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Nov 20, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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First Look

First Look: Frankly on Cherokee

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

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Bill and Jamie Cawthon have put the finishing touches on the brick-and-mortar iteration of their popular food truck, Frankly Sausages. Frankly on Cherokee is set to open at 2744 Cherokee St., tomorrow, Nov. 17.

The husband-and-wife team launched the truck in December 2015, specializing in artisan sausages and fries. As The Scoop reported in July, they announced plans to open a restaurant and expand the concept.

The former home of Calypso Cafe has been transformed into a 38-seat counter-service eatery with an open kitchen. While they order, patrons can watch chef Bill Cawthon and his team break down whole animals from Grand Army Farms, Such & Such Farms and others for house-ground, handmade sausages.

Large menu boards are divided into classic sausages like German, Polish and beer bratwursts, and more nontraditional options like a Thanksgiving-inspired turkey and an alligator sausage. A board of rotating sharable plates feature salads and off-cuts dishes like chicken liver crostini. Frankly Sausages fries will also be available at the new space, and on Fridays and Saturdays, Cawthon will break out the raclette wheel for funky, gooey cheese fries.

The Cawthons recruited pastry chef Michelle Hedman, formerly of Sarah’s on Central, to helm their dessert program. Look for seasonal options like a maple-pecan cheesecake, apple pie and caramelitas, caramel and chocolate oat bars.

Instead of a full bar program, they tapped friend and barman Phil Haltom to craft single-serve batch cocktails for on-site consumption. Classics like a Manhattan, a bubbly Gin and Tonic and a carbonated Negroni are available in 6.2-ounce glass bottles. Local draft beer and wine will also be available in the coming weeks.

Frankly fans need not fear the loss of their favorite meal on wheels. The Cawthons said the new space will serve as a commissary kitchen, and the truck will actually increase business after the restaurant opens.

The brick-and-mortar will be open 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Here’s a First Look at what to expect when doors open tomorrow:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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• Frankly Sausages announces details, location on Cherokee Street

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• Sneak Peek: Frankly Sausages Food Truck

 

First Look: Squatter’s Café in Grand Center

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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Grand Center is adding another spot to its roster of breakfast and lunch spots. Squatter’s Café, the daytime eatery from chef Rob Connoley, is set to open Monday, Nov. 6, at 3524 Washington Ave., the former location of KDHX’s Magnolia Café.

While the space itself has changed very little since the Magnolia days, the menu at Squatter’s is light-years removed from the previous bill of fare. Connoley, who was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest in 2014, has developed a streamlined menu that features frequent culinary surprises – like the tiny white chocolate cup filled with espresso nestled in the raw oatmeal, or the soup dumpling at the heart of the cassoulet.

“I don’t do health food, but I do healthy food,” Connoley said.

He has also recreated sophisticated versions of childhood favorites like Crunchy Cinnamon Toasters served with pecan milk and an upcoming take on the venerable Pop-Tart.

Sustainability is also a focus at Squatter’s. Most serving dishes are compostable, and the yogurt and raw oatmeal on the breakfast list are served in glass jars diners can take home.

The Squatter’s space has approximately 24 seats, but many of the menu offerings are made for the grab-and go contingent like the foldable Sidewalk Tart, Connoley said, is “a full breakfast you can hold in your hand as you walk down the street.”

Squatters Café will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Here’s a first look at Grand Center’s newest lunch spot:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Salt & Smoke in St. Louis Hills

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

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The second location of Salt & Smoke debuted at 5625 Hampton Ave., on Sunday, Oct. 29, bringing the Delmar Loop restaurant’s famous barbecue to St. Louis Hills.

As The Scoop reported in January, owner Tom Schmidt bought/leased the building, which has a long culinary history. At one time it was home to Del Pietro’s and, most recently, it housed Mathew’s Kitchen. However, the building bears little resemblance to its former incarnations.

Gone are the drop ceilings and low lighting, replaced by tall ceilings with exposed ductwork, bright colors and new windows for an open, airy feel. Schmidt moved the bar to the center of the first floor and replaced the stairway to the second floor for a more open floor plan. The main dining and bar areas seat 120, and there are two private event spaces available on the second floor.

Outside, wood fences shield the parking lot from traffic-heavy Hampton Avenue and serve as a backdrop for the front patio, which will seat approximately 40 when the weather permits. A mural of a cow, a pig and a chicken vying for a bottle of booze on the side of the brick exterior brings a splash of color and some whimsy to the neighborhood.

Below the mural are the restaurant’s two smokers, which are constantly stoked to keep up with demand for the restaurant’s meaty wares. One is an original smoker from Salt & Smoke’s Delmar location, while the other is a new custom rig that can hold a ton of meat at one time.

