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Jan 18, 2018
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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

First Look: Honey Pit Smokehouse in Kirkwood

Friday, December 29th, 2017

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Another contender has entered local barbecue fray. Co-owners Zach Fagas and Shane Mihaljevic opened Honey Pit Smokehouse at 951 S. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood on Saturday, Dec. 23.

The Honey Pit menu is centered on meats smoked in Myron Mixon water smokers that utilize steam as well as wood smoke. Standards like pulled pork, brisket and ribs are available, along with specialty sandwiches and burgers and a bevy of sides, including Provel mac n cheese and fried pickles.

For health-conscious customers, the Honey Pit bill of fare also has a Macro Menu section, created by Emily Frisella of Fit Home & Health. These items are listed by portion size and include calories and other nutritional information.

The building, which formerly housed Chinese restaurant Steak & Rice, has undergone a complete gut rehab in the past eight months, from new plumbing and HVAC systems to an addition to the dining room, according Fagas, who most recently served as front of the house manager for Sugarfire Smoke House in Valley Park. Honey Pit seats 88, and boasts interior amenities like handmade wood tables and countertops, wood-clad beams and the ubiquitous paper towel rolls on each table sit on holders made from pipe fittings.

Honey Pit Smokehouse is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Kirkwood’s newest barbecue joint:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

Related Content
• Wasabi Sushi Bar to open Kirkwood location

• Five Star Burgers closes Kirkwood location

 • First Look: Seoul Taco in Chesterfield

Top 10 First Looks of 2017

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

From a St. Charles brewery and arcade to the long-awaited noodle house in Creve Coeur, here are the top 10 places you couldn’t wait to check out in 2017.

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce Magazine on Facebook and Twitter to get the First Look at the latest St. Louis-area restaurants.

 

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1. First Look: Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade in St. Charles

2. First Look: Lemmons in South City

 

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3. First Look: Polite Society in Lafayette Square

4. First Look: The Blue Duck in Maplewood

 

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5. First Look: Louie on DeMun Avenue

6. First Look: Grace Meat & Three in The Grove

 

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7. First Look: Mad Crab in University City

8. First Look: Nudo House in Creve Coeur

 

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9. First Look: Mac’s Local Eats in Dogtown

10. First Look: Half & Half in Webster Groves

First Look: Seoul Taco in Chesterfield

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

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West County residents no longer need to trek to University City or hunt for a Seoul Taco truck. The St. Louis-based chain opens Friday, Dec. 29 at 46 Four Seasons Shopping Center in Chesterfield.

As The Scoop reported in August, owner David Choi announced he planned to open his fifth brick-and-mortar location (the second in St. Louis) in his hometown.

Fans of the Korean-Mexican fusion can expect a similar menu to its predecessors with seasonal rotating specials. Choi said he may reach out to local chefs in the neighborhood for possibly collaborations. The Chesterfield space will be the first to feature beverages from Ireland-based Stubborn Soda.

Upon entering the 80-seat restaurant, a symbolic Seoul Taco food truck jumps off the wall in an art installation created by Chicago interior designer Alex Morales. The space also incorporates colorful street art by Daniel Burnett and Won Kim. “It’s street food coupled with street art,” Choi said.

Choi said transitioning the 3,600 square-foot space that formerly housed a St. Louis Bread Co. proved smooth thanks to an established kitchen and plumbing. “It had the right bones in place,” he said.

Seoul Taco in Chesterfield will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at the newest Seoul Taco location:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally; food photo by Carmen Troesser

Caitlin Lally is a contributor to Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Seoul Taco will open new location in Chesterfield

• Seoul Taco rolls out second truck

• Seoul Taco to open in Chicago

 

First Look: L’Acadiane in Lafayette Square

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

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Dave Bailey has been busy in Lafayette Square.

