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Feb 23, 2018
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Archive for February, 2014

The Scoop: Mike Randolph to open Público, a Mexican gastropub in The Loop

Friday, February 28th, 2014


{Mike Randolph, center}


Mike Randolph, owner of The Good Pie and Half & Half has announced plans to open a Mexican gastropub called Público at 6679 Delmar Blvd., in The Loop. The new spot, reminiscent of Randolph’s former restaurant-within-a-restaurant, Medianoche, is two doors down from The Good Pie, which reopened just days ago.

Randolph has already signed the lease and has enlisted the work of SPACE Architects + Design to renovate the former D-Zine hair salon. “The space became available,” Randolph said. “[Currently] we’re not doing fine dining, and I thought it would be good to diversify.”

The hair salon will be transformed into an intimate wood-paneled space that will seat 50 to 55 patrons. Unlike most commercial kitchens, Público won’t have a gas line, stove or convection oven. “Everything will be cooked in an open-wood hearth,” Randolph said. “It’s all walls and fire.”

Randolph plans to serve lunch and dinner featuring Medianoche favorites plus new items prepared by Dale Beauchamp, former chef de cuisine from Randolph’s now-shuttered Little Country Gentleman. Diners can expects tacos with fillings such as beef tongue, pork belly, carne asada and al pastor on house-made corn tortillas.

The expanded dinner menu will include the taco-centric lunch items, as well as six to eight appetizers and “interesting” seared tuna, masa dumplings with mushrooms, pozole, chicken liver and more. Entrees will include more sophisticated dishes such as dry-aged, bone-in roasted rib-eye, whole roasted fish and other heartier south-of-the-border entrees.

On beverage side, Randolph envisions an extensive bar at Público. “A lot of whiskey – scotch, bourbon – as well as tequila and mescals,” he said. “We’re not going to be a 10-margaritia place.”

As for Half & Half, Randolph said he has no plans to change current hours of operation or create a distinct evening concept for the Ladue breakfast and brunch spot. Look for Público to open doors in July.




Drink This Weekend Edition: Sip berries in booze while pining for summertime fruits

Friday, February 28th, 2014



This winter has lasted so long, I can barely remember what a plump, sun-kissed beefsteak tomato tastes like. Or a peach that’s so ripe, the juice runs down my chin from first bite to last. Or a strawberry so sweet, it would be sinful to add a single granule of sugar. As we get set to face the next round of frigid temps, I’ll settle my fix for all the fresh fruit (and warm temperatures) by sipping berries in booze form.

Deep, dark berries dominate the flavor and aroma of Bilberry Black Hearts Gin, an organic, small-batch spirit by Journeyman Distillery in Michigan. A bilberry is a fruit related to the huckleberry and blueberry and indigenous to the UK and northern Europe. Haven’t tasted a bilberry? Me either, which is probably why my taste buds want to identify those fruity notes as mulberry and blackberry. The gin, which holds nine botanicals, is hardly a juniper-in-your-face gin. Rather, it’s bright, fruity and lively with hints of black licorice and black pepper.

This super-smooth, 90-proof spirit passed the G&T test, but where it really shined was in a martini and in a French 75; the subtle dark fruit flavor and aroma lent another dimension to both these classic gin cocktails. The Journeyman website suggests using Bilberry Black Hearts gin in a Bee’s Knees and a gimlet. I plan to walk those paths next.

The market is overflowing with gins that range in style from London Dry and Old Tom to a boatload of new American gins that offer an array of botanicals. Journeyman was founded only three years ago (and its gin arrived on the local scene last year), yet the distillery is making a name for itself as a true grain-to-bottle distillery that can claim high-quality, certified organic, small-batch spirits. There’s room on the liquor shelf for that.

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

Friday, February 28th, 2014

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

Instagram informed me it’s been 30 weeks since my last pie @thegoodpiestl – can’t wait to get one this wknd! pic.twitter.com/yqO7Dh8568

Drunken Laundry Doin’ @Claytonite #DayOff pic.twitter.com/Ypo2NWcjeB

I’ve had an inordinate amount of legumes this week.

As I pick up my wine at the UPS counter, the guy asked me if I’m getting any good wine. Nope, I have crappy stuff shipped across the country

It just hit me that I’ve been without craft beer for about a week. No wonder I feel so weak

It’s hard to call it a bad day when you find DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s “A Nightmare on My Street” in the @WaffleHouse jukebox.

