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Dec 12, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Archive for December, 2017

First Look: Shake Shack in the Central West End

Monday, December 11th, 2017

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The day has finally come. Shake Shack opened for business at its first St. Louis location today, Dec. 11, at 32 N. Euclid Ave.

“I never would have predicted that Shake Shack would be the thing that would bring me home,” said founder Danny Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group is best known for fine dining.

Meyer grew up in St. Louis before becoming one of New York’s most famous restaurateurs. The newest location of his internationally popular burger chain is blocks away from where he was born and where his dad lived in the Central West End.

Meyer was inspired by his childhood favorites when he originally developed Shake Shack’s menu of griddle burgers and hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries and concretes – including Steak ‘n Shake, Fitz’s and Ted Drewes. “A great Saturday was when Dad would say, ‘Let’s go to Fitz’s,’” Meyer said.

His hometown also inspired his hospitality philosophy. “I continue to believe that the secret ingredient in all of our restaurants has always been the values that I was fortunate enough to grow up with here in St. Louis, which is: people are nice,” Meyer said.

 

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St. Louis-style hospitality is one of two secret ingredients Meyer credits for Shake Shack’s success. “The other is coming from a fine dining background. Through years and years of opening restaurants like Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern and Eleven Madison Park and The Modern, we know people,” he said. “We source our products just like we do in our fine-dining restaurants.”

The beef in Shake Shack’s smashed patties is all hormone-free. The concretes are made with real sugar and offer a range of local flavors including slices of Pie Oh My!, Park Avenue Coffee gooey butter cake and Winslow’s Home chocolate cookies. “I grew up with the family who started Winslow’s Home,” Meyer said.

Meyer’s attention to detail was evident just two days before opening. He didn’t choose the location or oversee construction in St. Louis, but he did make sure staff knew how much fizz should top a draft pour of Fitz’s root beer.

While walking through the local bottled beer selection – Schlafly, 4 Hands and Urban Chestnut are all represented – he took a step back and glowered at the display. “Do you see the problem I see?” he asked.

A stack of Mast Brothers chocolate for sale sat beside the beer. If they went through all the trouble of getting excellent local chocolate in the St. Louis concretes menu, Meyer explained, why would they sell Mast Bros. bars? “Not that I’m ashamed of Mast,” he said. “I’m just really proud of Askinosie.”

He had the kitchen staff bring out a huge bag of Missouri-based Askinosie chocolate chunks. “That’s really good,” he said as the staff started passing them around.

“I haven’t been sleeping – I’ve been so excited for this,” Meyer said. Shake Shack is now open Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Here’s a first look at the highly anticipated new restaurant:

 

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Photos by Caitlin Lally 

Heather Hughes is managing editor at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Shake Shack will open Dec. 11 in the Central West End

Danny Meyer to open Shake Shack in St. Louis

 

Retreat Gastropub team will bring Yellowbelly to the CWE

Monday, December 11th, 2017

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The team behind Retreat Gastropub is set to open a new concept. Yellowbelly, a restaurant and bar focused on seafood, rum and classic cocktails, will open in the new Citizen Park Building at 4659 Lindell Blvd., in the Central West End in 2018.

Owner Travis Howard said the name of the new place denotes the yellow bellies of many fish and birds in tropical areas. It also serves as a call for patrons to try something new and different and not be a “yellow-belly.”

“We’re wanting to take inspiration from Polynesian islands,” Howard said. Rather than focusing on the beach, Yellowbelly will evoke a jungle or rainforest vibe. Howard said the food menu will have a seafood focus.

“We’ll be sort of doing the California, West Coast approach to seafood,” he said. “We’ll be keeping things a little bit lighter and doing some cold things, as well.” Dishes may include ceviche, other cold fish dishes and possibly a whole fish preparation.

“We’re trying to do a combination of pulling inspiration from the islands and the way they eat, as well as incorporation some of the Midwest produce, as well.” Howard said. No one has been tapped to helm the kitchen yet.

