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Nov 24, 2014
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Archive for February, 2011

The Scoop: Joey B’s No. 3 newest addition to Gianino restaurants

Monday, February 28th, 2011

022811_joeybThe Gianino family of restaurants is growing. The newest member is a third location of Joey B’s Food and Drink, soon to open at 189 Concord Plaza in South County. Joey B’s general manager Greg Hard told The Scoop that the 4,000-square-foot space, formerly occupied by Klipper’s Pub and Grill, is currently undergoing renovations and that, upon completion, the restaurant will serve approximately 150 to 200 guests. Among the construction highlights Hard noted is the addition of an outdoor patio. Although he declined to provide specifics about the design, he said that the patio would be “something we will be proud of … and that [people] will talk about in South County.”

The menu at the Concord Plaza establishment will be identical to the one offered at the two other Joey B’s locations on The Landing and The Hill. Hard did note, however, that management is looking to add a selection of low-cal items to the menu. “We do a great variety of comfort foods – whether St. Louis fare or Italian fare. So to offer something a little different, we are looking to do lighter, fresher menu items.”

Joey B’s No. 3 is slated to open by the end of March, including that patio, “if all goes according to plan” said Hard.

The other members of the Gianino family of restaurants, in addition to the other two Joey B’s locations, include Bill Gianino’s, Frankie G’s Grill and Bar, Pepper’s Grill and Bar, and Frankie Gianino’s Grill and Bar in Imperial, Mo.

The Scoop: Japanese restaurant Yamato adds to restaurant scene in Belleville

Monday, February 28th, 2011

22811_bentoNew restaurants continue to crop up in Belleville. Sauce recently reported the arrival of seafood spot Catch 22, and now we’re adding another to the list. Yamato Japanese Restaurant, located at 4205 N. Belt West next to Shop ‘n Save, also opened this month. Yamato specializes in sushi, hibachi and bento boxes and is open daily for lunch and dinner.

— Photo by Carmen Troesser

Drink This Weekend Edition: Somerset Ridge puts Kansas back on map as worthy wine producer

Friday, February 25th, 2011

22511_wineDid you know that before Prohibition most of the wine produced in the U.S. came from Missouri and eastern Kansas? The Noble Experiment didn’t work out for many wineries in the Sunflower State, but in the past two decades, the region has reasserted itself. There are now 25 wineries in Kansas, with 12 licensed in Kansas in the last five years alone. One winery in particular, Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery, located across the Missouri border in Somerset, Kan., has caught our attention as it makes its debut in St. Louis this week.

Somerset owners Cindy and Dennis Reynolds planted their vineyard in 1998, with 2001 marking the year of their first vintage. Since then, the plantings have grown to more than 8,000 grape vines, 14 varieties and 18 labels. The family-run winery recently took honors at wine expert Doug Frost’s Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, winning the Best Non-Vinifera White category and walking home with gold or silver for five of its other wines.

Now available locally at The Wine Barrel, located in Sunset Hills at 3828 S. Lindbergh Blvd., are Somerset’s Chardonel, Traminette and Flyboy Red. The Traminette is a tart, dry white, while the Chardonel is a lovely, floral, dry white in which you’ll taste tropical fruit flavors upfront and a crisp finish of pears and green apples. The Flyboy Red, one of the winery’s most popular wines, is a soft, fruit-forward, dry red made from a blend of Cabernet Franc and Chambourcin. All three are finished in stainless steel, lending a smooth finish. The Chardonel and Flyboy Red, noted Cindy Reynolds, have each gained a strong following in the Kansas City area, with several restaurants using these affordable labels as their house red and white.

Tweet Beat: The week’s best tweets from STL foodies

Friday, February 25th, 2011

080610_twittericonAre you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemagazine

kimberly9938
Just had the best “BLT” ever; honey mustard roasted pork belly, arugula, and mayo on toasted sourdough. Seriously. Best ever. Yep.

KBestOliver
Mayan hot chocolate with two espresso shots at the Gelateria is my joint right now. So effing good. <swoon>

MoEats
I need pasta for dinner tonight. It’s cheaper than therapy.

Dalebo
You have the buffet, I’ll have the pig ears in chili oil. #stl #food twitpic.com/42bbxn

boxcar_fritz
My wife took clients out for dinner last night. Dude ordered a steak well done and asked for A1. wife no longer wants to do business w/ him.

guerrillastreet

Ladies and gentlemen, we own a truck! http://twitpic.com/42a74w

GerardFCraft
Talking to @nhereford we think a steel cage match between @ericripert and Gordon Ramsey is in order! Retweet to make this happen!

