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Apr 18, 2014
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Three Reasons to stop in for sipping at the new 3500 Winehaus

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

100710_3500WinehausWelcome to Three Reasons, a new online column that tells you exactly why to visit certain spots around town. We won’t just tell you that a new restaurant has opened, we’ll tell you what dish we’d get there. We won’t simply report that a festival is happening this weekend, we’ll tell you which parts can’t be missed. Consider them recommendations or think of them as simple suggestions. Either way, here’s three reasons …

The grand opening celebration at 3500 Winehaus is Oct. 8 and 9, and owners John and Marci Kuehner have given customers at their wine bar and retail shop at 3500 Watson Road a handful of reasons to stop by. Here’s what we like:

1. If you don’t feel like ordering a bottle from the selection of 82 wines, you’re bound to find something on the by-the-glass menu that features 12 reds, 12 whites and two sparkling wines from around the globe.

2. The Kuehners support the city by purchasing salami, coppa and mortadella from establishments on The Hill, and Turkish bread dips (think baba ganoush, hummus and that roasted red pepper pleaser, biber ezme) from Aya Sofia. The wine bar doesn’t have a kitchen for making their apps and the Kuehners could be grabbing prepped food from, say, Sam’s. We’re glad they didn’t.

3. A plan for all seasons. The interior is tastefully decorated but when you need a breath of fresh air, the covered patio in front will be a respite. As the weather cools, they will be adding side flaps to ward off the chill and opening a back patio with a fire pit. In January, renovation of the basement commences. Upon completion, the room will service wine tastings and private dinner parties.

The Scoop: Oh Lolli Lolli brings sugar high to Clayton

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

081910_OhLolliLolliKids in the De Mun area of Clayton are all smiles thanks to the sweet arrival of candy shop Oh Lolli Lolli. Located at 802 De Mun Ave., the itsy bitsy store sells a wide selection of bulk and wrapped candies from the well-loved to the well-missed.

In the chocolate category, customers will find rocky road clusters, coconut haystacks and turtles, plus lots of chocolate- and yogurt-covered items like gummy bears, cherries and caramel corn. Oh Lolli Lolli sells 12 flavors of gummy bears, and other gummy delights shaped as butterflies, jet planes and army men. Lollipops too? Of course.

“We’re trying to get a little bit of everything into our tiny spot,” said co-owner Kathy Laufketter. She and her husband had wanted to open a candy shop for some time and eyed the space on De Mun Avenue after recently moving into the neighborhood.

Adults will appreciate Oh Lolli Lolli’s stock of nostalgic candy including marshmallow cones, flying saucers, Mary Janes, Turkish taffy and candy buttons, and obscure candy bars like Toffifays, Mallo Cups and Zagnuts.

Oh Lolli Lolli also takes suggestions, so don’t be shy about asking if you don’t see your fave sweet on the shelf. “A customer wanted milk chocolate sponge candy, so we ordered it. That just came in yesterday,” said Laufketter.

The store is open Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you want to stay in-the-know about what’s in stock, check out their Facebook page, where they will post all the latest arrivals.

Sneak a peek at Monarch’s new menu

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

072310_monarchHabitués of Maplewood’s Monarch are dying to know what the new dishes will taste like and what the new atmosphere will feel like when the popular bistro reopens with a Southern-inspired menu and ambiance this summer.

Well wait no longer. The National Children’s Cancer Society is hosting a sneak-peek fundraiser at Monarch on Saturday, July 31, that will satisfy the curious and benefit the charity.

The party will show off the new, more casual portion of the elegant restaurant. Monarch executive chef Josh Galliano, a New Orleans native, took a team of employees to his hometown for what must have been some tasty R&D sessions to plan the new menu. Look for a raw bar, crawfish étouffée, shrimp and grits, po’ boys, cocktails and live jazz on two stages.

You can preview the regional specialties at the benefit by reserving a spot at 314-446-5227, or clicking here.

