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Feb 24, 2018
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Archive for March, 2009

Now you see it

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Believe your eyes: Yes, that is Magic Hat on tap in The STL. Look for the Vermont-based brewery’s flagship ale, No. 9, at Blueberry Hill and Cicero’s in The Loop, Growlers Pub in Sunset Hills and Creve Coeur, and The Wedge on Bates Street in South City, among other locations. In the coming months, Magic Hat will introduce bottled beer here, too, including No. 9 and Lucky Kat pale ale, as well as its seasonal beers and variety 12-packs. Wicked.

English to Spanish

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

We think salt is a big deal, and apparently, people in Spain agree. I’m just back from Barcelona, where I couldn’t help but notice salt’s presence not just to enhance flavor, but also to enhance texture and presentation. Maldon sea salt from England, in particular, was front and center in Barcelona. It was sprinkled on top of seared tuna with warm mojo. It added bite to rustic beans with onions, garlic and parsley. It even topped quenelles of rich chocolate sitting on a pool of Spanish extra-virgin olive oil. (That’s the dessert from Comerç 24 pictured above, called simply Bread, Chocolate, Oil and Salt.) Maldon salt was sold by vendors at the must-see Boqueria Market, as well as at Albert Adrià’s tapas bar, Inopia. It was everywhere, and it was fabulous.

The Scoop: Barbecue biz is still smokin’

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Chesterfield-based Bandana’s Bar-B-Q has opened its 26th location, in Washington, Mo. The barbecue chain plans to open 10 more restaurants this year, including one in the Creve Coeur area. Bandana’s also has launched an online ordering system, which enables customers to place and pay for carryout orders.

Partying with Prince

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Prince graced the universe with new albums yesterday, and word is they hark back to their monumentally funky predecessor Purple Rain. Let’s go crazy. Mixologist Nhat Nguyen, owner of Urban Lounge on South Grand, serves a cocktail that’ll make a pedestrian listening party supreme. Let him guide you to the Purple Rain, a fruity dynamo with a sour punch and star appeal:

Purple Rain
Courtesy of Urban Lounge’s Nhat Nguyen

4 blackberries plus 2 for garnish
2 lime wedges plus 1 for garnish
1½ oz. Absolut Kurant vodka
1 tsp. simple syrup*
2 oz. sour mix

• Muddle the blackberries and limes together in a cocktail shaker.
• Add the vodka, simple syrup, sour mix and ice. Shake.
• Skewer the remaining fruit to garnish.

*Simmer 1 part water and 1 part sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Drinking on the job: Stirrings Blood Orange Martini set

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Call it research. Call it getting our creative juices flowing. We occasionally sample a little something-something during business hours. “Dine, drink and live well!” is the Sauce way, right?

new Stirrings Blood Orange Martini mixer and Rimmer garnish

First, a disclosure: We have a soft spot for Stirrings. Its line of mixers, packed in big apothecary bottles, is our go-to for gift-giving. So when Stirrings sent over its latest flavor, we were already sold. Here’s what we did with it:

Blood Orange Bellini
Courtesy of Stirrings

Stirrings Blood Orange Martini Rimmer for garnish
1 part Stirrings Blood Orange Martini mixer
4 parts dry sparkling wine

• Chill a champagne flute.
• Rim the chilled flute with the Rimmer. Pour in the blood orange mixer and top with the sparkling wine.

Office consensus: It’s worth hosting a shower just to serve these pretty, coral-colored cocktails. But the blood orange mixer is tougher than it looks: It’s juicy, not too sweet, and would mix easily with bourbon, tequila or vodka. Basically, anything OJ can do, blood orange can do better – and look better doing it, too.

Soup of the day

Friday, March 27th, 2009

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

• South City’s king of comfort food, Iron Barley, is serving up clam chowder with smoked salmon: 314.351.4500.

• Seafood fans can also opt for lobster minestrone at Araka in Clayton: 314.725.6777.

• Nadoz Euro Bakery & Café in Midtown has beef with saffron rice; its sister spot on The Boulevard has a meaty lamb stew. Both are also serving up smoky tomato bisque. Order a bowl of any soup and get a pretzel roll to sop up every drop: 314.446.6800 (Midtown) and 314.726.3100 (Richmond Heights).

Beans and garden greens

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Sautéed greens are many a gardener’s favorite side dish. If you’re growing Swiss chard or kale this spring, consider making this light Italian bean dish with the season’s first harvest. Sauté 1 bunch of greens with garlic and 1/3 cup of slivered red onion, adding pancetta if you wish. Stir in a cup of warm cannellini beans to the wilted greens and splash with balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Finish with a tablespoon each of golden raisins and toasted pine nuts.

Ligaya Figueras

Fresh pasta empire

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Mangia Italiano has partnered with Whole Foods Market to bring a taste of South City to Chicago. Four locations now carry nine varieties of Mangia’s fresh pasta, and owner David Burmeister expects to add a fifth store to the list this June. Bravo!

There’s also some good news for hungry St. Louisians. Whole Foods in Brentwood and Town and Country (where Mangia pastas became available last year) now sell the restaurant’s pesto and tomato sauce so that you can make a whole meal.

Photo by Carmen Troesser


Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards, the highest honors in the food world, were announced this morning, and St. Louis’ own Gerard Craft is among them. Craft, chef and owner of Niche Restaurant in Benton Park, will vie for the title of Best Chef in the Midwest, with the winner to be announced at an awards gala on May 4 at Lincoln Center in New York.

Semifinalists also included Monarch Restaurant’s Joshua Galliano and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe.

And congratulations to Kristen Hinman of the Riverfront Times, who was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award in the Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes category. Hinman got the nod for her feature article The Pope of Pork, which ran in the paper last November.

Click here for a complete list of all the finalists.

See you there: Grape Arts

Friday, March 20th, 2009

We’ll be at Windows Off Washington on Sunday for Art Saint Louis’ signature fundraiser, Grape Arts XVII. This event, of which Sauce is a media sponsor, promises to be a lovely afternoon of wine, art and music. But last call for reservations is today: 314.241.4810.

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