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Jul 22, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop

First Look: Mad Crab in University City

Friday, July 21st, 2017

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Grab your bibs and crackers – Mad Crab is now open in University City. The seafood boil spot opened doors July 17 at 8080 Olive Blvd., in the former home of Kim Son Seafood.

As The Scoop reported earlier this month, Mad Crab is a partnership between first-time restaurant owners and brothers Victor and Nam Ho. They were inspired by similar concepts in Dallas, Texas, where Victor Ho lived for several years.

The 5,000-square-foot space seats an impressive 205 people and sports a nautical theme, bedecked with rope, paddles and a prominent lighthouse atop the host stand.

The build-your-own boil menu starts with a choice of market-priced seafood (currently arriving daily at the restaurant) like lobster, snow or king crab legs, whole blue or Dungeess crabs, crawfish, clams or mussels. Sausage is also available, and customers can mix and match by the pound.

Next, they choose from three sauces or combine them all for The Whole Sha-Bang, and choose their spice level. The boils arrive in a plastic bag served atop paper-lined tables for easy clean up.

Those in the mood for a neater, less visceral meal can order from a menu of plates including gumbo, fried rice or noodles with crawfish or shrimp. Mad Crab also offers fresh raw oysters, hot wings and fried shrimp baskets as appetizers. Once a liquor license is approved, customers can sip canned or bottled brews with their boils.

Mad Crab is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Louis’ newest seafood spot:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: MK’s Asian Persuasion swaps wheels for a brick and mortar

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

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Three years after launching MK’s Rolls and Wraps food truck, owner MK Vongnarath has parked the mobile eatery and opened a permanent location, MK’s Asian Persuasion.

As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the fusion restaurant opened its doors at 6417 Hampton Ave., last month and sold its food truck. “By having a permanent location, we get to add on certain things we cannot carry on the food truck,” Vongnarath said.

Guests can expect Asian-inspired dishes including crab Rangoon, spring rolls, spicy beef, chicken, shrimp and more. Vegetarian and gluten-free options like tofu and rice paper will also be available.

“Not everything will be authentic – things change, time changes and people want to eat healthier,” Vongnarath said.

The space features table and bar seating, two lounge areas and a patio, seating 90 total inside and approximately 20 on the patio. With coffee, tea and boba smoothie options, Vongnarath hopes to offer a relaxed, cafe experience. Once the restaurant’s liquor license is approved, look for beer and wine options as well, all the better to enjoy the Friday karaoke nights from 9 p.m. until midnight.

Vongnarath has lived in South City for more than 30 years, and his wife, Sheila Vongnarath, a St. Louis native. “We don’t want to be just a restaurant,” he said. “We want to be a part of the community.”

MK’s Asian Persuasion is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Photo from Google Maps

Caitlin Lally is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.

 

The Scoop: The Capital Grille will open first St. Louis-area location

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

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National steakhouse chain The Capital Grille will soon open its 57th location –  and the first in the St. Louis area – in the former J. Buck’s space at 101 S. Hanley Road in Clayton in mid-September.

According to managing partner Geoff Dill, who will also be the onsite manager, the restaurant group turned its eyes to the St. Louis market after 17 successful years in Kansas City. “It was only a matter of time before we opened one on the other side of the state,” Dill said.

The restaurant will feature traditional steakhouse options, including large cuts aged up to 24 days in-house, as well as seafood, vegetarian options and seasonally and locally sourced produce.

The 8,700-square-foot space will be open for lunch and dinner, and will accommodate up to 250 people and offer four private dining rooms. Dill said the interior would be modern and upscale but remain approachable and comfortable. He said the company likes to make each restaurant unique to the city it’s located in.

“There will be a lot of pictures and memorabilia celebrating all things St. Louis,” he said.

Additionally, Dill said the large bar will be a focal piece that will grab guests’ attention when they enter. The full bar program will feature an award-winning wine list as well as plenty of cocktails, like one of the restaurant’s best-sellers, the Stoli Doli made with Stolichnaya vodka infused with pineapple.

“We pour so many it could serve the entire country of Iceland for one night,” Dill said.

Photo courtesy of The Capital Grille

Caitlin Lally is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Dave Bailey announces new concept, L’Acadiane

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

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Dave Bailey has tackled burgers, breakfast and a vegetarian whiskey bar, and now he’s adding a Cajun and Creole eatery to his restaurant portfolio.

