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May 26, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for March, 2014

The Scoop: Majestic Restaurant and Bar to close this weekend, owners retiring

Monday, March 31st, 2014

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For most restaurants, surviving the first year in business is an achievement. After more than 53 years in business, co-owners and brothers Louis and Bill Politis are closing Majestic Restaurant and Bar, as first reported by Nancy Stiles of the Riverfront Times.

Co-owner Pete Politis, who is also a partner in the family restaurant with his cousin, Alex Politis, said the restaurant will serve its last meal this weekend, April 5 and 6. Politis said the Central West End establishment restaurant will serve customers Saturday until 5 p.m., and on Sunday if there is still food. The restaurant will shorten its regular hours Tuesday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Majestic, located at 4900 Laclede Ave., was a neighborhood institution for Central West End residents, businesses and the St. Louis Greek community. “People in the neighborhood have been great,” Pete Politis said. “Students have been great. Every Sunday for decades our church [St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church] would let out, and they would come for coffee and eggs… It’s been like that forever.”

Pete Politis said his father Louis first stepped through the doors of Majestic as a young immigrant in the 1950s. He ultimately purchased the same restaurant where he once waited tables in 1961; his brother Bill joined him shortly thereafter. “[Bill’s son] Alex and I … we grew up in that building,” Pete Politis said. “The tavern and the diner were our family rooms.”

Louis Politis said after more than a half-century in business, he and his brother are looking forward to retirement. “I was 24 years old when I opened it, and now I’m 76,” he said. “I think it’s about time for us to smell the roses.

The Politis family is currently in talks to sell the restaurant; check The Scoop for updates.

 

 

Meatless Monday: Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Monday, March 31st, 2014

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If chocolate equals seduction, how do you woo the dairy-adverse? I searched for a vegan chocolate mousse recipe. Several called for mashing up avocados, adding unsweetened cocoa and drizzling the whole thing with agave nectar. It was just so weird; I had to try it.

Find out how Vegetize It took a recipe that tasted like “sweet dirt” and turned it into a faux-chocolate mousse so smooth and light, you’re vegan friends may accuse you of deception. Click here for the recipe.

-photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: The Wheelhouse to open second location downtown

Monday, March 31st, 2014

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One year ago, business partners Stephen Savage, Lou Groff and Jared Ater opened upscale sports bar The Wheelhouse in Clayton (pictured). Today, the trio announced plans to open a second location downtown in the Cupples 8 building at 1000 Spruce St., in early July.

Unlike its sister restaurant, the downtown location will not be just a sports bar and restaurant. Rather, it will be a fusion of sports bar and nightclub, open until 3 a.m. The 10,000 square-foot space will feature three bars, a mezzanine with private VIP booths, a disc jockey’s crow’s nest, plenty of TVs for sports watching, as well as outdoor seating. “It will be a great social, high-energy venue,” said Savage.

The food menu, developed by chef Nick Del Gaiso, will be identical to the menu at the Clayton location, and the bars will feature local craft beers as well as established brews.

Local firms SPACE Architecture, ICS Construction and Mwanzi will all have a hand in transforming the space, formerly occupied by advertising agency Osborn Barr.

– photo by Michelle Volansky

The Month in Review: March 2014

Monday, March 31st, 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 March 2014.

 

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We met the ultimate insider; we cracked open the cutest amuse ever; we had beers with the mayor; we tried amazing new brunch drinks and this insane waffle at Hiro Asian Kitchen; we cooked with hearts; we made a bone marrow app in a snap; rum and cognac will never be the same after drinking at Planter’s House; we gave you the definitive Guide to Beer; Strange Donuts got even stranger; we showed you how to get in to all the places the cool kids are talking about; we had a blind beer taste-off; four new restaurants opened up, including The Good Pie (and thank goodness for that).

