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Jul 21, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Central West End’

First Look: Handcrafted by Bissinger’s in the Central West End

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

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Long known for its sweet treats, Bissinger’s is branching out into the restaurant scene with Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, a new cafe concept located at the company’s longtime space at 32 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End. Handcrafted opened softly last week, offering a new food menu in addition to Bissinger’s famous confections and desserts.

As The Scoop reported in March, the chocolate company announced it would rebrand its CWE retail storefront. “We’ve upped the game,” said Nick Miller, executive chef of Bissinger’s sister company 23 City Blocks.

Salads, sandwiches and soups are available all day, and in the evening, house charcuterie, fondue and shareable plates are available as well. Fans of Bissinger’s desserts shouldn’t despair of the new direction: the popular chocolate overdose cookie and classic Cococcino – flourless chocolate cake with vanilla creme anglaise – remain on the menu.

The revamped space boasts hightops and couches, perfect for hanging out and sharing some small plates, and the wine wall that features the Wine Emotion wine dispensing system. Guests buy a card at the counter, then insert it in the wall and pour themselves 2-, 6- or 8-ounce pours from 24 rotating bottles of vino. A full bar with house cocktails is also available.

Handcrafted is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Take a First Look at what to expect when you arrive at Bissinger’s new concept:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Bissinger’s to re-concept

Friday, March 31st, 2017

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Bissinger’s at Maryland Plaza in the Central West End is undergoing a transformation this spring. The location, at 32 Maryland Plaza, will be rebranded as Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, and feature an expanded menu and a self-serve wine wall, along with Bissinger’s gourmet chocolates.

The current menu will be expanded to include breakfast, lunch and dinner options, courtesy of sister company 23 City Blocks Catering executive chef Nicholas Miller. Breakfast will feature a selection of quiches, lunch offerings will include soups, salads and sandwiches, and dinner will be “light bites,” as opposed to large plates. Orders will be placed at the counter, where guests can also purchase cards to use at the wine wall. The wall will feature 24 rotating bottles to choose from, available in 2-, 5- or 8-ounce pours.

Kennedy Calton, marketing coordinator for 23 City Blocks, said renovations are expected to begin sometime in May. The restaurant should only be closed for three to five days, and reopen by June.

“We don’t have much to do in there,” she said. “We’re just looking to make it a bit more warm and comfortable.” Changes will include the addition of some soft seating and a bar along the front window.

Once the doors reopen, hours will be extended to Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Sneak Peek: The Chase Club in the Central West End

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

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The Chase Club, formerly Café Eau, debuts at The Chase Park Plaza tomorrow, March 31. The new concept features a new food and drink menu and revamped decor.

Executive chef Colin Smelser, chef de cuisine Theron Pajares and executive pastry chef Eric Phillips put together a menu that features favorites like burgers and flatbreads, along with creative twists on classics like the Shrimp St. Paul Sliders, served with spicy mayo and a selection of house pickles alongside.

“We have the same menu all day long now, and the food is geared toward the atmosphere we have now,” said Pajares.

Beverage manager Joshua Johnson created a locally focused beer list featuring 18 beers on tap and another 27 in bottles and cans. There’s also a selection of wine and a cocktail list that includes original creations and classics like the oft-overlooked Airmail, a refreshing combination of rum, honey, lime juice and sparkling wine.

The space itself is a combination of high-end sports bar and stately hotel bar. Tables have replaced booths, large-screen TVs surround the bar and the new billiards area, and the room is dotted with eclectic appointments from black-and-white photos of the hotel from years past to elegant, mismatched light fixtures dangling from the ceiling.

The Chase Club is open daily from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., and the kitchen closes at midnight. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect from The Chase Park Plaza’s newest dining option:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

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The Scoop: Tazé to open second location in the CWE

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

 

Tazé Mediterranean Street Food is taking its fast-casual concept to the Central West End. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, co-owners Casey and Justin Roth will open a second location at 8½ S. Euclid Ave., in the space formerly occupied by Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen. Casey Roth said the restaurant should open in early summer.

