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Oct 18, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Chez Léon’

Sneak Peek: The Libertine

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013



Since owners Nick and Audra Luedde announced in January that they were teaming up with local chef talent Josh Galliano, buzz has been building about The Libertine.

The Libertine, located at 7927 Forsyth Blvd., in the old Chez Leon space, will officially join the Clayton restaurant scene on Tuesday, May 14. Described as “a reimagined neighborhood eatery that serves accessible yet ingredient-driven food,” the restaurant’s menu is divided into three categories – vegetable, meat and seafood – plus desserts. Dishes range from small bites to entree-size portions to small plates intended for sharing. The menu also features numerous house-made items, including bread, cheese, charcuterie and desserts. Like the food menu, drink options spotlight local products – whether in a handcrafted cocktail or a pint of beer – rounded out by small production and boutique wines.

When the Libertine opens, it will serve dinner daily, except Mondays, beginning at 5 p.m. Lunch service is expected to be added later this year. Reservations are accepted but are not required. They can be made by phone at 314.862.2999 or online at www.libertinestl.com.

For a sneak peek at what’s in store at The Libertine, head to our Facebook page.

The Scoop: Chez Leon shutters

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Chez Leon, the upscale French restaurant located in downtown Clayton at 7927 Forsyth Blvd., has closed. “I would like to thank my clientele for a dozen years of patronage. À bientôt and au revoir,” owner Leon Bierbaum said on the restaurant’s recorded voice message. St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe broke the news yesterday.

Chez Leon spent its first decade in the Central West End, in the space on Laclede Avenue now occupied by Brasserie by Niche. In January 2010, the restaurant relocated to Clayton, with executive chef Colby Erhart at the helm. In August of the same year, Marcel Keraval, chef-owner of the defunct Café de France, took over in the kitchen. (Sauce spoke with Keraval about his move in 2010.)

While The Scoop has been unable to discuss the closure with Bierbaum, Mahe – as well as Ian Froeb of the Riverfront Times –  report that the restaurateur cited a lackluster economy and unsuccessful Groupon-type discount campaigns as factors in the restaurant’s declining business.

The Scoop: Former Chez Léon chef now walking to work at Walkers

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

082311_WalkersLast week, chef Colby Erhart assumed the top job at Walkers Restaurant and Bar. The chef, who lives near the South City restaurant at 6245 Gravois Ave., couldn’t be happier that his commute time is now all of two minutes.

Erhart most recently worked in the kitchens at Mosaic Bistro Market in Clayton and Prime 1000 downtown. He made the move from Prime to Walkers, he explained, because his close proximity to the restaurant enables him to spend more time with his infant son and because Walkers co-owners, brothers Griffin and Nate Walker, are close friends. He befriended the Walker brothers while training them in the kitchen at Chez Léon. (Erhart, a 2006 graduate from The Culinary Institute of America, worked his way up the ladder at Chez Léon and served as the executive chef at the French bistro when it reopened in January 2010 at its current location in Clayton. Erhart left Chez Léon when chef Marcel Keraval assumed the post in August of last year.)

Walkers opened in mid-March and, although Erhart plans to retain the “gourmet burger thing” at the restaurant, he is redesigning the lunch and dinner menus. When those are ready next month, look for more creativity on the menu, along with a wider selection of entrées and desserts.

Clayton Restaurant Week returns to get you out of your winter restaurant rut

Friday, January 14th, 2011

11411_CRWHaven’t had time to get away for a nice dinner lately? Is there a great restaurant you’ve been hoping to try but can’t justify shelling out the extra cash? Or, as the temperature drops, are you just stuck in a take-out rut? Well, fret not: Clayton Restaurant Week is returning for a little bit of culinary salvation.

Just like last year, diners can show up to several Clayton restaurants from Jan. 24 to 30, to enjoy a three-course meal for just $25. The list of restaurants this year is at 19, with a smorgasbord of cuisines available. Grab shrimp gyoza and the Erik Johnson Roll (filled with crab, cucumber, avocado, cream cheese, tuna, salmon, eel sauce, house-made creamy wasabi sauce and special seasoning) at Tani Sushi Bistro, enjoy lobster bisque and scallop of pork loin Zingara at the legendary Chez Leon or get a taste of Italy with  house-made gnocchi, lamb ragout and lemon-herb ricotta at Luciano’s Trattoria. Salivating yet?

