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Apr 23, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘brunch’

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

The Scoop: Half & Half to open second location in Webster Groves

Monday, January 9th, 2017

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{ Clara Cakes at Half & Half }

 

 

Mike and Liz Randolph, co-owners of Randolph Restaurants (Randolfi’s, Público, Half & Half), have announced a second location of Half & Half in Webster Groves. The breakfast and lunch spot will open in late spring or early summer at 220 W. Lockwood Ave., in the current First Watch space.

Liz Randolph said Webster Groves has many similarities to Clayton, which has proven to be a supportive environment for the original location. These include a community that patronizes local business and plenty of nearby residential areas. The city also has a university with a large student population.

“We have wanted to expand for a while, but it needed to feel right. It’s important to us that we continue to be a part of a community. Webster Groves seems like a great fit, and we are really excited to take this next step,” she said. “We’d been talking about it for about a year, and I always figured it would work out when the time was right. You can’t rush it.”

Randolph said the space was especially attractive since it’s already set up as a restaurant. “We’ve turned an old Blockbuster and a former hair salon into restaurants before,” she said, adding that transforming them into restaurants took considerable work. “I’m just excited to have a kitchen this time.”

The new space will have more seats than the Clayton location, she said, but less than First Watch. Space Architecture & Design will oversee the restaurant’s rustic design, which will include a large coffee bar, mason jars, a white wood bar and antique mirrors.

The Webster Groves Half & Half will share hours and menu items with the Clayton location, though Randolph said the chefs at each restaurant will be creating their own brunch specialties.

 

 

Related Content
The Scoop: Olive & Oak owners to open cafe in Webster Groves

• The Scoop: J McArthur’s to close, new concept from Robust owners to open

• Sauce Magazine: January 2017

Best New Restaurants: No. 9 – Egg

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

To be the best, everything matters – atmosphere, service and food. Here, the places that dazzled us from the moment they opened: St. Louis’ 10 Best New Restaurants of 2016.

 

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{ cornbread benedict }

Egg, the former weekend brunch pop-up at Spare No Rib, hatched into its own restaurant this October, and we couldn’t be happier.

Certain combinations may sound odd, but don’t let that stop you from ordering chakchouka alongside a cheesy carne asada wrap or a chorizo breakfast taco with the cornbread and gravy.

The eclectic, Tex-Mex-leaning menu is a reflection of chef-owner Lassaad Jeliti’s background, from growing up in Tunisia to running a barbecue/taco joint for the past three years. The chakchouka, a hearty tomato and pepper stew topped with creamy soft-baked eggs and served with toast for dipping, was a childhood breakfast favorite. The Benedicts begin with the sweet, crumbly cornbread Jeliti perfected at Spare No Rib, topped with sauteed veggies or house-smoked pork belly and poached eggs, all drenched in hollandaise.

“They all have similar flavor profiles,” Jeliti said of his influences. “The Mexicans got their flavors from the Spaniards, who got their flavors from [North Africans],” he joked. “That’s my theory, anyway.”

Whatever its heritage, Egg’s flawlessly prepared, wide-ranging fare keeps us coming back for brunch.

 

More about Egg

• First Look: Egg in Benton Park

• The Scoop: Spare No Rib to move to larger space, expand Egg

Photo by Cory Miller

By the Book: Butter & Scotch by Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth

Friday, October 21st, 2016

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Though not explicitly a breakfast cookbook, Butter & Scotch knows its way around a brunch menu. The owners of the Brooklyn bar and bakery built their shop around two favorite things: cocktails and baked goods. Their Saturday brunch menu focuses on that most delicious of savory breakfast treats: biscuits.

Biscuits and gravy is a Midwest favorite, and the Brooklynites do the dish credit with this simple, comforting recipe. Two sticks of butter and a generous pour of heavy cream create a rich biscuit with a tender crumb, and apple cider vinegar adds a pleasant tang reminiscent of buttermilk without the extra trip to the grocery store.

You’ll be tempted to pour off the pool of fat that renders as you brown the sausage – don’t. Instead, gleefully add a tablespoon of butter or bacon fat and stir in the flour to make a roux for white gravy as thick as warm peanut butter. Dollop this atop the crumbly biscuits and dive in – then head back to bed and sleep it off.