The space will seat 35 to 45 seats inside with another 40 seats outside. The new Tazé will feature the same menu as the downtown flagship location at 626 Washington Ave., but it will also have what Roth described as “robust happy hour specials,” a tapas menu and entree specials. Roth said there will also cocktail offerings, beer and wine, to appeal to the Central West End clientele.

The Roths opened their first Tazé in June 2015. The restaurant specializes in build-your-own meals with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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• The Scoop: Mission Taco Joint to open at the Streets of St. Charles, Tortillaria to close in CWE

• Sneak Peek: Tazé Mediterranean Street Food

• The Scoop: Tazé Mediterranean Street Food to open downtown

The Scoop: Up-Down arcade bar to open in former Herbie’s space

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

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{ Up-Down’s Kansas City location } 

Arcade bar Up-Down has signed a lease on the space at 405 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End. As reported by the St. Louis Business Journal, Up-Down will open in the former home of Herbie’s, which moved to 8100 Maryland Ave., in Clayton late last year.

Co-owner Josh Ivey said the company plans to utilize all of the approximately 8,000 square-foot space. “It’ll be very much in the spirit of the Kansas City version,” Ivey said. “I think that’s a great representation of what we want to do.”

The Kansas City Up-Down features more than 50 vintage arcade games and pinball machines, as well as a large draft beer selection and pizza menu. Up-Down also has locations in Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa.

Ivey said there’s no estimated opening date for the St. Louis Up-Down. “We’re trying to figure out what the guts of the building really are,” Ivey said. “We just got our demo permit, and we’re doing some exploratory demo and trying to decide the best way to attack the space and make it our own.”

 

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• Extra Sauce: A tour of Herbie’s new space in Clayton

Best New Restaurants: No. 7 – The Preston

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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Hotel bars aim for luxury and sophistication, but most miss the mark, landing in chintz and disappointment. The Preston at The Chase Park Plaza hits a rare bull’s-eye with stylish leather chairs, cool gray wainscoting and stiff drinks served in cut crystal glasses on a marble bar. The atmosphere is swanky, but still comfortable with a refined, masculine elegance.

Service at the bar and in the dining room strikes the sweet spot of being attentive without getting in the way of conversation, with a staff dressed as smartly as the room. Some original cocktails have a classic vibe, like Goodnight Mr. Preston, which stares you down with bourbon, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Benedictine and bitters. But others, like Smokey and The Bandito, have more drama with hickory smoke and poblano-infused tequila.

Pecan-encrusted pork tenderloin may sound like boring hotel food, but one bite of the ultra tender meat glazed in barbecue jus and pulled through the bright orange and green swirls of carrot and pea purees, and you’ll want to check into The Chase and spend the whole night. Before you pick up your room key, order the salty-sweet pretzel croissants – at any time of day, at any point in the meal; just get them.

And take a moment, as you’re cozied into the rounded plaid banquettes in dim, flattering lighting, to appreciate how rare it is to realize the fantasy of accommodations that aren’t just expensive, but downright glamorous.

 

More about The Preston

• First Look: The Preston in the Central West End

• Hit List: 6 must-try restaurants in March

Nightlife: The Preston

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

The Scoop: Di Olivas to open third location in CWE

Friday, November 18th, 2016

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Owner Robert Palleja has set plans in motion to open a third location of his olive oil and tasting vinegar specialty shop, Di Olivas. Located at 115 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End, the shop is slated to open sometime between mid-December and early January.

This will be the Palleja’s first move into St. Louis proper. The two other Di Olivas locations are located in St. Charles and West County. “My wife and I had been looking to make this move for a long time. It was just a matter of timing and of finding an appropriate location,” Palleja said.

The Central West End location will offer the same products as the other two, which includes roughly two dozen different olive oils (flavored and unflavored) and about three dozen vinegars. The shop is also going to feature hand-painted ceramic tanks used for pressing olive oil from Deruta, Italy, and a designated space for cooking demonstrations.

