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May 24, 2017
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Archive for May, 2017

First Look: Lemmons in South City

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

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Lemmons in South City has been known for many things over the years, from fried chicken to pizza to live music. Today, May 24, the space reopens as Lemmons by Grbic, soon to be known for Balkan-American cuisine and cold beer.

As The Scoop reported in August 2014, Grbic family, known for Grbic Restaurant, bought the building at 5800 Gravois Ave., nearly three years ago. Chef Senada Grbi said her father, Sulejman Grbic, initially had plans to reinvent Lemmons as a sports bar, but soon changed course.

The result was a complete gut rehab of the building. “There’s not an original electrical wire left,” Senada Grbic said, adding that the only appointment former Lemmons patrons will likely recognize are the exposed brick walls.

The interior is eclectic, owing to the different tastes of the three Grbic siblings, who were let loose to handle the decor: Erna, who employs a modern sensibility; Ermin, who favors a more industrial vibe; and Senada, who tends toward farmhouse chic. Appointments range from old school graffiti to light fixtures hanging from knotted ropes to an eclectic array of collectible salt-and-pepper shakers on the tables.

The menu features what Grbic describes as Balkan-American fusion. Some dishes are more traditionally American, like the smoked chicken wings, while others include a distinctive Balkan influence, like Babo’s flatbread, which features grilled chicken and an ajvar spread made with roasted peppers and eggplant.

Grbic said Lemmons aims to maintain its reputation as a neighborhood place where everyone is welcome. “It’s about giving something to everyone,” she said.

Lemmons opens tonight at 4 p.m. Regular business hours will Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer for Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
The Scoop: Lemmons by Grbic to give new life to an STL favorite

The Scoop: Grbic family wins ‘Guy’s Grocery Games,’ announce plans to open new Lemmons

The Scoop: Lemmons in South City to close

 

The Scoop: Chef Nick Blue lands at Sugarfire Smoke House

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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{ Chef Nick Blue } 

 

Former Sardella executive chef Nick Blue has left fine dining behind and is headed in a more casual direction. Last week, he began a new chapter at Sugarfire Smoke House.

“After Sardella, I got reached out to by so many great chefs and restaurant owners and it was really a great feeling,” Blue said.

As The Scoop reported in April, Blue left Sardella and Pastaria executive chef Ashely Shelton added the eatery to her list of duties at Niche Food Group. During his hiatus, Blue met Sugarfire owner Mike Johnson, and something clicked. Both had backgrounds in fine dining and worked for chef Charlie Trotter in Chicago during their careers.

“Mike’s a great guy,” Blue said. “He’s got a lot of things happening, and he has a lot of fun with what he does.

So, Blue decided to give the fast-casual barbecue world a try.

“I’ve never done anything this casual, I’ve never done anything barbecue related,” Blue said. “I’m only a week in, but I’ve never experienced a culture in a restaurant like this. Everybody has fun with what they do, with their co-workers. It’s been great.”

Blue said he’s not stepping into a specific position at Sugarfire, but is working in a variety of roles and learning the ropes at Sugarfire’s Olivette location. Once barbecue competition season starts in earnest, Blue said he’d likely be helping out at other Sugarfires.

“I’m doing everything,” he said. “I’m trying to learn everything I can at the restaurant to be an asset.” That includes learning the pit, helping out with specials working the line and working the floor.

“I’m kind of along for the ride,” he said. “I’m willing to do whatever they need. I want to prove myself to them as much as I can and see where it goes from there.”

Photo by Ashley Gieseking

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

Related Content
The Scoop: Pastaria’s Ashley Shelton is named Sardella exec chef

The Scoop: Nick Blue leaves post at Sardella

What I Do: Nick Blue of Sardella

The Scoop: Chef Jessie Gilroy to open Pangea in St. Charles

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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{ Chef Jessie Gilroy } 

 

Another Sauce One to Watch is striking out on her own. Jessie Gilroy, currently sous chef at Sidney Street Cafe, will soon head west to start her own restaurant, Pangea. Gilroy plans to open doors in The New Town  neighborhood in St. Charles this September.

Gilroy – who declined to share the exact address at this time – said the concept will be casual fine dining, and, as the name of the place implies, the menu will be eclectic.

