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May 27, 2015
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop

The Scoop: New American eatery Olive & Oak to open in Webster Groves historic building

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

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Olive & Oak, founded by Annie Gunn’s veteran Mark Hinkle and business partner Greg Ortyl, will soon open in a century-old former boutique at 102 W. Lockwood Ave in Webster Groves.

Hinkle, who confirmed the opening tentatively for September 2015, will depart his management role at Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield in June to focus on construction of the restaurant. Before moving to St. Louis, Hinkle worked in Chicago in both restaurant and beverage management for several companies, including Gibsons Restaurant Group. He said his pending departure from Annie Gunn’s would be bittersweet.

“I’ve learned a lot with this institution. It’s a hard place to leave, with Tom (Sehnert) and Lou (Rook III) and Glenn (Bardgett),” he said. “It’s one of those handful of places across the country that’s just lightning in a bottle.”

Olive & Oak’s menu is still under development, and Hinkle and Ortyl are also still in the process of choosing a chef. “Food-wise, we’re going to be American, very ingredient focused,” Hinkle said. “(We’ll) bring the best ingredients in and treat them the way they should be treated.” Current candidates for the menu include stout fare like oysters, steaks and pork.

Hinkle added that he’ll handle the initial beverage direction himself, arraying a selection of local beer, cocktails and “a good solid wine list, from affordable options to the big dogs.”

The restaurant will initially offer dinner only, opening for lunch and brunch service after the eatery finds its footing. The 2,600-square-foot space is being remodeled into an open concept with high ceilings and a rustic, exposed aesthetic.

Olive & Oak’s name has personal resonance for the owners, too. Hinkle and Ortyl both had sons who died at young ages of congenital heart conditions, and both have founded charitable organizations named for their children to fund further medical research. The restaurant, named in homage to Oliver Hinkle and Oakes Ortyl, is a continuation of this.

“Both of our families have gotten involved in charitable causes, that’s how (Greg and I) met,” Hinkle said. “We’re having a tribute to the boys and at the same time doing what we want to do, which is run a great restaurant … St. Louis has become a hell of a food town, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

 

 

 

 

The Scoop: Downtown’s The Precinct closes doors, banquet space to stay open

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

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The Precinct Sports Bar & Grill, which served pub fare with a law enforcement theme at 1900 Locust St. downtown, closed doors for good this week, as reported by St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe.

Co-owner Mark Winfield, who opened the restaurant in October 2013 with former Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds, confirmed the closing through public relations representative Julie Lally, confirming that said the upstairs Space 15 banquet area would remain open. He declined to comment directly to Sauce about the closing.

Winfield and Edmonds first opened the space as Jim Edmonds’ 15 Steakhouse in 2007; the restaurant rebranded in 2013 as The Precinct in anticipation of the new St. Louis City Police headquarters next door. (Sauce reviewed the restaurant in May 2014.)

The pair still owns and operates Winfield’s Gathering Place in Kirkwood, which opened earlier this year.

 

-photo by Elizabeth Jochum

The Scoop: Local sommelier takes top honors at national competition

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

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The awards keep coming for local somm phenom Andrey Ivanov, who took home the top prize at the highly regarded Chaine de Rotisseurs Young Sommeliers Competition in Santa Barbara, Calif., on May 15.

The two-day competition started with nine regional competitors, but only three, including Ivanov, moved on to the final rounds, which were held in front of an audience of 80 people including judges and fellow competitors.

“It is a big honor to bring the trophy back to St. Louis,” Ivanov said. “This was the last year I was eligible to compete, so it’s a nice way to go out. It opens the door for other St. Louis talent.”

Normally Ivanov would go on to compete at the international competition in Adelaide, Australia, but due to a recently added bylaw, the Chaine de Rotisseurs only allows first-time national winners to vie for top international honors. Ivanov tied for first with New York City sommelier Jane Lopes last year.

After departing Santa Barbara, Ivanov landed in Aspen, Colo., where he sat for the service and tasting portion of the Master Sommelier examination on Tuesday, May 19. Ivanov passed the service portion and will sit for the tasting examination in 2016.

“My goal for this year is to taste a lot of wine,” said Ivanov. “It’s a huge, huge, huge relief and weight off my shoulders to have passed the service portion. Next year, I just have to go into a room and dominate. I’m set up with a good tasting group here in St. Louis. We all know where we need to go and can help each other get there.”

Upon returning to St. Louis, Ivanov plans to put his experience to good use when he and Matt Daughaday open Reeds American Table in Maplewood this July.

