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Jan 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Adam Altnether’

Restaurant veterans Chris Kelling, Adam Altnether will open Elmwood in Maplewood

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

 

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{ the future home of Elmwood in Maplewood } 

Maplewood is poised to get another restaurant from two big names in the local culinary scene. Adam Altnether and Chris Kelling announced they’re partnering on a new eatery, Elmwood, set to debut at 2704 Sutton Ave., in the summer 2018.

“It’s going to be a modern American bistro with some global influences,” said Altnether, who most recently served as executive sous chef for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was also the former corporate executive chef for Gerard Craft’s Niche Food Group. “We definitely want to be approachable for everyone who might walk in the door, whether that’s grabbing a burger and beer at the bar after work or celebrating an anniversary.”

 

 

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{ Elmwood chef-owner Adam Altnether was most recently executive sous chef for the St. Louis Cardinals. }

 

Altnether said the kitchen will be centered around a roaring hearth, and the space will seat between 80 and 100. Construction is slated to begin in January, and will involve a gut rehab, according to Kelling, who recently left his post as general manager of Pastaria and Sardella.

Elmwood will start with dinner service, and Altnether said the possibility exists for weekend lunches and brunches. He said the name is a nod to the city’s early history – Elmwood was a final contender for the name of the city, but Maplewood won out.

Both Altnether and Kelling said Maplewood was on the top of their wish list for locations. “I only wanted to be in Maplewood,” said Kelling, who also lives in the neighborhood. “I love that strip of Sutton.”

The space at the busy intersection of Sutton Boulevard and Manchester Road most recently housed The Live Juke Joint, a dueling piano bar. Blind Tiger and Jumpin’ Jupiter also had runs in the corner building. “We love that building. It’s been at the top of our list since it’s been on the market,” Altnether said.

 

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{ Elmwood owner Chris Kelling (far right) spent much of his local career at Niche Food Group. }

 

Alnether and Kelling worked together extensively during their times at Niche Food Group. Altnether left the group in 2015, and both men said they felt it was time to open their own place.

“I’ve always had that itch,” Altnether said. “But I wasn’t willing to jump at the first opportunity. It was something that had to make sense and fit for everyone. I‘m ecstatic Chris came along, and I think we’ll be a pretty good match and make something great.”

“I’ve opened a lot of restaurants, 15-plus, and I just kind of wanted open one of my own,” Kelling said.

 

Editor’s Note: This post originally misstated the address for Elmwood. It was updated at 10 a.m. Dec. 13 with the correct address. 

Kelling photo by Greg Rannells 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Adam Altnether parts ways with Niche Food Group

• Thai Table will open next year in Maplewood

• The Live Juke Joint Dueling Piano Bar to rock out Maplewood

Trendwatch: 7 trends on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list now

Friday, January 13th, 2017

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1. Smash and Grab
St. Louisans don’t have to wait until Shake Shack opens later this year to get their griddle burger fix of thin patties smashed on a flattop. Get a taste at Reeds American Table, where two patties are smothered with Swiss cheese and tallow aioli, or head to Olive & Oak in Webster Groves, where the kitchen keeps it classic with American cheese and dill pickles. The smashed Farmhouse Burger has been a fixture at Retreat Gastropub since it opened in October 2015, and The Dam in Tower Grove South does smashed patties – though the burgers are stacked so high with fixins, it’s hard to tell. Find griddled burgers at Brasserie, Local Chef Kitchen and Baileys’ Range, too.

2. Drinking like a Vegan
Aquafaba, aka the cloudy liquid in a can of chickpeas that usually goes down the drain, has seen new life as a vegan egg replacer in baked goods. Now it’s found its way behind the bar and into Pisco Sours at Los Angeles establishments like Birch and Gracias Madre. Small Batch pulled a similar move in its Cicer Sour with aquafaba, smoked almond Pisco and dry curacao. Bengelina Hospitality bar manager Drew Lucido shakes it with Old Tom Gin, Becherovka and lemon juice in The Walden at Olio, while the team across the street at Nixta uses a cream whipper to add a foamy, egg-free head to the No. 3.

