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Nov 27, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for June, 2012

Drink This Weekend Edition: Find heat relief with a patio pitcher at Sub Zero

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Meteorologists predict triple-digit temps all weekend long. Where do you plan to beat the heat? Our pick is to grab some pals and cool down at Sub Zero in the Central West End. Now that a year-long construction project is complete, the restaurant’s dining area has increased, the new sushi bar is super spiffy and, best of all for cocktailians, the restaurant has added a second bar – the Market Bar, dedicated to shaking delicious mixed drinks using fresh, seasonal produce and infusions.

For the summer menu, bar manager Dustin Parres and his team behind the stick are featuring made-to-order patio pitchers. Our unanimous vote goes to the Euclid Lemonade (pictured), a bright combination of Pearl Plum Vodka and lemonade, along with handfuls of fresh cucumber, plum and lemon slices. Don’t get suckered this weekend into supporting the sweaty little kids on the street corner selling lukewarm lemonade made from a mix. Euclid Lemonade is the thirst quencher you really want.

Among the other patio pitchers is the nicely mellow Honeydew Cooler, made with Shpilka Vodka, coconut water, honey, crème de banana and club soda. With cubed honeydew and mint leaves, you could call it a spiked fruit salad in a glass. While some might find the copper-toned Hawaiian Tropics too sweet, if you’re dreaming of island paradise, this combo of coconut and pineapple vodkas, coconut water and the juices of pineapple, mango and banana, will bring on thoughts of sinking your toes into the sand.

Vodka is the base spirit for most of the dozen patio pitchers on the menu. But for those who like (or haven’t yet experienced) the Russian grappa-esque spirit called Samogon, consider ordering Russian Spring Punch, a mix of Samogon, fresh lemon and pineapple, and allspice dram.

All patio pitchers are priced at $39 and provide between eight and nine servings. That means you need to bring enough friends so that when the pitcher is empty, you still have the wherewithal to check on the well-being of old people and pets.

 

The Scoop: J. Spain’s Waffles & Wings Debuts Today, Capitalist Pig on the Way

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Don’t be surprised if there’s bustling activity at The Tudor building downtown today. That’s because waffle and chicken wing enthusiasts may be checking out J. Spain’s Waffles & Wings, which opens its doors today at 1901 Washington Ave., in the space formerly occupied by Smoking Joe’s Bar-Be-Que.

Jason Spain, the restaurant’s owner and namesake, told The Scoop that customers at the breakfast, lunch or dinner anytime eatery can build their own waffles, whether made from standard batter or jazzed up with sugar and spice from the likes of cinnamon, chocolate chips or blueberries, then topped with fruit compote. Wings are available in five different flavors, including our temptress: fruity apricot-mango. J. Spain’s offers many other items besides waffles and wings, ranging from steak-and-eggs and burgers (including a veggie version) to braised short ribs and maple pork chops. “It’s all feel-good food,” summarized Spain of the fare at his new 80-seat restaurant, where extensive patio seating is also available.

One thing not on the menu at J. Spain’s Waffle & Wings: alcohol. “It’s about the food; it’s not a club,” responded Spain, who also owns The City Lounge just down the block at 1917 Washington Ave. So rather than beer, wine or cocktails, patrons can sip on soda, fruit smoothies, lemonade, coffee and tea. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, doors stay unlocked for 22 hours straight – from 8 a.m. to 6 a.m. – to settle the late-night hunger pangs of the Washington Avenue club sect.

If meaty wings aren’t enough to feed your carnivorous appetite, wait a few more weeks and head to Capitalist Pig, a new barbecue restaurant slated to open later this summer at Mad Art Gallery in Soulard. The eatery is a project by Ron Buechele, who also owns the gallery at 1201 Lynch St. Capitalist Pig will be guided by sustainability practices that include supporting local farmers; procuring humanely raised, hormone-free pork, beef and chicken; recycling; and composting, as first reported by Matt Sorrell for Feast.

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

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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

MoEats
Some day it would be awesome if @bluehillfarm Farmer Jack and @Schlafly Gardener Jack could meet. Many similarities.

kzieff
And now the switch on the ice cream machine just blew up!!!! Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh I think I’m under a black cloud right now!

mcharcuterie
My phone just sent me an alert about National Fried Chicken Day… I apparently have one week to plan my chicken eating escapades …

MurdarioStomp
I need new coffee, the hunt begins. Im thinking kaldis 700 espresso.