Skill level: Medium. A home baker can tackle most of these recipes, but the home bartender should prepare to work for those cocktails.
Other recipes to try: Smoked trout Benedict, Magic Buns, Watchamacallthat Pie
The Verdict: Though the apple Dutch baby is a showstopper, this no-nonsense biscuits and gravy recipe stole our Midwestern hearts.

 

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Biscuits & Gravy
4 servings

1 lb. (455 g.) loose sweet Italian Sausage
1 Tbsp. bacon fat or butter
¼ cup (30 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups (480 ml.) whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Brooklyn biscuits

• In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until it’s fully cooked. Add the bacon fat or butter and flour and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula, making sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. After 30 seconds, add the milk. Stir, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the saucepan, then bring the gravy to a boil and let it simmer until the moisture thickens to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Split the biscuits in half and lay them open-faced onto plates. Spoon the gravy on top and serve.

Brooklyn Biscuits
8 to 10 biscuits

2½ cups heavy cream
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, chopped into ½-inch pieces

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• In a small bowl, mix together the cream and vinegar and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda and mix on low. Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed until the butter is broken down to small, pea-size pieces. Turn the mixer back to low and slowly add the cream and vinegar mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix, or the biscuits will be tough.
• Pour the dough onto a floured surface and pat it down until it’s about 2 inches thick. Use a 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out 8 rounds. Arrange the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat together the scraps and cut out more rounds if possible; you should be able to get another biscuit or two. Be gentle so the biscuits don’t get tough. Discard any remaining scraps.
• Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove them to a wire rack, then serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Reprinted with permission from Abrams Publishing

First Look: Egg in Benton Park

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

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Pay no attention to the Spare No Rib signs at 2200 Gravois Ave.; Egg is now open for weekday breakfast and lunch in the barbecue joint’s original location. As reported by The Scoop in July, Egg is an expansion of the brunch popup by the same name. Spare No Rib has opened with the same menu in its new location at 3701 S. Jefferson Ave. (formerly the home of Lucky Buddha). Owner Lassaad Jeliti quietly transitioned the two concepts in recent weeks.

Few changes were made to the interior of the 60-seat Benton Park restaurant, but the menu has expanded from its popup days and lost most of its barbecue flair. It got rid of the pulled pork, added brioche French toast and took on a unique lunch menu that strays far from its barbecue roots with dishes inspired by Jeliti’s Tunisian heritage.

Aside from the Tunisian salad made with tomato, onion, cucumber, jalapenos and apples in a lemon vinaigrette, there is a salad nicoise on the lunch menu. “Nicoise is a big salad in Tunisia,” Jeliti said. There is also chakchouka, a stewed tomato and vegetable dish served with baked eggs. “Growing up that was the breakfast thing,” he said.

The bar dominating the space serves a short menu of brunch cocktails along with espresso drinks and freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices. A classic mimosa and bloody mary are available, as well as more creative sippers like the Sidi Bou Spritz made with hop vodka, jasmine and elderflower liqueurs and fresh orange juice.

Egg is open Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click below for a first look at what’s for breakfast on Gravois:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky

 

Sneak Peek: Yolklore in Crestwood

Friday, July 29th, 2016

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Don’t hit the snooze button if you live or work off Watson Road. Yolklore, the newest addition to the Crestwood food scene, hosts its grand opening this Sunday, July 31 at 8958 Watson Road. As The Scoop reported in April, co-owners Mary and John Bogacki and Billy Oziransky are dishing up slew of breakfast items, pastries, coffee and smoothies.

The Yolklore crew utilizes ingredients from local farms and vendors like Buttonwood Farms, Mushrooms Naturally and Rolling Lawn Farms for their takes on breakfast classics like biscuits and gravy, a mushroom frittata and egg sandwiches.

A seasonal cream puff (peaches and cream puff to start), gooey butter cake and chocolate cake for breakfast are among sweeter options. Drawing on Mary’s Bogacki’s skills as a pastry chef, whole cakes – gooey butter, cheesecake, blueberry coffee cake and chocolate chunk cookie cake – are available to order as are special occasion sweets.

Yolklore’s coffee comes from Dubuque Coffee Co. in Brentwood. In keeping with the owners’ focus on sustainability, Yolklore offers a $5 monthly coffee club where members receive a designated coffee cup that receives unlimited refills for $1 per visit.