Beer Et Al.: 8 more reasons we love beer

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

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Drink This Weekend Edition: A hopped-up cocktail

Friday, March 28th, 2014

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This March, in honor of Sauce’s Guide to Beer, our focus has been on all beer everything – how to cook with beer, what brews are best for aging, where every brewery in town is located and distributed, and more.

With the end of March approaching, I wasn’t quite ready to break up with beer, but I was certainly ready for something new – something that didn’t come from a bottle, can or tap handle. I found what might be the perfect compromise: Tony’s 29 Hour IPA.

Created by Eclipse bar manager Tony Saputo, this cocktail involves Espolón Blanco tequila, Cocchi Americano Rosso, a cordial made from citra hops, lime juice, celery bitters and house-made ginger beer made with a touch of the wild yeast Brettanomyces. “If we added whiskey to it [to add barley], it would have the same ingredients as a beer,” Saputo said. “It’s a deconstructed, reconstructed beer.”

Why call it a 29-hour IPA? To make the citra hop cordial, Saputo infuses dried hops with Everclear and water for 29 hours. Once infused, he adds more water and sugar to make it a cordial. On its own, the cordial smells and tastes like an IPA reduction … in a this-taste-will-never-leave-my-mouth way. Combined with the rest of the ingredients, though? Just right.

 

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Tony’s 29 Hour IPA’s looks are deceiving. At first glace, the light pink drink garnished with a cucumber and a lime wheel looks like some sort of gin or Pimm’s Cup summer sipper. Yet it smells a little bit like a beer. Initially, it tastes like a margarita because of the first hits of tequila and the brightness and acid from the vermouth and lime juice. Yet, a second later, there is a subtle spice from the ginger and just a bit of funk from the Brett. If I didn’t know better, I never have guessed the drink including Brett, but it adds another layer to this rich, refreshing (and strong) springtime drink.

Cheers to beer, cocktails and spring!

 

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

Friday, March 28th, 2014

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

B3LikeMike
Went to Schnucks to get groceries. Came back with toilet paper, $50 of meat and a gallon of milk. #gains

kenrearley
Satisfying my sweet tooth with a protein bar… This is not living.

kgettinger
How @Hobo_Squirrel plans to garnish all tequila shots from now on. Get ready @thelibertinestl @Claytonitepic.twitter.com/7h2iZsHTgf

ClaireUncorked
Super lazy Sunday & we just broke out the Amate Silver #tequila. I don’t think anything is getting done today.

RtodaizH
I’m going to hold off on Taco Bell breakfast until they have Doritos Locos Waffle Tacos.

gracebenanti
Poured coffee literally all over my phone this morning during biostats and it is still perfectly functional. you go, samsung, you go

seanroystl
Beerfest check list:

Pretzel necklace (check)

PBR shirt (check)

Kilt (check)

Pissed girlfriend/wife (check)

Riding boots (check)

Beard (duh)

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

On the Line: Carrie Whitcraft at Winslow’s Home

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

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Carrie Whitcraft spent years on the line in some of St. Louis’ most prestigious kitchens, including Westwood Country Club and Sidney Street Cafe, before moving to the line at Winslow’s Home three years ago. The day she sat down to talk with me it, she had begun a new position as its special events coordinator, responsible for booking and planning events in the new event space in the Winslow’s basement. Here, she talks about why a piece of her heart will always be on the line:

Working the line is fun:
“Sidney Street was a cool place to be. [Chef-owner] Kevin Nashan is eccentric and brilliant and brings a lot of passion to the kitchen. Prep time was the most fun because you’re just kind of yelling across the line, to the apps guy or to Kevin, funny things … I don’t think you could print any of it.”

Working the line is painful:
“The first big burn is always literally burned into your memory. I was at Westwood, and I was learning the saute station, and I’d never worked on the hot line. The No. 1 rule was don’t touch anything without a towel. I proceeded to grab a saute pan that had been in a 500 degree oven. It stays with you for hours.”