“I don’t want to do the white tablecloth thing. That’s just not me,” Gilroy said. “But I do want people to be able to enjoy that kind of food but not have to get dressed up. It doesn’t have to be a once a month kind of thing. I don’t want to blow people’s budgets.”

Gilroy said the menu will span the globe and blur borders.

“Pangea was the super continent before all of the continents split, so I want to have a worldly influence on the food and show that you can have spices or techniques from anywhere in the world and have it be cohesive,” Gilroy said.

“You don’t have to just do Italian or just do French. People ask me what kind of food I like to eat, and I like to eat everything, so the best way I can put me on a plate is to show that everything can go together.”

One dish that’s already in her sights: foie gras and a miso waffle with a shallot and pepper mostarda, a mashup of Italian and Asian influences.

Gilroy said the space doesn’t need much in the way of rehabbing and most of the work will be cosmetic.

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
Ones to Watch 2015: Jessie Gilroy of Cucina Pazzo

The Scoop: The Tavern CDC Jessie Gilroy to join Peacemaker, Sidney Street Cafe

The Scoop: Sidney Street Cafe’s Kevin Nashan wins James Beard Award

 

 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

It was a week of new looks for old favorites in the St. Louis dining scene. Here’s what went down, ICYMI…

 

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1. After 14 years brewing in Ste. Genevieve, Charleville Brewing Co. has a second home in Lafayette Square. Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern opened its 7-barrel brewery and restaurant at 2101 Chouteau Ave., on May 16.

 

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2. The chef-owner of the recently shuttered Three Flags Tavern has landed a new job as executive chef at Herbie’s in Clayton. John O’Brien’s first day at the helm was May 17.

 

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3. Turn, the breakfast and lunch spot from chef-owner David Kirkland, officially opened on May 7 on the first floor of the .ZACK building at 3224 Locust St. in Grand Center.

 

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4. An old favorite is getting a new lease on life, thanks to the folks behind Grbic Restaurant. Lemmons by Grbic is slated to open on Wednesday, May 24, at 5800 Gravois Ave.

 

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5. Six Mile Bridge Beer has joined the hop wave and released Mosaic IPA, the first in a series of single-hopped IPAs on draft this weekend at the Maryland Heights brewery.

 

 

DTWE: Mosaic IPA at Six Mile Bridge Beer

Friday, May 19th, 2017

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If you’re sick of all my hop talk, well, too bad. It won’t slow down this summer for two reasons: one, hops are my favorite, and two, many local breweries are spectacularly showcasing the diverse and dynamic world of hops.

Cases in point: Schalfly’s SMaSH program is still rocking. 2nd Shift Brewing Co. brewer and hop whisperer Steve Crider is introducing more hoppy beers to his lineup. Perennial Artisan Ales continues to pop out experimental IPAs (look for IPA 16 to hit in the next few weeks). I cannot get enough of 4 Hands Brewing Co. Table IPA, its collaboration with Northeast-style pale ale producer Narrow Gauge Brewing Co., and Shared shows off its hop skills with its Proof of Concept series. Even malt-savvy Civil Life Brewing Co. is playing around with “excessive” hop usage in its American session ale.

Six Mile Bridge Beer has also joined the hop wave and will release the first in a series of single-hopped IPAs on draft this weekend at the Maryland Heights brewery. This juicy Northeast-style IPA is hopped with Mosaic, a Simcoe/Nugget hop hybrid that is used predominately for intense aromatics and easily one of my favorites to enjoy.

This hazy IPA presents itself with an intense aroma dominated by tropical fruit. As the beer opens a bit, the pineapple and papaya give way to a touch of bubble gum, ripe citrus, a little melon, and an ever so elegant waft of dankness. Super low bitterness and adequate alcohol (6.8-percent ABV) allow for ripe cantaloupe and grain to resonate on the palate. This beer is easily quaffable and a perfect warm weather offering. I look forward to more single-hopped IPAs in this series.

