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Aug 23, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Catherine Klene’

First Look: Half & Half in Webster Groves

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

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Webster Groves residents will set their alarm clocks a little earlier when Half & Half opens at 220 W. Lockwood Ave. Co-owners Mike and Liz Randolph hope to open the second location of their popular Clayton breakfast and lunch spot by the end of August, pending final inspections.

As The Scoop reported in January, the Randolphs (who also own Randolfi’s and Público in The Loop) signed a lease on the space that once housed First Watch Cafe. The four-month renovation process, helmed by SPACE Architecture & Design, has yielded an 85-seat eatery with a light, airy feel. Randolph said he wanted to evoke the feeling of a New England-style breakfast spot with bright white walls and benches, a large space for waiting near the host stand and big picture windows along the front.

Half & Half executive chef Dale Beauchamp will move to the Webster Groves space, executing the same menu as the sister location – though each restaurant will feature its own weekend brunch specials. Those just looking for a caffeine buzz can pop their heads through a to-go window in the breezeway and place a quick coffee order with the barista behind the bar. This Half & Half will also carry Blueprint Coffee and offer a full menu of traditional drip and espresso options, as well as pour-overs.

Half & Half will be open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Here’s what to expect when doors open at the Randolphs’ newest restaurant.

 

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 Space photos by Michelle Volansky; pancake and coffee photos by Carmen Troesser

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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What I Do: Colleen Clawson at Milque Toast Bar

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

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Chef Colleen Clawson can do wonders with a piece of toast. Like an artist with a blank canvas, she piles vibrant ingredients into colorful, edible works of art that are devoured in short order at Milque Toast Bar. Clawson spent years in fine dining kitchens (Five Bistro, Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar, Sidney Street Cafe, to name a few), but she and Amanda Geimer struck out on their own two years ago with a tiny breakfast and lunch spot across the alley from Clawson’s McKinley Heights home. Here, she shares her inspirations, how she blows off steam and a brief message to avocado toast haters.

 

“Sometimes I could make things simpler, but where’s the fun in that? You have this toast and it’s this thing with 18 different elements all of a sudden, but it looks really good like that and it tastes awesome, so I’m just leaving it. I guess I’d rather people wait two extra minutes.”

“[Avocado toast] is delicious. Like, what is your problem? Why do you hate life so much? Aren’t there much more important things to be angry about? I could give you a big long list of things that are legitimately wrong that you could get mad for.”

“I have a couple of reference books that I still always go back to because they’re just so good. ‘The Flavor Bible’ … I like ‘The Herbfarm Cookbook,’ which I think is out of print now, but it’s one of my all-time favorites that I always go back to. And the ‘Chez Panisse Cookbook.’ I have some of [Alice Waters’] other ones, too, which I really like, but that’s the one I always find myself looking at again and again. I guess for the same reason you use Google. There’s an aesthetic and a style that I really enjoy, and I feel more akin to that way of making things.”

“I wish people understood they’re paying for a lot of things that aren’t just on your plate. There is a way that I could make this place even cheaper, but I’m not going to because I would have to sacrifice what’s more important.”

“It’s a great time to be in food in St. Louis. You could start with William Thomas Pauley over at Confluence Kombucha. I just saw him. Their particular place is completely unique. … Sometimes when you’ve worked in restaurants for a really long time, you look at things and you know what happened. Sometimes I look at his food and I’m like, ‘What happened? How did he do that?’ In a great way. It’s still mysterious to me.”

“I love dancing. We just went to a reggae show at 2720. Those guys are doing some really neat things down there. The whole arcade and Blank Space and Rumpshaker parties – those are really fun. I haven’t been to one of those in a while because it gets kind of late, and I’m way more boring than I used to be, but I feel better at 6 a.m.”

“There’s this frame shop in Soulard that I worked at where I discovered I really adored this craft. There’s definitely a craft to it. We built everything. There’s matting in framing, so there’s a lot of design and a lot of precision with it, and it feels good to me the same way making a really beautiful plate where everything is supposed to be. There’s a visual, immediate gratification.”

“[My son’s] rebellion is wanting fast food. On his birthday, … he wanted to go to Subway. I was like, ‘You’re kidding me – of all the places?’ But whatever, it’s what he wanted. So we played putt-putt golf and went to Subway. And he was really happy.”

Photo by Carmen Troesser

3 new places to try in August

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

From two new breweries to a seafood boil hotspot, don’t miss these three new places you must try this August.

 

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1. The Mad Crab 8080 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.801.8698, Facebook: The Mad Crab

The Mad Crab brings a classic Gulf meal to the Midwest with built-to-order seafood boils. Settle in at a paper-lined table, then consult with your dining partners and strategize the best combination of market-priced seafood available. Will you try meaty mussels with fresh crawfish or go all out with whole lobster and snow crab legs? Don’t forget to throw in the requisite potatoes and corn on the cob, then turn your attention to the sauces or combine all three in The Whole Sha-Bang for a buttery, garlicky, spicy punch. Don your plastic bibs and grab your crab crackers (or use your bare hands) to devour the shellfish feast with messy abandon. Our only advice: Don’t wear white.

