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Feb 24, 2018
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Take It From The Expert

Friday, May 17th, 2013

It was a Wednesday afternoon at my desk with two classic French whites: Pascal Jolivet Pouilly-Fumé 2011 (a famed Loire Valley sauvignon blanc) and Christian Moreau Chablis 2011 (an equally esteemed chardonnay from Burgundy). Chef Lou Rook had the great idea to send some beautiful oysters from Prince Edward Island to challenge these two wines. Pouilly-Fumé was stunning with the simple oyster, and the Chablis was dead-on amazing when the oyster was dipped in mignonette. The bivalve’s aroma combined perfectly with the fragrance of both wines. There is a reason why classic pairings become classic. It was certainly a great day at the office.

— Glenn Bardgett, member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board and wine director at Annie Gunn’s

— illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan

You Like Us! You Really, Really Like Us!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013


While print will always be our first love, we can’t help but swoon over all the outlets we have online today. From our website and our App to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and – wow, we’re gonna stop counting now – we can’t get enough of all the unique ways we can interact with our readers.

And apparently, you love it, too. Because we are this close to reaching 20,000 likes on Facebook. And to us, that means something. Because keeping our readers happy is the very reason we do what we do.

So to show our gratitude for your constant support, we’re offering the 20,000th person to “like” us on Facebook four tickets to this year’s Saucy Soiree, our Readers’ Choice preview party that will be held at the Four Seasons on June 30 (a combined $140 value).

So if you already like us, tell your friend to (and then convince her to share her tickets with you). And if you don’t, well, you know what to do.


Happy Prohibition Repeal Day!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

After 13 long years without legal alcohol, on Dec. 5, 1933, the 18th Amendment was repealed. In celebration of the repeal, don’t worry about costumes and elaborate props; simply celebrate by treating yourself to a drink! Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield is commemorating today with a special cocktail menu. Head there to try the Prohibition, Calvados Crusta and Irish Old-Fashioned cocktails, or make the Prohibition Cocktail (pictured) for yourself.

Prohibition Cocktail (Annie Gunn’s take on the classic)
Courtesy of Mark Hinkle, bar manager at Annie Gunn’s
Makes 1 cocktail

1 oz. Tanqueray gin
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
½ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. apricot liqueur

• Mix all ingredients over ice, shake thoroughly and serve up in a martini or cocktail glass.

St. Louis Classic Cocktail Party to celebrate local distilleries

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The St. Louis craft distilling scene is booming, and we can’t think of any better way to celebrate than with a toast. Area distillers Square One Brewery and Distillery, Pinckney Bend Distillery, Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co., The Big O, Mastermind Vodka and St. Louis Distillery will be showcasing their artisanal spirits at the St. Louis Classic Cocktail Party at Lafayette Square Park on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. Held in conjunction with the park’s free Summer Concert Series, entrance to the event is free, while a $2 drink ticket will allow you to sample a spirit or cocktail made with one of the local elixirs. Proceeds benefit The Arts Council of Lafayette Square.

If you want to get a jump-start on your gin, vodka, whiskey and ginger liqueur samplings before the St. Louis Classic Cocktail Party, you’re in luck, as many area restaurants will be showcasing these local products during the week of September 3. On Tuesday, Sept. 4, for instance, Sub Zero will host a vodka tasting. On Thursday, Sept. 6, Square One is throwing a whiskey dinner that pairs various Square One whiskeys – including experimental batches – with each course. And throughout the week, TasteSalt, Niche and Demun Oyster Bar will feature cocktails made using local spirits, while Sanctuaria will shake St. Louis spirits in cocktails paired with food.

Check out the St. Louis Classic Cocktail Party Facebook page for more information on events.

Gerard Craft talks to Eater about his restaurants and “Midwest’s thriving restaurant scene”

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Today national culinary website Eater published an interview with our very own Gerard Craft. Craft is, of course, chef-owner of the Niche family of restaurants – including Niche, Brasserie, Taste and Pastaria, set to open later this summer.