Photo courtesy of Six Mile Bridge Beer

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017

What I Do: Ryan and Lindsay Sherring at Six Mile Bridge Beer

The Beginner’s Guide to Hops

 

Baked: Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake

Friday, May 19th, 2017

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I love a simple chocolate cake, unfrosted with a delicate crumb. It’s better still when it comes together in one bowl and bakes in one pan. The olive oil gives a rounded flavor that cuts the sweetness of the chocolate. When I want an easy dessert to serve to company or have something to nibble on Sunday morning, this is the recipe I turn to.

 

Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from a recipe at Baked Bree 
8 servings

6 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup boiling water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil*
3 large eggs
¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. orange zest
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
Powdered sugar or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake or pie pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and water and let cool slightly. Add the vanilla extract and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar, olive oil and eggs until the mixture is thickened and pale, 2 to 3 minutes.
• Reduce the speed to low and carefully pour in the cocoa water. Mix until combined.
• With a spatula, fold in the flour, zest, salt and baking soda. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
• Bake about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
• Let cool completely before turning the cake out of the pan. Serve with sifted powdered sugar or ice cream.

*Orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil is available at Di Olivas, Extra Virgin: An Olive Ovation and Vom Fass.

Amrita Song is owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings

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The Scoop: Lemmons by Grbic to give new life to an STL favorite

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

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{ fried chicken at Lemmons by Grbic } 

 

An old favorite is getting a new lease on life, thanks to the folks behind Grbic Restaurant. Lemmons by Grbic is slated to open on Wednesday, May 24, at 5800 Gravois Ave.

The popular South City bar and music joint closed doors in June 2014 after 12 years in business. As The Scoop reported later that year, the Grbic family bought the building in August and embarked on an extensive gut rehab. The new space has 99 seats, a full-service bar and plenty of TVs.

According to Senada Grbic, who also helms the kitchen, the total investment in the building is just less than $1 million.

“It’s your friendly neighborhood sort of place,” Grbic said. “As far as the food goes, I’m going to do a short, simple menu, things that I love to eat and I know other people love to eat.”

Grbic said she’s excited for the chance to be a bit more creative with the cuisine at Lemmons, which she refers to as “American cuisine with a Balkan fusion.”

Take the 50/50 burger. Because many people from the Balkans don’t eat pork, Grbic uses equal parts ground beef and ground beef bacon, which Grbic said has a similar texture to pork bacon. The burger is topped with provolone and a fried egg seasoned with vegeta, a traditional Balkan spice blend.

Grbic said for the first few weeks, Lemmons by Grbic will only be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, but lunch service will soon follow.

Photo courtesy of Lemmons by Grbic

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
The Scoop: Grbic family wins ‘Guy’s Grocery Games,’ announce plans to open new Lemmons

The Scoop: Lemmons in South City to close

The Scoop: Three Flags Tavern chef-owner to helm Herbie’s kitchen

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

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The chef-owner of the recently shuttered Three Flags Tavern has landed a new job as executive chef at Herbie’s in Clayton.

John O’Brien’s first day at the helm is today, May 17. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, O’Brien replaces Patrick Shaughnessy, who took over in March after the departure of Christopher Vomund.

“I was looking for someone who had the type of experience, knowledge and management style that matched up with the kind of business that we do today,” said Herbie’s owner Aaron Tietelbaum. “We’re kind of an old guard-style restaurant and I need somebody running my kitchen that has the capability to understand classics and tradition, while at the same time having the ability to manage a young and excited team, and John fit that bill perfectly.”

Three Flags Tavern closed in March after three years in business.

Teitelbaum said Shaughnessy is definitely a talent in the kitchen, but he wasn’t the best fit for executive chef position.

“Patrick is a spectacular cook, and he does amazing food, but I think it was a little bit too big of a team and operation for an executive chef’s first executive chef job,” Teitelbaum said. “And I hired him knowing that, and I probably put him in a position where he wasn’t quite ready for. He’s got a lot of potential, and he will do something great with somebody at some point.”

Teitelbaum said O’Brien will bring some of the dishes he was known for at Three Flags Tavern, and they will also work together to create new menu items. He said the target is 45 to 60 days for a menu change.

O’Brien said he could definitely see Three Flags’ famous burger and lobster roll making appearances on Herbie’s menu, and due to his penchant for seafood, he hopes to beef up the restaurant’s oyster program as well.