The menu mirrors that of the original restaurant, including favorites like barbecue ribs and the fried bologna sandwich, so fans can get their go-to’s no matter which location they frequent.

Schmidt said so far, the neighborhood has embraced Salt & Smoke as its own. He said on opening day, there was a line down the block waiting for the doors to open.

“I’ve opened four restaurants, and that’s the first time I’ve had that happen,” he said. “Honestly, I got a little choked up.”

Salt & Smoke is open daily at 11 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m., though the bar remains open later for those who want to drop in for a nightcap. Here’s a first look at Salt & Smoke’s second home:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volanksy 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Salt & Smoke to open second location in Southampton

• Review: Salt & Smoke

• Mathew’s Kitchen in Southampton to close

 

 

 

First Look: 1764 Public House in the Central West End

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

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The Gamlin Restaurant Group’s newest venture, 1764 Public House, opens today, Oct. 25, at 39 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End. Brothers Derek and Lucas Gamlin, who also own Sub Zero Vodka Bar and Gamlin Whiskey House in the CWE, announced the concept more than a year ago.

Named for the year St. Louis was founded, 1764 features a New Orleans-influenced menu with jambalaya, gumbo and a veggie étouffée alongside St. Louis-style pizzas and local favorites like house-made toasted ravioli. What’s with New Orleans? “That’s our sister city,” said Derek Gamlin. St. Louis founders came up from New Orleans in the mid-16th century. “Plus, the food’s delicious.”

Lucas Gamlin designed the space with some art deco-inspired elements, like the gold-accented, towering mezzanine alongside midcentury-style furniture. “I wanted it to have that old/modern mixture,” he said.

The main dining room and massive 40-seat bar have a full view of the open kitchen, while another 36-seat back dining room can be closed off with huge curtain and rented for private parties. There is also outdoor seating on a patio with its own bar, and a 32-seat indoor-outdoor dining area the Gamlins call the Convertible Room, featuring a wall-length folding window that opens to the patio.

The classics-focused cocktail menu also sports a New Orleans influence with house cocktails like a 1764 Hurricane and blueberry daiquiri and flashy large-format Moscow Mules offered in enormous copper mugs. The Mule madness tops out with the 168-ounce Mondo Mule, which requires four or more guests to order, is made with a full bottle of Belvedere Vodka and costs $90.

The restaurant opens with dinner service tonight at 5 p.m. and will launch full breakfast and lunch hours tomorrow, Oct. 26. 1764 will be open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight. The Gamlins plan to add a weekend brunch service sometime around Thanksgiving.

Here’s a first look at what to expect at the newest restaurant from the Gamlin brothers:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Heather Hughes is managing editor, print at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Chef Carl Hazel takes over Gamlin Whiskey House kitchen

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First Look: Fiddlehead Fern Cafe in the Shaw neighborhood

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

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Fiddlehead Fern Cafe recently hosted its grand opening Oct. 14 at 4066 Russell Blvd., and owner Darcy Heine is inviting St. Louis to try a cup of coffee new to St. Louis.

Heine, who grew up in the area, has worked in the coffee industry since she was 15 and said she’s long wanted to open her own cafe. “The idea started about five years ago when a place that I was managing closed, and it was at that point where I realized I could do this,” Heine said.

Heine sources Fiddlehead’s beans from PERC Coffee Roasters in Savannah, Georgia, where she used to live and work. “It was the best cup of coffee I’d ever had,” she said. “It’s very special, and I wanted to bring that to St. Louis.”

Unlike most cafes with large espresso machines, Fiddlehead Fern uses the minimalist Modbar, a modular coffee brewing system that tucks the bulk of the machinery below the counter, with only shiny metal spouts exposed. These devices create both espresso-based and pour over coffees. “It’s really beautiful, and it makes for a more intimate interaction between the customer and the barista,” Heine said.

Fiddlehead Fern not only offers a coffee buzz, but also a boozy one. The cafe also offers wine, sangria and cocktails using shrubs from local company Heirloom Bottling Co.

The bright cafe is illuminated mostly by natural light with white walls and wood accents. The space seats 24 comfortably with an extra standing bar. “Our very subtle theme is very botanical based, and that comes from inspiration from the Missouri Botanical Garden, which is just a couple blocks away,” Heine said.

Fiddlehead also serves baked goods and light lunch fare, featuring soup and toasts like avocado or apple and brie served on bread from St. Louis baker Joey Vitale (not affiliated with the well-known Vitale’s Bakery on The Hill).

The full menu is still in development, but Heine said it will be available next week. “We’re kind of starting out slow, but really … everything should be available all the time coming up soon,” Heine said.