 

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{ from left, Tim Wiggins and Travis Howard } 

 

Howard said Retreat’s beverage manager Tim Wiggins, who is also a partner in the new venture, will put together a drinks list heavy on rum, but Yellowbelly won’t be a tiki bar.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of cocktails in that tiki style, with a lot of fun glassware and a rum focus,” Howard said, adding that a lot of tropical flavors will be utilized, such as coconut, passionfruit and pineapple. “But we want to be a neighborhood bar, so we’ll still be hitting a lot of the classic cocktails, and we’ll have a fully rounded spirits and beverage program.”

Howard said the space will have 90 to 95 seats inside with a sidewalk patio area that may seat up to 40 or so. Howard said the plan is to open sometime in mid-2018, and construction should begin in the next few months.

Photos courtesy of On Point Hospitality 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content 

• Executive chef Michael Friedman has left Retreat Gastropub

Best New Restaurants: Retreat Gastropub

• Top Shelf: Five bartenders you should know

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

From a highly anticipated opening in Webster Groves to the closing of a restaurant on South Grand, here’s what happened last week in the STL dining scene, ICYMI.

 

The bright, airy restaurant seats about 45.

 

1. The Clover and the Bee, the new breakfast and lunch spot from the folks behind Olive & Oak, is now officially open for business at 100 W. Lockwood Ave. in Webster Groves.

 

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2. The people who brought St. Louis outdoor bar The Bronson House has a new project in store: Trust, a coffee shop and cocktail bar opening Thursday, Dec. 7.

 

The Garden on Grand is currently opened weekends at 2245 S. Grand Blvd.; a grand opening is slated for Sept. 23.

 

3. After just over a year in business, The Garden on Grand at 2245 S. Grand Ave., has shuttered. The announcement of the closure was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

 

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4. Coma Coffee Roasters is getting ready to expand its brand. The company, which also has a location at 1034 S. Brentwood Blvd. in Richmond Heights, plans to open a second cafe at 4013 Papin St., on the eastern edge of The Grove.

 

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Scoops in the St. Louis restaurant scene.

First Look: The Clover and the Bee in Webster Groves

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Local artist Marissa Todd painted The Clover and the Bee’s signature floral mural.

 

The Clover and the Bee, the new breakfast and lunch spot from the folks behind Olive & Oak, is now officially open for business at 100 W. Lockwood Ave. in Webster Groves.

The restaurant, which takes its name from the Emily Dickinson poem, “To Make A Prairie,” boasts a bright, airy interior that seats about 45. Emerald banquettes and gold chairs are complemented by a striking floral mural by local artist Marissa Todd, who also works as host at Olive & Oak.

The Clover and the Bee’s menu is small but well curated, with standards like house-made granola and breakfast sandwiches alongside unexpected offerings like roasted asparagus with almond pesto, romesco and a poached egg for breakfast. Lunch features a range of entree-style dishes like smoked flank steak over potatoes as well as soups, salads and a handful of sandwiches.

Beverages range from coffee (drip and espresso from a rotating selection of local and national producers), fresh juices, beer, wine (including an array of canned vinos) and even bottled cocktails – Morning Manhattan anyone?

For now, hours at The Clover and the Bee are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Dinner service is in the works for sometime early next year. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Webster Groves’ highly anticipated new daytime spot:

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

Recipe: Pear and Currant Compote

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

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One of my favorite items to take to holiday gatherings is an interesting jam or compote to accompany a cheese board. Consider recipes of years past: spiced carrot jam, onion jam and, if you want to go way back with me, bacon jam. I love bringing the host something delicious in a pretty glass jar, something they can put out immediately on a cheese tray or add to their holiday meal later.

This combination of pears, ginger and currants is perfect when paired with goat cheese, mascarpone or sharp cheddar. It is equally delicious on pork tenderloin sandwiches or with smoked or roasted turkey. The black pepper enhances the pungent crystallized ginger, and the texture is lovely with bits of chewy currant and ginger in each bite.

