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Oct 23, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for May, 2011

Just Five: Mussels with Salsiccia

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

053111_musselsThere is something very primal about eating mussels. You are going to dig in, and you’re going to get your hands dirty. Bread is as much of an utensil as a fork in this case and, quite honestly, that’s my kind of eatin’. There was a time when I would only eat mussels when I dined out, because I was sure there was a trick to making them. But really, there is no easier food to make – they aren’t terribly expensive and you can get as messy as you want when you eat them in the privacy of your own home. The original recipe calls for chorizo, but I really love the extra fennel flavors you get from the salsiccia. So go on, don’t be scared of making mussels at home – here’s a simple and scrumptious way to get started.

Mussels with Salsiccia

Serves 2 to 4

Adapted by Dee Ryan from a recipe originally published at annarbor.com by Peggy Lampman

Extra virgin olive oil
2 links salsiccia (or other Italian sausage), casings removed
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (fronds can be used as garnish)
2 cups dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb. mussels, scrubbed (discard any that do not close when tapped)

• Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
• Add the sausage to the skillet, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When the sausage is browned, add the garlic and fennel and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the fennel begins to become transparent.
• Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Add the mussels to the pot, cover and cook until they open, usually about 2 to 3 minutes.
• Discard any mussels that did not open.
• Garnish if desired with the fronds of the fennel bulbs, and serve immediately with some crusty French bread.

More recipes for mussels

The Scoop: Tasting room now open at Second Shift Brewing

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

053111_2ndShiftSteve Crider launched Second Shift Brewing last year. And while St. Louisans have been able to enjoy Second Shift suds on tap at a few area bars and restaurants, beer-lovers looking to make the short trek to New Haven, Mo., where the brewery is based, can now enjoy Second Shift beers at the brewery’s own tasting room, which opened last weekend at 1401 Olive Road, about one mile north of Highway 100.

Crider, who is both owner and brewmaster at Second Shift, told The Scoop that the tasting room will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 6 p.m. Currently, the Second Shift crew is pulling handles on five of its beers: Unicorn Killer Saison, a hoppy wheat beer called Wheat Freak, Hibiscus Whit and two IPAs – Art of Neurosis and Collaboration Ale. The Collaboration Ale is just that – a joint project with area craft brewery The Civil Life Brewing Co. Crider hopes to add five to seven more taps eventually, thus offering at least 10 of his own brews plus a guest tap or two.

As far as food offerings at the tasting room go, Crider said that while there will be “munchies of some sort,” he is still finalizing the list of items. For the moment, look for pretzels, popcorn and other bar snacks, with cheese plates and other small plates for sharing coming soon.

The Scoop: 2011 season canceled for Downtown Farmers’ Market

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

053111_DTFMThe 2011 season has been canceled for the Downtown Farmers’ Market, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Bonwich. Patrick Horine, who helped get the market up and running for last year’s inaugural season and spearheaded organization efforts this year, told The Scoop that the market was canceled because “turnout last year was so low that the vendors did not want to take a chance on it this year, even with the new time slot.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that the market would operate from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a change from last year’s 4 to 7 p.m. hours.  “We were ready to do it,” continued Horine. “We had about 13 vendors, but there weren’t enough farmers in the mix. Maybe four farmers signed up and that’s not enough.”

Will Horine give the Downtown Farmers’ Market another try next year?  “I haven’t written off giving it another shot,” replied Horine, who insisted that if someone else took over the project next year, “It will have to be somebody in the community [who] can convince the farmers to come out and give it a try. I’ll have to see where things are next spring.” In the mean time, Horine is keeping busy with the Tower Groves Farmers’ Market, which he is also the founder of and which will still operate regularly, as well as Local Harvest Café and the recently relocated and expanded Local Harvest Grocery, the latter two of which he owns with business partner Maddie Earnest.

Sneak Peek: Half & Half

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

053111_halfnhalfWhen Michael Randolph, owner of Midtown’s The Good Pie, whipped up some of the dishes that would be served up at Half & Half, his new Clayton breakfast and lunch destination, for our Guide to Entertaining, he left us drooling for more – and dying for his restaurant, located at 8135 Maryland Ave., to open. The long-awaited day has arrived and Randolph and his team did not disappoint. Half & Half opened its doors this morning and we were excited to get a sneak peek. Check out our Facebook page for a look at the interior and a few tasty menu items.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Spanish white wines make a splash in St. Louis

Friday, May 27th, 2011

0527111_WINEGrow white grape varietals in the land of La Rioja? The Spaniards at wine company Vintae may sound nearly as crazy as Don Quixote fighting a battalion of windmills, but what winemaker Raùl Acha has done with Vintae’s line of white wines, Spanish White Guerrilla, is nothing less than impressive. And lucky for us, these tasty – and extremely limited – wines arrived this week in The Lou.

