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Mar 19, 2018
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Archive for March, 2011

The Scoop: Owner of The U comes home to Kemoll’s

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

033111_KemollsIt’s a family reunion at Kemoll’s. Adam Kustra, owner of the recently shuttered Midtown sandwich and burger shop, The U, has rejoined his family at the Italian restaurant located downtown on the 40th floor of the Metropolitan Square Building.

Kustra, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, will be helming the kitchen during weekday lunch service, which was recently added to the restaurant’s hours of operation. While lunch patrons at Kemoll’s can now enjoy the restaurant’s classic entrées such as Chicken Fedelinaro and Tournedos Au Poivre Vert, Kustra also plans to add specials like pizzas, fresh fish, sandwiches, entrées and handmade pastas.

In addition to operating The U for three years, Kustra’s experience in the restaurant business includes time spent at Jazz at the Bistro and Saint Louis Club in Clayton. Kustra’s famiglia currently working at Kemoll’s includes his father Doug Cusumano, uncle Mark Cusumano, aunt Ellen Cusumano and grandmother Mary Grace Cusumano.

Sauce debuts on Foodspotting!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

033011_FSWe love when our readers turn to us for suggestions on where to dine and drink well around town. That’s why we’re so excited to announce that we are now featured on Foodspotting, a social media platform for finding must-try dishes wherever you are! What does this mean for you? Well, it means more recommendations on where to eat and what to order straight from the editors of Sauce.

In the mood for a sandwich? Check out our Sandwiches guide for a list of 10 must-try versions all around town. Looking for somewhere to take your honey for a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion? Click through our Fine Dining guide for a bevy of delicious options – and the dishes you shouldn’t miss while you’re there. Tired of toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake? Our New Classics guide will show you how some of St. Louis’ most creative culinary minds are putting modern twists on old favorites – and why you should get up and order them. Or if you’re simply in need of a little dining inspiration, you’ll love our Eat This guide: an ever-expanding collection of delectable dishes we just can’t get enough of (these are the ones we order again and again).

To get started, just visit Foodspotting.com or download the Foodspotting app on your iPhone or Android and follow us. As soon as you’re a Sauce follower, you’ll find all of our guides and be able to “spot” them by uploading your own pictures of our recommended dishes. Take an awesome pic and we’ll post it to our Facebook page to share with thousands of other St. Louis diners. And if you spot all the items on one of our guides, you’ll become a certified Saucer, with the badge to prove it.

We’ll be announcing additions to our guides each month, so be sure to check back with us to see what new tasty items you need to discover.

The Scoop: Bailey reveals secret strategy for opening restaurant No. 4

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

030411_dbAfter last night’s Dorm Room dinner where restaurateur David Bailey helmed the non-kitchen kitchen at 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar in Lafayette Square, The Scoop nudged Bailey for more intel on his soon-to-open restaurant downtown. Bailey stated that he’s taking the stealthy route, with plans to remain mum about the menu, concept and even the name for his fourth restaurant that will be located at 920 Olive St., until the soft opening, anticipated for late May or early June.

The Scoop can, at least, fill you in on the filling fare that Bailey served at Dorm Room. Check out our Facebook page to sneak a peek at the five-course affair.

The Scoop: Wild restaurant action out west

Monday, March 28th, 2011

032811_SuperSmokersAs we reported only last week, there is quite a bit of activity among the restaurant industry in St. Louis’ Metro West region. This week, we have a slew of additional openings and closings to announce.

Super Smokers is no longer at the space at 1365 Jungermann Road, near Highway 94 in St. Peters. You can find the new Super Smokers location about 20 minutes west at 7409 Highway N in Dardenne Prairie.

For St. Peters residents who love Asian food, side-by-side options will soon be available. Moto Sushi Bar and Grill is moving into the space vacated by Malone’s Grill and Pub at 1320 Triad Center Drive. The Japanese restaurant will sit next door to Lucky Spring, a Chinese eatery that opened about a year ago.

