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Archive for July, 2011

Drink This Weekend Edition: How to celebrate St. Louis Craft Beer Week with a cocktail

Friday, July 29th, 2011

072911_robertSt. Louis Craft Beer Week begins Saturday, July 30 and runs through August 7. Whether at a brewery, bar, restaurant or retail outlet, thirsty St. Louisans will spend the week raising a glass to beer. However, there is one place where beer-lovers won’t go wrong ordering a cocktail.

The Royale in South City is the site for Cocktail Museum Sundays, over which bartender Robert Griffin (pictured) regularly holds court, offering a slate of obscure cocktails focused on a particular theme. The topic this Sunday: beer cocktails.

Among the six drinks that will be offered are two imperial stout-based sippers: a punch (more a beer milkshake, actually) from a recipe that calls for condensed milk and an egg; as well as a hearty breakfast nog that combines Old Rasputin with a 9-month aged, Bourbon-based eggnog. Local brew Schlafly Pale Ale will shine in an 18th-century British ale punch, while Boulevard’s heralded Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale will get paired with Hayman’s Old Tom Gin in a Gin and Saison.

Cocktail Museum runs from 9 p.m., until The Royale closes. Griffin will school you for free. The drinks, however, are on your dime and range from $4 to $8.

— Photo by Laura Miller

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

Friday, July 29th, 2011

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

Our brewmaster is on an Oregon hops farm tour. We wish we had a “smell” button to sniff the great aroma. http://twitpic.com/5x5r9m

There’s no way Rocco and Raven are friends.

My leftover bbq chicken pizza makes a fantastic snack while the boy takes a nap…but eating it on a white comforter is a #majorfail

A couple thoughts on Portland to date. 1) The beer rules. 2) The coffee rules. 3) I am woefully under-tattooed.

I hope someone in the #stlcards front office is crying in front of their computer, drinking whiskey, with Corey Patterson’s fangraph page up

No, boyfriend, you can’t get me anything from the fridge. Eating from a tub of cookie dough & watching TV is what I do in my my alone time.

Contemplating whether it’s ok to keep $400 of meat in my running car with AC on while I take a shower. Leaning towards: no

Trying to eat healthy at @TacoBell is like going to the amusement park and not riding any of the rides. #nofun

St. Louis, a place where no matter where you go there is a chicken wing bone on the ground.

There should be a rule against bringing a bowl of eggs onboard the plane

For me, cereal is to breakfast what fro-yo is to dessert: unsatisfying #wantsomebaconandeggs

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

Pig out on the whole hog at Eclipse Restaurant for STL Craft Beer Week

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

072211_craftbeerweekSt. Louis Craft Beer Week kicks off this weekend with a slew of sudsy events to choose from (more on this here). On Wednesday, August 3, join us at the Eclipse rooftop bar as we host the Brewers’ Pig Roast. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., just $30 will buy you never-ending pork-filled plates and a pint of cask ale from The Civil Life Brewing Co. Not convinced yet? Maybe the thought of drinking with the brewmasters from Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., Six Row Brewing Co., Morgan Street Brewery, 2nd Shift Brewing and The Civil Life will do the trick. After all, beer is what these guys do; you can bet they’re pretty darn fun to throw back a pint with. And now for a glimpse at the meaty menu …

See you there!

Brewers’ Pig Roast Menu:

Smoked, slow-braised pulled pork
Saint Louis-style pork steaks
Saint Louis-style ribs

Creamy dill cole slaw
Vinegar slaw
Apple slaw

Tarragon roasted corn
Mustard potato salad
Grilled marinated pineapple
Cajun grits cakes

Sauce Sponsored Event Promotion

The Scoop: Oak Barrel American Bistro and Artisan Bakery to close on July 30

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

072811_oakbarrelOak Barrel American Bistro and Artisan Bakery will be closing after dinner service this Saturday, July 30. As first reported by Feast Magazine, chef-owner Todd Kussman posted the message on the restaurant’s Facebook page this afternoon, citing personal matters.

Kussman told The Scoop that the decision to close was made this week and that it is “family and relationship related.” “There is stuff I need to give attention to,” he explained. “This restaurant business is always a challenge. You are pulled in many directions; sometimes you can balance everything and sometimes you can’t.” While Kussman stated that he has no immediate plans, he added that he “will stick around the food industry in some capacity or another.”