As Sauce reported last month, the space that formerly housed Baileys’ Chocolate Bar at 1915 Park Ave., in Lafayette Square is undergoing some changes. The Chocolate Bar is being relocated to the second floor, and a new restaurant has been announced on the lower level: L’ Acadiane, a nod to the Acadiana region in southern Louisiana, which will feature Cajun and Creole fare.

“We’ve got the menu down, the drink menu down,” said Bailey. “We did a really big construction push over the past week. All those decisions are done and the place is at punch list time now. We’ll spend the next three weeks hiring and training and getting ready to open up.”

The rotating menu will feature approximately 15 items, all focused on the region. The initial menu will feature items like house boudin corn dogs with cucumber relish and remoulade, a trio of po’boys, and larger entrees like fried chicken and jambalaya. Cocktails will have a southern bent as well, including takes on regional favorites like the Sazerac and the Hurricane.

Bailey said he hopes to have the doors to L’ Acadiane open by Aug. 23 or Aug. 30. He said the Chocolate Bar should reopen at the end of July with revamped food and drink menus.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Frankly Sausages to open brick and mortar on Cherokee

Friday, July 14th, 2017

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Another local food truck is going the brick-and-mortar route. Frankly Sausages co-owner Jamie Cawthon confirmed a lease has been signed on a location.

“We’re on Cherokee Street,” said Cawthon, adding the address isn’t being released yet. “We’re still doing some negotiating and bidding on a lot of the work, so it’s still pretty early. We don’t have an opening date.”

Jamie and chef Bill Cawthon launched their popular food truck in December 2015.

Cawthon said the new space would have a larger menu than what’s available on the truck. As things progress, she said the plan is to hold pop-up events in the area to try out dishes.

“You’ll see more than sausages and fries,” she said. “It’s still going to be in the style of Frankly Sausages.”

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: BLK MKT Eats will open next month in Midtown

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

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A new eatery with a flair for worldwide flavors and an interest in healthy eats will arrive at 9 S. Vandeventer Ave., Midtown. Co-founders Kati Fahrney and Ron Turigliatto are looking at a late August opening for BLK MKT Eats.

The restaurant will bring flavors from around the world to burrito-sized sushi rolls and bowls. The fast-casual restaurant will feature raw fish options like a poke roll (the Shaka Spirit) or the Swedish Fish, which pairs Scandinavian-cured salmon with yuzu slaw and lemon-spiked asparagus. The menu offerings also include organic tofu, buttermilk fried chicken and veggies.

“We have flavor profiles for everybody,” Turigliatto said.

The 1,000-square-foot space will be primarily carryout, but there 14 seats are available for dining in. Turigliatto said they hope to offer a late-night option for hungry diners and college students.

“We’ve always been foodies at heart,” Turigliatto said. “We wanted to bring flavors to St. Louis that people aren’t used to.”

This is their first foray into the restaurant scene, but both Fahrney and Turigliatto are passionate home cooks with a penchant for traveling and teaching others. Fahrney recently returned from a trip to Korea and Taiwan, and Turigliatto, a former brand ambassador for Deschutes Brewing and special education teacher, spent summers teaching children with autism how to cook and expand their palates.

“We’ve always loved cooking and getting in the kitchen and being home chefs,” Turigliatto said. “The opportunity presented itself to take it to the next level.”

Curious consumers can get a taste of what’s to come when BLK MKT Eats pops up on July 21 at 7 p.m. in Tower Grove Park shop during a screening of “The Big Lebowski.” Tickets available online.

Photo courtesy of BLK MKT Eats 

Micki Wagner is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Wellspent Brewing to open in Midtown

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

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Things are rolling along for Wellspent Brewing Co. According to brewer-owner Kyle Kohlmorgen, the brewery’s space at 2917 Olive St., in Midtown is on track for a late 2017 opening.

“We’ve got equipment on order, and we’re rolling through construction right now,” Kohlmorgen said. “We’re still in the position to get (the equipment) in and brew beer and be open by the end of the year. We’re happy with the timeline.”

He said what slows some new breweries down is taking care of federal licensing requirements, which Wellspent has already completed. The space will have 77 seats inside, and the large outside patio should seat approximately the same.

Kohlmorgen said initially, the brewery will put out traditional Belgian and German styles, as well as a few hoppier styles, like pale ale. He said eventually, Wellspent will experiment with mixed fermentation sour styles as well. “We’ll start on those after we get rolling,” he said.

