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Feb 24, 2018
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Archive for February, 2009

Bang for your buck

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Just spreading the word about a good deal so that you can save and savor.

Three’s the magic number tonight at Local Harvest Cafe in South City. Every Friday, by-the-glass wines cost just $3. Pick from pours like a peppery Penascal Tempranillo and a crisp Ceviche Sauvignon Blanc. Local Harvest only stocks what’s sustainably produced, so feel free to have a few.

The Art of Tony’s

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Left to right: Joan Mitchell, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg. Click on a photo to expand.

Mention the name Tony’s, and St. Louisans automatically think of award-winning Italian cuisine. But this venerable eatery boasts a feast for the eyes, as well. Look up from your plate and you’ll be treated to an intimate view of one of the finer modern art collections in the area.

According to co-owner James Bommarito, the collection started in earnest after Tony’s relocated to Market Street in 1992. The traditional statuary and oil paintings you see around the restaurant (which some of you may remember from the original location) were collected by his father, Vincent. Once the Bommaritos had moved, however, they began adorning the new space in a more contemporary vein.

Most of the works are in the Pop Art and Abstract Expressionist genres, with pieces by prominent artists like Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg and Sam Francis. The real crowd-pleasers among the 20-plus pieces in the collection: four signed Andy Warhol Flowers prints, which hang in the wine room.

It might sound strange to have modern art in such a cradle of tradition as Tony’s, but it works. Nothing garish or startling here – all of the pieces serve the space and enhance the dining experience. After all, as fellow owner Vincent P. Bommarito said, good art is just a natural extension of good food and good service – which Tony’s has in abundance.

Matt Sorrell
Photos by Ashley Gieseking

Editor’s note: This story appeared in the March 2009 issue of Sauce Magazine. It’s reprinted here with additional photos.

The Scoop: La Dolce Via returns

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Good news, brunchers: La Dolce Via will again be welcoming hungry guests to its popular weekend brunches beginning March 7, reports owner Marcia Sindel. (The Forest Park Southeast eatery temporarily shuttered at the beginning of the year for a bit of renovating, including a décor-freshening and a rethinking of the restaurant’s layout.) Sindel said that Thursday through Saturday night dinner service will be back as well, though perhaps not the first weekend. Of course, La Dolce Via’s pastries and desserts will also return; fans can look forward to a larger assortment of pastries and cookies.

Winter tomatoes

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Just exactly how is a person supposed to get a respectable tomato fix in the dead of winter? Until a few days ago, you would have received one of two answers from me depending on my caffeine intake: Either a simple “Can’t be done” or a long-winded diatribe that included cashing in tens of thousands of frequent-flier miles.

Now, though, everything has changed. While browsing through Extra Virgin, an Olive Ovation in Clayton, I happened across A L’Olivier’s Tomate Vinaigre. It was everything a tomato should be, tart enough to slightly pucker the back of your jaw, sweet, juicy (I didn’t know juicy was a taste until I tried this) and intense. The vinegar is surprisingly understated and merely serves as a catalyst for the tomato flavors to sing on your palate. Ladies and gentlemen, this is bottled summer.

So, if you ask me of winter tomatoes, pray I’ve not had my coffee or I may just drive you to Clayton and force you to buy a bottle on the spot, you know, for your own peace of mind.

Dennis Lowery
Photo courtesy of Extra Virgin, an Olive Ovation

From Fat Tuesday to vegan Monday

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

We wish we could tell you Gokul‘s new vegan dinner buffet will make up for the way you’ve been eating lately, but it sounds pretty decadent. The Olivette Indian restaurant, which is usually 100 percent vegetarian, now leaves out the cream and ghee from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Monday of the month. In return, look for dishes made with coconut milk, oil and soy milk, including lentil samosas and rice pudding.

Big Red

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

If you like pork – and we know you do – you’ll want to dine at Maplewood’s Monarch Restaurant and Edwardsville’s Erato on Main soon. Chefs Joshua Galliano and Kevin Willmann have started working with their respective halves of a locally raised Red Wattle, a heritage breed pig making its area debut. The beef-like meat, Willmann reported, is amply marbled.

Galliano will be serving dishes like boudin noir with mashed potatoes and roasted apples topped off with a crème fraîche-mustard sauce. Pork loin is likely later on. Willmann will likewise have loin chops seasoned with apple-cider brine along with a cold-smoked, Louisiana-style andouille sausage with hefty pork chunks. Also watch for bacon, ribs, hocks, snout, fatback – the works. Having weighed in at about 220 pounds, this big Red Wattle promises to go a long way.

– Photo courtesy of Marian Van Beever of Five Ponds Farm

Soup of the day

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Looking for a light lunch? We spent some time on the ol’ horn this morning finding some hit-the-spot soups:

• The Mardi Gras party has already started at Frazer’s Restaurant and Lounge. The Benton Park spot has a shrimp and chicken gumbo along with a green gumbo that packs ham and seven varieties of greens: 314.773.8646.

• Pomme Café & Wine Bar in Clayton lets broccoli be broccoli with a simple purée that’s laced with a touch of cream: 314.721.8801.

• Downtown’s Mosaic doesn’t take soup lightly. Choose between pulled pork-vegetable and loaded baked potato, which features green onion and smoked bacon: 314.621.6001.

Vote for more beer

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Dogfish Head, Surly, Three Floyds. If we’re speaking your language, we’ve got an assignment for you. Mike Sweeney, beer blogger and Sauce contributor, has posted a poll asking what breweries you’d like to see on the shelves in The STL. Mike doesn’t claim to have a crystal ball, but he does count brewers, distributors and retailers among his readers. So click here to work your magic.

The Scoop: Eat globally in Glen Carbon

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Blue Moon Café is almost ready to take on the world. Chef Jason Shafer’s global bistro and lounge will feature rotating items like Cajun jambalaya, Thai shrimp and Santa Fe salad. Also look for an internationally inspired selection of soups and sandwiches. (One to watch: The Navajo, warm fry bread stuffed with grilled chicken, avocado and salsa verde.) Blue Moon is set to open this summer in a brand-new building at 172 N. Main St. in Glen Carbon.

The Scoop: Wes Johnson lands at Eclipse

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

As construction crews put the finishing touches on Joe Edwards’ new Moonrise Hotel in The Loop, details are beginning to emerge about the property’s restaurant, Eclipse Restaurant at the Moonrise Hotel. Local foodies will be pleased to note that Wes Johnson, who gained a loyal following during his recent stint at The Shaved Duck’s stoves, has joined the team as chef de cuisine, reports general manager Chad George. Johnson and executive chef Maurice Reed are still developing the menu, but George described it as “eclectic and creative.” Bar manager Matt Obermark will oversee the libations offered both in the restaurant’s bar and at the hotel’s Rooftop Terrace Bar, which promises great views of The Loop and the Arch. The 130-seat Eclipse will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week; an April opening is expected. We’ll share more details as they emerge.

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