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Archive for May, 2016

The Scoop: Lilly’s in Benton Park closes

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016



Lilly’s Music & Social House, located at 2321 Arsenal St., at the corner of Jefferson Avenue, closed its doors on Sunday, May 29. The restaurant and entertainment venue was open almost one year. “A lot of factors went into the decision to close,” said owner and general manager Kristen Goodman. “But it was mainly a financial decision.”

Goodman, who is also a singer and musician, plans to focus on promoting and producing events and entertainments as an independent contractor. “I am so thankful for all the support we’ve had at Lilly’s,” she said. “The neighborhood supported us. It was a place that was built by the community and for the community. We were a huge success in a lot of ways because of our patrons and supporters.”

The Scoop: Sump Coffee to open second location in Nashville

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016



{Sump owner Scott Carey}


South City coffee roaster Sump Coffee will open a second location in Nashville, Tennessee this fall. Sump’s space in the OneC1TY development in the West Nashville/Midtown neighborhood will be “as close to (the Nashville Pastaria location) as we can be and still be separate,” said Sump owner Scott Carey.

The same developer that is bringing Gerard Craft’s Pastaria to the Tennessee capitol approached him about opening a second location in the 19-acre development. Carey said a Sump customer (and Nashville native) recently described the Midtown neighborhood as a “trendy, youthful part of town.”

Despite the distance between locations, Sump in Nashville will maintain the St. Louis experience, roasting beans onsite and maintain its coffee-centric focus. “We’re going to offer the same emphasis,” Carey said. “But like we did here, we’ll see what the reception is and make adjustments from there.”

The new 50-seat location is located between two universities and is on a major thoroughfare, which Carey said could prompt him to expand Sump’s menu offerings to include decaffeinated coffee and sweeteners. He said he may also offer pastries made at neighboring Pastaria.

Carey is dispatching a long-time Sump employee to Nashville to manage the new location, and he will split his time between St. Louis and Nashville for a few months after the anticipated October opening to ensure continuity. “To build a brand in a brand-new market will require a big investment of my time,” Carey said. “But I’m not going to abandon the ship we sailed from up here.”


Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

From new pizza joints in The Grove to 2nd Shift’s new home on The Hill, here’s what went down in the St. Louis food scene last week, in case you missed it.




1. The Hill is about to get sudsier as 2nd Shift Brewing announced that after a three-year search, the brewery has leased a building at 1601 Sublette Ave., which will house both production facilities and a tasting room. The new facility will be open for a preview day on Thursday, June 9, and the brewery hopes to fully open in late June or early July.




2. Doors open for dinner service at Cherokee Street’s newest restaurant on Monday, May 30. Executive chef Chris Bork and The Mudhouse owners Jeremy and Casey Miller have transformed 2609 Cherokee St., into Vista Ramen.




3. With the goal of putting pizza and beer on the same footing, Atomic Cowboy owner Chip Schloss has teamed up with chef Wil Pelly and barman Tony Saputo to open Firecracker Pizza and Beer at 4130 Manchester Road in late summer.




4. Look sharp, Maplewood. Artisan knife maker Nate Bonner and co-owner and CEO Melody Noel plan to open a production and retail space for nationally recognized NHB KnifeWorks on July 8 at 7328 Manchester Road.




5. Staff is adding the finishing touches to Stone Summit Steak and Seafood in Wentzville. Developed by the same ownership group as Hotshots, Stone Summit will be located at 17 Cliff View Drive. Former J. Buck’s executive chef Patrick Viehmann will don the top toque when the restaurant opens in June.

By the Book: Experimental Cocktail Club

Friday, May 27th, 2016



The four bartenders behind Experimental Cocktail Club published a compendium of recipes from their four international locations: Paris, London, New York and Ibiza, Spain. While the Ibiza cocktails certainly lent themselves to summer drinking, I was swayed by a cocktail from a section inspired by the bartenders’ friends: Julien Gualdoni’s St. Nicholas Manhattan, billed as “a Bajan twist on a Manhattan,” perfect for blue waters and white sands.

Assembly was simple; mix Barbados rum, sweet vermouth, coconut water and bitters, freeze until cold enough to survive the hottest Caribbean afternoon, then pour into a glass. The ingredients were the trickiest part, and I did have to swap the rum for something more accessible. I settled for 5-year-old Barbados rum. It was less expensive, and if I do get my hands on a good 12-year-old bottle, I’ll sip it neat, not diluted with coconut water.