In the interview, Craft discussed how he chose to move to St. Louis as a young “completely tattooed chef,” why he’s moving his flagship Niche from its original Benton Park home to Clayton, what his future goals are for both Niche and Pastaria, the evolution of the St. Louis dining scene, and a bit more. Craft even gave a nod to several of his fellow chef pals, including Sidney Street’s Kevin Nashan (whom he credits as one of the reasons he chose to open Niche in St. Louis in the first place); Mike Randolph, whose lineage at Moto led him to open up The Good Pie and, later, Half & Half and Medianoche; barbecue bigwig Mike Emerson of Pappy’s; and Josh Galliano, who is in the process of opening his own restaurant.

To check out the full interview, click here.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Drinking blueberries

Friday, June 1st, 2012

This month, we gave you eight great reasons to pick up a pint of blueberries. This superfruit packs loads of flavor into prepared dishes, but don’t miss out on its drink possibilities. Start with the recipe for blueberry syrup then work that sweet elixir into these cocktails we developed with the assistance of Eclipse bar manager Seth Wahlman. Below, you’ll find recipes using gin, tequila and vodka. (We prefer blueberries with white spirits.) Take your pick.

Blueberry Syrup
Makes 2 cups

1 cup water
2 cups Demerara sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups fresh blueberries

Combine the water and Demerara sugar in a medium-sized pot. Stir well. Over medium heat, dissolve the sugar, then the add lemon juice and blueberries. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until the fruit has broken down. Double strain into a clean jar, gently pushing the back of a spoon against the blueberries to release any additional juices.

Big Blue Aftermath
Courtesy of Eclipse’s Seth Wahlman
1 serving

2 Tbsp. Demerara sugar, for rimming
Freshly ground cinnamon, for rimming
Freshly ground nutmeg, for rimming
1½ oz. Milagro silver tequila
½ oz. The Big O ginger liqueur
½ oz. Cointreau
½ oz. blueberry syrup (recipe above)
Juice of half a lemon

For rimming, combine 2 tablespoons of the Demerara sugar in a shallow bowl with a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Dip half the rim of a Collins glass into the sugar mixture and set aside. Next, pour the tequila, ginger liqueur, Cointreau, blueberry syrup and lemon juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into the Collins glass filled with fresh ice.

Sage Advice
Courtesy of Eclipse’s Seth Wahlman
1 serving

1½ oz. St. George Botanivore gin
6 fresh blueberries
¾ oz. blueberry syrup (recipe above)
¼ oz. lime juice
1 fresh sage leaf, for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish

Muddle the gin and blueberries in a shaker. Add the blueberry syrup and lime juice. Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a sage leaf and a quarter turn of freshly ground black pepper.

Red, White & Blueberry
Courtesy of Eclipse’s Seth Wahlman
1 serving

¼ Red Delicious apple
¼ oz. honey
1½ oz. Mastermind vodka
½ oz. blueberry syrup (recipe above)
¼ oz. lemon juice
3 fresh blueberries, for garnish

Muddle the apple and honey in a shaker. Add the vodka, blueberry syrup and lemon juice. Shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a skewer threaded with fresh blueberries.

Three local food trucks in running for national title of “best food truck graphic design”

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

If you are a food truck fan, you can probably name your must-have-dish from your favorite truck in a moment’s notice. But taste buds aside, have you considered which truck looks the snazziest? National food truck resource Mobile Cuisine is holding a Best Food Truck Graphic Design Contest to determine which of the thousands of trucks rolling on our nation’s streets has the most stylish design. More than 2,500 trucks were nominated for the competition, but the list has been narrowed to 15 finalists. Among those to make the cut are three trucks from St. Louis: Completely Sauced, Chop Shop and Lulu’s Local Eatery.

