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May 26, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for September, 2015

Extra Sauce: Where to buy local fresh pasta

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

090115_FRESHPASTA

 

A beautiful plate of pasta is nothing short of enchanting – rich aromas, nuanced flavors and the painstaking presentation of the professional chef. It’s easy to boil a pot of noodles, but turning strands of wet spaghetti into a Michelin-starred dish can be a tall order for the home cook. Here, area chefs share their better-than-Nonna’s recipes and secrets for everything you need to take your pasta from basic to bellissima. Pro tip No. 1: Start with fresh pasta. Here’s where to get it in St. Louis.

Stellina: 3342 Watson Road, St. Louis, 314.256.1600, stellinapasta.com
Pasta available: Semolina or whole-wheat fettuccine, semolina or whole-wheat walnut tagliatelle, agnolotti, lasagna (by special request)
Price: $3 per 5-oz. nest

Katie’s Pizza & Pasta: 9568 Manchester Road, Rock Hill, 314.942.6555, katiespizzaandpasta.com
Pasta available: Arugula reginette, black spaghetti, bucatini, capellini, fiori, lemon pappardelle, paccheri, pappardelle, spaghetti, tagliatelle
Price: $5 per pound

Pastaria: 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.6603, pastariastl.com
Pasta available: Bucatini, canestri, chitarra, gargenelli, pappardelle, regular and whole-wheat strozzapreti
Price: $6.25 per pound

Midwest Pasta Co.: 2023 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314-772-7560, midwestpastaco.com
Pasta available:
Laminated – angel hair, vermicelli, spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, tagliatelle, pappardelle
Extruded – penne, rigatoni, ziti, conchiglie (shells), bucatini, rotelle, radiatore, macaroni, torini, fusilli, cresta di gallo, cavatappi
Gnocchi – egg, spinach, garlic, chive, sun-dried tomato, sweet potato
Ravioli – black bean, butternut squash, four cheese, goat cheese, gorgonzola, lobster, mushroom, spinach and walnut, ricotta and sun-dried tomato, white truffle
Tortellini and Tortelloni – beef and Pork, chicken
Gluten-Free – fettuccine, spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, farfalle (bow ties), lasagna sheets, gnocchi
Price: Approximately $4 per pound

 

-photo by Greg Rannells 

First Look: Brasilia on South Grand

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

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South American fare has joined the international strip of South Grand. Brasilia started serving up Brazilian and South American dinner at 3212 S. Grand Blvd., on Saturday, Sept. 19. Owners Jorge and Rachel Carvalho are restaurant veterans having owned both Café Brasil and Côco Louco, as The Scoop reported in April.

For their South Grand venture, the Carvalhos have created a brightly painted, relaxed eatery that seats around 50 inside with about 16 seats available on the patio.

Beef, chicken and seafood dominate the menu. Nine shareable starters include Brazilian-style chicken croquettes and marinated beef short ribs. Mixed greens tossed with ranch-like house dressing and can be topped with chicken, beef or a seafood mix for a large dinner salad. Fifteen entrees features three grilled chicken dishes, two beef offerings and the rest a mix of seafood, fish and combination plates most of which see accompanying rice, sauteed collard greens and sauteed seasonal vegetables.

While dessert is not currently listed on the menu, Brasilia does offer vanilla and chocolate Brazilian-style flan, a denser and more textural version of the more common Mexican flan. Two Brazilian beers and several cachaça (a spirit distilled from sugar cane and a national product of Brazil) cocktails.

Brasilia is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at one of South Grand’s newest restaurants:

 

 

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 -photos by Michelle Volansky 

Just Five: Cauliflower Fritters

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

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As you may know, I not only pen this column, but also write a regular column for the print issue of Sauce Magazine, Make This. These recipes only require one to two steps and can be tossed together in less than 10 minute with minimal ingredients. Yep, I keep things simple in the kitchen – but simple ain’t always easy.

My goal with that column is to break down recipes to their basic elements and still retain flavor. Former executive editor Ligaya Figueras originally suggested these cauliflower fritters as a Make This recipe. Alas, I quickly realized there was no way to make it work without steaming the cauliflower first – the texture of raw cauliflower was horrible. Since so many steps are a Make This deal breaker, so this recipe moved to my Just Five file.

These fritters are a marriage of roasted cauliflower and latkes, two dishes my family loves. Cauliflower is a great substitute for roasted potatoes, and these are far quicker to make than traditional latkes. Serve them on a bed of lightly dressed arugula or with sour cream mixed with parsley and chives.

 

Cauliflower Fritters
8 to 10 servings

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 to 5 cups)
½ cup flour
½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup water
¼ cup chopped shallot
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

• Place a steamer basket in a large pot with a few inches of water in the bottom over medium-high heat. Steam the cauliflower 6 to 7 minutes, until fork-tender. Remove and immediately rinse cold water.
•Chop cauliflower into small pieces, but not quite minced and place in a large bowl. Add the flour, Parmesan, water, shallot, eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
• Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Scoop ¼ cup batter into the skillet, pressing gently with a spoon to flatten to ½-inch thick. Fry 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown, then flip and fry another 2 to three minutes. Remove and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter.
• Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve warm.

First Look: Wild Sun Winery in Hillsboro

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

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Pack a picnic and hit the road – Wild Sun Winery is now open at 4830 Pioneer Road in Hillsboro. As The Scoop reported in June, respected Missouri winemaker Mark Baehmann fulfilled his lifelong dream when he left Chaumette Vineyards to open Wild Sun with business partner Ed Wagner.

