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Sep 25, 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

First Look: Stage Left Diner in Grand Center

Friday, September 16th, 2016

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Stage Left Diner is currently in dress rehearsals at 541 N. Grand Blvd. As The Scoop reported earlier this week, the former City Diner in Grand Center underwent a concept change after owner Steve Smith bought out the former owners.

Rev Hospitality president Brad Beracha frequently consults at Smith’s restaurants (including Triumph Grill and BaiKu Sushi Lounge), and he lent his expertise to the latest project. Beracha said he and the new management focused on improving the overall customer service experience and brightening up the space with a fresh coat of paint.

Arguably the most notable change is executive chef Ryan Cooper’s new menu, which includes classic diner dishes like smashed griddle burgers and lighter fare like a portobello sandwich. A forthcoming liquor license will see boozy milkshakes, but customers can also enjoy a full menu of espresso coffee drinks and or a pull of nitro cold brew coffee.

Stage Left Diner hosts its grand opening Sept. 24, and it is currently open Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight. Here’s a First Look at the new face of a familiar diner in Grand Center.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

 

 

First Look: The Garden on Grand

Friday, September 9th, 2016

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Just north of the hustle and bustle on South Grand, The Garden on Grand has opened with limited hours at 2245 S. Grand Blvd. As The Scoop reported in August 2015, owner Cevin Lee and executive chef Kore Wilbert hope to provide meals that are health-focused without sacrificing flavor.

Lee and Wilbert spent more than a year transforming the former Islamic Information Center into a 68-seat restaurant. Lee designed the interior, which features a long bar, exposed brick, repurposed metalwork and live plants. Dining tables were hewn from a single tree trunk.

The dinner menu includes eight appetizers like duck pot stickers and cashew and almond hummus along with eight entrees including coconut fried rice with shrimp, grilled lamb and roasted salmon. Wilbert sources some produce locally through vendors like Double Star Farms, Such and Such Farm and Hosco Farms. A full bar is available with more than a dozen house cocktails, as well as bottled beer and wine options. Seven brunch cocktails take a slushy turn; all but one features Hosco Farms sorbets.

The Garden on Grand is currently open Fridays and Saturday from 5 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch. Lee and Wilbert will launch into regular hours Sept. 23, starting at 8 a.m. for breakfast. The restaurant will close after lunch and reopen at 5 p.m. for dinner service. Here’s a first look at The Garden on Grand:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

 

First Look: Sarah’s on Central in Eureka

Friday, August 19th, 2016

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Sarah’s Cake Shop owner Jill Umbarger attempted to quietly open Sarah’s on Central at 127 N. Central Ave., in Eureka last Wednesday, Aug. 10, and was met with a line out the door. As The Scoop reported in June, the new cafe adds breakfast and lunch fare to the usual desserts Sarah’s Cake Shop is known for.

For breakfast, visitors can choose from pastries, quiches, breakfast sandwiches and sweet or savory muffins. A dedicated toast menu features sweet and savory toppings including house-made jams on slices of Companion bread. For lunch, sandwiches, salads and soups are offered, and daily after-school specials are a weekday treat; right now, it’s $1 grilled cheese sandwiches.

“I’m from Eureka, so I’m excited to be here,” Umbarger said. “As soon as I saw (the space) was for sale, I knew I had to have it.” Sarah’s on Central is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Here’s what to expect when you walk in:

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

First Look: Nathaniel Reid Bakery in Kirkwood

Monday, August 8th, 2016

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Internationally renowned pastries are now available in Kirkwood. Pastry chefs and co-owners Nathaniel and Lee Lee Reid opened Nathaniel Reid Bakery at 11243 Manchester Road on Aug. 1, serving up sweet and savory breakfast pastries, sandwiches and colorful tarts and cakes.

Nathaniel Reid’s career is studded with accolades and stints in prestigious kitchens. Dessert Professional magazine named him one of the top 10 pastry chefs in America in 2012, and he received U.S. Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2010 Paris Gourmet Competition. Mostly recently, he served as pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis, and he has crafted sweet confections at Joël Robuchon Restaurant at The Mansion at MGM Grand, as well as The Ritz-Carlton in Las Vegas.

Despite his successes in the fine dining and hotel industries, Reid said he’s always wanted to open a community bakery. “This was the goal since I started 15 years ago, to get to this position,” he said. Reid designed and constructed the 1,920-square-foot space from scratch, knocking down the wall between the former clothing store and neighboring office to create a small retail space and expansive pastry kitchen visible through a large window behind the counter.

