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Sep 02, 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘Cielo’

Best of Brunch: Best of Bottomless Drinking

Thursday, June 19th, 2014


{The Bloody Ghost, a bottomless option at Gamlin Whiskey House}


You survived Saturday night. Still up for a few more? If you find yourself with a hollow leg come Sunday, we recommend the bottomless cocktails here for taste and price.

Vin de Set
Head upstairs to slake your mimosa yen, and since you’re there, try the Kir Royale, a sophisticated pour of Champagne and crème de cassis, a liqueur made with blackcurrants.
$12 for bottomless mimosas; $1 extra per drink for other Champagne cocktails. 2017 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.8989, vindeset.com
Sun. – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Jax Cafe
Your ticket to the brunch buffet also earns you one on the mimosa gravy train. All aboard!
$22, includes brunch and bottomless mimosas. 2901 Salena St., St. Louis, 314.449.1995, jax-cafe.com
Sun. – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Gamlin Whiskey House
In our February Nightlife column, we liked the Bloody Ghost – pepper-infused Jacob’s Ghost white whiskey and Zing Zang – so much we’re mentioning it again. Our favorite part? It’s bottomless on Sundays.
$28. 236 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.875.9500, gamlinwhiskeyhouse.com
Sun. – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Scottish Arms
You’re committed for 90-plus minutes to that soccer game – order yourself a generously poured bottomless mimosa while you watch the match in this classic pub atmosphere.
$15. 8 S. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.535.0551, thescottisharms.com
Sun. – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Central Table Food Hall
With unlimited mimosas and unlimited bloody marys, this popular Central West End spot is a shoo-in for a hang-loose Sunday brunch.
$15. 23 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.5595, centraltablestl.com
Sun. – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It doesn’t get any more elaborate – or delicious – than Cielo’s bottomless bloody mary bar, otherwise known as Mary Mayhem. Choose from about a dozen infused spirits, six different flavors of ice cubes and countless garnishes.
$12. 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.881.2105, cielostlouis.com
Sat. and Sun. – 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

-photo by Jonathan Gayman

The Scoop: Chef Gian Nicola Colucci takes the helm at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Thursday, April 17th, 2014



{Chef Gian Nicola Colucci}

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis recently announced the appointment of Gian Nicola Colucci as its new executive chef. Colucci will oversee all the hotel’s culinary operations, including its fine dining Italian restaurant, Cielo Restaurant & Bar.

A native of Turin, Italy, Colucci holds 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Most recently, he worked as executive chef at Resort Danieli in Venice, Italy. Prior to that, he was executive sous chef at Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf in London.

Colucci replaces chef Fabrizio Schenardi, who recently departed from the downtown luxury hotel for Florida. As The Scoop reported in December, Schenardi accepted a position at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, slated to open this summer.

“Chef Schenardi was very involved in the local culinary scene and will be greatly missed, but we know that chef Colucci will continue his great work in the community,” said Alper Oztok, general manager at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. “Chef Colucci is a culinary talent that will bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to Cielo and the Four Seasons Hotel.”

-photo courtesy of Four Seasons St. Louis

6 St. Louis Patios to Welcome Spring

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Patio season has officially arrived, and after a brutal winter, we’re ready eat, drink and play al fresco. Last year, you named Vin de Set‘s stunning rooftop spot your favorite patio during the 2013 Readers Choice Awards. Here, a view of what you’ll see this weekend, plus your 5 other top picks:


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This week, Catherine Klene is obsessed with…

Thursday, January 30th, 2014


{You know what every good game night needs? A brewery. Civil Life Brewing Co., has a way to entertain everyone, from the stack of New Yorker magazines and books to the dartboard and ring tossing games. My friends and I dive straight for the shelf of board games. School your friends in Bananagrams, show off your arcane knowledge of 1980s trivia during Trivial Pursuit, or play the fanciest game of Connect Four you’ve ever seen. Loser buys the next round of Northern English Browns.}




{I fell in love with bourbon this year, and I fell hard. Starting last October, you couldn’t get me to order anything but a Manhattan, Old-Fashioned or Sazerac. But the new year has ushered in a craving for a lighter, clean-tasting spirit that would still hold up in the dead of winter. Enter Thyming Is Everything by Cielo bartender Michael Cook. This sweet pink sipper of raspberry- and thyme-infused vodka, lemon juice and ginger syrup is light and refreshing but still strong enough to suit my happy hour needs.}  




{No trip to visit my family in Traverse City, Mich., is complete without a stop at Cherry Republic. This shop celebrates the state’s signature crop in every way imaginable. Jams, jellies and chocolate-covered cherries are just the tip of the iceberg. It also sells cherry wine, cherry-spiked sausages, cherry coffee and much more. But my favorite is the cherry salsa, which holds the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I love serving it with corn chips and having people  guess exactly what it is.} 


Budget Crunch: Delicious dishes and sweet deals right now

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014


{For the Family at Cielo}

Welcome to Budget Crunch, wherein intrepid reporter Byron Kerman offers 10 tips on delicious menu items and sweet deals happening now.