GerardFCraft
To the @americanair pilot who didn’t show up for the flight tonight… Not cool at all! Any good cocktail joints in Dallas?

beth_erin
Just heard @TinCanLocust is closing after this weekend. I’m sad and confused. Now who will make me #tots??

Schlafly
Three times a year we empty our aged Imperial Stout from their bourbon barrels. Today was one of those times http://instagr.am/p/MbuPqLP4mU/ 

daniellesmyname
Screaming dad on @todayshow is wearing a Pappys BBQ tshirt! Is he from #stl‬?

kguymon
I just wrote a context clue vocab quiz item about the Doritos Locos Taco Supreme.

CosmosGirl
Edgewild pistachio encrusted goat cheese crostini FTW #saucysoiree

chzmongerswife
Angus had baked beans from @Pigpicker this am for breakfast. His favorite only second to the ribs. My kid loves meat.

s2bgmd
Our garden is in full bloom at home- time to eat nothing but heirloom tomatoes daily for the next few months!

kelly_english
Anybody else have a wooden spoon they can’t part with? We have just been through so much together #kitchenwarhorse‬ http://lockerz.com/s/220666990

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

The Scoop: Tin Can Tavern to close location on Locust

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Tin Can Tavern and Grille, the bar and grill built upon the concept that beer-lovers don’t mind drinking from a can, will be closing its location at 1909 Locust St. A Twitter post from Dan Pistor (@DanSTL77) tipped off The Scoop that things were amiss at the establishment.

Although Pistor wrote that “both locations of Tin Can [are] closing,” Tin Can co-owner Josh Alt only confirmed the closure of the Locust location, where the last day of service will be this Saturday. As for the original Tin Can location at 3157 Morgan Ford Road, Alt stated, “I don’t know. I can’t comment on it at this time.” More as we learn it.

 

The Scoop: Prime 1000 no longer just a steakhouse

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Since opening its doors at the corner of Tenth Street and Washington Avenue in late 2010, Prime 1000 has been a place to visit when you’re in the mood for sirloin, a 10-ounce New York strip or a rib-eye. (See Michael Renner’s January 2011 review of Prime here.) But starting July 16, it won’t just be a destination for steak-lovers.

The menu at Prime is expanding beyond steaks because of rising beef prices, according to GM Tom Sutliffe. “Prices keep going up and up and up,” he explained. “It’s just not feasible anymore. We’ll keep signature items, but add pork, veal and lighter items like fish to balance the menu and cost.”

The bar will also see a number of changes. Besides the launch of a special small plates menu at the bar, a new cocktail menu will feature a combination of vintage pre- and post-Prohibition cocktails with a few modern drinks worked into the 12-strong list. Syrups and infused spirits will also be made in-house. On the suds side, the restaurant is taking a craft beer approach, both with its six tap handles and the dozen bottle offerings, including 22-ounce bombers. Prime will also begin offering beer dinners. In July, a multi-course dinner will be paired with Goose Island brews; the August beer dinner will feature local brewery Urban Chestnut.

Gerard Craft talks to Eater about his restaurants and “Midwest’s thriving restaurant scene”

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Today national culinary website Eater published an interview with our very own Gerard Craft. Craft is, of course, chef-owner of the Niche family of restaurants – including Niche, Brasserie, Taste and Pastaria, set to open later this summer.

In the interview, Craft discussed how he chose to move to St. Louis as a young “completely tattooed chef,” why he’s moving his flagship Niche from its original Benton Park home to Clayton, what his future goals are for both Niche and Pastaria, the evolution of the St. Louis dining scene, and a bit more. Craft even gave a nod to several of his fellow chef pals, including Sidney Street’s Kevin Nashan (whom he credits as one of the reasons he chose to open Niche in St. Louis in the first place); Mike Randolph, whose lineage at Moto led him to open up The Good Pie and, later, Half & Half and Medianoche; barbecue bigwig Mike Emerson of Pappy’s; and Josh Galliano, who is in the process of opening his own restaurant.

To check out the full interview, click here.