 

 

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

 

The Scoop: Dixon’s Smoke Co. will light the smoker soon in Midtown

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

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Barbecue is in Joe Dixon’s blood. It’s why he’s opening his first restaurant venture, Dixon’s Smoke Co., at 3664 Forest Park Ave., in Midtown, as first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Dixon said his new barbecue concept was a continuation of his mother’s work; she owned Charlie’s Barbecue in Berkeley, Missouri, until 1999.

“Basically my whole life she spent in barbecue, barbecuing for churches and catering,” he said. “After she let it go, I wanted to pick up where she left off.”

The restaurant, located in a row building that once housed a Jimmy John’s, will offer 15 to 20 seats and eventually the same number outdoors, too. Dixon said he hopes to turn a brisk carryout business. The menu will offer the usual barbecue suspects, including pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs and chicken, along with sides like baked beans and potato salad. Dixon said he is looking at a late June or early July opening.

“We’re going for more of a St. Louis-Kansas City style-barbecue,” he said. “All wood fire, no pellets, no gas. We use our own rub, our own sauce. It’s all from scratch.”

That rub will soon make appearances on retail store shelves, too. Dixon’s “peppery, savory” I-55 brisket rub and the sweeter I-70 pork rub will first be available online following the completion of the restaurant’s website. Dixon hopes sales of the rub will help drive crowds to the highly trafficked Midtown and Saint Louis University area. “That,” he added, “and good smells of barbecue in the air.”

 

 

The Scoop: CJ’s Deli in Maryland Heights to add food truck

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

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Warmer weather brings forth a flock of new food trucks, and CJ’s Gourmet Deli owner John W. Enlow has announced plans to add his mobile eatery to the ranks. Enlow, who opened doors at his Maryland Heights deli in December 2014, hopes to launch the food truck in mid-June.

Enlow said he initially conceived his deli as a food truck, but when space became available at 12539 Bennington Place, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Now, he’s returning to his original concept, hoping to serve hungry lunchtime crowds in St. Louis city and county. “It made sense to put it in as an additive to the brick-and-mortar location,” he said. “The truck was always a part of my plan, and now it can be expedited.”

The truck will serve a tighter menu of the deli’s extensive selection of sandwiches, wraps, tortilla pizzas, French bread pizzas and spinach salads. Many items are served with house-made dressings and other condiments. Enlow said he also hopes to offer new creations like deli tacos – flour tortillas filled with deli meats, diced tomatoes and onions and a drizzle of house-made taco remoulade.

 

The Scoop: Burlesque restaurant, bar and theater Seven Zero Eight coming to Laclede’s Landing

Monday, May 11th, 2015

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{Co-owners Elliot Winter (far left) and Katerina VonRocket (far right) with some of Seven Zero Eight’s burlesque performers}

 

It’s out with the steak and in with the burlesque at 708 N. Second St., on Laclede’s Landing. The space formerly occupied by Jake’s Steaks is soon to become Seven Zero Eight, offering food, drinks and theatrical entertainment. When Seven Zero Eight opens in early June, patrons can sip and sup in the 100-seat main dining room and bar area or head to the 80-seat theater in back for a burlesque show.

The fare at Seven Zero Eight will be “high-end, gourmet comfort food,” according to co-owner Elliot Winter. He and business partner Katerina VonRocket have tapped chef Brian McGrath (Basso, Butchery, Insomnia Cookies) to helm the kitchen. The menu will revolve around burgers and sandwiches like a Thanksgiving sandwich replete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cream cheese, Gouda and cranberry chutney on sourdough, or Cajun mac-n-cheese studded with lobster and andouille.

“It’s accessible in what kind of food it is, but the flavors will please the most discerning palate,” Winter said, adding that McGrath’s butchering skills will allow the kitchen to break down its locally sourced beef.

Beer will take center stage at Seven Zero Eight, with more than 100 craft beers in the offering, including 708 Stout, one of Winter’s recipes (he is a homebrewer) brewed by Excel. Also available will be a dozen or so whiskeys plus a cocktail menu.

Those who attend the Friday and Saturday evening shows will also have the option of ordering from a separate menu of food and drinks themed around each performance, which will change every four to six weeks.

Winter said future plans for Seven Zero Eight include a 5,000-square-foot patio that he anticipates opening by late summer with a speakeasy-type bar in the basement to follow.

Winter and VonRocket hope their multi-faceted concept help to revitalize Laclede’s Landing. “We’re big believers in Laclede’s Landing,” Winter said. “We wanted to (open) on the Landing because of the history of the place. I remember when it was the place to go. We want to bring that back.”