Yolklore is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those rushing to work can swing through the drive-thru, which is open during business hours and offers the same menu as the dining room. Here’s a sneak peek inside:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

-photos by Michelle Volansky

Baked: Eggs en Cocotte

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

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I first tried eggs in cocotte during brunch at Brasserie. A piping hot cast-iron skilled arrived at my table filled with bacon and creamy spinach topped with fresh eggs and served with crisp smashed potatoes. (Want to try your hand at Brasserie’s version? Click here for the recipe.)

Versatility is eggs en cocotte’s greatest strength. For my home version, I added smoked salmon, broccolini and creme fraiche – all because they were at hand in my refrigerator. For perfect baked eggs, pull the dish from the oven just before the whites are set. They will continue cooking a few minutes after removing from the oven. This dish makes a wonderful brunch addition or a decadent weekday breakfast all for yourself. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Eggs en Cocotte
6 servings

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch broccolini, woody ends removed
½ cup chopped mixed mushrooms
12 oz. smoked salmon
6 Tbsp. creme fraiche, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 eggs
Handful chopped green onions

• Coat 6 ramekins with nonstick spray and place in a large deep baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
• In a saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat and saute the broccolini and mushrooms about 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Set aside.
• Evenly divide the smoked salmon and place the slices in the bottom of the ramekins, then top each with ½ tablespoon creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper.
• Evenly divide the broccolini and mushroom mixture among the ramekins, then top each with 2 eggs and ½ tablespoon creme fraiche.
• Fill the baking dish with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully slide the baking dish into the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the egg whites are almost cooked through.
• Garnish with chopped green onions and let cool slightly before serving.

 

The Weekend Project: Bagels and Lox

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

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It wasn’t until we moved to Houston, Texas that I had my first truly memorable bagel. The smell coming from inside New York Bagel & Coffee Shop enticed us before we opened the door. The long line moved at a rapid pace, so I never really had time to choose amid the dozens of flavors. Usually I opted for the choice of indecisives everywhere: an Everything with garlic, salt and every seed imaginable with a bit of cream cheese inside. The result: a warm toothsome exterior that gave way to a soft fluffy inside smeared with just-melted cream cheese – an irresistible Yiddish yin yang.

 

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I admit, I was nervous about writing this piece. What right did I – a Midwest Catholic better acquainted with post-Mass doughnuts and Christmas cookies – have to tackle the elusive homemade bagel without any prior knowledge or Jewish grandmother for guidance? After all, plenty of professional bakeries haven’t mastered this breakfast staple. While I’m sure this gentile still has a long way to go before perfecting the art of the bagel, this is one of the most requested Weekend Projects to hit our table at home.

 

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And how do you make a perfect bagel even better? Add an unctuous layer of gorgeous lox. It seems extravagant, but the reality is much simpler. Just pack salmon fillets with sugar, salt and herbs, wrap tightly, compress and let it cure in the refrigerator for two days. Then remove, rinse and slice for a decadent economical treat.

Since the bagel dough only requires a short rise, this Weekend Project is perfect as the weather begins to cool and you can once again approach your oven for baking. Grab a jar of capers and some thinly sliced red onion for a delicious brunch treat that will easily stretch into next week’s breakfast.

 

The Gameplan
Day 1: Prepare the lox.
Day 2: Turn the lox.
Day 3: Prepare the bagels. Slice the lox and serve.

The Shopping List*
1 lb. center-cut salmon or other fatty fish
½ cup chopped dill
1 lemon
4 cups bread flour
1 package (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. barley malt syrup or 1 Tbsp. honey
1 to 2 tsp. desired toppings (salt, Creole salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon-sugar, etc.)
Cream cheese, capers and thinly sliced red onion for serving

*This list assumes you have kosher salt, an egg and sugar at hand in your kitchen. If not, you will need to purchase those items, too.