Ready, set, done! @strangedonuts @HerbiesSTL #wellingdone pic.twitter.com/m6C69juk6g

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. People are more flakey than a well prepared pie crust that uses lard.

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

The Month in Review: February 2014

Friday, February 28th, 2014
As we get ready to reveal our latest issue, we take a look back at some of our favorite stories, recipes, dishes and drinks from February 2014.


We found the best malty beers to buy; we met five women who are changing the face of farming; we put these six places on our Hit List; we discovered an awesome, rice-less bibimbap; local chocolate stole our hearts; we wrote an ode to a dive bar; we found a bloody mary that smacks every other version across the jaw; we found Southern charm in the CWE; game-day snacks went vegan, and everyone loved it; we shared our love for sherry; we told you about a new butcher shop headed your way; we found a locavore’s dream dish; some pretty awesome people were nominated for a pretty awesome award; we couldn’t resist breakfast for lunch; we had a chat with Stephen and Sara Hale.



St. Louis’ Joy in Cooking: Legendary cookbook author celebrated in Missouri History Museum exhibit

Thursday, February 27th, 2014


{The Joy of Cooking, first edition, currently on display at Missouri History Museum}


It’s as common a sight in the kitchen as a stove. For decades, The Joy of Cooking taught millions everything they needed to know about cooking. Less well known is that the author of this classic cookbook, Irma Rombauer, was a St. Louis native. Missouri History Museum is honoring Rombauer as part of its “250 in 250″ exhibit, which celebrates St. Louis’ 250th birthday. The exhibit highlights 50 people, 50 places, 50 images, 50 moments and 50 objects in the city’s history.

On Wednesday, March 5, Rombauer’s great-grandson John Becker will speak about how the book revolutionized home cooking at “The Joy of Cooking: The Book That Changed American Kitchens.” “[The book] was really the first beginner-friendly cookbook that was also authoritative in scope,” said Becker, who frequently lectures about Rombauer and his family’s continued involvement with her work.



{Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker in 1950}

Rombauer wrote The Joy of Cooking in 1931, and her daughter Marion Rombauer Becker illustrated it. Since then, it has sold more than 18 million copies and published eight editions. Becker said Rombauer was a strong member of the St. Louis community, had a magnetic personality and was involved with many women’s organizations in the city. When she began to explore the idea of writing a cookbook, she turned to St. Louis for inspiration and help.

“The St. Louis community contributed so much to the first edition,” Becker said. “[Rombauer] started collecting recipes from everyone she knew – family members and friends.” The result was that the cookbook’s first edition directly reflected how St. Louisans cooked in the 1920s.

Becker said Rombauer’s voice and the book’s evolving continue to make it a staple in kitchens across America. “One of the reasons why Joy is so amazing as a reference tool … is because we’ve been adding to it for over 70 years,” Becker said.

Becker said he looks forward to speaking in St. Louis about his family’s culinary history. “I’m very proud,” he said. “I’m proud that my grandmother and great-grandmother had an influence on how St. Louis is perceived. I’m always interested in learning new ways of how St. Louis influenced what’s become my life’s work.

The free event takes place at 7 p.m. in the AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room at the Missouri History Museum. For more information, click here.

13 Gluttonous Mardi Gras Recipes

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Mardi Gras: that one holiday of the year devoted to entirely to excess. We love it so much that we spread that decadence out over a full weekend of gastronomical indulgences. So before you commit to Lenten promises that will torture you until Easter, here are 13 decadent dishes worth the guilt.



1. Combining Creole seasoning with dark beer, this Everything-in-the-Crisper Jambalaya is perfect for a Mardi Gras-themed meal or a stick-to-your gut dinner before an evening of drinking.

2. Surely one pound of sprouts is enough to redeem this Parmesan-garnished Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pasta, right?

3. Three ingredients make the Peanut Butter Bacon Sandwich of your drunken dreams.



4. Southern Fried Chicken takes a three-day process to complete, but that crispy, Creole-spiced skin is so worth it.

5. Too lazy to butcher? Try a Deep-Fried Whole Chicken.

6. St. Louis weather is still a far cry from spring. Warm up with these tender Braised Short Ribs served over savory hominy stew.



7. True, this creamy Fonduta Mac-n-Cheese made with Riesling and lobster meat is not your mom’s mac-n-cheese. It’s better.

8. Go ahead, have a beer with dinner … then a slurp a Budweiser Milkshake for dessert.

9. Spice up your after-dinner indulgence with a peanut-butter Oreo treat that features a kick of cumin, cayenne and spicy toppings like chocolate-chipotle sauce. This PBJ Blaster Pie may blast a hole in your diet, but you’ve got 40 days to make it up to yourself.