By the Book: Stéphane Reynaud’s

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Stéphane Reynaud’s new book, Barbecue & Grill, isn’t your typical grilled meats book. It has creative and interesting recipes like Steak with Shiso and Duck Tenderloins a l’Orange, or the one I chose to make: Chicken Breast with Coconut Milk. It’s also full of beautiful photography – sophisticated, simple, delicious.

Page 8 of the book is dedicated to choosing a barbecue. Reynaud mentions gas, electric and wood-fired grills but no mention of charcoal – a glaring omission to me, since that’s what I was using. I was particularly interested in finding Reynaud’s thoughts on the best way to light up my charcoal grill. But alas, no word.

I am a barbecue novice. I mean, I think I’ve lit up a charcoal grill once, and after the mess I made, I never attempted it again – until now. After some patience, I got the fire going and the chicken went on the grill. I ended up really liking the flavors of the dish. It had mingled sweetness from the shallots, chives and coconut milk, which had a lovely, delicate flavor even after being infused by the smokiness of the grill.



The recipes in this book aren’t difficult on the whole, but they aren’t as detailed as I would have liked, either. For example, Reynaud doesn’t provide measurements for salt and pepper. Now, I know everyone has a different preference on seasoning, but it would have been useful to have a general idea of how much to add to the dish. The first batch of chicken that came off the coals was on the bland side, so I had to add more seasoning to the second batch.



Another thing I noticed was that, in the instructions, Reynaud tells readers to pour the marinade mixture over the chicken and chill. Later, he says to use the remaining marinade to sauce the meat. Too late, I had already used it all to marinate the raw poultry, deeming it unusable as a finishing sauce. Should I have read the recipe all the way through to avoid this? Of course! But I’m sure I won’t be the only reader to make that mistake, either.

Overall, I think the creativity of the recipes helped me to forgive these small oversights. Anytime you can make outdoor grilling more weird and awesome, well, that’s just fine by me.



Chicken Breast with Coconut Milk
With your girlfriend

6 Servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 3 hours
Cooking time: 5 minutes over high heat

6 free-range chicken breast fillets
2 limes
Salt and pepper

Coconut Milk Marinade:
1¾ oz. fresh ginger
2 French shallots
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. sunflower oil
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ cups coconut milk
1 bunch chives

• Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips.
• Juice and zest the limes; sprinkle the juice and zest over the chicken.
• For the marinade, peel the ginger, French shallots and garlic. Chop them all up, then gently saute in the oil for 5 minutes, adding the sugar.
• Off the heat, pour in the coconut milk. Snip the chives into ½-inch lengths and add them to the mixture. Pour this mixture over the chicken and chill for 3 hours.
• Cook the chicken over high heat until well browned. Serve coated with the rest of the marinade.

Reprinted with permission from Lyons Press

What’s your go-to way to use chicken on the grill? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Barbecue & Grill by Stéphane Reynaud. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Frances whose comment on last week’s  By the Book has won him/her a signed copy of Very Fond of Food by Sophie Dahl. Frances, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

Meatless Mondays: Eating urban

Monday, June 25th, 2012

It seems like South City’s Urban Eats Cafe was made for picky people like me. At this vegetarian-friendly eatery, you choose your flavor (Asian, Italian, southwestern, Mediterranean or American), your main ingredient (Since it’s Monday, you know the meatless option is all I’m going to tell you about.) and then your style (panini, wrap, flatbread pizza or rice bowl). Lastly, you choose whatever combination you want. Here, the world’s your oyster – er – oyster mushroom.

For my Meatless Monday, I chose an Italian-Vegetarian-Wrap. The Italian sauce, seething with tangy garlic mayo, sweet red pepper pesto and decadent mozzarella, oozed from the sides of a toasty flour tortilla. A sweet and salty eggplant caponata spread, studded with chunky mushrooms, packed the wrap with a tender bite. And the veggies didn’t stop there: Caramelized onions, baby spinach, tomatoes and brown rice were all loaded into this monster of a meal.

A side of Asian Slaw touted crunchy cabbage that was dotted with sliced almonds and dried cranberries and then tossed in a light sesame oil dressing – a welcome change from the creamy cousins we see at backyard barbecues all summer long. Another side of Thai Ginger Noodles – cold, gangly strands speckled with firm sesame seeds – were a carb-laden foil to the light slaw.