The Scoop: Café Ventana adds French quarters

Monday, July 19th, 2010

071910_ventanaAnyone who’s been to weekend jazz brunches at Café Ventana lately knows that finding a seat at this hotspot can be a bit of a challenge. “It’s a madhouse and students aren’t even here right now,” said Amy Cox, marketing director for the Midtown locale. The solution? Add some French quarters.

The Café Ventana annex is located on West Pine in the building to the immediate west of the restaurant. The 1,800-square-foot first floor has been renovated and transformed into a multifunctional space that can serve as spillover for 100 diners or for private events. There are two meeting rooms at the front of the building, while the remainder of the space is open, with comfortable sofas, chairs and tables that are sure to entice a fair share of SLU study groups.

The décor at the annex retains Café Ventana’s Frenchy NOLA feel. Most notably, huge reclaimed stained glass church windows have been mounted on walls throughout the lounge area and are touched with lighting for full effect.

Cool décor, elbow room to enjoy great food – some of it grown in the garden out front – by Katie Case from a menu designed by the talented Chris Lee. Is it any wonder that Café Ventana has already begun lining up reservations for events at this new space?

The venue will open the end of this month and will follow Café Ventana’s hours of operation: Sundays through Wednesdays from 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., and until midnight Thursdays through Saturdays. Enter the annex from the breezeway between Café Ventana and the annex, or through the rear deck that adjoins Ventana’s outdoor dining area.

Have scoop on restaurants opening, closing or changing their menu in the St. Louis area? Email us at Scoop@saucemagazine.com..

Liederkranz cheese returns – and St. Louis has it

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

062310_Wine&CheeseLiederkranz, a famed American cheese out of production since 1985, has just returned to the market in limited quantities, and The Wine and Cheese Place plans to stock it.

“We are expecting Liederkranz on Thursday, keeping our fingers crossed,” Paul Hayden, manager at the Clayton shop, notified us by e-mail today. “I cannot wait to taste it myself. I have been at The Wine and Cheese Place for 23 years, and production of Liederkranz stopped two years before I started.”

Earlier this year, DCI Cheese Co. of Richfield, Wisc., began to reintroduce Liederkranz to the market in specialty retailers across the Midwest. Hayden described it as “an American re-creation of Limburger cheese, made subtly different by the use of a different bacterial culture for ripening – cow’s-milk cheese, with an edible pale yellow-orange tan crust and a semisoft, pale interior with a mildly pungent flavor and distinct aroma”

Brunch-plus debuts at the Market Pub House

Monday, June 14th, 2010

061410_MarketPubThe Market Pub House launched its Sunday brunch menu last weekend, as planned since it opened early in May – and The Loop restaurant’s already upgraded that menu.

“We’re offering all-you-can-eat [baby back] ribs for $10, which is a big item,” executive chef Shawn Isbel told us yesterday morning over two orders of the restaurant’s sinful Cheesecake Lollipops. “We’re gonna switch that up monthly – I think next month we might do prime rib.” Servers there will deliver the initial platters, he explained, and then replenish all-you-can-eat items as desired by the customer.

The regular brunch menu, to which the all-you-can-eat deal was an 11th-hour brainstorm addition, features the restaurant’s take on standard items like buttermilk flapjacks and omelets. It also includes surprises like the daunting Pub House Hangover Slinger, a dish hearty enough to feed two. From the brunch menu, Isbel himself expressed fondness for the corned beef hash, prepared with house-made meat. “Our Mama’s Coconut Focaccia French Toast is going really well,” he added. “We’ve got a lot of good feedback on that.”

The Market Pub House serves Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Grocery co-op opens in Old North

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

060110_oldnorthThe Old North neighborhood will welcome a grocery co-op June 30.

The co-op will occupy 2718 N. 13th St., said Sean Thomas, executive director of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group. “The building itself is close to 6,000 square feet,” Thomas told us. “We will be only using about 2,000 square feet for the opening of the co-op. We will anticipate expanding into more of the space as the co-op grows over time.” Also, thanks to a community garden south of the space, shoppers will be able to buy produce that’s grown almost on its doorstep.