 

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2. Center Ice Brewery 3126 Olive St., St. Louis, centericebrewery.com

You don’t have to love hockey to enjoy Center Ice Brewery. Themed touches – like the low rink wall surrounding the brewing equipment and a penalty box, main bar, tables and tap handles all made in part with material reclaimed from the old St. Louis Arena – lend personality without descending into kitsch. Pull up a stool and order a Hop Shelf IPA from the brewery’s house menu (supplemented by locals like Main & Mill and Charleville Brewing Co.), or opt for the light, summery Off Season Saison to beat the heat. You’ve got a new spot to watch the Blues, but there’s no need to wait for the season opener.

 

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3. Third Wheel Brewing 4008 N. Service Road, St. Peters, 636.323.9810, thirdwheelbrewing.com

It’s good to be a third wheel in St. Peters. Snag a seat at the massive horseshoe-shaped bar and watch brewer and co-owner Abbey Spencer at work through picture windows overlooking the city’s first brewery. Order one of the house brews like the Dyslexic API, an Imperial IPA dry-hopped with Columbus and Simcoe, or the lighter Ophelia’s Wit, a traditional witbier with coriander, orange peel and rosemary. For a German summer experience, sip Going Once… Going Twice… – a flight of four 4-ounce pours of Third Wheel’s Berliner Weiss mixed with a rotating selection of traditional syrups like mint, mulberry or woodruff.

 Photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: Nudo House in Creve Coeur

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

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After years of anticipation, Nudo House is ready to make its debut. The ramen and pho shop from co-owners Qui Tran and Marie-Anne Velasco is slated to open this weekend on Friday, July 28 or Saturday, July 29.

Tran, whose family also owns Mai Lee in Brentwood, first dropped hints about Nudo in 2014, and the restaurant location was officially announced at 11423 Olive Blvd., in Creve Coeur at the end of 2015. Since then, Tran and Velasco have hosted pop-ups to test recipes and drum up anticipation while they did extensive renovations.

 

Upon entering the 2,300-square-foot space, customers step up to the counter and place their order, then grab a seat and watch as their meals are prepared in the open kitchen. The menu includes spring rolls, a few salads and banh mi, but the staples are the pho and ramen bowls.

The four 3-1-Pho options include beef, chicken, shrimp or a combination of all three. Four ramens are also available: a traditional pork tonkotsu, a spicy miso pork, a chicken option and a mushroom-based vegetarian bowl.

Meals can end with a sweet treat, too. Tran and Velasco installed a soft-serve machine where they will offer rotating flavors like coconut and pandan leaf, passion fruit, lychee or mango.

Nudo will be open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Here’s a First Look at what to expect from this highly anticipated noodle house:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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What I Do: Qui Tran of Mai Lee

First Look: Mad Crab in University City

Friday, July 21st, 2017

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Grab your bibs and crackers – Mad Crab is now open in University City. The seafood boil spot opened doors July 17 at 8080 Olive Blvd., in the former home of Kim Son Seafood.

As The Scoop reported earlier this month, Mad Crab is a partnership between first-time restaurant owners and brothers Victor and Nam Ho. They were inspired by similar concepts in Dallas, Texas, where Victor Ho lived for several years.

The 5,000-square-foot space seats an impressive 205 people and sports a nautical theme, bedecked with rope, paddles and a prominent lighthouse atop the host stand.

The build-your-own boil menu starts with a choice of market-priced seafood (currently arriving daily at the restaurant) like lobster, snow or king crab legs, whole blue or Dungeness crabs, crawfish, clams or mussels. Sausage is also available, and customers can mix and match by the pound.

Next, they choose from three sauces or combine them all for The Whole Sha-Bang, and choose their spice level. The boils arrive in a plastic bag served atop paper-lined tables for easy clean up.

Those in the mood for a neater, less visceral meal can order from a menu of plates including gumbo, fried rice or noodles with crawfish or shrimp. Mad Crab also offers fresh raw oysters, hot wings and fried shrimp baskets as appetizers. Once a liquor license is approved, customers can sip canned or bottled brews with their boils.

Mad Crab is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Louis’ newest seafood spot:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.

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Eat This: Trout Over Grit Cakes

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

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Trout over Grit Cakes, aka the best brunch dish at The Muddled Pig Gastropub, doesn’t need a runny yolk for richness. Instead, Saturday night’s grits become Sunday’s obsession after they’re sliced and fried. The crunchy, luscious rounds are topped with fresh greens and a generous scoop of cool, creamy house-smoked trout salad. With a final flourish of brittle, salty trout skin, who needs a poached egg?

The Muddled Pig Gastropub, 2733 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.781.4607, themuddledpig.com

Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

Elixir: Booze Cruise

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

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Float trips don’t require much: a raft or canoe (or inner tube, if you must), sunscreen and a large cooler full of beer. Our days of Bud Light and Wild Turkey shoots are remembered fondly (or not at all), but our palates have grown since those first drinking days on the river. Now we sip session IPAs, crisp wheat beers and juicy pale ales as we bob down Missouri waterways. Here are the six cans – no glass on the river! – we’re floating with this year.