3. Kung Pao That
The Chinese staple is popping up outside the takeout box these days at restaurants like Mission Chinese in San Francisco, which has a kung pao pastrami we hope someone in town will replicate. Chefs at Cleveland-Heath were inspired by a celery dish at Mission’s NYC location to create a shaved raw beef and celery kung pao special for St. Louisans to enjoy last summer. The Preston swaps in calamari for a sophisticated take on the dish, and the pop-up and future restaurant Good Fortune is crazy about kung pao. It incorporated the flavors into a bratwurst made for a collaboration with Brasserie, and made a kung pao pizza for an event with Delicious Pizza in Los Angeles.

 

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4. Rise and Shine
The Egg McMuffin will always hold a special greasy place in our hearts, but area restaurants are taking breakfast more seriously these days. Whole concepts, like Egg on Gravois Avenue and Yolklore in Crestwood, are devoted to breakfast beyond the standard flapjacks, eggs and bacon. Quick counter-service options at newly opened eateries like Sardella and The Garden on Grand mean we’re setting our weekday alarms a few minutes earlier. Even pop-up eateries are getting in on the action: Revel Kitchen chef-owner Simon Lusky and chef Adam Altnether recently hosted the breakfast-themed Waffle Nut Pop-up, serving sweet and savory waffle combos and cereal milk coffee beverages.

5. Lightning in a Mug
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and a large dose of caffeine, yerba mate is a light, herbaceous tea that’s creeping its way into local spots like SweetArt, where it’s served hot, and Comet Coffee, where it’s found in two forms: as hot tea and as a mocha-nut mate made with toasted mate leaves, chocolate, hazelnut and marigold flowers for a sweet treat. Pick up some of the loose-leaf tea to brew at home from international grocers like Global Foods Market or United Provisions.

6. Meat Lollipops
Some St. Louis chefs are frenching chicken drumettes, trimming classic wings into little meat lollipops. The trend has a confusing extra-work-for-less-meat quality, but we’ve bought jeans with holes in the knees, so we’re not here to judge. Try the lollies at Mona’s, where they’re smoked and served with a creamy giardiniera sauce and salsa verde, or at Copper Pig with a Vietnamese fish sauce caramel or a sweet chile basil sauce. Scapegoat offers a more traditional Buffalo version.

7. Taste the Magic
Magic Shell is making appearances outside grandma’s sundae bar these days. We noticed it with caramelized honey and honeycomb candy on soft serve at The Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, and over caramel corn and vanilla malted milk balls at Girl & the Goat in Chicago. But Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. has offered the topping on soft serve since it opened in 2014, and our favorite matcha-chocolate cookie gelato pop from Porano this summer was dipped in Magic Shell. Taste’s new brownie dessert with candy cap ice cream and toffee sauce lives in a Magic Shell house, too.

 

Related Content
Sauce Magazine: January 2017

Trendwatch: Guide to Drinking 2016

Sauce Magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2016

The Scoop: Adam Altnether parts ways with Niche Food Group

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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{Adam Altnether}

 

Adam Altnether has left the Niche family of restaurants. According to majority owner chef Gerard Craft, Altnether is no longer a shareholder in the restaurant group, which includes Niche, Taste, Brasserie, Pastaria and soon-to-open Porano. He sold his minority shares in the restaurants back to Craft at the end of March, positing Craft as the majority owner of the company.

“Adam has been a part of the team for over seven years, and we are proud of the work that we were able to accomplish together within that time,” Craft said. “We’re excited to see what’s next for him.”

Altnether’s departure brings to an end nearly decade-long tenure with Craft. Altnether began working at Niche in 2007. This member of the Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2009 quickly rose through the ranks at Niche and became Craft’s business partner in late 2010.

Altnether said after nearly eight years working with Craft, the two saw the elements of the restaurant group going in different directions. “I’m super lucky to have done what I did with Gerard, and I’m very grateful for everything we were able to accomplish … but sometimes it’s time to break out and start something new,” he said.

Though he’s not yet certain what that something is, Altnether said he plans to stay active in the St. Louis food scene and that his time in Craft’s kitchens and as his business partner has prepared him for almost anything. “We’ve almost seen it all,” he said. “You get to see a lot of interesting things, and it makes a lot of fun and unforgettable memories.”