He said the food program should be up and running within the first year. “We’ll start with some basic packaged food while we build out our kitchen,” he said. “The kitchen most likely won’t be done by the time the brewery is done, and we’re open.”

Once the mixed fermentation sour program starts, the brewery may do some limited self-distribution. “Our plan is if we can sell all of the beer we can make at our place, then that’s what we want to do,” Kohlmorgen said.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill food truck brings island fare to St. Louis

Friday, July 7th, 2017

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{ Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill owner Thomas Moore (second from left) launched his food truck in June. } 

 

Thomas “Buzz” Moore hopes to offer a Hawaiian escape in St. Louis with his new food truck, Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill. The food truck – painted with Hawaii’s clear blue skies, choice waves and sandy shores – opened in June and serves classic Hawaiian dishes.

Moore, a native St. Louisan, lived in Hawaii for five years, as well as California and Okinawa, Japan. When he moved back to his hometown several years ago, he was disappointed in the city’s lack of Hawaiian food. After decades of traveling back to the island state to visit family and cooking Hawaiian fare for family and friends, he decided to launch his first culinary venture showcasing the cuisine and its blend of international influences from China and Japan to the Philippines  and Hawaii’s native islanders. “It’s not just pineapple,” Moore said. “It’s food from everywhere.”

Moore said he hopes to bring a spirit of aloha to the Midwest, which he describes as a way of life that’s about “chilling and being friendly and open to one another.”

The truck rotates between St. Louis City and County and features Hawaiian plate lunches, a popular meal that features two scoops of rice, Hawaiian macaroni salad and a protein like chicken yakitori, kalbi ribs or kalua pork.

Other dishes include fish tacos, musubi (Spam and rice and a sweet egg pancake wrapped in nori) and poke, a raw fish salad that has gained popularity on the mainland in recent years. Look for sides like lomi lomi (a tomato and salmon salad) and lumpia.

Find Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill by following the truck on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Buzz’s Hawaiiian Grill 

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Barnett on Washington to open public outdoor bar, The Bronson House

Friday, July 7th, 2017

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A new watering hole is set to start pouring next week. The Bronson House will open for business Friday, July 14, at 3201 Washington Ave., adjacent to its sister event space, Barnett on Washington.

Local company Artisan Well Bar Services will manage the beverage program at the outdoor bar.

“We’re aiming for somewhere between fun and elegant,” said Artisan Well co-founder Noah Prince-Goldberg. “It’ll all be patio-themed. We want the drinks to coordinate with all of that. We’re trying to build as much of an experience as possible.”

He said the drinks list will include a lot of fresh fruit and wine-based cocktails, as well as communal-style drinks, like punches and sangrias.

Food-wise, Prince-Goldberg said initially there would be a limited menu of small plates available, though the menu is expected to expand in the near future.

The outdoor space, which boasts a fountain and plenty of greenery along with approximately 60 seats and additional standing room, will also host live music several days a week. Prince-Goldberg said during inclement weather, the party will move inside the Barnett space if there are no previous events booked.

In addition to those guests looking to hang out for extended patio imbibing sessions, Prince-Goldberg said he hoped The Bronson House would also attract Grand Center crowds before and after shows, as well as patrons leaving events at Barnett.

Photo courtesy of The Bronson House

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Owner swaps KimCheese for Seoul Garden

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

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{ bimbimbap at Kimcheese } 

The Creve Coeur location of Asian fusion restaurant KimCheese closed on Friday, June 30, and is slated to reopen as the second location of owner Sean Moon’s other restaurant, Seoul Garden, on Friday, July 7.

Moon said he had been looking for a second Seoul Garden location for a while.

“The original Seoul Garden was at full capacity,” Moon said. “We were actually looking for a second location that wasn’t too far from the original location. Overall, the space is more a sit-down restaurant as opposed to fast-casual. We realized it would be much better to just switch to Seoul Garden.”

Not much was needed to make the switch, Moon said, and many of the upgrades, such as new tables and lighting, were done after hours over the previous month to avoid disrupting service. He said the menu would remain focused on Korean barbecue, along with other Korean dishes.

The KimCheese location in Chesterfield will remain open, and Moon said a KimCheese food truck is in the works as well.

“All we need is to get it wrapped and permitted,” Moon said. He hopes to be on the road in a month or so.

As Sauce reported last month, KimCheese has also signed on to be part of the upcoming food hall, The Eatery, at One Metropolitan Square downtown, which is scheduled to open this fall.

Photo courtesy of KimCheese

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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