1. It doesn’t get much cheaper than free. And tonight (Jan. 28), a free wine tasting at Elaia and Olio features the wines of Matteo Corregia, a leading producer in the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s a “library tasting,” which means guests get to taste the same wine at various points in its aging process. For instance, you can try one of the wines in its 1996, 2000, 2005 and 2011 vintages. Eighteen wines total will be poured, and most wines will be available for purchase, too. No reservations required.

2. The wintry Urban Harvest Pizza at both Crushed Red locations is a counterintuitive marvel. We certainly wouldn’t have thought of candied walnut pesto, diced bacon, dried cranberries, caramelized onions, roasted corn, mozzarella and (gulp!) stuffing together atop a pizza. It’s sweet, it’s savory, and it works at just $7.50. But you’ve got to try it soon – this is the last week.

3. The German Chocolate Pancakes at Lewy Nine’s Café at River City Casino earn an official, “Holy cow!” They may be on the breakfast menu, but this $9 stack of four deep, dark chocolate pancakes drenched in decadent caramel-pecan syrup and topped with shredded coconut could easily be dessert for four people. Plan to take home leftovers.

4. The Llywelyn’s Pub new $3, $4, $5 Happy Hour is marvel of simplicity. You can get three different items for $3 each: chips with pepper cheese or rarebit sauce, a cup of soup or chili, and the Dragon’s Nest, which is a basket of fried onions and jalapenos. The four-for-$4 lineup includes pub pretzels with pepper cheese, Welsh rarebit, a chef’s choice of mini-sandwiches, and fried Irish pies stuffed with corned beef, white cheddar and mashed potatoes. The five-for-$5 selection features spinach artichoke dip, pub pickles, mini-burgers, a half flatbread, and Irish Mussels – blue mussels steamed in garlic, Jameson Irish Whiskey and butter.

5. The small plates menu at the restaurant with the breathtaking view, Cielo at the Four Seasons St. Louis, has a nifty option for groups. The For the Family includes four small plates, plus almonds, olives and salamino (slices of small salami) for $24. Small plate choices include curried shrimp with cauliflower puree, grilled octopus, wild mushroom arancini, crunchy olives stuffed with beef, pork and veal, and bruschetta with goat cheese, oven-dried tomatoes and pesto.

6. Chaumette Vineyards & Winery in Ste. Genevieve opens an Indian-themed pop-up, a temporary restaurant concept this February and March. Lambay’s India at Chaumette will showcase the skills of executive chef Adam Lambay, the former executive chef at India Rasoi. For $20, a guest chooses three veggie and meat curries from a menu of 16 options, including chicken tikka masala, goat rogan josh, goan shrimp, saag paneer, eggplant pharta, dhal makini and gobi aloo, accompanied by basmati rice, samosas, breads and chutney. The Indian pop-up is hosted in Chaumette’s Barrel Room from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays in February and March. Reservations required.

7. They call it Wine and Dine Wednesdays, and it means every glass of wine at Mike Shannon’s Grill in Edwardsville, Ill., is half price all day.  We hear the promotion has become super popular, and they’ve added a little something extra with occasional wine sampling from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, too.

8. Everything on the menu at upscale comfort-food hideaway Juniper is special, but let us now sing the praises of the not-so-humble grilled cheese sandwich. This little number features house-made pimento cheese and an eye-opening, bacon-Brussels sprout jam. It’s delish, and while it’s $6 at lunch or dinner, it’s just $4 on the late-night menu after 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

9. Students at Dierbergs School of Cooking‘s Gone to the Dogs class create treats for Fido like pumpkin-peanut butter-flavored bones, “Scooby snacks,” chicken-and-cheddar bites, “pupcakes,” and doggy ice cream. The $25 class takes place Sat., Feb. 8, at the Des Peres location.

10. The Donut Happy Hour at both locations of Ray’s Donuts is a sweet deal. From noon to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, buy one doughnut and get a second of equal or lesser value for free. Bring a friend – or don’t!





