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Mar 23, 2017
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Archive for March, 2017

Budget Crunch: 9 delicious deals to devour now

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Got $10 and a friend? Then contributor Kevin Korinek has 9 tasty deals you must try now.

 

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1. The new Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood is offering a special $9 chicken and waffle deal Thursdays from 4 p.m. until sold out. And yes, it will probably sell out, so make sure you’re first in line. While Boardwalk supplies the delectable waffle, the fried chicken slingers at Byrd & Barrel supply the Chicken Nugz. Adding hot sauce gets you to Flavortown fast, but a little maple syrup goes a long way.

2. A classic Italian bistro that is always adding good times and new flavors, Mangia Italiano might just be one of the best post-work spots for a good deal. Just in time for warm weather and patio dining on South Grand, you can get half off appetizers and a well-made $3 rail cocktail every weekday. Your best bet is the Honey-Cayenne Wings – a generous $5.50 pound of mouthwatering wings in Mangia’s signature sauce. They’re crunchy, spicy and oh, so satisfying.

 

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3. Every taqueria in St. Louis claims to have the best fish tacos, but The Red Shack in Dogtown may have the best monthly deal to prove it. Fridays during Lent, the Tex-Mex haven has a killer special of two, scrumptious salmon tacos with house-made chips and salsa for a mere $5.50.

4. Of course life isn’t all about tacos. It’s also about pizza. If you find yourself near Lafayette Square during the week, run (don’t walk) to happy hour at Eleven Eleven Mississippi, where you can snag a gorgeous, Tuscan-inspired flatbread for $6 to $7 each Monday to Thursday. Try the Italian sausage for authentic Old World flavor or the poached pear and fig if you’re feeling adventurous.

 

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5. Craft beer has turned a scientific corner, and we are now seeing an explosion of flavors that would make Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch do a double take. One of the more recent highlights to hit our beloved craft scene is sour beers. Retreat Gastropub in the CWE wants you to get more acquainted at its Thursday Sour Hours. In March, select sour beers are only $5 from 4 to 7 p.m., giving you the chance to pucker-up buttercup and experience some new flavors. Rest assured, the craft beer revolution carries on – what a time to be alive.

6. Back to tacos, because tacos. If you’re eating lunch in Brentwood and looking for a quick fix, Whole Foods kitchen now has you covered. The market recently opened up a lightning fast taqueria where you can grab a made-to-order burrito or three tacos for $8. Where else can you get Mexican food and finish grocery shopping on your lunch break?

 

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7. Copper Pig in beautiful Southampton has an amazing happy hour this month. Weekdays between 4:30 to 6 p.m., appetizers are $6 bucks and most drafts are a cool $3. The deal does not include its famous winter app, bacon jam and Brie (bummer!), but I’m sure you can find something to love between the General Tso’s cauliflower or the duck confit poutine.

8. Ramen is all the rage in St. Louis these days, and Hiro Asian Kitchen aims to keep it that way by offering a Ramen Happy Hour Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Sample from an assortment of ramen dishes that will make your head spin. If you miss the first window, don’t worry – the deal also happens for evening diners from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Two ramen happy hours in one day is one way to keep customers happy.

9. Again, life is nothing without damn good pizza, and Plank Road Pizza has them in spades. The Cottleville pizza den offers lunch special: an 8-inch pizza and side salad for $10. My go-to: the honey-bacon-chicken pizza. It’s a work of art – house-made crust topped with olive oil, brown sugar, roast chicken, bacon, honey, red onion and bubbling mozzarella. The lunch special is good from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also comes with a side salad.

The Scoop: Fire erupts at Soulard’s Restaurant

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

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Longtime neighborhood staple Soulard’s Restaurant & Bar caught fire Friday, March 17.

St. Louis Fire Department Capt. Garon Patrick Mosby said the fire started at the restaurant, located at 1731 S. Seventh St., when an employee was burning off some grease from a stove, and the fire “got away from him.” No one was injured. “Investigators have ruled it was an accidental incident,” Mosby said.

Soulard’s owner did not return requests for comment, but did announce the fire on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

This marks the fourth St. Louis-area restaurant fire in six months. Fellow Soulard business The Sweet Divine caught fire in October 2016; Waterloo brewery Hopskellar also suffered a fire just one month after opening. Most recently, a fire broke out on the second floor of Giovanni’s on The Hill, causing smoke and water damage to the dining room.