Craft said Pastaria executive chef Michael Petres will take on the role of corporate executive chef, focusing on kitchen operations at Pastaria and Porano, his fast-casual pasta concept slated to open downtown this summer. Pastaria chef de cuisine Ashley Shelton will transition into the exec chef role at that restaurant.

 

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{Gerard Craft}

The top toques at Craft’s other restaurants remain the same: Nate Hereford helming Niche, Nick Blue heading the brigade at Brasserie and Heather Stone commanding at Taste. Stone assumed that position in January upon the departure of Matt Daughaday, whose first venture into chef-ownership will begin in a matter of months when his Reeds American Kitchen opens.

The news of Altnether’s leaving comes with the announcement that Niche is seeing changes at the front of the house. Christopher Kelling was hired as general manager. Kelling, former GM at Niche, will begin walking the floor at the Clayton fine dining restaurant, while current GM Matt McGuire has been named director of service for Niche Food Group. Kelling left Niche for his most recent position as dining room manager at The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley, California.

 

Editor’s note: This post was updated March 31 at 11:30 a.m. to include comments from Adam Altnether. Also, the original post stated that Gerard Craft is the sole owner of Niche Food Group.

Catherine Klene contributed to this report.

The Scoop: Get a taste of R&D at Niche via test-kitchen menu Mondays

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

 

Niche has gained a reputation as a restaurant that pushes food boundaries. Evidence comes as recently as the June issue of Sauce featuring chef Adam Altnether’s barrel-aged milk transformed into ricotta for use in a light, springtime dish (pictured). Wish you could see the research and development for dishes like this up close and personal? Now you can.

Beginning July 1, Altnether will offer a five-course, Italian-focused test kitchen menu at Niche each Monday. The dinner series, called Pastaria R&D, includes a selection of imaginative antipasti dishes, three pasta courses and dessert, for $45.

“Our philosophy at Niche is to take a simple ingredient, such as pasta, and think outside the box to make it creative,” said Althether. “With Pastaria R&D, we want to bring people in with something that’s approachable, and then push them to the edge with really interesting dishes.”

White bean purée with pepperoni fat and grilled Italian bread, smoked carrot agnolotti with edible flowers, a spin on a sardella (a fermented anchovy-tomato sauce) and a twist on a ragù bianco made with chicken liver are examples of dishes that diners might encounter. All pasta dishes will be intricately stuffed or hand-rolled variations.

Pastaria R&D will be the only prix fixe menu offered at Niche on Monday evenings. Reservations, though not required, are accepted.

-Photo by Greg Rannells

 

Taste among 50 best bars in U.S., says Food & Wine

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

021811_tasteTaste, Gerard Craft and Adam Altnether’s speakeasy-esque bar in the Central West End, continues to garner national attention. Today the cocktail bar, which recently moved from its home next to Craft’s Niche restaurant in Benton Park to a much larger space at 4584 Laclede Ave., was named among the 50 best bars in America by Food & Wine Magazine. Taste beverage director and master mixologist Ted Kilgore (pictured) got a nod in the write-up, along with Altnether and some of the bar’s signature tasty bites like house-made pickles, deviled eggs and carrot bruschetta. Congrats to Kilgore, Altnether, Craft, head chef Matt “Mateo” Daughaday and the entire Taste crew.

Want to know what we love about Taste? Click here to see why the bar made our third edition of The List this month.

The Scoop: Mateo Daughaday taking over as head chef at Taste

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

101911_tasteMatt “Mateo” Daughaday, previously sous chef at Niche, has taken over head chef duties at Taste in the Central West End. Both establishments are part of chef-owner Gerard Craft’s (right) family of restaurants. According to Adam Altnether (left), Craft’s business partner and the proprietor of Taste, Daughaday assumed the position at Taste a week ago. The move, said Altnether, frees him up to “help out wherever we need it right now,” such as organizing out-of-town culinary events and preparing for the opening of Pastaria, the newest addition to Craft’s family of restaurants whose location has yet to be announced.

Daughaday takes over at Taste as a new menu is set to be released. Bar manager Ted Kilgore noted that, on the food side, the restaurant and cocktail bar at Taste is returning to”old-school ways,” shifting away from entrée-sized dishes and focusing on small plates, a lower price point and rotating items.