It’s a boozy concoction, and one I’ll gladly sip on a hot day. Freezing the drink rather than shaking over ice gave it a thick, syrupy mouth feel, and the sharp bitters kept the sweet rum and coconut water from overpowering the palate. The best part: no need to shake up another round. It’s a batch cocktail – just refill your glass and dream of Caribbean waters.

Skill level: Medium. While there are definitely more complex recipes in this book, it was nowhere near the complexity of The Dead Rabbit.
This book is for: The globetrotting cocktail connoisseur
Other recipes to try: Brazilian Prescription, Pineapple Express
The verdict: Despite this cocktail’s simplicity and balance, in the middle of a hot summer day, all we really want is a cool piña colada sipped from a coconut. Cuban Cocktails takes the crown.




St. Nicholas Manhattan
5 to 6 servings

470 ml. (16 oz.) St. Nicholas Abbey 12-year-old rum
235 ml. (8 oz.) Cinzano Rosso
470 ml. (16 oz.) coconut water
6 dashes Angostura bitters

• Mix all the ingredients together, stir well and store in the freezer.
• Once well chilled, pour straight into a chilled coupette and garnish with a twist of pared orange rind.

Reprinted with permission from Octopus Publishing Group

Sneak Peek: Vista Ramen on Cherokee

Friday, May 27th, 2016



Unlike many of us, the crew at Vista Ramen will be hard at work on Memorial Day. Doors open for dinner service at Cherokee Street’s newest restaurant on Monday, May 30. As The Scoop reported in August, executive chef Chris Bork (formerly of Blood & Sand) and The Mudhouse owners Jeremy and Casey Miller announced plans to turn the space at 2609 Cherokee St., into a 36-seat restaurant featuring ramen and Asian-inspired dishes.

The narrow space features a long open kitchen lined with a bar and a row of seats, while small tables line the front windows. The space’s design was heavily influenced by the 1930s, as was its name. The owners named the restaurant Vista after purchasing the large 1930s neon sign that glows at the entrance. Several local artisans had a hand in the restaurant’s design, including gold-leaf lettering by Phil Jarvis, handmade ramen bowls by Karabel and the kitchen bar hewn by woodworker Pete Voss.

Bork created a small menu featuring three ramen bowls: the pork-based Vista, the spicy shrimp and a vegetarian option with miso-roasted carrot and daikon and “coconut schmaltz.” Cherokee neighbor Midwest Pasta Co. makes the springy, thick ramen noodles. His small plates menu features dishes like a house-made Thai sausage, Korean fried chicken and a kimchi pancake.

General manager and beverage director Aaron Stovall helms the bar tucked into the corner of the restaurant. A small, curated selection of alcoholic beverage is meant to complement the food, including seven beers in bottles or cans, a handful of wines and a selection of spirits. Group service for sake and Japanese shochu will be offered. Stoval, who spent four years at The Mudhouse, has also curated a house tea program with help from Retrailer Tea.

Vista Ramen will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect when you step inside Cherokee Street’s newest restaurant.



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-photos by Michelle Volansky

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

Friday, May 27th, 2016

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



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

The Scoop: Stone Summit Steak and Seafood to open in Wentzville

Thursday, May 26th, 2016




Staff is adding the finishing touches to Stone Summit Steak and Seafood in Wentzville. Developed by the same ownership group as Hotshots, Stone Summit will be located at 17 Cliff View Drive. Former J. Buck’s executive chef Patrick Viehmann will don the top toque when the restaurant opens in June. Viehmann is developing the menu based on his decades in the kitchen.

“What I’m doing is taking 25-plus years of experience in different restaurants and incorporating them,” he said. “This is not a menu that someone has given to me. All the recipes, all the menu items will be mine.” While the menu is not yet finalized, fans of J. Buck’s ribs can expect to see a slightly tweaked variation on the menu at Stone Summit.

The beverage program will include craft cocktails and reflect the ownership’s love of wine. “It will be one of the best lists in a 20-mile radius,” said director of marketing Justin Boyd. “We think it will be a destination for wine lovers in the Wentzville area and beyond.”

Those wine lovers will be able to sip on a glass with around 300 of their closest friends in the large dining room or at the large wooden bar planned for the space.

“The owners crafted a space they feel comfortable in,” said Boyd. “It’s just a notch below white linen tablecloth places and will be great for a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday night dinner and also as a place to celebrate anniversaries and special events.”