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Fire Department

Related Content
The Scoop: Fire breaks out at Giovanni’s on The Hill

The Scoop: New Waterloo brewery catches fire Sunday

The Scoop: The Sweet Divine catches fire, owners intend to rebuild

Sneak Peek: Vicia in Midtown

Monday, March 20th, 2017

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More than a year after announcing their move to St. Louis, Michael and Tara Gallina’s highly anticipated Vicia opens for lunch this Wednesday, March 22 in the Cortex Innovation District at 4260 Forest Park Ave. Dinner service will debut on Tuesday, March 28.

The Gallinas, both alums of the internationally acclaimed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, made news in October 2015 when they announced a return to Michael Gallina’s hometown to open a seasonally driven, vegetable-forward restaurant where he would serve as executive chef and Tara Gallina as general manager.

The 2,500-square-foot space features a 14-seat bar, an exposed kitchen and a covered patio, all separated from the main dining room by walls of windows. The patio is bookended by a lounge area with more casual seating on one end and an enormous wood-fired grill on the other.

“I’d love to have that thing covered with meat and vegetables basically all day,” said Michael Gallina. His menu incorporates meat as a condiment more than main attraction and features vegetables as the unexpected stars of Vicia’s dishes. He plans to utilize the grill for everything from slowly cooking large cuts of meat to burying vegetables in the coals for unique charred sauces.

Lunch will consist of soups, salads, sandwiches and tartines with pick-two and pick-three options, supplemented by sweet treats from executive pastry chef Summer Wright. “The menu will not be set at all,” said Gallina, who plans to print offerings daily.

Though some dishes will have the same general structure – like a grain salad made with fruits or vegetables, goat cheese and vegetable-top pesto – the specific ingredients will depend on what the restaurant gets day-to-day from area farmers.

Dinner will have a more varied menu of bite-sized snacks, shareable plates and entrees. “I want it to change as much as we can,” Gallina said. “I’m holding off to see what’s available next week.” The restaurant also plans to eventually offer a tasting menu.

Vicia will be open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. When it begins next week, dinner service will be Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect from one of this year’s most anticipated new restaurants:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Related Content

The Scoop: Gallinas to open Vicia in The Cortex

The Scoop: Chef Michael Gallina to open series of pop-ups, new restaurant in native STL

• Ones to Watch 2017: Jen Epley of Vicia

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

From national honors for hometown chefs to a new restaurant announcement from Dave Bailey, here’s what went down last week in the St. Louis food scene, in case you missed it…

 

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1.The St. Louis restaurant scene experienced a bit of déjà vu when the finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced March 15. Two St. Louis chefs moved on as finalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category: Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan and Farmhaus chef-owner Kevin Willmann. Both chefs were finalists in this category last year.

 

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2. Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade officially opened doors Saturday, March 18, at 2236 First Capitol Drive in St. Charles. As The Scoop reported in December 2016, Two Plumbers is the brainchild of owner Robert Schowengerdt and head brewer John Simon.

 

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3. Restaurateur Dave Bailey, owner of Baileys’ Restaurants, will soon add another concept to his stable of eateries. Hugo’s Pizzeria is slated to open this summer at 3135 Olive St., in Midtown, just two blocks away from another of his restaurants, Small Batch.

 

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4. Tapped, a restaurant and bar that will allow customers to pour their own beer and wine, will open in April at 7278 Manchester Road. Co-owners Ryan and Lindsay Reel will open in the former A Pizza Story space.

 

The Scoop: Pour-your-own bar and restaurant Tapped to open in Maplewood

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

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Tapped, a restaurant and bar that will allow customers to pour their own beer and wine, will open in April at 7278 Manchester Road. Co-owners Ryan and Lindsay Reel will open in the former A Pizza Story space, as reported by Feast Magazine.

While the kitchen will remain basically the same, Ryan Reel said changes to the space include new windows, a new front door and a walk-in cooler. A large part of the build-out process involves installing the lines and electronics for the iPourIt tap system, the first in Missouri.

To utilize the system, customers will check in, start a tab and receive a radio frequency identification (RFID) wristband. Each tap will have an iPad mounted above it with information about the beverage. Customers then activate their chosen tap with the wristband, and the system tracks how many ounces customers pour. There will be 48 taps – 40 for beer, cider and Bitts coffee from Living Room in Maplewood, and another eight taps for wine.