10. Challenge yourself to make a dessert of Caramelized Apples with Foie Gras Ice Cream and spiced walnuts, then reward yourself with sweet, spicy, creamy, crunchy seconds.

11. Brownie mix, booze, bacon and caramel make for a Bacon-Bourbon Brownies for the novice baker. Do you really want to give up chocolate for Lent?



12. If Serendipity’s house-made toasted marshmallow ice cream isn’t enough to convince you, indulge in a Gimme S’mores St. Louis Sundae topped with oatmeal cookie crumbles, hot fudge and vanilla toasted marshmallows. I see you reaching for your spoon.

13. We can’t promise you won’t regret this Cinnamon Bread Pudding chock-full of raisins and cranberries and topped with a glaze of maple syrup and Jack Daniels. But after all, isn’t that the point of Mardi Gras?

-Jambalaya, fried chicken, caramelized apples and mac-n-cheese photos by Carmen Troesser; s’mores sundae photo by Greg Rannells 




The Scoop: Pappy’s, Guerrilla Street Food in the running for The Munchies awards

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014



Two popular eateries – Pappy’s and Guerrilla Street Food  – are in the running for a national award. Now in its second year, The Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards, organized by foodie online reference Tablespoon.com recognizes “the most amazing tastes, faces and places in the food world,” as stated on its website.

The awards honor the country’s best food, personalities and dining destinations in 20 categories. Nominees were selected by a panel of 41 culinary celebs, including Andrew Zimmern, Hugh Acheson, Amanda Hesser, Michael Ruhlman and St. Louis’ own Gerard Craft. Pappy’s is one of five restaurants in the running for Best Barbecue. Guerrilla Street Food is one of five mobile eateries vying for Best Food Truck.

Put St. Louis on the map: Click here to vote for Pappy’s and Guerrilla Street Food. Voting runs through March 31; winners will be announced in early April.





Baked: Rum Punch Cake

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014



My family and I recently spent a week alongside the gorgeous turquoise waters coast of Turks and Caicos, sinking our toes into sand soft as powdered sugar and clear blue skies. Throughout the trip, our nautical activities were punctuated with rum-filled drinks and rum-soaked desserts. The islands are known for Bambarra Rum (as well as salt and conch meat), and we indulged in piña coladas, rum punches and rum cakes everywhere we went.

I had never tried rum punch before, and when it was served to us on a boating excursion, I asked the crew what made it so tasty. It turns out three different rums (Talk about a punch!), orange and pineapple juices, grenadine, and a pinch of nutmeg or ginger all make an appearance in this boozy tropical cocktail.

My family stocked up on Bambarra before we left; alas, carry-on rules meant I couldn’t take any back to St. Louis. So when I returned home, I set out to make a cake in honor of that punch with the rum I did have at my disposal. I found that black currant syrup made a suitable substitute for grenadine, so I used it in the glaze. (You could also use pomegranate syrup in lieu of grenadine, too.) The cake packed enough rummy punch for me, but if you’re in doubt, add more rum to the glaze or in the soaking liquid.

This cake turns out incredibly moist and flavorful with a crisp, crunchy edge. The glaze adds an extra oomph of rum flavor, and surprisingly, the black currant syrup lends the perfect flavor notes to bring me back to the islands. This recipe is definitely one I’ll be making again and again. Enjoy and happy baking!

Rum Punch Cake
Adapted from a Lottie + Doof recipe
Makes 1 9-inch round

2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. coconut extract
2 tsp. orange extract or the zest of 1 orange
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. dark rum, divided
3 Tbsp. white rum, divided
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. coconut rum divided
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. pineapple juice, divided
1½ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. black currant syrup, grenadine or pomegranate syrup

• Place a rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with piece of parchment paper, then butter the parchment.
• Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside.
• In another large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the coconut and orange extracts, then add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
• When eggs are incorporated, beat in the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons dark rum, 2 tablespoons white rum, 2 tablespoons coconut rum and ¼ cup pineapple juice until just combined (The mixture may look curdled.).
• Gently add the flour mixture in 3 batches on low speed until each addition is just incorporated.
Pour the batter evenly into the cake pan and rap the pan on the counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.
• Bake 30 to 35 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then slide a knife around the edge of cake and carefully remove it from the pan. Place the cake on a plate and discard the parchment.
• Use a chopstick or skewer to poke holes all over the top of the cake.
• Fill a liquid measuring cup with the remaining pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon dark rum and remaining 1 tablespoon white rum for a total ¼ cup liquid*. Pour the liquid over the top of the cake into the holes and let it soak in. Let the cake cool completely, about 1 hour.
• Meanwhile, mix the powdered sugar, remaining 2 teaspoons dark rum, coconut rum and black currant syrup in a bowl until it reaches a thick, viscous consistency.
• Pour the glaze over the top of the cooled cake and use a spatula to gently spread evenly. Let the glaze dry before slicing and serving.
• Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container up to 4 days.