You’ll remember that Kussman retooled the concept of his St. Charles establishment, French Gourmet Bakery and Café, last winter. He renamed it Oak Barrel American Bistro and Artisan Bakery and added a bistro component to the Euro-style baked goods and desserts previously offered. See Michael Renner’s June 2011 review of Oak Barrel here.

— Photo by David Kovaluk

The Scoop: Sub Zero Vodka Bar to launch infusion bar

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

072811_subzeroLast month, brothers and Sub Zero owners Derek and Lucas Gamlin announced their plans to expand the popular restaurant/vodka bar in the Central West End. As construction gets underway to transform the newly acquired space at 312 N. Euclid Ave., into a dining area and the center stage for a new-and-improved sushi bar, the Gamlins are also preparing to launch their newest concept: an infusion bar.

The infusion bar will occupy the space where the sushi bar currently sits near the restaurant’s entrance at 306 N. Euclid Ave. Derek Gamlin explained that this new bar will be the place to showcase his talented “bar chefs,” led by bar manager Dustin Parres. Patrons at the eight-seat bar will have front-row seats to see the bartenders prepare some two dozen infusions, hand squeeze fresh fruit for cocktails, prep Bloody Mary garnishes, make Champagne cocktails and, of course, discuss the art of mixing drinks. The infusion bar will also be the setting for vodka classes and tastings, previously held in the restaurant’s lower level.

Look for this interactive infusion bar to roll out at the same time that renovation of the newly acquired space is completed. Gamlin’s goal for that is September 1 but, as these things go, he noted that it could be as late as October 1.

Stocking Up on heirloom tomatoes

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

072811_tomato“I don’t like tomatoes.” Try uttering that phrase in a group of food-friendly folks this time of year, and the looks you’ll get in response are sure to range from pity to outright disdain. Trust me, I know these looks first hand. That’s because I’m one of the apparent few who don’t like tomatoes.

Oh sure, I like the gorgeous colors, ranging from deep red to orange to bright yellow. I’m intrigued by the names of the heirloom varieties like Yellow Riesentraube or Egg Yolk. And I love to conjure up all sorts of uses for the different varieties. I just don’t like to eat them.

Every summer, well-intentioned friends try to convert me to the tomato-lovers’ cause. My friend, Kelly, turns out fried green tomatoes using Green Zebras and serves them alongside white tomato soup with fresh basil. Others ply me with a riff on Caprese salad, swapping bright orange Sungolds and burrata cheese for the more traditional beefsteak and mozzarella. I’ve had pizza sauce made with the Cream Sausage variety, which is yellow in color and somehow remains so even after cooking, and gazpacho too, with some adventurous cooks using a riot of heirlooms and freezing the soup just until slushy. Diners swoon with delight – just not me.

It’s not for lack of trying and I don’t expect anyone to understand, so forgive me when I waltz past the packed booths at area markets. It just leaves more for the rest of you.

— Photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: Desserts on the Boulevard to sit on site of bowled-down Salad Bowl cafeteria

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

072611_wineDesserts on the Boulevard is coming to the Central West End. As reported by Riverfront Times’ Ian Froeb, the new eatery will be located on the first floor of the Lindell Apartments at 3949 Lindell Blvd., between North Sarah Street and Vandeventer Avenue. Some St. Louisans may remember this location as the former site of the Salad Bowl cafeteria, which closed in December 2005. The building was demolished for the construction of the luxury apartments.

According to an employee at the Lindell Apartments, desserts will be the focus at Desserts on the Boulevard, though hours of operation will run from morning through evening. At night, the bakery will become more of a wine bar. While the employee stated that the restaurant is expected to open in mid-September, The Scoop has been unable to confirm this with the owner. More as we learn it.

Just Five: Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Sauce

Monday, July 25th, 2011

072511_porkpeachesThe markets are filled with gorgeous peaches for a few weeks each summer. But beyond your pies, crisps and buckles (and after eating them straight out of the bag for a couple of days), there’s always that moment when you say, “Well, what else can I do with these?” Pork pairs perfectly with peaches: The salty, chewy meat with the sweet and tender fruit, it’s a match made in culinary heaven. And while I must admit that normally the combination of orange and peach takes me back to a time long ago I’d rather not remember (Do the words “fuzzy navel” make anyone else feel just a little sick?), orange marmalade, with it’s slightly bitter orange zest, paired with spicy garlic and aromatic thyme, gives this sauce great depth. It would be equally delicious on grilled or baked chicken.

Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Sauce

Courtesy of Dee Ryan

Serves 4

4 1-inch thick pork loin chops (bone in)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, slivered
3 peaches, pealed and chopped
¼ cup orange marmalade
5 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)

• Prepare grill.
• Rub both sides of pork chops with olive oil, and generously salt and pepper both sides.
• Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat.
• Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
• Add peaches, marmalade and thyme sprigs. Sauté for one minute, turn heat to low and let simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes, until peaches have softened, and remove from heat.
• Meanwhile, grill the pork chops for about 4 minutes per side, (or until they reach 145 internal temperature). Remove and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
• Remove thyme sprigs from the peach sauce. Place the pork chops on plates and served them smothered in sauce.

The Scoop: McDonnell’s Market Place to close after 75 years in biz

Monday, July 25th, 2011

072511_closedsignArt McDonnell, owner of McDonnell’s Market Place, has decided to close his grocery, which has served Kirkwood residents for 75 years. McDonnell, who is also the mayor of Kirkwood, told The Scoop that his decision to close the market located at 12309 Old Big Bend Road has been two years in the making. “This is the right time for me,” he said. “I have been doing it since I was 12 years old. I put in a career of over 50 years and work 70 to 80 hours a week [at the market].”

McDonnell is nearing the end of his first four-year term as mayor and has filed to run for office again next year. “There are a lot of things I want to pursue for the city and my constituents. I’m looking forward to having more time to work on some of those things,” he explained, adding that he is also excited to spend time with his grandchildren.

While McDonnell has marked October 1 as the date when the doors will close for good at the market, he expressed hope that someone would approach him with an offer to buy the store, since neither of his two sons is interested in taking over the family business. “They are involved in their own careers on the West Coast,” he explained. None of the current employees at McDonnell’s Market Place is interested in purchasing the business either, he added. “I love this business and the people who are here. We’ve even got children of some former employees working for us.”

The Scoop: Del Pietro’s House of Pasta to close after 35-year run

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

072111_DelPietrosMary Rose Del Pietro and her late husband, Michael Del Pietro Sr., opened the doors to Del Pietro’s House of Pasta on Sept. 13, 1976. During the course of the ensuing 35 years, the original eight-table restaurant saw three expansions and served as a gathering place for many a graduation, wedding, anniversary and other celebrations, not to mention training ground for the couple’s four children – Angela, Michael, Marc and Lea, all of whom have made careers in the restaurant biz.

Since the passing of her husband some 25 years ago, the Del Pietro matriarch has run the restaurant at 5625 Hampton Ave., by herself. (She sold her other restaurant, Michael’s, some 17 years ago.) Now she’s ready to retire, and with her retirement comes the end of Del Pietro’s, which will close permanently after dinner service on Saturday, August 27.

Doors won’t stay locked for long, however. Mathew Ungar, executive chef at the Missouri Athletic Club West in Town and Country, has leased the space, with plans to open his own restaurant. Mathew’s Kitchen will open October 1 with a menu focused on “comfort food with a twist.”

In the meantime, The Scoop spoke with Mary Rose Del Pietro, who shared memories of the Italian eatery as well as her plans for the future.

Why are you retiring?
I’ve been working in restaurants since I was 11 years old and started working at Rossino’s. I will be 68 years old the day after I retire. It’s my 68th birthday present to myself. And I have 10 grandchildren. I want to be with them.

What is your fondest memory of Del Pietro’s?
There are so many! People who came in on day one still come in. They even invite me to their kids’ weddings. I’ve made so many friendships.

What will you miss most once the restaurant closes?
I will miss all of my customers. It’s like being at a party every night.

What has been the most popular dish of all time on the menu?
There are actually eight entrées that have been on the menu for 35 years, including the chicken “burko”, linguini tutto mare and the lasagna. My lasagna is fabulous; it’s filled with a lot of pork and beef, ricotta and three other cheeses – and it’s a good-sized portion.

What are your plans for retirement?
I think that I will go schmooze at my kids’ restaurants.

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