This recipe is pretty forgiving. You can use a mix of ripe and underripe pears, though you may have to add water or more orange juice to reach your desired consistency. This is closer to a compote than a jam, but you can use an immersion blender or food processor for a smoother texture.

 

Pear and Currant Compote
2 cups

3 cups diced ripe pear, peeled and cored
¾ cup sugar
½ cup currants
¼ cup minced crystallized ginger
Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
½ cup water, as needed
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer the pears, currants, sugar, ginger, orange juice and zest 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water as needed, until the pears are softened.
• Mash the pears with a potato masher to reach the desired consistency, and stir in the black pepper. Let cool, then store in a sealed jar up to 2 weeks.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who also pens Make This

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Recipe: Spiced Carrot Jam

Coffee shop and cocktail bar Trust opens Thursday

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

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The people who brought St. Louis outdoor bar The Bronson House has a new project in store: Trust, a coffee shop and cocktail bar opening Thursday, Dec. 7.

Artisan Well Bar Services, the team behind the bar program at The Bronson House, partnered with Covo, a coworking company based in San Francisco. Covo recently set up its second location downtown at 401 Pine St., in the historic Mississippi Valley Trust Company Building, where Trust will be located.

Artisan Well co-founder Noah Prince-Goldberg said Artisan Well helped set up Trust’s beverage program and will run the space initially.

“It’s a coffee bar by day and a cocktail bar by night,” Prince-Goldberg said. “Part of Covo’s twist on coworking is to build a community and center it around a bar and coffee shop that kind of works as a networking hub.” Though its located inside the shared office space, Trust is open to the public.

The coffee shop will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, featuring Kaldi’s coffee and pastries from Whisk! A Sustainable Bakeshop.

The bar will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 11 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight. The bar menu features a handful of house cocktails, beer and wine, as well as the capacity to make classic drinks. The space seats 40 for regular service but can be configured to seat more than 100 for special events.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
 Barnett on Washington to open public outdoor bar, The Bronson House

• Red Oak Eats ‘n Treats is now open on Washington Avenue

• Kaldi’s Coffee to open new locations in Citygarden, CWE

The Garden on Grand closes shortly after the one-year mark

Monday, December 4th, 2017

The long bar seats more than a dozen and offers classic and house cocktails, as well as wine and beer. Customers perched at the far end can watch the action in the partially open kitchen.

 

After just over a year in business, The Garden on Grand at 2245 S. Grand Ave., has shuttered, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The announcement of the closure was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page: 

“Regretfully, after a little more than a year, The Garden on Grand will be closing its doors after a final dinner service on Saturday, Nov. 24. We have had an incredible year, filled with ups and downs, and in this season of gratitude, we want to thank you – our customers, staff, friends and family – for your invaluable support throughout the year. We are already working on the next chapter ­– stay tuned!”

The Garden on Grand opened in September 2016. Owner Cevin Lee and then-executive chef Kore Wilbert wanted to create health-focused dishes without sacrificing flavor. Sauce reviewed The Garden on Grand in December 2016.

Lee said the restaurant got off to a fast start and was never able to catch up. “We didn’t really get a chance to slowly grow the concept,” he said. “We got slammed from day one. The food and service was well received. We just came hard out of the gate and never recovered.”

Lee, who owns the property, said he is talking to some potential buyers, but nothing has been signed. He plans to open another concept at some point but said he intends to take his time and incorporate the lessons learned from the closure.

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 4:30 p.m. to include comments from Cevin Lee and to correct a statement describing dishes at the restaurant.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• First Look: The Garden on Grand

• Review: The Garden on Grand

• The Garden on Grand to open this fall

Coma Coffee will open another location in The Grove

Monday, December 4th, 2017

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Coma Coffee Roasters is getting ready to expand its brand. The company, which also has a location at 1034 S. Brentwood Blvd. in Richmond Heights, plans to open a second cafe at 4013 Papin St., on the eastern edge of The Grove.

Owner Macy Holtzman said she’s in the process of approving architectural drawings and hopes to start construction by the end of the year. The space is currently being used as Coma’s roasting facility. “My goal is to be open by spring,” Holtzman said.