Every urban neighborhood needs a healthy cafe that gives those gritty city streets the farm-fresh treatment. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at this Dutchtown spot. Boasting a wide range of vegetarian options and a full-service bar, Urban Eats is worth the trip even if you don’t call this neighborhood home – and especially if you’re a picky eater (like me).

Just Five: Cantaloupe Cocktail

Monday, June 25th, 2012




Melons are a very preppy fruit. All pink and green and coral, they practically scream: “Cocktails? Why I’d love to!” at you as you waltz down the produce aisle or through the farmers market booths. Melons are summer’s perfect fruit – sweet, juicy and messy. And who among us didn’t partake in that age-old tradition of spiking watermelon at some point in college? It’s in that spirit that I invite you to throw on some seersucker or madras as you sip this country club version of that old summer treat, made with cantaloupe and gin, cool mint and lime, and a surprising little kick from peppery ginger.

Cantaloupe Cocktail
2 Servings
Courtesy of MyMansBelly.com

2 cups cubed ripe cantaloupe
2 Tbsp. lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1 inch-piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced or grated
3 sprigs fresh mint leaves, plus additional for garnish
4 oz. gin (such as Hendricks or Citadelle)

• Place the melon, lime juice, ginger and mint in a blender with 3 ice cubes. Purée on high until everything is well-blended.
• Pour 1½ cups of the purée into a cocktail shaker and add gin. Cover and shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
• Pour into 2 chilled glasses and garnish with a mint sprig and lime wheel.

Gilding the lily (Pulitzer): A Champagne float would be a terrific finish on this drink.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Wine Stories

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Sometimes, the back story of a wine is as tasty as the finished product. This week, we’re taking a look at two such tales and offering up a couple places to go to experience a few stories first-hand.

Not so long ago, I was handed a glass of 2009 Rouge L’Artolie by Bordeaux wine producer Château Suau. The wine stopped me in my tracks. Blackberries, plum and blueberries everywhere – on the palate, on the nose. It was elegant and lush, and I savored every single sip. L’Artolie is made from a parcel planted primarily with merlot grapes, some cabernet sauvignon and roughly 10-percent cabernet Franc. The hand-harvested grapes are de-stemmed, fermented in open 400-liter French oak barrels, and aged in the same barrels for 15 months. I didn’t know any of this before chatting with winemaker Monique Bonnet; all I knew was that the wine tasted exquisite. I soon came to find out that Bonnet, one of the few female winemakers in a male-dominated profession, has been making wine at her family-owned Château Suau for the last 20 years, having taken over the trade from her father. I also learned that L’Artolie is not made yearly. Rather, the condition of the grapes dictates whether they will live up to a wine of L’Artolie standards. In fact, 2005 marks the most previous vintage. The 2009 has arrived on the market; a 2010 will be released next year. Buy the $57 bottle at The Wine and Cheese Place (Clayton location only) and have your own little French love affair.

The Puzzle from Newton Vineyard in Napa Valley is a wine for those who appreciate challenges. It’s the job of Newton winemaker Chris Millard to hand-select the Bordeaux red varieties from 112 distinct parcels on the 120-acre estate and craft them into this opulent wine. The Puzzle bursts with intense black fruit – black cherry and plum – plus vanilla and oak from 20 months of aging. Then there’s that lingering espresso note during a don’t-let-it-end, long finish. The pieces of the 2008 vintage have come together nicely. Get it at The Wine Merchant, where it retails for $73 a bottle.

Thirsty for more wine stories? Tomorrow, Saturday, June 23, from 4 to 6 p.m., Mike Bee, the co-owner of Falcor Winery, will be on hand at Wines of Wildwood to discuss how his winery selects its fruit from some of the primo vineyards in Napa Valley and crafts it into fine wines. Among the five wines to be tasted at this free event are an award-winning Chardonnay from Durell Vineyard, a Bordeaux blend from Napa and an old clone vine Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley.

Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, Mo., has more than 160 years of winemaking history. How much do you know about one of Missouri’s top tourists attractions and Stone Hill’s award-winning wines? Find out at the winery’s monthly Grapes to Glass tour and tasting. Here’s your chance to visit the Norton vineyard, cellars, tank building and press house. You can sample some wine and cheese and even take home a free souvenir wine glass. The tour begins at 2:45 p.m., and lasts about 2 hours. The next event is on July 21. Convinced? Make a reservation (or just drink up some more info) here.

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