Earlier this year, the restaurateur announced he would revamp his flagship Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, relocating it to the upper floor of its building at 1915 Park Ave. in Lafayette Square, and he planned a new concept, L’Acadiane, on the main floor. The new version of the Chocolate Bar debuted in August, but construction issues meant it took a bit longer for L’Acadiane to debut. However, the wait is over — L’Acadiane opened for its first dinner service tonight, Dec. 20.

As befits the name of the restaurant, which references the Acadiana region of southern Louisiana, the menu is heavy on Cajun and Creole fare. Because the menu is regionally focused instead of just narrowly based on the culinary traditions of New Orleans, Bailey said it gives the kitchen a bit more “breathing room.”

Specialties include southern classics like fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits, along with plenty of po’boys variations, jambalaya and crab-stuffed Missouri catfish. The cocktail list is filled with creative takes on NOLA favorites like A Hurricane in Tornado Alley made with rum, passion fruit, citrus and house grenadine.

While the menu ranges further than the city limits, the interior of L’Acadiane is reminiscent of the best spots in The Big Easy with elegant light fixtures, plenty of exposed brick and a bottle of Crystal hot sauce on each table. The centerpiece of the dining room is a wall-sized map in black and white of the area between St. Louis and New Orleans, paying homage to the link between these sister cities.

L’Acadiane for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Dinners hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Look for weekend brunch to start sometime in early 2018.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• First Look: Baileys’ Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square

• Dave Bailey announces new concept, L’Acadiane

• Big changes to come at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

 

 

First Look: Billie Jean in Clayton

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

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Billie Jean, the latest concept from restaurateur Zoe Robinson, opens tomorrow, Dec. 21 at 7610 Wydown Blvd. in Clayton, just a block or so east from Robinson’s other eateries, I Fratellini and Bar Les Fréres. Named after Robinson’s parents, the new eatery brings together New York City style and Midwestern hospitality.

The bill of fare at Billie Jean presents contemporary American cuisine from Robinson’s longtime collaborator and chef, Ny Vongsaly. The menu contains nods to international culinary traditions from Europe to Asia with dishes ranging from whole-roasted snapper to wild mushroom pizza to mahogany-glazed spare ribs.

The elegant, almost austere exterior and an entry way shielded by black canvas that only sports the name of the restaurant and the address offers the barest hint of what the space holds in store for diners.

The interior of Billie Jean is a study in subtlety. Carved walnut chairs, walnut barstools and a welcoming bar area warm contrasting black walls and white tablecloths. Paintings by Robert Motherwell and photographs from Harry Benson add tension and drama to the mix. The overall feel is more Manhattan than Clayton. With 34 seats and shotgun floor plan, it’s intimate but not cramped.

Billie Jean is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Here’s a first look at what to expect when Billie Jean opens doors:

 

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Restaurant photos by Michelle Volansky, Robinson photo by Greg Rannells 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Restauranteur Zoe Robinson sells Bobo Noodle House

• Zoe Robinson to open a petite bar-cafe in Clayton

 

First Look: Shake Shack in the Central West End

Monday, December 11th, 2017

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The day has finally come. Shake Shack opened for business at its first St. Louis location today, Dec. 11, at 32 N. Euclid Ave.

“I never would have predicted that Shake Shack would be the thing that would bring me home,” said founder Danny Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group is best known for fine dining.

Meyer grew up in St. Louis before becoming one of New York’s most famous restaurateurs. The newest location of his internationally popular burger chain is blocks away from where he was born and where his dad lived in the Central West End.

Meyer was inspired by his childhood favorites when he originally developed Shake Shack’s menu of griddle burgers and hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries and concretes – including Steak ‘n Shake, Fitz’s and Ted Drewes. “A great Saturday was when Dad would say, ‘Let’s go to Fitz’s,’” Meyer said.

His hometown also inspired his hospitality philosophy. “I continue to believe that the secret ingredient in all of our restaurants has always been the values that I was fortunate enough to grow up with here in St. Louis, which is: people are nice,” Meyer said.