*The amount of soaking liquid can be adjusted to taste. More or less of any type of rum or juice can be added up to 1/3 cup, if desired.



The Scoop: Chef Bryan Carr to cook at James Beard House in New York

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014



Talk of James Beard continues. Last week, St. Louis received seven 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalists nods, and now another local chef has James Beard news of his own. On Bryan Carr, chef-owner of Pomme Restaurant, Pomme Café & Wine Bar and Atlas will cook at the venerable James Beard House in New York March 19.

The Beard House is a culinary stage for promising and established figures in the cooking world. Carr, whose career spans more than 30 years, plans to shine a spotlight on Midwestern cuisine for the feast, offering short ribs, Indiana chicken, Great Lakes walleye with Missouri paddlefish caviar, and house-cured, house-smoked Missouri bacon, among other dishes.

True Refrigeration, a refrigeration company based in O’Fallon, Mo., selected Carr as executive chef for the dinner, during which True will also promote its residential refrigeration line. In 2012, True chose Jim Fiala, chef-owner of Acero and The Crossing, to cook for a similar affair at the Beard House. Lou Rook, executive chef at Annie Gunn’s, and John Griffiths, then executive chef at Truffles, also cooked at the Beard House that year.

-photo by Richard Nichols, courtesy of Pomme Restaurant

The Scoop: Southern Illinois breweries continue to multiply

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014



Southern Illinois looks to become a hotbed for craft brewing in 2014. Granite City will see Six Mile Brewery and Smokehouse open sometime in late spring or early summer; Recess Brewery is expected to begin brewing this fall on Main Street in Edwardsville. A third brewery, 4204 Main Street Brewing Co., is coming to Belleville, and if everything goes as planned, its beer will be flowing by May 1.

As the name implies, 4204 Main Street Brewing Co., will make its home at 4204 W. Main St., in downtown Belleville. The brewery, which will also have a restaurant and bar, is located in the former space of now defunct Amarillo Tex’s Steakhouse. Amarillo’s and Main Street Brewing are both ventures by Todd Kennedy and his wife Julia Kennedy, along with Todd Kennedy’s parents. The couples also own four area Golden Corral locations as well as Julia’s Banquet Center in East Alton.

The brewmaster for Main Street will be Tony Toenjes, former brewmaster for Excel Brewery, in Breeze, Ill. Toenjes worked at Excel for a year and a half, helping to get its brewing operation off the ground, he explained. He left Excel in January to join the Kennedys. At Main Street, Toenjes plans to have eight beers available at any given time. Beer drinkers can look for a California common rye, a lager, an American wheat, a blonde ale and an IPA. Toenjes is also considering a hefeweizen, a blackberry porter, brown ales, Scottish ales and even seasonal ciders. “We’ll mix it up quite a bit,” he said. He noted that this year marks the 200th anniversary for the city of Belleville, and that he’ll be creating a pecan ale for that occasion.

Toenjes anticipates brewing between 500 and 800 barrels in the first year of operation. Main Street’s brews will be available on draft at the brewery, and down the road, Toenjes hopes to get them in other area watering holes. “We’re going to self-distribute at first,” said Kennedy, who plans to focus on distribution in Madison and St. Clair counties. The brewery does not have immediate bottling plans.

Those looking to grab a bite at 4204 Main Street Brewing Co., can expect a burger-centric lunch menu and a dinner menu with a “steakhouse-theme,” said Kennedy. “The real neat part is that we’re going to use spent grain and spent yeast to make our own beer bread, beer pretzels and beer cheese,” he added, noting that everything, including the bread, will be made in-house.

Those familiar with Amarillo Tex’s Steakhouse will notice a transformation to the space, which has undergone a gut renovation. Glass windows in the dining area will provide a view to the brewing operation. “It was a rustic look,” Toenjes said. “Now, it’s more elegant: a lot of stone, dark woods, lots of glass.”

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