Meanwhile, in historic downtown St. Charles, it appears that Cobblestones, situated at 140 N. Main St., has shuttered. The phone at the restaurant, which opened in 2009, is no longer operating and signage has been removed. More as we learn it.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Push back against winter with this Sauvignon Blanc

Friday, March 25th, 2011

032511_PushbackCredit Kyle Harsha of Harsha Wines for bringing yet another great wine to town. The latest is a Sauvignon Blanc from Pushback Winery, a small operation owned by former St. Louis resident Nick Floulis. A “pushback moment” in 2004 led the then 25-year-old Floulis to quit his job as a wine buyer, pack his bags, move to Northern Cali and become a winemaker.

Pushback has just two wines in its portfolio, a nice, round Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc. The 2009 release of the Sauvignon Blanc (Sémillon grapes make up 3 percent of the blend that is finished in stainless steel) is wonderfully crisp, with tropical tones plus notes of fruity pear and tart green apple. Floulis’ wine is very food oriented (a bottle of Pushback Sauvignon Blanc and a dozen oysters is heaven), thus his wines are found primarily in restaurants. In St. Louis, the wine is currently only available at Sasha’s on Shaw, where it sells for just under $10 a glass or $36 for a bottle. However, look for Pushback to appear soon at restaurateur Alan Richman’s other two local establishments – Sasha’s Wine Bar and the recently opened Demun Oyster Bar.

Winter, be damned! Spring is finally here, and we can think of no better way to wish away this dreary weather than to hole up at the bar at Sasha’s on Shaw and sip some perfectly crisp Pushback. Bring on spring.

The Scoop: Local Winestyles franchisee spurs off as indie-owned wine bar Naked Vine

Friday, March 25th, 2011

032511_NakedVineSince November 2006, Bryan Herr has been a franchisee of retail wine operation Winestyles. Now, Herr is spurring off from the national chain to become an independent, locally owned business and, as part of the move to “extricate” his operation from the Winestyles franchise, he’s changing the name of his Chesterfield wine shop to Naked Vine.

Haven’t checked out Herr’s store at 1624 Clarkson Road yet? It’s stocked with boutique, small production wines with an emphasis on domestics from central and northern California, as well as Washington state and Oregon. “We are a byproduct of what our customers like,” said Herr. “People really appreciate the selection of wines we have; it’s not the same old stuff.” Patrons can carry away a bottle or, better yet, sip vino while seated at the granite bar, long wooden communal table or one of the high-tops. Naked Vine also offers a selection of farmstead cheeses and salumi by Fra’Mani. Wine tastings occur every Thursday and Saturday. Naked Vine also offers wine classes and winemaker events; dates are posted on the shop’s Web site.

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

Friday, March 25th, 2011

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

I caused these tragic events. RT @KBestOliver Ugh. I just burped sardine.

The intern will not be paid. But will get free high life and listen to good music while we purée oranges and gin and make weird ice cubes

Second breakfast is much more preferable than second winter.

@EvanBenn If you ever catch me in an amusement park and pull my face off you’ll see I’m really Sandra Lee. #damnyoumeddlingfoodies

If I could say “bitch, please” only once more in my whole life, I’d say it to Gwyneth Paltrow claiming to eat pasta carbonara.

Took 45 minutes for tiny octopus I’m simmering to go from rock-hard rigamortis to passively limp tenderness, like a sleeping baby’s fingers

kicked out of my kitchen at 2. picked up more birds from ron benne. paired wines @33wine. had a cocktail at alex’s house. deboned 6 chickens

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

Three Reasons to check out UnderWAREs

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

032411_UnderwaresUnderground dinners have become trendy over the last few years. And sure, there is a place for a five-course meal prepared by a trained chef, but it will set you back between $50 and $125 – more if you choose a wine flight – plus don’t forget the tip for the servers. For budget-minded folks looking to share conversation and a delicious dinner with interesting people, there’s another operation in existence and it’s called underWAREs.

“A covert sharing operation among the St. Louis community to celebrate food and meet new people,” is how founders Will Fischer and Geraldine Co describe their “secret” society. Dinner parties are just one element of the underWAREs concept. The group also offers a barter circle, whereby food, drinks, classes, arts and crafts, even services, are traded. Lastly, underWAREs publishes an e-zine full of information about St. Louis’ food culture – think of it as an alternative way to become in-the-know about eateries you may have not tried yet.