 

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St. Louis-style hospitality is one of two secret ingredients Meyer credits for Shake Shack’s success. “The other is coming from a fine dining background. Through years and years of opening restaurants like Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern and Eleven Madison Park and The Modern, we know people,” he said. “We source our products just like we do in our fine-dining restaurants.”

The beef in Shake Shack’s smashed patties is all hormone-free. The concretes are made with real sugar and offer a range of local flavors including slices of Pie Oh My!, Park Avenue Coffee gooey butter cake and Winslow’s Home chocolate cookies. “I grew up with the family who started Winslow’s Home,” Meyer said.

Meyer’s attention to detail was evident just two days before opening. He didn’t choose the location or oversee construction in St. Louis, but he did make sure staff knew how much fizz should top a draft pour of Fitz’s root beer.

While walking through the local bottled beer selection – Schlafly, 4 Hands and Urban Chestnut are all represented – he took a step back and glowered at the display. “Do you see the problem I see?” he asked.

A stack of Mast Brothers chocolate for sale sat beside the beer. If they went through all the trouble of getting excellent local chocolate in the St. Louis concretes menu, Meyer explained, why would they sell Mast Bros. bars? “Not that I’m ashamed of Mast,” he said. “I’m just really proud of Askinosie.”

He had the kitchen staff bring out a huge bag of Missouri-based Askinosie chocolate chunks. “That’s really good,” he said as the staff started passing them around.

“I haven’t been sleeping – I’ve been so excited for this,” Meyer said. Shake Shack is now open Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Here’s a first look at the highly anticipated new restaurant:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally 

Heather Hughes is managing editor at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Shake Shack will open Dec. 11 in the Central West End

Danny Meyer to open Shake Shack in St. Louis

 

First Look: The Clover and the Bee in Webster Groves

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Local artist Marissa Todd painted The Clover and the Bee’s signature floral mural.

 

The Clover and the Bee, the new breakfast and lunch spot from the folks behind Olive & Oak, is now officially open for business at 100 W. Lockwood Ave. in Webster Groves.

The restaurant, which takes its name from the Emily Dickinson poem, “To Make A Prairie,” boasts a bright, airy interior that seats about 45. Emerald banquettes and gold chairs are complemented by a striking floral mural by local artist Marissa Todd, who also works as host at Olive & Oak.

The Clover and the Bee’s menu is small but well curated, with standards like house-made granola and breakfast sandwiches alongside unexpected offerings like roasted asparagus with almond pesto, romesco and a poached egg for breakfast. Lunch features a range of entree-style dishes like smoked flank steak over potatoes as well as soups, salads and a handful of sandwiches.

Beverages range from coffee (drip and espresso from a rotating selection of local and national producers), fresh juices, beer, wine (including an array of canned vinos) and even bottled cocktails – Morning Manhattan anyone?

For now, hours at The Clover and the Bee are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Dinner service is in the works for sometime early next year. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Webster Groves’ highly anticipated new daytime spot:

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

First Look: Mothership at Earthbound Beer

Friday, December 1st, 2017

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Mothership has landed inside Earthbound Beer at 2724 Cherokee St. The new food program, run by Vista Ramen’s Josh Adams, starts serving Asian-inspired barbecue tonight, Friday, Dec. 1, inside the recently expanded brewery.

“We didn’t want to take Vista and just move it down here,” said chef-owner Chris Bork. He and Adams worked to develop smoke-heavy dishes better suited to a brewery than a ramen shop. Dishes include a smoked kielbasa and a pulled pork barbecue plate that comes with two of three classic side options: potato salad, slaw or baked beans.

“It’s beer food,” Adams said. “We’re doing barbecue, but we’re still Vista.” That means the potato salad is made with Kewpie mayo and funky, salty Hondashi broth, and the bricks of slightly sweet cornbread on the menu come with gochujang butter.