Fiddlehead Fern Cafe is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect at Shaw’s new coffee shop:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally 

Caitlin Lally is a contributor to Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Privado in The Loop

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First Look: Privado in The Loop

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

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Privado, the new weekend-only tasting menu concept from chef-owner Mike Randolph opens tomorrow, Oct. 20, bringing a fine-dining experience to the Delmar Loop.

Privado is located at 6665 Delmar Blvd., in the space that once housed Randolph’s Italian restaurant, Randolfi’s, which closed last month. As The Scoop reported in September, Privado is reservations-only, offers one tasting menu (usually between 12 and 15 courses) and has a single seating on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. Only 16 seats are available per service.

The menu changes constantly, giving Randolph a unique chance to experiment with a wide variety of flavors and ingredients. It also gives diners a different culinary experience each time they visit.

The restaurant’s interior has been tweaked a bit since the Randolfi’s era to enhance the new concept. Two community tables now sit directly in front of the open kitchen for a full view of the action. LED lights mounted in shadowboxes above each seat create the perfect spotlight (and phone-friendly photo lighting) for each dish.

The kitchen has been streamlined for service with new workstations and shelving, though the signature wood-fired oven remains (as does the poster of “Born In The U.S.A”-era Bruce Springsteen). The front of the space, which used to serve as the main dining room, is available for private events during the week.

For those who want to stop by Privado for a drink and a bite, the bar area is available for walk-ins and reservations. A small a la carte food menu is available, as well as a drinks list that includes four classic cocktails, four rotating cocktails, plus a limited selection of beer, wine and spirits. The bar menu incorporates ingredients that appear on the tasting room bill of fare and includes an appetizer, two pastas, an entree and a dessert.

Tickets for each seating are available online in two-month blocks – October is already sold out, and November and December are starting to fill up. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Randolph’s newest project:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Mike Randolph will open Privado in former Randolfi’s space

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First Look: BLK MKT Eats in Midtown

Friday, October 13th, 2017

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St. Louis has danced with the dual sushi bowl and poke trends for years, but cousins Kati Fahrney and Ron Turigliatto have brought the first fast-casual sushi bowl and roll restaurant to St. Louis with BLK MKT Eats.

The restaurant, located at 9 S. Vandeventer Ave., across from Saint Louis University, opens for lunch Wednesday, Oct. 18.

As The Scoop reported in July, Turigliatto and Fahrney are first-time restaurant owner who turned their passion for home cooking and travel into a business. The former teachers traveled across the country exploring similar concepts and fine-tuning their menu.

The 1,000-square-foot space will operate primarily as a carryout operation with curbside pickup and delivery to come in the near future. Ravenous diners who can’t wait to get home can snack on the spot at a standing bar or one of four stools at the window.

The menu features a handful of items that can be served as a burrito-sized sushi rolls wrapped in thin sheets of nori or as bowls with greens, brown or white rice. Three items are also available as nachos served atop house-made wonton chips.

The cousins source their raw salmon and tuna from Seattle Fish five to six times a week and use it in a variety of items like the OG Fire, which includes the customer’s choice of salmon or tuna. The Swedish Fish showcases Fahrney’s cured salmon, a recipe she’s perfected over years of family Christmas Eve dinners.

Those squeamish about raw fish can try the Tasty As Cluck featuring buttermilk-fried chicken or the Seoul Delicious with grilled chicken. Vegans and vegetarians are not forgotten, either; the Holy Shiitake swaps meat and seafood for braised mushrooms.

BLK MKT Eats will be open Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here’s a First Look at what to expect from Midtown’s newest fast-casual spot:

 

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Editor’s Note: This article originally stated BLK MKT Eats received fish deliveries three to five times a week. It was updated at 4:45 p.m. with the correct information. 

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Saint Louis Hop Shop on Cherokee Street

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

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After being closed for nearly a month, Saint Louis Hop Shop recently reopened at its new location 2600 Cherokee St., offering a larger selection of beverages for craft beer connoisseurs and beginners alike.

At the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Cherokee Street, the 1,500-square-foot storefront is a few doors down from its former address at 2606 Cherokee St., but it gives co-owners and brothers Justin Harris and Ryan Griffin nearly double the space to grow.

“[The other space] was small and we could see that we needed more room,” Harris said. “We really liked what we developed over there, and the goal is to bring that same formula over here and expand on it.”

The new location offers increased refrigeration and more shelving for beer, apparel and glassware. Additionally, a larger variety of ciders, spirits and imports, including more Belgium and lambic options, will be available. The new Hop Shop also features a larger bar area with six rotating taps. Harris said guests can expect a different brew every seven to 10 days.