 

The Scoop: Italian restaurant Villa Farotto closes doors in Chesterfield

Monday, May 11th, 2015

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Chesterfield’s Villa Farotto has shuttered. Matt Meyers, who manages sister restaurant Farotto’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, confirmed that yesterday, May 10, was the final day of service at the upscale Italian eatery.

Villa Farotto, located at 17417 Chesterfield Airport Road, opened in 2004, offering pasta, pizza, steak, seafood and other northern Italian and Italian-American dishes. While the West County restaurant has come to an end, its sister restaurant on Manchester Road in Rock Hill, remains open. Owner Jeff Parrott did not immediately return a call for comment.

 

 

The Scoop: The Boom Boom Room to open off Washington Avenue downtown

Friday, May 8th, 2015

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The singers, dancers, aerialists and contortionists of the Jumpin’ Jupiter roadshow are ready to settle in – but not settle down – at The Boom Boom Room, a new restaurant and entertainment spot at 500 N. 14th St., formerly home to Lola.

The burlesque-inspired show has been performing at venues around town, including Copia Restaurant and Wine Garden, since the 2013 closure of The Jumpin’ Jupiter cabaret in Maplewood. Jim Callahan, who owned the shuttered club, is opening The Boom Boom Room with his fiancee, Brandy Dunn, this summer. “From the red velvet curtains and vintage decor, you will be transferred to a time where everything is exciting and in full swing,” Dunn said.

The menu isn’t final, but Dunn said they are planning to serve food with a “French flair” for lunch and dinner, plus a weekend pancake brunch with Champagne and bloody marys.

Large shareable martinis dominate the drink menu, which has several options designed to appeal to bachelorettes like the fruity Princess-tini and Drama Queen-tini. The Boom Boom Room also plans to serve wine and local beer from Alpha Brewing, Urban Chestnut and 4 Hands.

Dunn said she and Callahan had long searched for a location and jumped at the chance to secure a downtown spot. “We wanted to be accessible to everyone including locals and tourists and had been looking for spaces for awhile,” she said.

The Boom Boom Room will be open daily. On Wednesday through Saturday nights, there will be live entertainment and full shows on Friday and Saturday evenings.

 

 

 

The Scoop: Sauce on the Side announces move to larger downtown location

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

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Sauce on the Side is growing up and moving out of its original downtown home at 903 Pine St. Co-owner Brendon Maciariello announced that he has signed a lease for 411 N. Eighth St., as reported by the St. Louis Business Journal. The move is planned for mid-June.

The new location, which has sat vacant since Shula’s 347 closed in 2012, will give the Sauce on the Side crew another 1,000 square feet of space. Maciariello said that means a bigger kitchen with another oven, four draft beer taps (instead of only bottled brews) and 50 to 80 additional seats inside and on a large patio. “It would be nice to put your arms out lengthwise during dinner service,” he joked. An expanded kitchen will equate to shorter delivery times during lunch, too. “It will be nice to accommodate those needs,” he said. “It will be a better experience for the guest.”

Sauce on the Side hit the ground running in August 2012. Two years later, it opened a second location at 7810 Forsyth Blvd.

-photo by Greg Rannells 

The Scoop: Johnnie Walker’s San Loo to open in former Livery space on Cherokee

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

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Three friends with experience in the St. Louis bar and music scenes are opening a neighborhood watering hole called Johnnie Walker’s San Loo this month at 3211 Cherokee St. “If I’m going to frequent a bar, I’d rather do it the way I’d like to do it and have fun with it,” said co-owner Jon Coriell, who plays with local band Wolfpussy.

The space previously housed Livery Company, which moved two doors down to 3227 Cherokee St., as reported by the Riverfront Times. Because the interior doesn’t need much work, Coriell said, he hopes to open around May 15.

The bar’s unique moniker has two sources of inspiration. The first part comes from the name of one of its co-owners, John Walker Eckles. The second honors the San Loo Chinese Checkers games produced in the first half of the 20th century by the St. Louis-based Northwestern Products Co.

Johnnie Walker’s San Loo won’t serve food, and guests are welcome to bring their own meals. The bar will feature six taps with Pabst Blue Ribbon and a rotating selection of local beers from breweries like 4 Hands and The Civil Life. The liquor selection will lean toward whiskey, and Coriell said mixed drinks will be available, but don’t expect a full cocktail menu. “We’re not going to get too fancy-dancy on anybody,” he said.

Coriell anticipates hosting two live music shows a week, one on Wednesdays and another during the weekend, ranging from punk rock to blues to “jazz for a quiet weeknight show.” But music won’t be the bar’s main focus. “I want it to be a place where you can come and have a conversation,” he said.

The bar will be open daily from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday.

 

 

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