Other surprises include the house-smoked turkey dish that leans Mediterranean, served sliced on a pita topped with yogurt, crisp house pickles and a sprinkle of sumac. Customers place their counter-service order at the bar while scoping out their next beers.

Mothership will be open inside Earthbound Beer Tuesday to Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at the menu:

 

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Photos by Meera Nagarajan 

Heather Hughes is managing editor at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content

• Vista Ramen chef-owner shares plans for Mothership at Earthbound

• Vista Ramen will helm kitchen at new Earthbound location

• First Look: Earthbound Beer on Cherokee Street

First Look: Louie on DeMun Avenue

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

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St. Louis restaurant veteran Matt McGuire is almost ready to open doors at Louie as soon as Tuesday, Dec. 5.

As The Scoop reported in November 2016, the former King Louie’s owner announced he was taking over part of 706 Demun Ave., in Clayton, the space that used to house Jimmy’s on the Park. The 2,800-square-foot space  underwent a significant makeover and now features custom wallpaper, a 21-seat bar and shelving units constructed from old post boxes. Louie’s focal point is a massive wood-fired oven at the back of the restaurant, where house pizzas are fired each night.

McGuire tapped head chef Sean Turner and chef de cuisine Josh Poletti to helm the tight, Italian-inspired menu. Dishes will rotate frequently, featuring small plates, pizzas, a house pasta or two and a few meatier mains. Turner and Poletti developed simple dishes relying on quality produce and careful execution, like charred broccolini with a Calabrian vinaigrette.

 

McGuire’s passion for wine is evident in the bar program, where around 55 Italian varietals are available by the bottle and a dozen or so by the glass. Local bartender Samm McCullough designed the aperitif-focused cocktail menu featuring classics like a Negroni, a spritz and an Old Pal. One tap pours Bells Amber Ale, and easy-drinking bottles and cans round out the beer selection.

Louie’s will start with dinner service Monday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from DeMun’s newest restaurant when it opens next week.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Matt McGuire to open Louie in former Jimmy’s on the Park space

• What I Do: Matt McGuire

• Jimmy’s on the Park closes after more than two decades

First Look: Knead Bakehouse & Provisions on South Hampton

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

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Knead Bakehouse & Provisions is officially open for business at 3467 Hampton Ave. Owners AJ and Kirsten Brown opened doors at their bread bakery and cafe on Nov. 18.

As The Scoop reported in September, Knead bread got its start selling bread at farmers markets in St. Charles County before the Browns signed a lease on the former Salume Beddu space.

Knead currently offers two types of bread in whole loaves: a flagship rustic sourdough loaf and a brioche. The grain is sourced from the Missouri Grain Project, Great Harvest of Montana and Heartland Mills from neighboring Kansas.

The naturally leavened loaves use only water, flour, sea salt and a sourdough starter to begin. “When you have only four ingredients, you can’t really hide behind poor quality of those ingredients, so we have to get the best ingredients for that bread,” AJ Brown said.

While bread is the focus of Knead, the 25-seat cafe also serves breakfast and lunch. Doughnuts, morning buns and pastries are available alongside tea and Blueprint coffee in the morning. Sandwiches, salads and soups take over the menu midday. House-made botanical sodas with fresh herbs are offered as well.

Although Brown said in the future, customers can expect Knead bread mixes, house-made jams and butters for sale. Kolache will also eventually appear on the counter, as the Brown family has Czechoslovakian roots.

Brown said the goal of Knead is to revive American bread culture, and the bakery will offer goods that Americans are familiar with. “[You] don’t have to be a bread connoisseur,” Brown said.

Regular business hours for Knead Bakehouse & Provisions are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Louis’ newest bread bakery:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally 

Caitlin Lally is a contributing writer to Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Knead Bakehouse & Provisions will offer fresh bread in Southampton

• Salume Beddu to move inside Parker’s Table

• Loaves We Love

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