Even better: Sip on a Pearl Vodka cocktail or a glass of Casa Lapostolle wine at a special restaurant week price. Not sure what to with all that cash you’ll be saving? Put it to good use by adding a few bucks to your bill for KidSmart, a charity which provides school supplies and educational resources to thousands of local students each week.

Here’s the full list of restaurants participating this year: Alexander’s, Araka, Bar Napoli, Barcelona, Bar Napoli, Cardwell’s, Chez Leon, J. Buck’s, Jimmy’s On The Park, Luciano’s Trattoria, Mazara, Mosaic Bistro Market, Oceano Bistro, Portabella, Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar, Roxanne, Ruth’s Chris, Tani Sushi Bistro, The Crossing and The Grill at The Ritz-Carlton.

With such a great deal available to all hungry St. Louisans, reservations are highly recommended. For more information, or just to drool over the slated menus, click here.

The Scoop: Chez Leon extends bienvenue to familiar face from Café de France

Friday, August 20th, 2010

082010_ChezLeonLeon Bierbaum, owner of Chez Leon in Clayton, is feeling a bit of joie de vivre today as he announced the hiring of Marcel Keraval as executive chef. Keraval is known for his restaurant Café de France, which had a 23-year run, first downtown and later in Clayton.

“He’s very fluent in classic French cooking. It seemed to be a perfect fit,” stated Bierbaum, adding that he and Keraval go back 15 years to when Bierbaum waited tables at Café de France’s downtown location.

Keraval’s first day at the Clayton restaurant was yesterday, when he assisted Bierbaum with the preparation of a private dinner for a Saint Louis Symphony charitable event. According to Bierbaum, diners gave high regards to the meal, especially to Keraval’s stuffed quail and steamed trout served with both a nantua sauce and a leek sauce.

Next up for Keraval? “He’s looking at the recipes we have,” Bierbaum stated. “There will be some fine-tuning and tinkering.” As for Bierbaum, he is “pleased to see the staff working well with [Keraval] in just the last couple days.”

Have scoop on restaurants opening, closing or changing their menu in the St. Louis area? Email us at Scoop@saucemagazine.com.

Now Open: Chez Leon

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

010509_chezleonOwner Leon Bierbaum and general manager Mike Hahn began welcoming guests for dinner in Chez Leon’s new Clayton home last week. The menu, under the direction of executive chef Colby Erhart, is much the same as it was at the classic French bistro’s former home in the Central West End, complete with frog’s legs, escargot and steak frites. The new-again eatery, located at 7927 Forsyth Blvd., will also offer weekday lunch hours.

The Scoop: Bienvenue, Brasserie

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Niche Restaurant‘s Gerard Craft is expanding his brand into the Central West End with Brasserie by Niche, a casual restaurant that will serve traditional French bistro fare. The Brasserie is set to open its doors at 4580 Laclede Ave., home to Chez Léon, as early as mid-October. Craft (pictured) has hired friend Perry Hendrix, who most recently worked at Gabrielle’s at the Richmond Hill Inn in Asheville, N.C., as executive chef. Hendrix also has done stints at Gramercy Tavern and Prune in New York and The French Laundry in Napa.

“I felt that if there was anybody who understood what the true Parisian brasserie is and shared my love for it, it was Perry,” Craft said.

Craft started scouting locations for a second restaurant in the spring of 2008. For the last several months, his attention has been focused on 4580 Laclede Ave. “I love the storefront facade that opens up in spring and summer,” he said. As the place where Craft proposed to his wife, Suzie, and held his rehearsal dinner, the restaurant has some layers of personal history.

Expect tweaks to the menu and décor, not an overhaul. “At first we’re just going to go in as-is, and then we’re going to work from there,” Craft said. Look for classic French desserts by Niche executive pastry chef Mathew Rice and a thoughtful beer list.

Leon Bierbaum, owner of Chez Léon, has his eye on a new restaurant space in Clayton. Watch this space for updates.

Photo by Brian Fagnani

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