Foodsnobstl
making ketchup and drinking beer. this is what happens when the husband works late . . . .

TheBevoKill
I am having a full on shameless sexual affair with this curry chickpea spinach soup. Get in my mouth, lover.

kguymon
Today, a student casually mentioned Strawberry Alarm Clock in conversation. Boom, mind blown.

Think you should be on this list? Follow us and let us know @saucemagazine

Three Reasons to try Grassi’s West

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

022411_grassiswestIf Grassi’s West were a person, it would be the guitar tech who makes sure the lead guitarist’s instrument is accounted for and in tune or the speechwriter who makes the politician look smarter than he truly is – in a word, “dependable.”

To denizens of Frontenac, Ladue, Creve Coeur and the surrounding communities, Grassi’s West has been the go-to spot for a quick, tasty, traditional Italian meal – and a menu that has items for even the fussiest kid in the family – for more than 25 years. (Those who’ve never been marvel at Grassi’s “secret location” behind the former Coco’s restaurant at South Lindbergh and German boulevards.) Here are three reasons to check out this tasty spot, if you haven’t.

1. The cafeteria-style service means you (and your impatient kids) get your meal quickly. At lunchtime, the super-human speed of the service is something to behold. The dining room’s perfectly unpretentious décor, which seems to have been frozen in time, features area prep school memorabilia on the wall and is the definition of casual and a great place to bring the family. About half the seats are repurposed church pews.

2. Standouts on the menu include the chicken parmesan, the Mary Jo Special (house-made ravioli with meatballs) and the Terry Special (veal on cheese garlic bread). The sandwiches are savory and hearty with a satisfying texture. The meat sauce, or “gravy,” that’s used on many of the pasta dishes is a delicious house-made red sauce, while the pizza is a St. Louis-style, cheesy, thin delight. The expansive menu has so many choices, including pizza and spaghetti for the kiddos. Virtually every dish comes with a house salad, which is tossed before your eyes in a tangy house Italian that saturates the crunchy croutons and coats the sliced green olives in it just right.

3. Regulars know that one of the best intangibles of the Grassi’s experience is the wisecracking that goes on behind the counter from the likes of owner Glenn Pariani and longtime employee Doris. They’re just a fun and charming gang.

Stocking Up: Gus’ Pretzels

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

022311_guspretzelsAs spring training commences, we’re thinking not only of La Russa, Pujols and the rest of the Cardinals, but also of all the food that always tastes better at the ballpark. We can all agree that no game is complete without a nice, greasy hot dog, but for some of us, baseball season also means pretzels in all their salty, doughy deliciousness.

The king of the St. Louis pretzel world is undoubtedly Gus’ Pretzels, which began operations way back in 1920. Many families make the pilgrimage to Gus’ storefront on Arsenal Street for these chewy treats, but these locally made pretzels are also available at area grocery stores. A stroll through the freezer aisle at the Brentwood Dierbergs one recent chilly afternoon meant nabbing a pack of Gus’ pretzel twists to take home for the family. The package says the pretzels can be popped in the microwave, though we chose the conventional oven method. Four minutes at 425 degrees gave us the perfect after-school snack for a couple of hungry kids.

The pretzels are just fine on their own, complete with a sprinkle of crunchy salt, but why not get creative? The pretzel sticks could stand in for bread sticks at any weeknight meal, and they’d be great as an accompaniment to beer cheese soup, such as this tasty version. You can even create your own spring training treat by slicing the twists crosswise and using them as a creative hot dog bun. Now, bring on the boys of summer!

The Scoop: Kirkwood Deli and Market to serve grocery, gyro needs of nearby community

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

022311_gyrosMom and pop grocery stores can be special places. Sam Abdallah certainly agrees, which is why he is opening a deli and market in Kirkwood. The market will be located at 500 W. Essex Ave.,  in the space formerly occupied by the popular Majic Market. Abdallah’s father is the property owner of the space.

Kirkwood Deli and Market will be both deli and grocery store. In addition to offering great cuts of cheese and fresh meats, the deli will also have an extensive take-out menu. Although the menu is still being finalized, Abdallah intends to honor the store’s past as a gyro stop. “We will still have an incredible gyro sandwich,” said Abdallah, who  has  20 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

The 2,500-square-foot space will also be stocked with grocery items and non-food, convenience products. One section of the store will even be dedicated entirely to products made by Kirkwood businesses. “We want to advertise the area of Kirkwood,” explained Abdallah. “It’s a community-driven project.” The desire to serve nearby residents has also prompted Abdallah to offer grocery delivery, which will begin about six months after the store opens. “It will be a throwback to the 40s and 50s,” he noted.