“It’s a pretty extensive undertaking,” Reel said.

Reel said the Tapped beer program will be centered on local breweries. “Our focus is putting the craft beers next to each other so you can come to one location and be able to try a bunch of different things,” he said, adding that beers from other craft breweries around the country may eventually be added.

Customers will order food via a point-of-sale system at the counter, where they will pick up the finished product. Reel said Tapped staff will be available to answer questions and bus tables.

A Pizza Story’s wood-fire pizza oven will fire once more with a menu of pizzas and “elevated bar fare,” an assortment of larger plates and a build-your-own charcuterie and cheese board. Dessert options will include items from nearby Maplewood businesses Pie Oh My!, Kakao Chocolate and Encore Baking Co.

“The whole concept is really around the beer and the wine, and the pairing of food,” Reel said. “It’ll really be a social house type of atmosphere.”

 

Related Content
Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017

Sneak Peek: The Blue Duck in Maplewood

Sneak Peek: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood

Just Five: Guinness Beer Bread

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

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Luck of the Irish indeed! Sauce Magazine tips the hat to all things beer this month, and March also celebrates all things Irish. This month rocks!

I wondered how to make a Just Five recipe with beer as one of key ingredients. After a little research on beer bread and soda bread, I threw both recipes together, picked out the parts I liked, and hoped for the blessing of St. Honoratus of Amiens (Google him).

A note on this recipe: If you do not sift the flour, you’ll have a dry biscuit, not bread. Sift, sift, sift! This simple quick bread has a crunchy crust from baking in butter and a lovely sweetness from the beer and brown sugar, proving once again that beer makes it better.

 
Guinness Beer Bread
6 servings

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
12 oz. Guinness or other dark beer
6 Tbsp. (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Break up the packed brown sugar with a fork, then add it and the rosemary and stir well to combine the dry ingredients. Add the beer and mix until a sticky dough forms.
• Spread the dough evenly into a cast-iron skillet or greased 9-by-9-inch baking dish and pour the melted butter over the dough. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
• Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Bread will keep 4 to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and regularly pens Make This.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Related Content
Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017

• The Weekend Project: Corned Beef and Cabbage

Extra Sauce: 6 green dishes (and 2 green drinks) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

The Scoop: James Beard Foundation names Kevin Nashan, Kevin Willmann Best Chef: Midwest finalists

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

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{ from left, Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan, Farmhaus chef-owner Kevin Willmann } 

 

The St. Louis restaurant scene experienced a bit of déjà vu when the finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today, March 15. Two St. Louis chefs moved on as finalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category: Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan and Farmhaus chef-owner Kevin Willmann. Both chefs were finalists in this category last year.

“I’m so grateful,” Nashan said. “You never know if you’re going to on the list again – it’s torturous! I’m just so grateful and really excited for the team. I just found out and I’m really blown away.”

Willmann found out about the news when Sauce called for comment. “Oh, no shit? Hell yeah!” he said. “I’m really proud of my team this year, we have an awesome groove going, and the sky’s the limit. “

As The Scoop reported in February, the James Beard Foundation named four St. Louis-area chefs as semifinalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category. Olive & Oak executive chef Jessie Mendica and Público chef-owner Mike Randolph did not make it to the final round. Pastaria executive chef Ashley Shelton, a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year, also didn’t advance to the final round.

Winners of the chef and restaurant awards will be announced at a ceremony in Chicago on May 1. Local eatery Gioia’s Deli will also be honored at the gala; the Beard Foundation honored The Hill sandwich shop with an America’s Classic award in January.

 

Related Content
• The Scoop: 5 St. Louis chefs earn James Beard Foundation semifinalist honors

The Scoop: James Beard Foundation declares Gioia’s Deli an American Classic

The Scoop: James Beard award eludes Willmann and Nashan

The Scoop: Dave Bailey to open new concept, Hugo’s Pizzeria

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

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Restaurateur Dave Bailey, owner of Baileys’ Restaurants, will soon add another concept to his stable of eateries. Hugo’s Pizzeria is slated to open this summer at 3135 Olive St., in Midtown, just two blocks away from another of his restaurants, Small Batch. Bailey bought the building, which formerly housed The Good Pie, last year.

“With Small Batch being over there, we were familiar with the building, and when it became available, it seemed like a good opportunity,” said Bailey. “I think Midtown is growing, and it’s a good connecting point between Cortex and downtown. It’s going to fill out, and we want to be there.”