Along with swarms of volunteers, the pair transformed an 1870s home into a 4,400-square-foot winery with a tasting room, production building, expansive patio space and event amenities. Wild Sun sits on 10 acres, but events will be capped at 125 people. “We want to be known as a winery,” Baehmann said. “It’s all about the quality of the experience, the quality of the wine.”

Wild Sun is open for tastings, picnics and yard games, if you bring them. Customers can also bring their own food or order from a small menu of pizzas and snacks to enjoy on a three-level patio. Sip and wander around the pond or the barn they plan to transform into a brewery this spring.

Wild Sun opens with nine wines all made with Missouri grapes, except for a cabernet sauvignon, which is made with grapes from Washington state. Grab a bottle of that or a Missouri favorite like chardonel, Norton or chambourcin to bring home.

Wild Sun is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you make the drive to Hillsboro:

 

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-photos by Meera Nagarajan

 

The Scoop: Chef Sam Boettler steps into the kitchen at Planter’s House

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

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There’s a new top toque in the Planter’s House kitchen. Chef Sam Boettler stepped into the role today, Sept. 29, replacing former chef Bradley Hoffmann, who fired his last dish at Planter’s Friday, Sept. 25.

“Sam brings a log of great experience managing a kitchen,” said Planter’s House co-owner Jamie Kilgore. “We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Boettler brings 23 years of culinary experience to the table, including six years as the executive chef at The Vine in St. Charles. He most recently spent two years at Element as one of four chefs helming that kitchen when it first opened in 2013.

Describing his cuisine as “simple comfort food” with some French bistro influences, Boettler aims to roll out the fall menu at Planter’s House by mid-October. “The staff at Planter’s House is amazing,” he said. “I’m super excited to work with them.”

 

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. to correct chef Bradley Hoffmann’s name spelling.  

The Scoop: Perennial takes gold at the Great American Beer Festival

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

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{Some of the Perennial Artisan Ales team celebrate with a bottle of the winning Savant Blanc.}

 

Perennial Artisan Ales snagged a sweet win for its Savant Blanc sour ale at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery took gold in the American-style sour ale category at the national beer festival, which took place in Denver last weekend, Sept. 24 to 26.

Perennial has previously won two silvers at GABF, but co-owner Phil Wymore said this is its first gold. “The win means a lot,” Wymore said. “We don’t expect to win a medal, so its validation that we’re making a good beer and our hard work is being recognized.”

Perennial brewmaster Cory King said it was an honor to be recognized from 85 other brews entered in this category. “There are so many beers and so many entries. It’s amazing to place let alone win,” King said.

Savant Blanc is Brettanomyces-fermented Belgian blonde ale aged with Chardonel barrels with Chardonel grapes. Wymore said St. Louisans can get a taste of this award-winning brew when the second batch releases in a month or two.

 

 

The Scoop: Bocci Wine Bar shutters in Clayton

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

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Bocci Wine Bar in Clayton poured its last glass last Saturday, Sept. 26, as first reported by St. Louis Business Journal.

Owner Frank Schmitz, who also owns Barcelona Tapas and Coastal Bistro, said space at 16 N. Central Ave., in Clayton is up for renewal, and he is weighing his options. “I’m looking into different concepts for the Bocci space but don’t have details now,” Schmitz said.

This isn’t the first closure for the Bocci space. Schmitz shut the doors at Bocci Bar in January 2014 to reconcept the eatery, reopening as Bocci Wine Bar with an updated menu, decor and wine menu in April 2014. Schtmitz opened the restaurant in 2010.

 

 

The Scoop: Absolutli Goosed to close for good Saturday

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

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After 13 years of serving up martinis on South Grand, Absolutli Goosed announced it will shake and stir its final libation on Saturday, Oct. 3. The bar will host a farewell party on its final day of service.

In a press release, co-owner Robin Schubert said the decision to close was difficult and cited changing customer tastes. “When the bar first opened in 2002, it was one-of-a-kind for St. Louis, but over the years the bar business has changed and the martini craze has fizzled out,” Schubert said.

Managing member Staci Stift could not be reached for additional comment.

Meatless Monday: Tangy Tabbouleh

Monday, September 28th, 2015

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Use up the last of that summer herb garden with a fast, fresh tabbouleh. We love Einat Admony’s recipe from her book, Balaboosta, which tosses toothsome bulgur wheat with equal parts fresh cilantro and parsley, as well as fresh mint, scallions and diced tomatoes. Dress it all with fresh lemon juice and oil and let the bulgur absorb all the flavor before diving in with a fork. Get the recipe here.

 

 

The Scoop: Chef Bradley Hoffman leaves Planter’s House

Monday, September 28th, 2015

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Planter’s House chef Bradley Hoffman worked his final shift on Friday, Sept. 25 after heading the kitchen since its inception and opening in 2013. Hoffman is currently keeping mum on his new endeavor, but he said his departure from the Lafayette Square bar was an amicable split.

“I had a blast,” Hoffman said. “I learned so much from working with Ted (Kilgore), Jamie (Kilgore) and Ted (Charak). It was like family in the kitchen and in the restaurant. I’ll have nothing but great memories forever from working in that kitchen.”

Co-owner Jamie Kilgore said the Planter’s House team was sorry to see Hoffman go but wished him well. “Bradley was a real asset to Planter’s House,” she said. “He’s going to do great things. We are happy for his continued success and the continued success of Planter’s House.”

Planter’s House has not yet announced Hoffman’s replacement.

 

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 29 to clarify information about a replacement chef at the time of publication.

-photo by Carmen Troesser 

 

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