That window showcases baking techniques of all kinds. Reid and the kitchen team create pastries from delicate laminated dough, fresh crusty baguettes for sandwiches, vibrant tarts and cakes, a rainbow of macarons and more. Patrons select from the day’s offerings on display in four pastry cases and can pair with a Kaldi’s coffee drink or tea. Nathaniel Reid Bakery is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Here’s a First Look at what to expect when you step inside Kirkwood’s newest bakery:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

 

First Look: 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s new tasting room

Friday, 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 

First Look: Stone Summit Steak & Seafood in Wentzville

Wednesday, 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

First Look: Start Bar downtown

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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Start Bar, downtown St. Louis’ new arcade bar opened Wednesday, July 13 at 1000 Spruce St. As The Scoop reported in April, the colorful, game-themed space was designed with an eye for detail, from the old school Nintendo console wall art to the narrow tables hidden between game cabinets for drink storage while you play.

“You make enough venues and you start to learn a few things,” co-owner Stephen Savage said. “And [the branding and design firm] Atomicdust did a phenomenal job. We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.”

Game manager Mike Ahearn said Start Bar’s 19 cabinets offer a variety of fighting and combat games, shooters, and other classic old school and multi-player games that will rotate based on popularity. Enthusiasts will be happy to know the arcade bar is awaiting the arrival of Killer Queen, a multi-player game with a cult following. “It should be in within six weeks,” Savage said. “It’s our number one requested game.”

Gamers can take a break at one of the 55 seats inside or one of the 50 picnic table seats on the patio. Parties of six to 10 looking to relive childhood glory can take over four reservation-only game lounges stocked with Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart and GoldenEye 007 games.

The menu reflects Start Bar’s playful atmosphere, with boozy shakes, floats, snow cones, slushies and popsicles for your inner child and a short list of snacks and candy. The kitchen turns out house-made Neapolitan-style pizzas for those who need something a little more substantial.

Start Bar is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday from noon to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from noon to midnight. A short brunch menu with breakfast pizzas and drinks is available from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends. Here’s a peek inside downtown’s new arcade bar:

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-Photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: Absolute BBQ Indian Wish Grill in Chesterfield

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Absolute BBQ Indian Wish Grill opened doors at 17409 Chesterfield Airport Road on June 23.

Absolute BBQ Indian Wish Grill, Chesterfield’s new Indian fusion joint, started serving up lunch and dinner on June 23 at 17409 Chesterfield Airport Road.

As The Scoop reported in February, the menu is inspired by first-time restaurant owner Venkatesh Sattaru’s travels. Various curry, kabab and biryani dishes are offered with a choice of protein, and Sattaru hopes to add Naan wraps and Chinese barbecue dishes to the menu soon.

Sattaru has big plans for his new venture, hoping to open a second location in The Loop, a food truck and franchises across the country. For now, the Chesterfield Absolute BBQ Indian Wish Grill is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Here’s a first look at what the restaurant has to offer:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: Friendship Brewing Co. in Wentzville

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

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Wentzville’s first brewery started pouring pints on June 28 when Friendship Brewing Co. opened at 100 E. Pitman Ave. More than year after The Scoop reported its launch, co-owners Dan Belcher, Mike Wood and Brian Nolan have finally opened doors at the former creamery-turned brewery.

The 100-seat brew house and counter-service restaurant offers 25 beers on tap. House beers account for between five and 12 with the rest comprised of guest taps from local favorites like The Civil Life Brewing Co., 4 Hands Brewing Co. and Crown Valley Brewing. Order a pint to enjoy at one of the bar area’s high-top tables or get a growler to go.

The food comes courtesy of Jerry Caruso (also of Caruso’s Deli on Washington Avenue downtown) out of Benefits Bistro. Diners can peruse the food menu, then place an order at the bistro’s counter located in the brewery’s production room. The menu’s selection ranges from bar snacks to entree-sized rib platters, dinner salads, flatbreads, soups and desserts.

Friendship Brewing is open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a peek inside downtown Wentzville’s newest brewery.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: Cottleville Cookies & Cream in Cottleville

Friday, July 1st, 2016

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Cottleville has a new place to get cool treats this summer. Andrew Brewer, who also owns neighboring Plank Road Pizza, opened Cottleville Cookies & Cream at 5525 Oak St., Thursday, June 23.

There’s no shortage of vintage charm in Brewer’s new shop, which he remodeled from a private residence. Outside hosts an array of picnic tables that can seat up to 100 guests. And for those days when it’s too sweltering even for ice cream, pick from the 30 seats in the cozy dining room.

Large house-made waffle cones or oversized house-made chocolate chip cookies are the vessels for one of 12 ice cream flavors. Those who prefer to sip their frozen treats can float a scoop in a Fitz’s soda.

Cottleville Cookies & Cream is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from noon to 8:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 9:30 p.m. Here’s a first look at what’s in store at Cottleville’s newest scoop shop:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

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