Spanish White Guerrilla includes a collection of eight mono-varietal wines – Albariño, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Chardonnay (a steel fermented and a barrel-aged) and Viognier – all of which have been cultivated in Spain’s La Rioja, a region that has heretofore been strictly vino tinto territory. While we give a thumb’s up to all of these wines, both for taste and the very reasonable price point, the champion to our taste buds is the Chardonnay that’s aged for 10 months in French oak. You can pick up a bottle at The Vino Gallery, located at 4701 McPherson Ave., in the Central West End, and also at J. Viviano & Sons on The Hill. Look for other Spanish White Guerrilla varietals at Saint Louis Cellars in Maplewood and at Modesto on Shaw Avenue.

Incidentally, lovers of cool wine labels will also enjoy collecting Spanish White Guerrilla bottles. Each wine sports an illustration of a playful character whose attire and props are inspired by the origin of the grape variety bottled inside: A sassy French mademoiselle for the younger, steel-fermented Chardonnay; a buxom madame for the barrel-aged version; a German blond for the Riesling. You get the idea. Check out all eight illustrations on the company’s website.

Mark your calendar for the first Food Truck Friday, June 10!

Friday, May 27th, 2011

052711_mangiaThe food truck trend has hit St. Louis with a bang, with more trucks than ever now trolling the streets to serve up everything from pizza to tacos to cupcakes to hungry St. Louisans willing to track down their mobile meals on Facebook and Twitter. Now, for the very first time, you can put down your smart phones and detach from your computers: All your favorite food trucks will be in one place!

Introducing Food Truck Fridays, a free monthly Sauce event where local food trucks will gather for an evening of friends, fun and plenty of good food. The first Food Truck Friday will be held Friday, June 10, at Tower Grove Park, where your favorite mobile restaurants will be dishing out their fresh fare from 4 to 8 p.m. Haven’t tried the beef short rib tacos at Cha Cha Chow yet? It’s time to fix that. Want to satisfy that sweet tooth but can’t decide between Sarah’s Cakestop and The Sweet Divine? Now, you don’t have to. Not been able to track down the Pi or Holy Crêpe trucks yet? Here’s your chance.

That’s right, the finest food trucks on St. Louis’ streets, including Pi On the Spot, Cha Cha Chow, Fats Pierre, Mangia Mobile, The Sweet Divine, Sarah’s Cakestop, Holy Crêpe, Falafelwich Wagon and more will be there, excited to meet the friendly faces of their hungry customers. So whether you’re a regular at the windows of these creative culinarians or are simply wondering what this whole food truck trend is all about, grab a blanket and a chair and head on down to Tower Grove Park for a night of great food, good times and the friendliest darn truck drivers you’ll ever meet!

UPDATE: Shell’s Coastal Cuisine has signed on to join our very first Food Truck Friday event! Read about the brand new food truck here.

What: First Food Truck Friday

When: Friday, June 10, 4 to 8 p.m.

Cost: Entrance: free; cash only for food and beverages

Where: Tower Grove Park, 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, along Southwest Drive (Get map here)

Parking: West End & Gurney Picnic Sites: Enter the Park via Kingshighway and follow Southwest Drive, heading east as it is a one way-street. The picnic sites will be on your left. From the Arsenal entrance at Center Cross Drive: Go around the roundabout and turn left on Northwest Drive (which his also one way), heading west. This will eventually loop into Southwest Drive.

Sneak Peek: A look at what’s brewing at 4 Hands Brewing Co.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

052711_fourhandsThis week, we got a sneak peek at what’s brewing at the soon-to-open 4 Hands Brewing Co. Will Johnston, a former brewer for Goose Island Beer Co., in Chicago, and Lucette Brewing Co., in Wisconsin, will serve as the brewmaster at 4 Hands, as first reported by STLHops’ Mike Sweeney. Johnston is opening the craft brewery with his partner, Kevin Lemp.