Discussion and planning about such a venture has occurred for nearly four years, Thomas estimated, with particular progress made in the past year or so. The Missouri Foundation for Health, the Greater St. Louis Regional Empowerment Zone, and other organizations and individuals are supporting the effort. Also, a planning committee of ONSLRG staff, neighborhood residents and others has been meeting monthly for some time to finalize details.

Thomas estimated “at least several dozen people … are ready to purchase their memberships right away, as soon as we can get them the form to fill out. We were holding off on selling memberships until we officially had it incorporated, which should be happening this week.” The ONSLRG is still searching for a grocery manager, he noted, adding that a Web site for the co-op will also launch soon.

Although a one-time household membership to the co-op will cost $80, Thomas said, “It definitely will be open to the public. It’s not required that you have a membership to come in, not like Sam’s Club or anything like that. Membership does buy you certain privileges, but it’s open to all.” The co-op will also offer discounted memberships to seniors, students and low-income households. Those seeking details on it should visit the ONSLRG’s Web site or phone 314.241.5031.

“It’s exciting to be able to develop a business that will be supported by the community and will allow residents of the community to get some of their basic needs within walkable distance,” Thomas reflected. “It helps fuel further sustainability for the neighborhood.”

Downtown farmers’ market opens tomorrow

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

060210_dtfmDowntown foodies, rejoice! This Thursday is the debut of the new Downtown Farmers’ Market, brought to life by the same people who manage the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market.

The downtown version, hosted at the swank Old Post Office Plaza at Locust and Ninth streets, will feature 30 area farmers and food artisans, including old faves like Baetje Farms, Black Bear Bakery, Builaland Buila Family Farm, City Seeds, Freeland’s Vegetable & Berry, Hinkebein Hills Farm, Ivan’s Fig Farm, Kakao Chocolate, KatiePies, Kuva Coffee Co., Mangia Italiano, Mills Apple Farm, Murray’s Orchard, Ozark Forest Mushrooms, Salume Beddu, Silent Oaks Farm and Yoder Produce.

The Downtown Farmers’ Market will be open for business from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays through October. There’ll be a different band performing at each week’s market, too.

– Byron Kerman

Kakao brings brittle bliss

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

052510_kakaoBecause few joys in life can match that of well-made brittle, fans of that confection should squeal with delight at a new offering from Kakao Chocolate, aptly called The Big Squeal.

Brian Pelletier, Kakao’s owner and chief chocolatier, gave us the lowdown on the seductively buttery bacon-pecan brittle. “We just started making it last week,” he said. “It’s just a super combination of sweet and savory and salty. It was inspired by something similar that we had at Niche – and we thought, this really has a lot of potential, is something that we could really do a lot with.”

The South City chocolatier fashions The Big Squeal with Missouri pecans and bacon from Hinkebein Hills Farm in Cape Girardeau, Mo. “Everyone that’s tried it has loved it,” Pelletier noted. “We can’t make enough of it.”

The Big Squeal costs $5 per 2-ounce package. “We’re selling it at the store,” said Pelletier, “and then we’re selling it at the farmers’ markets that we’re at – we’re at Maplewood on Wednesday, and we’re at Tower Grove and Clayton on Saturday mornings. And then starting on June 3, we’ll be at the downtown St. Louis one by the Old Post Office on most afternoons.”

A wee preview of changes at Monarch

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

052410_monarchAttendees at Taste of Maplewood this past Saturday had a chance to savor a dish debuting at Monarch Restaurant & Wine Bar a little later this year. At the festival, executive chef Josh Galliano was serving a poor-boy made with house-smoked andouille and pulled pork, topped with the obligatory coleslaw and nestled in a splendidly chewy bun. Co-owner Aaron Teitelbaum assured us the sandwich will number among items being added to Monarch’s bill of fare after its upcoming renovation. Any innovations from Galliano should automatically interest area foodies, of course, but based on that poor-boy, which packed a lovely bit of heat from the sausage, this midsummer menu change should really fire folks up.

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