Named after Bailey’s son, the restaurant will have a 12-seat bar, inside seating for 120 and 60 seats in the back garden. The one-story brick building is divided into four individual units, or bays. The bar and dining room take up two of those bays, while the kitchen occupies the third. Bailey said he’ll reveal his plans for the fourth bay in the next couple of weeks.

The main event at Hugo’s will be 12-inch pizzas cooked in a gas-fired deck oven at 550 degrees. Hugo’s will offer a Roman-style crust, house-made ingredients like pepperoni and sausage and other ingredients from the company’s micro-farm.

“It’s going to be familiar cuisine but elevated, family-friendly but open to everybody, much like (Baileys’) Range or Rooster,” said Bailey. “It’s completely approachable. We just love pizza and want to present a version of it that we think is really good.”

On the beverage side, Hugo’s will feature 30 draft beers, a selection of wines and a full bar. In addition to pizza, the menu will feature items like burrata, meatballs, wings and salads.

For those who want to get an early taste, starting today, March 15, Bailey’s Shift, Test Kitchen & Takeout will serve three 10-inch pizzas: cheese, pepperoni and a rotating daily special. The pizzas will also be available as a lunch special with a salad and a drink. The smaller size pizza will also be served as a lunch option at Hugo’s.

 

 

Sneak Peek: Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade in St. Charles

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

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Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade officially opens doors this Saturday, March 18, at 2236 First Capitol Drive in St. Charles. As The Scoop reported in December 2016, Two Plumbers is the brainchild of owner Robert Schowengerdt and head brewer John Simon. “I was trying to figure out a way to make an arcade make money,” Schowengerdt said. “I know how to pour a beer and I knew this guy (Simon).”

The 21-and-older brewery will offer two of its beers at opening, the Ermac Irish Red IPA and Braunenmantel American brown ale. “All our beer names will be nerd references of some kind,” Schowengerdt said. Simon is hoping to add a honey blonde and a few other beers soon.

The bar has 10 taps supplemented by breweries like Logboat Brewing Co., Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., Schlafly and Great Divide Brewing Co., as well as one cider and a few wine options. Customers are welcome to bring in food, or order a Dan O’s frozen pizza from the bar. “We’re not complicated,” Schowengerdt said. “It’s pretty much just beer and video games.”

The 80-seat space includes more than 30 arcade games with classics like “Donkey Kong” and “Super Mario Bros.,” and old school favorites like “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Time Crisis II.”

Regular hours will be Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Saturday from noon to 1:30 a.m. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when doors open at St. Charles’ newest brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017 

• Guide to Beer 2017: Class of 2017

The Scoop: Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade to open in St. Charles

Extra Sauce: Three new brunches to try this month

Friday, March 10th, 2017

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{ Okonomiyaki from Vista Ramen }

This town loves a good brunch, and three restaurants have recently debuted new, diverse offerings for our weekend noshing.

“Brunch was never really part of the original plan,” said Monas owner Brendan Marsden. But after hearing that customers wanted more brunch options on The Hill, Marsden decided to oblige on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mona’s brunch menu includes breakfast pizza with potato, bacon, salsa verde and sunny side up eggs, and a skillet hash with fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, peppers, onions, kale and two eggs, topped with a white cheddar sauce.

From Nutella risotto balls to cured salmon eggs benedict, Sardella is covering all the sweet and savory bases on its new brunch menu, offered Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “It’s not a 20-page brunch list,” said chef-owner Gerard Craft. “It’s maybe food you’ve seen before, but from our perspective.” Try Craft’s current favorite – the umami bomb Parmesan French toast, served with mascarpone and maple syrup.

Beginning March 19, Vista Ramen will also be in on the brunch game on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “I felt like there was a gap we could fill,” said chef-co-owner Chris Bork. “We offer a little something different.” Look for Asian-inspired dishes like grits with smoked shrimp XO sauce, shiro dashi, poached eggs, bacon and furikake, and a Reuben-inspired okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) piled with corned beef, white kimchi, house-made pickles, dollops of thousand island dressing and a sunny side up egg.

Mona’s, 5257 Shaw Ave., St. Louis, 314.772.8272, monasjoint.com; Sardella, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.773.7755, sardellastl.com; Vista Ramen, 2609 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.797.8250, vistaramen

- photo by Michelle Volansky

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