 

1. 2nd Shift Brewing Co. Brewligans
Originally meant to sustain St. Louis Football Club fans through a 90-minute soccer game, this 6-percent brew is an IPA for hopheads who want to kick back on the Black River.
Four-pack: $12. 2nd Shift Brewing Co., 1601 Sublette Ave., St. Louis, 314.669.9013, 2ndshiftbrewing.com

2. Civil Life Brewing Co. German Pilsner
For those who forage in the cooler for something besides hop bombs and fruity adjuncts, we present the cool, crisp 5.1-percent German Pilsner. This is a Pils as it should be.
Six-pack: $10. Civil Life Brewing Co., 3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis, thecivillife.com

3. 4 Hands Brewing Co. Passion Fruit Prussia
The lowest ABV in our cooler is also one of the most flavorful. 4 Hands loads tropical passion fruit into a Berliner Weisse for a 4-percent taste of the Caribbean on the Current River.
Four-pack: $11. Craft Beer Cellar, 8113 Maryland Ave., Clayton, 314.222.2444, clayton.craftbeercellar.com

4. Destihl Brewing Co. Wild Sour Blueberry Gose
Destihl has canned a rainbow of tasty brews in its Wild Sour series. The 5.2-percent Blueberry Gose offers a hint of salinity and puckering notes of sweet-tart blueberry.
Four-pack: $10. Saint Louis Hop Shop, 2606 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.261.4011, saintlouishopshop.com

5. Old Bakery Beer Co. Citrus Wheat
Looking for less hop and more grain? This 4.7-percent wheat beer offers a touch of citrus and coriander that pairs perfectly with southwest Missouri sunshine.
Four-pack: $9. Lukas Wine & Spirits, 15678 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.227.4543, lukasliquorstl.com

6. Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. Fallen Flag
Grab a 32-ounce Crowler of this juicy, hazy Northeast-style American IPA on regular rotation at the Florissant brewery. True, at 7 percent, it breaks our lower ABV rule, but it wouldn’t be a true float trip if you didn’t get just a little drunk.
$12. Narrow Gauge Brewing Co., 1595 N. US Highway 67, Florissant, 314.831.3222, narrowgaugestl.com

Illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan

First Look: Greer Brewing in Ellisville

Friday, June 30th, 2017

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Ellisville’s first brewery is officially open. Brewer-owner Chris Greer opened Greer Brewing Co. at 16050 Manchester Road on June 24.

After scouting several locations in the West County area, Greer settled on a former lawn and garden shop as the spot to make his homebrewing hobby a full-time job. He spent the last nine months gutting and renovating the space, which was vacant for 14 years, to house a 15-barrel brewing system and 92-seat tasting room.

Greer keeps his brews true to style, focusing on German beers like a hefeweizen and Vienna lager. In addition to eight taps, Greer also installed a cask system to pull his traditional English ordinary bitter. A small kitchen turns out pub fare like Irish nachos, pretzels served with beer cheese and bratwurst sliders.

Greer Brewing is open Wednesday through Friday from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Ellisville’s first brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Third Wheel Brewing in St. Peters

Friday, June 16th, 2017

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St. Peters has welcomed its first brewery. Third Wheel Brewing opened doors at 4008 N. Service Road on Wednesday, June 7.

As The Scoop reported last September, Third Wheel is a six-person partnership among Ron and Valerie Woerndle, Wade and Erin Alberty, Brad Wheeling and brewer Abbey Spencer, who is a co-founder of The OG, a St. Louis women’s craft beer collective.

Wheeling said the massive space sat vacant for a decade before Third Wheel moved in. The nearly 10,000-square-foot tasting room offers plenty of space for patrons to spread out and enjoy full or half pours of the five house brews and seven guest taps currently available.

Third Wheel’s current offerings lean lighter (though Spencer said a porter and chocolate stout will debut in a few weeks) with a Belgian wit, American pale ale, a double IPA, a Berliner Weiss and an American brown ale. Growlers are available to go and a Crowler machine is on the way, but Spencer said no plans are in the works to distribute Third Wheel at this time.

From the beginning, Wheeling wanted Third Wheel to be “a brewery with food, not a restaurant.” Enter brothers Scott and Steve Kline and chef Kevin Hummel, who operate The Window, a separate business that serves food inside the brewery. As the name implies, customers step up to the window to order from a menu of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads. Sides like house-made chips, fries and sweet potato fries come with a selection of 14 dips from ranch to marinara to gooey warm marshmallow.

Third Wheel Brewing is open Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Charles County’s newest brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.

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Eat This: Kale-ifornication Salad at Pi Pizzeria

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

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Not just any salad can win our hearts over deep-dish pizza. In Pi Pizzeria’s Kale-ifornication Salad, quinoa adds heft to a baby Tuscan kale base, and spiced roasted chickpeas and flaked almonds bring necessary crunch. Tart slivers of pickled red onion and juicy grape tomatoes cut through the indulgent, peppery buttermilk dressing, and two triangles of chewy cornmeal flatbread satisfy any lingering crust cravings. Pizza who?

Photo by Julia Calleo

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