O’Brien was almost ready to pursue a position in Cape Cod when he got a call from Teitelbaum.

“I was about five minutes away from moving,” O’Brien said, but he was attracted to the larger scale operation at Herbie’s. He also has some history with the brand, having worked for Herbie Balaban in the 1980s.

“It was important to find someplace I feel comfortable in,” he said. “I like the restaurant, I like the French style. It’s how I like to cook and how I like to eat.”

 

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
Extra Sauce: A tour of Herbie’s new space in Clayton

The Scoop: Riverbend Restaurant, Three Flags Tavern close

The Scoop: Herbie’s Vintage ’72 to move to Clayton, Cardwell’s in Clayton to close

 

First Look: Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern in Lafayette Square

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

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{ Charleville director of operations Tait Russell } 

 

After 14 years brewing in Ste. Genevieve, Charleville Brewing Co. has a second home in Lafayette Square. Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern opened its 7-barrel brewery and restaurant at 2101 Chouteau Ave., yesterday, May 16.

As The Scoop reported in October 2016, the new space is a partnership between Charleville co-owners Jack and Joal Russell and Hamilton Hospitality co-owners Paul and Wendy Hamilton. The Hamiltons own the building, as well as surrounding restaurants 21st Street Brewers Bar, Eleven Eleven Mississippi, PW Pizza and Vin de Set.

Charleville director of operations Tait Russell said the 15-barrel brewhouse in Ste. Genevieve will continue to produce the brewery’s core portfolio and seasonal offerings, while the smaller St. Louis brewery will allow his brewing team to play with one-off and limited-release beers. They hope to start brewing in two weeks.

Until then, patrons can grab a pour of 14 Charleville brews, including new offerings like the 2101 Pale Ale brewed with Cascade hops and the Chouteau Common, the brewery’s take on a California common. Four Charleville wines are also available to sip.

Executive chef Ryan Luke developed an extensive menu of comfort food options done with a creative flair, like a lobster corn dog appetizer or chicken curry hand pie. Many dishes incorporate Charleville beer or byproducts of the brewing process like a spent grain soft pretzel or beef patty melt topped with amber ale-caramelized onions.

Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Brunch service takes place on the weekends until 2 p.m.

Take a first look at Charleville’s new St. Louis home:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017

The Scoop: Hamilton Hospitality, Charleville Brewing to open brewery, restaurant in 2017

Drink This Weekend Edition: Charleville Brewing’s Box of Chocolate

First Look: Turn in Grand Center

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

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{ Turn chef-owner David Kirkland }

 

Turn, the breakfast and lunch spot from chef-owner David Kirkland, officially opened on May 7 on the first floor of the .ZACK building at 3224 Locust St. in Grand Center.

Turn is a study in minimalism. Cool blues, grays and whites dominate, and tall windows on two sides of the dining room let in plenty of light, giving the space an open airiness. The lofty ceilings enhance the effect. Patrons who used to frequent Plush, the funky coffee house/restaurant/performance venue that used to call the building home, will hardly recognize it.

The name Turn has many meanings. It’s a nod to another of Kirkland’s passions — DJing — as are the classic album covers on the wall and the LP-sized food menus, divided into sides A and B. It also refers to Kirkland’s penchant the new ingredients each season brings and turning tables during service.

Kirkland intends to explore new flavors on the menu, like the arepa, featuring grilled corn cakes, chorizo and salsa verde, and some will recognize a few of Kirkland’s signatures during his tenure as Cafe Osage executive chef.

“A biscuit and gravy variation will follow me everywhere I go,” Kirkland said.

Though it’s only open from breakfast and lunch, there are plenty of adult beverages to choose from, including cocktails, wine and beer. Coffee fans can also indulge in espressos, cold brews and lattes.

Kirkland intends to host a monthly dinner series and possibly host culinary event that coincide with theater productions in the area. Turn is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from the newest restaurant in Grand Center.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volanksy

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
The Scoop: Sophie’s, an artist lounge and bar, to open in .ZACK space

• The Scoop: French patisserie opens in Grand Center

• The Scoop: David Kirkland to leave Café Osage, open catering company and restaurant

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