Lemp is a native of St. Louis who has been affiliated with beverage alcohol distributor Glazer’s for nearly nine years. Lemp was promoted to division manager before taking a job with Gallo Winery in Illinois. After spending two and a half years with the company, he returned to Glazer’s one year ago and is currently director of sales for the company’s E.&J. Gallo Winery and malt portfolios. He will leave the company after June.

Lemp gave us a tour of the brewery’s headquarters at 1220 S. Eighth St., one block west of the Seventh Street exit for Interstate 44/55. Construction began inside the former warehouse space this week and, if all goes according to plan, St. Louisans will be sipping craft beer in the 4 Hands tasting room by August.

Check out our Facebook page for a sneak peek at what’s brewing at 4 Hands.

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

Friday, May 27th, 2011

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

SmartyMcFly
First day in new office means spending most of today figuring out where everything is and talking my boss into buying me an egg mcmuffin.

LigayaFigueras
Start the day at a brewery, end it at a wine bar. Appropriate or debauchery? Your call, my job.

hannahinthecity
I have a simultaneous desire to drink a whole pot of coffee and take a two hour nap. How do you beat the #afternoonslump?

RizzoTees
Signing off for a bit. Be good to each other, and treat yourself to bacon for lunch

pmcgrew
@MikePSweeney plus I’ve heard after drinking it you will piss gold. Maybe that can turn a profit…

Cory_King_ Can’t find ping pong balls at your local grocery, look in the beer section… http://yfrog.com/gz1yxgaj

Gracedchef
Storm party @ Modesto @ Mosaic severe Pintxos and strong drinks. Be advised of the proper Exits to the basement. Mo Asparagus grilled. Yum

familystylefood
Love you Malbec, but really wish you didn’t make my teeth look like they belong to Captain Jack Sparrow.

cookingkid
My cooks are cleaning. & buying rare bourbon thru online auctions. Multitasking at its finest.

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

The Scoop: Tomorrow is last call at Beffa’s

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

052611_BeffasAs first reported by the St. Louis Business Journal, Beffa’s – the restaurant located at 2700 Olive St., with more than a century of history –  is closing its doors. Tomorrow is the final day at Beffa’s, so don’t miss your last chance to pass through the un-marked front doors, dine among St. Louis politicos and give owners Michael and Nancy Beffa best wishes upon their retirement.

The Scoop: It’s a New Day in Ellisville for those seeking gluten-free fare

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

052611_NewDayWhen New Day Gluten Free opens at 15622 Manchester Road, in Ellisville, those who suffer from celiac disease will finally have the option to dine in a gluten-free (and peanut-free) environment.

New Day is the brainchild of Kelly Patrick, who was diagnosed with celiac disease five years ago. “It was a long road to my diagnosis,” explained Patrick, who suffered for seven years before being told by her doctors the nature of her disease. “When a gluten-free diet immediately made me better, it was a life-changing experience,” she said. But while the change in diet brought Patrick better health, it also induced feelings of isolation and frustration for not being able to eat like the rest of her food-loving Italian family. “When I try to go out to eat, I must be the most tiring customer ever,” she said. Patrick, who has worked at several restaurants including her most recent position at Citizen Kane’s Steakhouse, noted that living with such food limitations is what inspired the concept for New Day. “I wanted a place where I can go where nothing is off limits,” she explained.

Patrick and her fiancé and business partner, Garrett Beck, began developing the business plan for New Day two years ago, but the dream finally came to fruition when the owners of the now defunct Beck’s Gluten-Free offered to sell the couple their existing gluten-free facility in Ellisville. And though New Day opened for business two weeks ago, it is currently only selling its baked goods, pizza crusts, prepared pizzas and prepared entrées to wholesale accounts and for carryout at the store. Among the restaurants who carry New Day’s gluten-free pizza crusts are Cecil Whittaker’s locations in Valley Park and Ellisville and Bono’s Pizzeria on Watson Road. New Day is also in negotiations with Straub’s and expects its pizza crust to debut at the grocer’s Clayton location within two to three weeks.

New Day is awaiting permit approval from the City of Ellisville that would enable diners to enjoy breakfast pastries and other baked goods, entrées and pizzas at the 20-seat café. The approval would make New Day St. Louis’ first gluten-free restaurant, according to Beck’s research. He expects approval to come in mid-June and estimates opening day to be Friday, June 17.

New Day is currently open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays until 6 p.m. When dine-in counter service begins, close time will be extended by one hour.

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