“What makes this store so special is our commitment to finding and buying the best products. Not only do we sell award-winning olive oils, we also try to participate in the actual production of the products as much as we can,” Palleja said.

 

Read more on Di Olivas
• The Scoop: Di Olivas dips deeper into olive oil market
• The Scoop: Di Olivas to bring premiere olive oils, vinegars and more to historic St. Charles

The Scoop: Nathalie’s to close Nov. 5  

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

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After nearly three years in business, Nathalie’s is closing doors at 4365 Lindell Blvd., in the Central West End. Owner Nathalie Pettus said the restaurant’s last day will be Saturday, Nov. 5, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

Pettus, who also owns the 327-acre Overlook Farm in Clarksville, said operating two businesses so far from each other was too difficult to maintain. “It’s so bittersweet,” she said. “It’s just too much with two endeavors 65 miles apart.”

Pethus will sell the building (which also saw life as Salt and Savor) to focus on operations at Overlook Farm, which raises and sells chicken, beef, pork, duck, tilapia and catfish, and grows produce in 26 hoop houses. It also serves as a popular weekend getaway destination and event venue. “It’s really hard,” she said. “I expected to be walking around in the space when I’m in my 90s. “But I hope to one day come back and eat someone else’s food in the space.”

Nathalie’s opened in December 2013 and hosted regular entertainment acts, too. “The best part is getting to know the people,” Pettus said. “We’ve had some incredible guests and incredible musicians, some of St. Louis’ finest. It’s been very special getting to know them and getting to showcase them.”

 

 

The Scoop: Chef Carl Hazel takes helm at West End Grill & Pub

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

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After taking six months off, chef Carl Hazel is once again top toque in the kitchen. Hazel started as executive chef at West End Grill & Pub (WEGAP) on July 13.

As The Scoop reported in January, Hazel spent the majority of the last nine years running The Scottish Arms’ kitchen before departing at the beginning of the year. “The pub atmosphere is something I really enjoy,” he said. “(WEGAP) runs the gamut from super, super casual, cold beer and flip-flops at the bar to a really nice date-night place in the dining room.”

The 20-year industry veteran plans to change the menu’s focus to an emphasis on local, sustainably grown and responsibly raised ingredients, but he will balance that change with what restaurant regulars have come to know and love. “We’re definitely going to change things quite a bit, but we’ll be real careful not to lose the personality of WEGAP,” he said. “People are more aware of what we eat and what we put in our bodies.”

Hazel also said he plans to improve plating presentations and perhaps incorporate wild game dishes. “People will see more than the standard beef, chicken and pork choices,” he said.

In addition to the menu, the 8-year-old restaurant will also update its interior and beverage selections. Hazel anticipates the new menu will be released in mid-August. “I’m excited to be back in the kitchen, doing what I love to do,” he said.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Gamlin brothers unveil concept for new project

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

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The Central West End’s newest establishment, courtesy of Derek and Lucas Gamlin (of Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar) will be called 1764 Public House and, as previously announced, will open at 4910 W. Pine Blvd. Breaking with the spirit themes of their other establishments, 1764 Public House will instead honor the history of the building, as well as the city of St. Louis.

“When we started researching the building, we discovered it had so much crazy St. Louis history, we felt we had to do something that would harken to that history,” said Lucas Gamlin.

Gamlin said the building used to house Circus Snack Bar nightclub in the middle of the 20th century during which time pianist Liberace was a weekly fixture, as were other famous artists.

To harken to that history, the food menu at 1764 Public House will include versions of the Lou’s most iconic dishes including “a twist on hand-made toasted ravioli.” While the menu is still being finalized, diners can also expect St. Louis-style pizzas with and without Provel.

In a move Gamlin admits is ambitious, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night crowd. Customers can expect to see local doughnuts, as well as de rigueur local beers on 16 or so taps. A curated spirits and cocktail list, as well as a wine list, will round out the beverage program.

An opening date has not been set, but when doors open, the space will accommodate around 120 diners inside with additional space for guests outside. “We want to open a comfortable, casual place that people can come to every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Gamlin.

 

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