Working the line is glorious:
“I can’t speak for everybody, but I think its true that line cooks feel like their jobs and the more renowned the restaurant, the badder asses they are. There’s a lot of glory in what they do, and they take a lot of pride in how pretty their plate is and how beautiful the fish was seared… That sense that there is some glory in hot, dirty, dangerous line cook world is something I’ll always think about and always kind of miss.”

Working the line gives you confidence:
“Confidence is huge. In any sales job, if you don’t know what you’re selling, you’re not going to be an effective salesman, and [I know] what the kitchen is able to execute with any kind of time restraint or ability or seasonality.”

-photo by Michelle Volansky

Baked: Coconut Chocolate Chip Scones

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

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These scones are definitely for the coconut lover. While I am not one usually one of those people, my boyfriend is, and he’ll often skip breakfast if I don’t insist he eat something. It doesn’t take much convincing to get him to try these.

The scones have a pleasant, soft-yet-crumbly texture thanks to the mixture of grated coconut and coconut milk. (Grated coconut offers a more subtle texture than coconut flakes, but feel free to swap them.) The end result is delicate and light with rich chocolate undertones and crunchy sugar on top. They’re a snap to put together and the unbaked triangles are great to freeze, then pop in the oven for a quick breakfast.

Enjoy and happy baking!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Scones
Adapted from a recipe at Pastry Affair
8 Servings

1½ cup flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup coconut oil (solid state, not liquid)
1 cup unsweetened grated coconut
¾ cup coconut milk
1 tsp. coconut extract
3 oz. chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. Turbinado coarse sugar

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut in the solid coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
• Stir in the grated coconut, coconut milk, coconut extract and chocolate until the mixture comes together.
• Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disk roughly 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges (like a pie) and place the triangles on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the coarse sugar.
• Bake 16 to 18 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Allow the scones to come to room temperature before serving.

By the Book: Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy’s Skillet-Glazed King Trumpet Mushrooms

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

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I’ve wanted to get my hands on Come In, We’re Closed: An Invitation to the Staff Meals at the World’s Best Restaurants for a while. Books like Edible Selby, I Love New York and Come In, We’re Closed are my favorite kind of cookbook: a compilation of recipes for a foodie reader. Like a greatest hits album from Beyoncé, it is perfect for me – a book of greatest staff meal hits from rockstar chefs.

 

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Restaurants like Arzak in San Sebastián, Spain, wd~50 in New York City and The Slanted Door in San Francisco are just a few notable restaurants with featured dishes. The meals range from simple recipes to ones that call for ingredients that clearly had to be used up that day (smoked sturgeon, anyone?) to recipes that call for kitchen prep byproducts they won’t sell customers, like mushroom stems. Would I make a lot of these recipes? Probably not anytime soon. But I love reading about the culture at restaurants and the Q&As with the people that run these famous kitchens.

 

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I decided to make Skillet-Glazed King Trumpet Mushrooms, which came from chef de cuisine David Cruz at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc. It’s a simple but delicious side dish.  Cruz says this staff meal dish usually uses mushrooms unfit for the customer’s plate, calling it an “ugly mushroom makeover,” though something tells me  there isn’t one ugly dish that comes out of a Keller kitchen – even if it’s for a staff meal.

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Skillet-Glazed King Trumpet Mushrooms
6 Servings

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1½ lbs. king trumpet mushrooms, left whole (I substituted shiitake.)
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 sprig thyme
½ cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until just shy of smoking. Add the mushrooms and saute until lightly brown on all sides, about 6 minutes.
• Add the shallot, butter and thyme and saute until the shallot is slightly golden, about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and cook to reduce the liquid down to almost nothing, about 3 minutes. Begin to swirl the pan to coat the mushrooms with a shiny glaze. Season with salt and pepper.
• Remove the pan from the heat, pluck out the thyme and serve the mushrooms immediately.

What restaurant’s staff meal would you most want to try? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Come In, We’re Closed. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Joel P., whose comment on last week’s By the Book column has won a copy of Secrets of the Best Chefs. Joel, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

 

 

 

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