’s last day depends on how long it takes for the food and drink to run out. “We will be selling what we have and not buying more,” the post read. “Come thursday and friday (sic) for your last chance at a lemmons pizza.”

As reported by Kevin C. Johnson of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, owner Michael Gross is closing Lemmons’ doors after an exhaustive 12 years in the industry. Lemmons, which opened in 2002 in Bevo Mill, was known for its pizza, trivia nights and original local music.

Lemmons is yet another restaurant throwing in the towel this month, including Tripel, The Nest, Brazkiat, Harvest and Lola. Calls to Lemmons requesting comment were not immediately returned.



Sauce contributor Stacy Schultz wins prestigious M.F.K. Fisher Award for culinary writing

Monday, June 23rd, 2014



Congratulations are in order for Sauce writer Stacy Schultz, who recently received an award from Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international society of women leaders in the culinary field. Schultz won the M.F.K. Fisher Award for excellence and creativity in culinary writing for her story “Lox of Love,” published in the September 2013 issue of Sauce.

The awards, named for celebrated food writer Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, seek to support and highlight women culinary writers. A panel of 12 judges including prominent culinary newspaper editors, magazine editors and book publishers selected the winners based on writing style, expertise in the subject matter, originality, strength of voice, and relevance to the reader. Schultz’s piece chronicled her quest to make a mark on her family’s culinary traditions.

Nina Mukerjee Furstenau, an agricultural journalism instructor at University of Missouri, also received the grand prize for an excerpt from her book, Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland. A feature story by Furstenau will appear in an upcoming issue of Sauce. Both writers received cash prizes and trips to the LDEI awards ceremony in Boston.

-photo by Greg Rannells


10 Places to Watch the World Cup

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Gateway City’s first love may be baseball, but we have a serious passion for soccer, too. No matter where you are tomorrow in St. Louis, there’s a place for you to settle in with some tasty brews, get rowdy with fellow soccer fans, and cheer on your favorite team. The World Cup kicks off tomorrow at 3 p.m., and we’ve got 13 spots for you to get your game on.




1. Amsterdam Tavern: There’s a reason this Tower Grove staple made our list of Best Places to Watch the Big Game. Amsterdam Tavern isn’t your run-of-the-mill sports bar; in fact, it’s dedicated to soccer. Sure to be packed, patrons here know their way around the game. Get your fix inside at its new beer garden, and don’t forget to grab some grub at The Dam, located next door.

2. The Moolah: No ticket needed for this special screening at The Moolah. Select games will be shown on the big screen; all matches are shown in Mini Moolah lounge – and it’s all free. Grab a beer and claim your couch in the name of your team.

3. Meshuggah Café: The upstairs loft of this unassuming, bookish joint makes way for screenings of World Cup matches. Food and drink specials are available, and while coffee may be its forte, don’t forget the selection of brews, too.




4. Barrister’s: This Clayton spot has long been a haunt for soccer fans. The game starts at 3 p.m. and Barrister’s happy hour starts at 4 p.m. – perfect timing to start preemptively celebrating or mourning.

5. International Tap House: Everyone wins when new beer is on tap. All four iTap locations are celebrating the World Cup in style with two new brews to mark the occasion: 2nd Shift Brewing’s iBallz, a bi-selected IPA, and 4 Hands Brewing’s WC ’14 Ale, an APA whose recipe was created by iTap’s homebrew winner Patrick Strohmayer.




6. The Biergarten at Anheuser Busch: Even the big boys are feeling World Cup fever. AB hosts a viewing party at its Biergarden to celebration the opening match between Croatia and Brazil Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m., featuring a 16-foot screen and Brazilian cultural performances.

7. Llywelyn’s Pub: Host your own match party at any of Llywelyn’s six locations, or just take advantage of the match-themed drink specials. Select brews from the countries playing that that match are $2 off. Talk about fan rewards.




8. The Scottish Arms: This rustic pub should be your choice if you want to enjoy some bloody good Scottish eats while watching the games. A lovely outdoor seating area is the perfect place for an evening viewing party with good scotch and barbecue specials.

9. Tigín Irish Pub: In a gambling mood? Play the $1 million bracket challenge and see if you can predict the outcome of all matches for cash prizes downtown at Tigín, an officially designated U.S. Soccer Bar.

10. The Dubliner: What better place to watch Europe’s favorite sport (and the rest of the world’s for that matter) than a proper European gastropub? It’s even running a fantasy football (and by that we mean soccer) league as the Cup plays on. That’s dedication.


The Scoop: The Crossing at New Town opens in New Town St. Charles

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014



The Crossing at New Town, a bistro-style restaurant opens today, June 11 in at 3331 Rue Royale in New Town St. Charles. The venture is co-owned by president Kari Johnson.

Originally built as a replica of a train station, the interior boasts 16-foot ceilings, wood floors and crystal chandeliers. Outside, a wine and beer garden will play host to special events, live music and outdoor screenings of sporting events and films. Combined, the indoor and outdoor spaces will seat 200. The Crossing at New Town also houses a retail and grocery shop, The Crossing Cottage. The shop will sell gifts and gourmet food items such as fresh bread, flavored olive oils and baked goods.

The kitchen is helmed by chef Wendy Noble, who also owns and Not Your Ordinary Cupcake in St. Charles. Noble recently graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in St. Louis as a pastry chef; this is her first position as head chef.

The menu features French- and Italian-inspired dishes such as flatbreads, panini and crepes, all prepared with herbs fresh from the restaurant’s courtyard herb and flower garden. Noble and Johnson have prepared suggested wine and beer pairings for the menu.

“Our plans were to create a special event and restaurant space that will serve not only the New Town community, but will also be a destination for St. Charles and St. Louis Counties,” Johnson said in a recent press release.

The Crossing at New Town operates Wednesday to Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturdays noon to 11 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. A Sunday breakfast buffet is in the works.

The Scoop: O’Fallon Brewery, Pinckney Bend Distillery export to Italy

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014



Within days of each other, O’Fallon Brewery and Pinckney Bend Distillery announced new contracts with importers in Italy and have sent their first shipments overseas.

In a recent press release, O’Fallon Brewery President and CEO Jim Gorczyca said the demand for craft beer goes far beyond the United States. “Distributors around the world are looking for American craft beer to bring to their markets,” he said. “It says a lot about the perception of St. Louis craft beers.”

O’Fallon Brewery expects to ship between 3,000 and 5,000 cases the year of its 5-Day IPA, Zeke’s Pale Ale, Wheach and Smoked Porter, among others, to F&G Compagnia Di Commercio, an Italian wholesaler. The first shipment departed in late May.

The international interest in American-made craft beverages does not stop at beer, either, according to Pinckney Bend president and CEO Jerome Meyer. “Interest in American craft distilled spirits continues to grow in both Asia and Europe,” Meyer said in a press release. The high placement of Missouri spirits in competition has added to their prominence; Pinckney Bend’s vice president of marketing and sales Ralph Haynes said Italian importers first contacted the distillery in March after several of its products consistently won top honors at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition in the last three years.

Pinckney Bend already has export markets in Singapore and Australia, and this year, it began shipping cases of both its American gin and tonic syrup to northern Italy. The distillery’s supplier, based in Torino, Italy, has more than 50 distribution points throughout the country.

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