I recently attended an underWAREs dinner party and will most decidedly be returning. Here’s why:

1. It’s an unpretentious affair. Dinner parties occur monthly and alternate location, taking place in the home of one of the attendees. The crowd is small, usually about 15 people. So, who are these daring diners? Fischer is a recent graduate of Washington University’s School of Engineering and currently works at the university’s office of sustainability. He and his circle of acquaintances enjoy food, embrace the “support local food” mantra, and engage in food and drink experiments such as making yogurt, preserves and hard cider. To shake up the guest list and live up to the credo that “strangers are especially welcome,” attendees are asked not to attend two dinners in a row. Jeans are the customary attire.

2. You’ll share a thoughtful meal. It won’t be a trained chef preparing your meal. Instead, it’s a home cook, perhaps with that cook’s significant other or BFF lending a hand. He or she will put thought and time into making a nice, well-rounded meal made with fresh (and mostly locally sourced) ingredients.

At the dinner that I attended, we noshed on hors d’oeuvres like beet and apple tartare, crostini of quince vinaigrette-marinated flank steak and twice-baked fingerling potatoes with Gouda and a balsamic reduction. The main meal consisted of paprika-spiced chicken tossed in a rice pilaf with roasted onions and peppers served alongside a spinach salad with an excellent blood orange vinaigrette. This, by the way, was a help-yourself affair. Hit the kitchen, fill up your plate, and if you want seconds, go for it. To finish, we enjoyed strawberry granita garnished with Fischer’s homemade port-preserved cherries, plus buñuelos sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, a drizzle of honey and a dab of strawberry jam.

3. It’s affordable. A $10 donation and a libation to share will hardly break the bank. Some diners brought a bottle of wine, others a six-pack of beer. Fischer even batched up a tiki drink and served it in wood-carved tiki mugs.

The next UnderWAREs dinner party will be held Sunday, April 10. To make your reservation or to find out more about this fun organization, visit its Web site.

The Scoop: Ballyhoo adds to restaurant growth out west

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

032411_BallyhooAs recent census data has indicated, St. Charles is growing, and with it, we’re seeing an increase in dining options. The latest addition, Ballyhoo Restaurant & Bar, is taking the space formerly occupied by Twister’s at 1048 Wolfrum Road, near Highway 94.

Owner Steve Surplus said that he and his business partner Mike McDonnell hope to bring “something different” to the area. In particular, they plan on bringing happy hour – which Surplus feels has fallen into demise of late – back to its rightful place. Thus Ballyhoo will not be open for lunch and instead will open daily (except Sundays) at 3:30 p.m., offering a rotating list of unique appetizers. The dinner menu, now in its final stages of development, will focus on American cuisine. Live music will also play a part in creating an energetic vibe at the 5,000-square-foot establishment.

Surplus and McDonnell have their eyes on an April 1 opening, though Surplus cautioned that it could be delayed by a week. Ballyhoo is the third restaurant-bar that Surplus has owned. At the age of 24, he opened St. Charles sports bar South 94 Bistro, and he later owned Stevie Ray’s Bar & Grill on Main Street in historic St. Charles.

For more information about Ballyhoo Restaurant and Bar, check it out on Facebook.

Stocking Up on Missouri-raised bison this grilling season

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

032311_bisonAccording to Alfred Lord Tennyson, in the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. According to us, come spring, our thoughts are more likely to turn to thoughts of grilling. This season, we’ll leave the plain burgers and dogs to less creative cooks. When we fire up the Weber, it will be for bison raised right here in Missouri.

The SayersBrook Bison Ranch sits outside of Potosi, about 75 miles southwest of St. Louis. Owners Skip and Connie have raised bison on the ranch since the mid-1970s and we found their pre-formed patties at Straub’s in Clayton. We like the meat for its full flavor and lean texture. Most cooks agree that the lower fat content means you want to serve it slightly rarer than you would a beef burger.

It’s not hard to find other ways to add flavor into the burger. Think about grilling some mushrooms or sweet onions to slide on to a medium-rare burger, and then top the patty with pungent blue cheese crumbles. For a study in textural contrasts, top a smoky burger with slices of creamy avocado and a dab of salsa. Be sure to lightly toast the bun for extra crunch. You’ll love it this spring or any other season.

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