Drink This Weekend Edition: Detox drinking at the Four Seasons

Friday, January 10th, 2014

For your new year’s resolution, you vowed to eat healthier, work out more, drink less, etc. But if you’re anything like me, 10 days after all of this well-meaning resolve, you’re back to your old habits. Cielo bar and restaurant manager Cory Cuff recognized this conundrum and decided to create a series of “detox/antioxidant cocktails” for the new year, so people could feel a little less guilty about what they were drinking.

Rather than creating lo-cal sippers that skimp on flavor or ones loaded with gross sugar substitutes, Cuff relies on tea. Not only are both of these cocktails well balanced and delicious, they make you feel healthier just by drinking them. Dangerous – and genius.




Cielo bartender Ryan Gore created the Earl Grey Chaos, which consists of Broker’s gin infused with black pepper and Earl Grey tea, limoncello, lemon juice and some simple syrup. The drink is shaken and served with cubes of frozen Earl Grey. It has pepper on the front, but is quickly balanced by the floral tea, finishing with the taste of lemon. In the words of Cuff: “This isn’t your grandmother’s Arnold Palmer, let me tell you that!” This is the perfect cocktail if you’re fighting a cold but don’t want to stay home on the couch. If you want your drink to taste more like tea than a cocktail, just let your ice cubes melt – if you have the patience or willpower.




The Commodore Gambi Elixir, created by Cielo bartender Blair Schrautemeier, features Meyer’s dark rum shaken with cinnamon-plum tea, rosemary, thyme, Amaro Nonino, Luxardo maraschino, lemon juice and simple syrup. Herbal, aromatic and not too sweet thanks to the Nonino, this is a cocktail that even the non-rum drinker will enjoy.



The Scoop: Four Seasons exec chef Fabrizio Schenardi headed to new resort property in Orlando

Monday, December 9th, 2013

120913_cielo{Fabrizio Schenardi}


Fabrizio Schenardi, executive chef at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis is leaving the luxury hotel for the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Slated to open in the summer of 2014, the new Florida property will be the largest Four Seasons resort in the Americas, with five restaurants, 40,000 square feet of catering space and 444 guest rooms, according to Stephen Wancha, Four Seasons St. Louis’ director of food and beverage. Wancha also will be leaving St. Louis to helm the food and beverage program at the new Orlando property.

Schenardi arrived in St. Louis in the summer of 2010, after moving here from Tampa, Fla., where he worked at the Renaissance Tampa Hotel International Plaza. “He has a house down there,” Wancha said. “The only place he would have left here for is this [new] hotel.” During the three and a half years Schenardi has worked at the Four Seasons and its fine dining restaurant, Cielo, he has become a recognizable face among the local culinary community, participating regularly in events with other local chefs and even hosting prominent events, such as James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour and Heritage BBQ by Cochon at the downtown property. Schenardi will depart for Tampa in March 2014.

Wancha’s final day is Jan. 3, 2014. His replacement, Jeff Hanson, hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, where he worked as GM of the Four Seasons’ seafood restaurant YEW.

Wancha said the hotel is currently searching for Schenardi’s replacement. “We’d like to keep [Cielo] an Italian concept,” he said. In addition, he noted that the ideal candidate is someone who is excited to engage with the local culinary community. “That has to happen. That’s the key … There’s no mandate that we take a Four Seasons person.”



Thursday Giveaway: The clock is ticking!

Thursday, October 17th, 2013



Today, we’re giving away two tickets (each worth $165) to a one-night-only wine dinner hosted by Cielo on Thursday, Oct. 24. This five-course dinner prepared by chef Fabrizio Schenardi will also include pairings of Darioush signature wines.

Guests will dine on pan-seared scallops in sea urchin sauce paired with Darioush 2011 chardonnay, filet of beef with foie gras and roasted butternut squash paired with Darioush 2009 cabernet sauvignon, and more.

If you don’t win our two seats, good news: seats are still available. Call Cielo at 314.881.2105 to make a reservation.

UPDATE: Time’s up! Congratulations to Maggie Taylor, whose haiku extolling her love of beaujolais has won her two tickets to the Darioush wine dinner at Cielo at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. Congrats, Maggie, and keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew!



In This Issue: Trendwatch – A look at what’s on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list right now

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

{The High Rise at Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood and Mike Shannon’s Grill}


Thank You for Smoking: Barbecue spots may be spreading like wildfire around these parts, but it’s the smoke in our glasses that really has us talking. After a cold-smoke infusion of the bartenders’ wood chips of choice, the liquor becomes a sort of paintbrush, casting its smoky stroke on everything it touches. Dive right in with the smoked-vermouth-laden High on the Hog at Hendricks BBQ or the cold-smoked aperol at Cielo. For a milder entry to this smoker-to-sipper trend, try the High Rise at Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood and Mike Shannon’s Grill, where a flicker of smoke deepens as the cold-smoked ice melts.