“To have three trucks from St. Louis is pretty cool,” said Julie Komanetsky, co-owner of Completely Sauced, who notified The Scoop of the exciting news.

The winner of the contest will be chosen by a public vote. To place your vote for the best food truck graphics, go here. The poll ends on Friday, June 8.

Drinks by three St. Louis Bartenders named among 101 best new cocktails of 2012

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Congratulations to three area bartenders whose drinks were selected by bartending legend Gaz Regan to be among the 101 Best New Cocktails of 2012. Ted Kilgore of Taste by Niche, TJ Vytlacil of Blood & Sand and Joel Clark of Sanctuaria each submitted drink recipes that impressed Regan enough to make the final cut.

While the cocktails themselves have yet to be announced, the list of the bartenders who concocted these tasty beverages is posted on the Ardent Spirits website that Regan hosts. Each of the winning drink recipes will be published in Gaz Regan’s 101 Best New Cocktails 2012, which should be available in mid- to late June. Regan has written a bevy of beloved cocktail books including The Bartender’s Bible, The Joy of Mixology and The Bartender’s Gin Compendium.

Wash U. ranks No. 1 among colleges in nation for food options

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

It’s that time of year again when high school seniors have to make the big decision of where they will spend the next four years. For some, class size holds a great deal of importance. For others, it’s sports. And for some, it’s the quality of grub they’ll be chowing down on during their collegiate experience. If you or your youngin’s fall into that last category, then you’ll want to take a second look at St. Louis’ very own Washington University.

The school’s dining services were ranked first among colleges around the country by online food website The Daily Meal. Results were based on a re-ranking of U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 list of the top 20 colleges and universities, but this time, based solely on the academic institutions’ food options. Judging criteria included: variety of cuisine; presence of chefs on staff; sustainability efforts; availability of nutrition facts and ingredients information; options for those requiring kosher, halal, gluten-free and vegan meals; food-related events; and the ability to order food online. Among the top five schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology came in second, followed by Northwestern University, Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Wash U. and its food management services company, Bon Appétit, were lauded for going “the extra mile to provide students with the best of the best” in cooking classes, culinary demonstrations and other events held in an open kitchen called Studio 40. Other dining features mentioned in the report included the school’s sustainability measures, its attention to student feedback and the newly opened Bear’s Den, complete with tandoori ovens that are manned by trained chefs from Pakistan and India.

Click here to read the entire article and to view a slideshow of America’s Top Universities for Food Lovers.

— Image courtesy of The Daily Meal

Area distilleries make big splash at San Fran World Spirits Competition

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Congratulations are in order for numerous area distillers whose products recently earned honors at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The annual event, held in the City by the Bay, is one of the most reputable and recognized competitions in the spirits industry.

Pinckney Bend, based in New Haven, Mo., grabbed a gold for its Pinckney Bend Gin. Founded last year, the distillery is one of the few in Missouri with gin on the market.

“The cool thing is we were up against all the major distilleries that are on the shelves,” said Pinckney Bend co-owner Ralph Haynes. “I still can’t believe we got gold,” he said, adding that, while the company currently only makes gin, its portfolio is expanding with a vodka product to be released in the next month and a whiskey in the works.

Two other distilleries from the region also took top honors. Mastermind, a new distillery in Pontoon Beach, Ill., earned a gold medal for its vodka, while Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co., received gold in the un-aged whiskey category for its Missouri Moonshine. Crown Valley, which is based in Ste. Genevieve, also took a bronze for its vodka. Taking bronze in the herbal/botanical liqueurs category was St. Louis-owned The Big O, whose ginger liqueur has been widely received since its debut late last summer

According to the San Francisco World Spirits Competition website, more than 1,200 products from 61 countries were submitted this year to judging panels comprised of spirits experts from restaurants and hotels, along with spirits journalists, buyers and consultants. Wondering what other bottles you should be on the lookout for? Check out the complete list of winners here.

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