 

TheProject_Oct15_03

 

 

Lox
Makes 1 pound

1 lb. center-cut salmon or other fatty fish
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup chopped dill
4 to 5 thin lemon slices
12 Bagels (recipe follows)
Cream cheese, capers and thinly sliced red onion for serving

Day 1: Mix the salt, sugar and dill together in a small bowl and set aside.
● Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with a paper towel. Check for any small bones that may remain. Place a long sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, then place the fish on top, skin-side down.
● Pack the sugar-salt mixture evenly over the fish, covering all exposed areas. Place the lemon slices on top, then wrap tightly in plastic, pressing out all the air. Wrap the fish in a second layer of plastic.
● Place the fish on a rimmed tray, then place another on top and weigh it down with a large can or heavy object. Place the whole set-up in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Day 2: Drain any collected liquid and flip the fish. Return the top tray and weights and refrigerate another 24 hours.
Day 3: Remove the fish from the plastic and rinse any remaining salt or sugar with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and taste a small slice. If too salty, continue rinsing. If too bland, add more salt-sugar mixture, wrap in plastic with let cure another 24 hours.
● Slice thinly and serve on bagels with cream cheese, capers and thinly sliced red onion

 

TheProject_Oct15_06

 

Bagels
12 servings

1½ cups lukewarm water (about 110 degrees)
1 package (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. barley malt syrup or 1 Tbsp. honey
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 large egg
1 to 2 tsp. desired toppings (salt, Creole salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon-sugar, etc.)

Day 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the water, yeast and barley malt syrup. Let stand 10 minutes, until bubbles begin to form and the mixture smells yeasty.
● Add 1 cup flour and mix on low speed to incorporate the flour, 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 2 cups flour. Mix on medium speed until the flour is fully integrated. Add the salt and the remaining 1 cup flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is fully mixed and creates a well-formed ball.
● Raise the speed to medium-high to knead the dough 10 minutes. Remove the bowl, cover with a clean dry towel and let rise 20 minutes. The dough will expand, but not double in size.
● Bring 2 quarts water to boil in a wide shallow pot over high heat. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
● Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured, clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each dough ball into an 8-inch rope. Wet the ends with water and twist them tightly together to form a 3-inch wide ring. Place the rings on a floured surface and cover with the towel to rise 10 minutes.
● Drop 3 to 4 bagels into the water, taking care not to crowd them, and boil 1½ minutes, then flip them gently with a slotted spoon and let boil another 1½ minutes. Remove and place on a rack to dry. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place 6 bagels each on parchment-lined baking sheets.
● In a small bowl, beat the egg and 1 tablespoon water to form an egg wash. Brush the tops of the bagels liberally and season with desired toppings.
● Bake 15 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake another 10 minutes, until the bagels are golden brown. Bagels will keep in a paper bag at room temperature for a few days or frozen in plastic up to 6 months.

 

TheProject_Oct15_07

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky  

Eat This: The Pancakes at Gringo

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

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If a tres leches cake attended weekend brunch, it would come dressed as the Pancakes at Gringo. These hotcakes are golden and crispy with notes of citrus and cinnamon for added complexity. The icing on the cake: a dulce de leche syrup of reduced sweetened condensed milk thinned with Mexican cola. It’s a delicious way to give a beloved brunch dish a south-of-the-border spin.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Baked: Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

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Growing up in Atlanta, my friends and I flocked to Krispy Kreme when we saw the neon Hot Now sign glowing red in the window, promising freshly fried and glazed doughnuts. Today, St. Louis has so many amazing doughnut options all over the city that it’s easy to forget about a simple glazed dozen from Krispy Kreme. What people don’t realize is that these childhood treats make for perfect bread pudding a few days later.

Stale, day-old Krispy Kreme doughnuts make one of the best breakfast desserts ever. This bread pudding is thick and rich, not too sweet, and perfect with a side of espresso-tinted whipped cream. Buy a dozen the day before your next brunch, indulge in one or two (or three – no judgment), and then leave that box out overnight for an easy breakfast the next day.

 

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
6 to 8 servings

9 stale Krispy Kreme or other glazed doughnuts, cut into sixths
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup milk
5 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
¼ cup condensed milk
1½ tsp. espresso powder
¼ cup brewed espresso, chilled

• Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the doughnut pieces in an even layer. Bake 30 minutes, until dry and toasted. Let cool.
• Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the milk, egg yolks, egg, condensed milk and espresso powder. Add the doughnut pieces and stir to coat. Let soak 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to evenly distribute the liquid.
• Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan and pour the soaked doughnut mixture into it. Place the pie pan in a roasting pan filled with enough hot water to cover the sides of the pie pan. Cover the bread pudding with foil and bake 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the pudding is set.
• Preheat the broiler. Broil the bread pudding 3 minutes, until the top is light brown. Let cool.
• Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and espresso on high speed until soft peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with warm bread pudding.

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