A Sauce Exclusive: A taste of the new Taste

Friday, February 18th, 2011

021811_tasteCan you taste it? Although no exact date has been given, chef and owner Adam Altnether hopes to open his new and improved Taste late next week. As the public waits for doors to unlock at the highly anticipated cocktail haven that now sits at 4584 Laclede Ave. in the Central West End, Altnether and his talented beverage director Ted Kilgore gave Sauce a preview of Taste’s new home.

Open a nondescript door and pass through heavy black curtains. It’s a different era, one marked by exposed brick, bold red wallpaper and dim lighting that emanates from a few rows of single light bulbs suspended from a wood ceiling and a few candles placed on tables. The speakeasy atmosphere is exactly what Altnether was after. “We want you to feel like you’re part of an exclusive club,” he said. It’s also the perfect scene for what’s in store from the kitchen and the bar.

Frequenters to Taste by Niche will find familiar offerings – snacks like assorted pickles, roasted nuts, charcuterie and cheese boards, even the bar’s famous Pigwiches: a dessert of bacon buttercream sandwiched between two pig-shaped chocolate cookies. “There are a lot of things that people know. There’s no reason to change that,” said Kilgore. But the new menu at Taste is more extensive than the one in Benton Park was. Categories include snacks, appetizers, entrées, sides and desserts, with highlights like Pig Fries made of breaded, deep-fried, braised pig head served with a side of lemon aïoli and a sweet mint-vinegar sauce; various country terrines; and a sticky toffee pudding so tasty that Altnether warned, “You’ll want to sit down when you try it.”

Kilgore is just as excited about the libations as Altnether is about the dishes that will be executed out of his miniscule 250-square-foot open kitchen. “Everything at the bar has been personally selected by me,” said Kilgore. “It’s the first time I’ve been able to select exactly what I want.” His drink menu includes more than 35 cocktails, at least half of which never made the menu at the old Taste.

In an effort to educate cocktailians of every level, Kilgore has categorized drinks by their flavor profile – tart, bright, citrus or full, dark, robust, for example. The menu even includes symbols to illustrate how the drink was created – whether it was stirred, shaken or swizzled, for instance. And if imbibers need a bit more assistance, the staff can easily be of service. “We will have the most certified spirits and mixology team in St. Louis and probably rivaling Chicago and some other places,” noted Kilgore. The full-time bar staff at Taste is already certified by a respected mixology program, and all servers are apprenticing to bartend and will soon be registered for a mixology education program.

Kilgore’s bar specializes in gin, rum and American whiskey, yet Taste will have a small, carefully selected offering of beer and wine as well. “I have eight years of experience running beverage programs,” explained Kilgore. “Most people don’t know that I have good wine knowledge; I just choose not to use it. We’re a cocktail place. That’s what we’re stoked about.”

When Taste opens, it will operate seven days a week, from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Click here to see more pictures from the new Taste.

Extra Sauce: More from Five Questions for Adam Altnether

Monday, February 7th, 2011

020711_AAIn this month’s Five Questions column, Byron Kerman spoke with Adam Altnether, former chef de cuisine at Niche and executive chef at Brasserie by Niche, and new owner of Taste, scheduled to open in its new Central West End home this month.

In the first part of the interview, available in the February issue of Sauce, 24-year-old Altnether shared his feelings on being one of the youngest restaurateurs in town, what he thinks of as comfort food and his drink of choice after a long night in the kitchen.

Now, in the second part of this interview available exclusively on our Extra Sauce section of SauceMagazine.com, Altnether shares detail about the new Taste, including what the new menu will look like, his plans after the grand opening and what it’s like to have mixology master Ted Kilgore behind the bar.

The Scoop: Craft sells Taste to Adam Altnether

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

12110_miniOfficial today, Adam Altnether has become the owner of popular mixology and charcuterie bar Taste by Niche. Previous owner Gerard Craft will remain an investor.

Altnether, a 24-year-old St. Louis native, has served as executive chef at another of Craft’s restaurants, Brasserie by Niche, for the last four months and has been with the Craft family of restaurants since August 2007.

The Scoop announced back in September that Craft planned to move Taste from its original location next to Niche on Sidney Street to the spot next to Brasserie in the Central West End early next year. In addition to doubling occupancy at Taste’s new locale, Altnether plans to expand both the cocktail and food sides of the menu.

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