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The Scoop: The Block coming to the Central West End

November 14th 04:11pm, 2012

Carnivores, take note, The Block is taking up shop in the Central West End. Co-owners Marc Del Pietro and Brian Doherty, who opened the restaurant and butcher shop in Webster Groves in June 2011, are adding a second location at 33 N. Sarah St., as reported by Feast. The space was previously occupied by now-defunct Terrene.

“We like the West End a lot because of the diverse, urban feel,” said Del Pietro. “I think our shtick lends itself to the West End.” Del Pietro hopes to open in early 2013, noting that the date is really “a matter of when I can get the space flipped over and ready to go.” Among the décor changes that diners will notice are the addition of reclaimed barn wood and lighting that should make the space feel more open and airy. “We don’t want people to come in and go, ‘Oh, this is the old Terrene space.’ [Terrene was] kind of pricy, formal and an intimate setting. We want to do The Block: loud and noisy and to be congested … We want our feeling to it.” The tin ceiling and terrazzo floor will remain, however, as those reclaimed, recycled elements align with The Block’s concept, Del Pietro explained.

The menu at the Central West End location will be roughly 50- to 60-percent the same as the meat-centric one at the Webster Groves restaurant. Del Pietro added that with “meat-forward” The Scottish Arms just down the block, we might see more of an Italian influence than we do at the Webster Groves location. “We don’t want to go head to head, rather to complement them,” he explained. “We might introduce a bit of Italian into the feel of it with pork as our main staple.”

— Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Pictured: Milk chocolate ice cream flecked with chewy bits of local bacon, a dessert at The Block in Webster Groves

By Ligaya Figueras

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2 Responses to “The Scoop: The Block coming to the Central West End”

  1. Jeremiah Beckley Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Assumedly, “early 2012″ should be corrected to “early 2013.”

  2. FoodieAtHeart Says:
    November 30th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Not worth the price. Snooty portions. Egotistical owner. Mark or Matt? I went in early this week and as an appetizer, ordered the shrimp and grits. Growing up in the south, I expected white, well “gritty” grits.

    What I got was polenta, but didn’t realize it until after I’d left the restaurant. I commented to my fellow diners how strange it was that they were so fine and…yellow. Tasteless, besides.

    The shrimp (3) were very greasy, there was a fair amount of onion and the sauce drizzled on top was alright.

    I called the restaurant the next day and spoke to someone who insisted she was a manager, but didn’t sound too convincing. She said one of the owners would call me back, but nothing, sooooo…

    I called back the next evening and spoke with Mark or Matt, who when I said, well if they were going to substitute polenta instead of grits, I would like to have been asked if that was ok or given the option to order something else, at which he insisted they use “fine yellow grits,” vs. the white, coarse hominy grits.

    Um, ok.

    So I did the research today:

    From http://chowhound.chow.co…:
    Hominy is lye-treated corn, so hominy grits is the coarse white meal that is used in Southern country-style cooking to make “grits,” the traditional breakfast plate accompaniment to eggs. Yellow corn grits is really a coarse ground corn meal, which is what one would use to make cornmeal mush, that unappealing-sounding name for what in Italy is the sublimely-elegant-sounding polenta.

    SO I WAS RIGHT, BUT TOLD I WAS WRONG. Grits are grits, y’all.

    How should he have handled it? Well, I did not get an APOLOGY. He did not offer the thought that maybe they should CHANGE the way it’s worded on the menu, so as to avoid future diners being disappointed. Perhaps something like a FREE DRINK or appetizer to entice me back?

    Nada, folks. Just thinly veiled insistence that I was an idiot.

    Disappointing and not worth the dough: my total bill was almost $32 for an appetizer (water to drink), a special beet salad and a dessert (the ice cream was equivalent to one large melon baller scoop – more disappointment for an otherwise tasty special dessert (cranberries and something).

    Won’t go back!!!

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