To get customers engaged in the process, the roaster will be visible to the dining area. The menu will include hand brews, pour-overs and a selection of craft cocktails. Holtzman said she plans on having approximately 50 seats, and there’s a potential for mezzanine seating as well.

“It’ll be an extension of what we have now, just offering customers a different experience,” Holtzman said.

There will also be a full kitchen. “We’re going to keep the menu really small, but super fresh and seasonal, and keep as many of the ingredients local as possible,” she said.

Holtzman’s family owns the building, and plans to convert the rest of it into a boutique hotel or apartments, with additional retail space on the first floor.

“We’re talking to some breweries about their interest in moving in, and other craft specialty shops,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Coma Coffee

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Coma Coffee to open in Brentwood

• First Look: Grace Meat & Three in The Grove

New bakery Sweetfixx offers cupcakes, cake pops in The Grove

 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

From long-awaited openings from St. Louis restaurant veterans to an official date for a highly anticipated East Coast favorite, here’s what went down last week, ICYMI.

 

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1. St. Louis restaurant veteran Matt McGuire is almost ready to open doors at Louie as soon as Tuesday, Dec. 5. As The Scoop reported in November 2016, the former King Louie’s owner announced he was taking over part of 706 Demun Ave., in Clayton, the space that used to house Jimmy’s on the Park.

2. PM BBQ has announced it will shut doors at 161 Long Road No. 103 in Chesterfield this week, but co-owner and pitmaster Paul Lammers said the popular restaurant will return in some form. The last day of service was Saturday, Dec. 2.

 

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3. The wait is almost over. Almost two years after The Scoop first reported Shake Shack was coming to St. Louis, the popular burger chain will debut at 32 N. Euclid Ave,. in the Central West End on Monday, Dec. 11.

4. The latest brewery-restaurant collaboration is between Alpha Brewing Co. and Plantain Girl owner Mandy Estrella, who built a following for her Caribbean catering services and pop-up events.

 

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5. Mothership has landed inside Earthbound Beer at 2724 Cherokee St. The new food program, run by Vista Ramen’s Josh Adams, started serving Asian-inspired barbecue Friday, Dec. 1, inside the recently expanded brewery.

6. St. Louis has long been a center for innovation in beer, and now there’s another to add to the extensive list: nonalcoholic craft beer. Wellbeing Brewing Co., a new brewery that specializes in NA beers, aims to have its wares on area shelves by Jan. 2.

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Scoops in the St. Louis restaurant scene.

 

 

First Look: Mothership at Earthbound Beer

Friday, December 1st, 2017

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Mothership has landed inside Earthbound Beer at 2724 Cherokee St. The new food program, run by Vista Ramen’s Josh Adams, starts serving Asian-inspired barbecue tonight, Friday, Dec. 1, inside the recently expanded brewery.

“We didn’t want to take Vista and just move it down here,” said chef-owner Chris Bork. He and Adams worked to develop smoke-heavy dishes better suited to a brewery than a ramen shop. Dishes include a smoked kielbasa and a pulled pork barbecue plate that comes with two of three classic side options: potato salad, slaw or baked beans.

“It’s beer food,” Adams said. “We’re doing barbecue, but we’re still Vista.” That means the potato salad is made with Kewpie mayo and funky, salty Hondashi broth, and the bricks of slightly sweet cornbread on the menu come with gochujang butter.

Other surprises include the house-smoked turkey dish that leans Mediterranean, served sliced on a pita topped with yogurt, crisp house pickles and a sprinkle of sumac. Customers place their counter-service order at the bar while scoping out their next beers.

Mothership will be open inside Earthbound Beer Tuesday to Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at the menu:

 

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Photos by Meera Nagarajan 

Heather Hughes is managing editor at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content

• Vista Ramen chef-owner shares plans for Mothership at Earthbound

• Vista Ramen will helm kitchen at new Earthbound location

• First Look: Earthbound Beer on Cherokee Street

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