“We do a lot of sixth barrels, so that gives us the flexibility to constantly bring in new stuff,” Harris said.

Brews currently on top include Dogfish Head Lupu-Luau Coconut IPA, Modern Brewery Citrapolicious, Ace Pineapple Cider, Prairie Artisan Ale Birthday Bomb, Urban Chestnut O-Katz and 4 Hands Chocolate Milk Stout.

With more space, Harris and Griffin also plan to host monthly events and weekly tastings through October. “It gives people a chance to come in and try some seasonal stuff before having to purchase it,” Harris said.

Saint Louis Hop Shop hosts a grand reopening this Saturday, Oct. 7 from noon to 10 p.m. The new location is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a First Look at what to expect from Hop Shop’s new home:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally 

Caitlin Lally is a contributor to Sauce Magazine. 

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What I Do: Justin Harris and Ryan Griffin of Saint Louis Hop Shop

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First Look: Pig & Pickle in DeBaliviere

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

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Chef-owner Ryan Lewis is putting the finishing touches on his new restaurant, Pig & Pickle, opening at 5511 Pershing Ave., on Friday, Sept. 29.

Those who’ve passed through Springfield, Illinois in recent years may have stopped at Lewis’ previous restaurant, Driftwood Eatery & Cocktail. As The Scoop reported in July, he decided to close the popular restaurant this summer and open an updated concept with a new name in St. Louis.

Lewis, who grew up across the Mississippi River in Bethalto, said the St. Louis market was a better fit for the type of food he wanted to do. He described Pig & Pickle as a “southern-inspired small plates restaurant” offering sharable dishes of veggies, meat and seafood with southern accents like buttermilk biscuits or pimento cheese.

The space that formerly housed Atlas Restaurant received a fresh coat of paint, new floors and barnwood shelving behind the bar. Lewis said he was attracted to the neighborhood’s residential density and hopes to fill the roughly 50 seats with area regulars.

Some Driftwood favorites like the fried chicken and biscuit and pretzel-crusted cheese curds have landed on Pig & Pickle’s menu, but Lewis said he’s looking forward to new items like a gremolata-style mushroom small plate and a charred octopus dish.

Lewis will continue relationships with several Illinois purveyors like Garden Gate, who produces his grits and cornmeal, but he’s also working with new area vendors like Ozark Forest Mushrooms and Theis Farms.

Once Pig & Pickle receives its liquor license, the bar program will feature house cocktails (Driftwood once boasted a 70-drink menu) and local brews on four taps and in 20 to 30 bottles and cans.

The restaurant will open with dinner service Tuesday to Saturday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday brunch soon to follow. Here’s a first look at what’s to come from Pig & Pickle:

 

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Photos by Meera Nagarajan

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
Driftwood Eatery owner to open Pig & Pickle in St. Louis

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First Look: Earthbound Beer on Cherokee Street

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

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At long last, Earthbound Beer’s new home is ready to welcome customers. The brewery and tasting room at 2724 Cherokee St., opens Saturday, Sept. 23.

The massive 2,500-square foot tasting room has been a project two years in the making. As The Scoop reported in September 2015, co-owners and brewers Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons announced they were moving from their flagship location down the street at 2710 Cherokee St. The space was less than 1,000 square feet and only allowed the brewers to make one beer at a time.

Eight old Earthbounds could fit into the new space that once housed part of Cherokee Street Brewing in the late 1800s. The tasting room seats around 80 on the first level and mezzanine, a feature designed by architecture and general contractor Nathan Dirnberger. The mezzanine appears to float above the tasting room thanks to railings made of tension wire and heavy-duty chains suspended from the 17-foot barrel ceilings.

Read more: Go underground at Earthbound Beer during construction

Behind the bar, 16 taps will pour Earthbound brews and a few guest taps, with another two nitro taps available. A small selection of spirits will be available (still no mixers or ice, the owners noted) with the potential for batch cocktails in the future. Earthbound patrons can now enjoy wine, too, with two reds, two whites and a rosé available by the glass.

Below the tasting room, a 7-barrel system will increase Earthbound’s production tenfold. The space also houses a canning line that will crank out 16-ounce four-packs of staple brews. Caves underneath neighbor 2720 Cherokee St. will allow for a barrel-aging program in the future.

As The Scoop reported in August, Vista Ramen chef-owner Chris Bork will helm the food program at Earthbound. The menu will feature smoked meats, sausages and sandwiches, though food won’t be available until November at the earliest.

Earthbound’s new location means new hours, too. It will be open Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at Earthbound Beer’s new home.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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Vista Ramen will helm kitchen at new Earthbound location

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