The Scoop: NHB KnifeWorks to move to Maplewood

Thursday, May 26th, 2016



Look sharp, Maplewood. Artisan knife maker Nate Bonner and co-owner and CEO Melody Noel plan to open a production and retail space for nationally recognized NHB KnifeWorks. When it opens on July 8 at 7328 Manchester Road, the space will house production and retail facilities with regular business hours, a new perk for the 4-year-old business.

“I’m excited for ability to have a place where people can come,” Bonner said. “It’s now a huge dilemma to make an appointment.”

In addition to the regular hours, the new shop will have a production area with a viewing window, like an open-kitchen concept restaurant. Bonner has plans to expand his wood-processing capabilities with the addition of an outdoor kiln, where he will dry and age wood for knife handles onsite. He is sourcing the burled wood from a west St. Louis County farm. He also plans to collaborate with a Maplewood-based leather craftsman to sell custom leather pieces like knife rolls, as well as working with a silversmith for handle inlays.

He also will create new lines of knives at different price points. “I want to be a destination for cooks and chefs and also for hobbyist knife makers,” he said.

The Scoop: Firecracker Pizza and Beer to open in The Grove

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016



{From left, Firecracker Pizza and Beer owner Chip Schloss, chef Wil Pelly and beverage director Tony Saputo}

With the goal of putting pizza and beer on the same footing, Atomic Cowboy owner Chip Schloss has teamed up with chef Wil Pelly and barman Tony Saputo to open Firecracker Pizza and Beer at 4130 Manchester Road in late summer. “The focus will be to match the quality of the pizza with the quality of the beer,” Schloss said.

The menu is still in development. While neither Schloss nor Pelly (who was most recently corporate executive chef at Sugarfire Smoke House and oversaw culinary operations at In Good Company restaurant group before that) will divulge specifics, they said their pizza style will be unique – “the opposite of thin, wood-fired pizza” – and will incorporate ingredients also used in beer, such as brewer’s yeast or spent grains. Available by the slice or as whole pies, the pizzas will feature a variety of toppings, some with an international influence.

“If somebody wants a pepperoni pizza, we can do that, but we will have mostly nontraditional options,” Pelly said

Schloss, Pelly and Saputo plan to have a large selection of craft beers on up to 60 taps, half of which will feature local options. The remaining 30 will be divided between regional and national brands. “We want this to be a place for beer drinkers, a craft beer house,” said Saputo, who also helms Atomic Cowboy’s beverage program.

Schloss has sustainability in mind which is why any bottle program would likely be limited. “The best recycling is to not use (bottles or cans) in the first place,” he said.

Once complete, Firecracker will accommodate 80 guests inside with an equal capacity on the back patio, which will also include space for yard games. Late-night Grove-goers can look forward to an eventual window service that will offer pizza by the slice. “We want a place that feels comfortable, where people can stop before or after a concert or just hang out,” Schloss said.

Baked: Leftover Cake Trifle

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016



I never like to throw anything away, so when I came across these unfrosted white chocolate-vanilla cupcakes taking up space in my freezer, I decided to put together quick individual trifles for a dinner party. After all, cake, custard, spring berries and freshly whipped cream is a winning combination.

I’ve actually shared part of this recipe with you before. The cupcakes are a simple, plain vanilla cake with white chocolate chunks stirred in. They’re moist, lovely and pair well with fresh fruit and cream. Serve it in glass cups, so people can see the layers and feel free to experiment with other cake flavors, flavored creams or different fruits. Enjoy and happy baking!


Leftover Cake Trifle
Adapted from a recipe at Smitten Kitchen 
8 to 12 servings

2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 batch White Chocolate-Vanilla Cupcakes (recipe here), cubed
1 cup sliced strawberries and raspberries

• Make a vanilla custard by heating the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until very warm but not boiling. Keep warm and set aside.
• In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks and sugar it pales in color. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the warm milk, whisking until it comes together.
• Return the liquid to the saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until it bubbles and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately add the vanilla and the butter and whisk until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
• To assemble the trifles, evenly divide the cake cubes between 8 to 12 glass cups. Evenly divide ½ cup strawberries and raspberries among the cups, then top each with a generous dollop of vanilla custard followed by a dollop of whipped cream. Top each with the remaining ½ cup strawberries and raspberries. Refrigerate until chilled; serve within 1 hour to prevent the cake from getting soggy.


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