The renovation is slated to begin soon and Abdallah expects the project to take four to six weeks. When construction concludes, customers will find old-world signage but an interior with a contemporary feel. “We are really trying to build something special at this place,” said Abdallah. “We want to give this store back to Kirkwood.”

The Scoop: La Vallesana owner discusses his big renovation plans

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

022211_LaVallesanaDiners who have headed to Cherokee Street in search of authentic Mexican fare in the past few months might have noticed that the doors are shut at La Vallesana, located at 2801 Cherokee St. They have also likely seen a sign directing their hungry tummies to owner Hilario Vargas’ second location, La Vallesana 2, across the street.

Now, Vargas has informed The Scoop that the temporary move is due to a renovation he’s making to the cheap eats stop that he opened in 2003. When La Vallesana re-opens in mid-May, patrons will notice quite a few changes. In addition to major structural changes made to the building, customers will be happy to see seated table dining (though stand-and-eat counters will stay), and the back-of-the-house staff will give an enthusiastic olé to an overhauled kitchen.

This is just stage one for Vargas. Once the project is completed, Vargas will get to work moving his La Vallesana 2 from its current location at 2818 Cherokee St, to 2811 Cherokee St. (formerly occupied by Economic Stop), effectively putting his two restaurants next door to one another. La Vallesana 2 has specialized in paletas, house-made Mexican popsicles, and ice cream since opening in 2005.

The original La Vallesana, parked at the corner of Cherokee and California streets, boasts what is likely the best place for outdoor eating among the Mexican business stretch of Cherokee. When phase two is complete at the end of the year, patrons will not only be able to take their Mexican fare outside to La Vallesana’s patio on the east with its shade-giving pergola, but also to a patio that is set to be built on the west side. The idea: to be an all-in-one stop for tacos y paletas.

Vargas told The Scoop in his native Spanish that, sporting a perked-up plaza, he hopes to become the Ted Drewes of Mexican ice cream and popsicles. Ándale!

Just Five: Pork Tenderloin with Cumin and Agave

Monday, February 21st, 2011

022111_pick5Welcome back to Just Five, a new column where we share recipes for refined and delicious dishes that use just five ingredients, excluding butter, oil, salt and pepper. There’s just one rule of thumb: Always choose the highest quality ingredients, as each will stand out in the recipes we feature.

Oh pork tenderloin, how do I love thee? Your tender flesh is flavorful, yet low in fat. You are affordable enough to put on the table for my children on a Tuesday night, yet you can dress yourself up and impress for dinner with fancy folks too. Oh, pork tenderloin, you marry well with sweet and savory, I love you, I do, pork tenderloin.

Cumin and agave sweetener (look for it where you find honey or syrup) are a wonderful flavor combination. The almost spicy smokiness of the cumin and rich sweetness of the agave – whose flavor ranks in somewhere between honey and maple syrup – complement pork perfectly. Pork tenderloin is usually sold in packs of two, but don’t worry – this recipe is easily doubled.

Pork Tenderloin with Cumin and Agave

Serves 4 to 6

Adapted by Dee Ryan from a recipe by Niki Segnit, originally published in The Flavor Thesaurus

1 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. agave sweetener
½ cup dry red wine
¼ cup red wine vinegar
5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, separated
1 pork tenderloin
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
• Put cumin, agave, red wine, vinegar and 3 Tbsp. olive oil into a re-sealable bag, and mash until combined.
• Add pork tenderloin to marinade and put in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
• Remove tenderloin from bag, and reserve marinade.
• Sprinkle salt and pepper on the tenderloin and add about 2 Tbsp. olive oil to a non-stick skillet placed over high heat.
• Lightly salt and pepper the tenderloin. Sear the tenderloin on all sides (about 1 minute per side) and then put the skillet in the oven for 20 minutes.
• While the pork is cooking, bring the marinade to a boil in a saucepan, lower the flame and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until it is reduced by about half.
• When the pork reaches about 150 degrees, remove it from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Serve the pork with the reduction drizzled over it.

More pork recipes

Extra Sauce: Another bowl of pho ga to fill up on

Monday, February 21st, 2011

022111_phogaIn this month’s Short List, Sauce contributor Dee Ryan revealed which bowls of pho ga you should be cozying up to this winter. Now, exclusively in the Extra Sauce section of SauceMagazine.com, Ryan reveals whose version of this classic Vietnamese soup fell just shy of taking home a medal. After all, with those cool wintry days back once again, there’s nothing like another great bowl of soup to keep you warm and your belly happy. To see whose pho ga is this month’s Short List Runner-Up, click here.

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