Less Is More: When Niche opened the doors to its new Clayton home with a tasting menu-only format, the shift was met with both excitement and frustration. But the renowned fine-dining restaurant isn’t the only one testing the local waters with limited options. Diners at nearby Little Country Gentleman must opt for either the 3-course menu or the grand tasting menu (The latter, numbering around 16 courses, has dropped in price to $78 a head.), while Anthony Devoti is offering a 5-course taster at Five Bistro on The Hill. Will we see more fine-dining spots move in this direction? Considering the creative license such a pared-down approach lends the chef, we sure hope so.

Head, Shoulders, Ears and Toes: You’ve had pig’s face and feet, butt and belly. The latest body part to benefit from the nose-to-tail trend: pig’s ears. We had ‘em deep-fried as a rich counter to hearty kale in a sprightly salad this spring at pop-up restaurant A Good Man Is Hard to Find, and we’ve sliced into the naturally chewy meat rendered silken in a terrine at Farmhaus.

Ingredient Alert: Umami in a Bottle: Considering folks are aging just about everything these days and the fact that so many chefs covet fish sauce as their secret weapon, we should’ve seen this one coming. Sneak into the kitchens everywhere from Blood and Sand to the here-now-gone A Good Man is Hard to Find to newly opened The Libertine, and you’ll find a bottle of BLiS Barrel-Aged Fish Sauce. For this wax-sealed condiment, Red Boat Fish Sauce gets aged for seven months in bourbon barrels that have already worked their magic on BLiS maple syrup. The result: a rich sauce with slight sweetness and subtle smokiness that lets chefs infuse umami into just about anything.

White Out: When YellowTree Farm’s Justin Leszcz grows it, the chefs will come. The latest crop making its way onto menus? Japanese white sweet potatoes. Find them stuffed – along with house-made chorizo – into a taco at Mission Taco Joint or head to Mission’s sister restaurant Milagro Modern Mexican where chorizo and sweet potato are the filling for empanadas or turned into a tasty hash. At Farmhaus, the veggie is cozying up to house-smoked ham and scallops at Farmhaus, and embracing its Asian roots with curried rice at The Agrarian.

Riding the Third Wave: When Scott Carey first opened the doors to his third-wave coffee bar Sump Coffee, he wasn’t sure anyone would be willing to wait for his hand-brewed methods and precisely pulled espresso shots. Two years later, the South City spot is the watering hole of choice for the city’s coffee-loving cognoscenti. And with local coffee chain Kaldi’s launching a renewed focus on hand-brew techniques at all of its cafes, it’s easier than ever to get a taste of coffee’s third wave no matter where you live. Stop by Picasso’s Coffee House in St. Charles, Comet Coffee in Dogtown, VB Chocolate Bar in Cottleville and soon-to-open Rise Coffee House in The Grove for a hand-brewed cup.

Meals on Wheels: Why go to dinner at one restaurant when you can eat an appetizer at one, enjoy an entree at another, nibble dessert at the one next door and have a night cap just down the street? That’s the idea behind STL Culinary Tours, Dishcrawl and Savor Saint Louis, three new businesses offering food tours of our city’s most food-filled streets and neighborhoods, complete with behind-the-scenes tables, chats with the chef and strolls from one hot spot to the next.

–Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Move Over, Bitters: Homemade Orange Shrubs

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Acid plus sugar plus a flavoring agent like a fruit, herb or vegetable. That’s the basic formula for concocting a shrub – a sweet yet tart syrup that’s popping up in your martini glass (even if you don’t know it yet). Over the course of the last year, Cielo bar manager Cory Cuff has cornered the market on this trendy simple syrup, preparing shrubs of every flavor and color like cucumber-lime, raspberry-rose-thyme, even balsamic-fig. Stop by Cielo and you can taste Cuff’s shrubs in the Unusual Margarita and Stealing Alper’s Hooch, or try them as solo sippers in a shrub flight. Want to make homemade shrubs your new DIY project? Find the recipe below.

Cielo Restaurant & Bar, 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.881.2105, cielostlouis.com

Orange Shrub
Courtesy of Cielo’s Cory Cuff
4 Cups

Juice and peel of 4 navel oranges
Juice and peel of 1 lime
3 cups Champagne vinegar
6 oz. sugar

• Combine the fruit juices, peels and vinegar in a sanitized plastic or glass container with a fitted lid. Cover. Let infuse for 4 days in a cool, dark location.
• Strain the mixture into a saucepan and add the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, and let boil for 10 minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn.
• Pour the contents into a cruet with a pouring spout or a clean glass bottle. Store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 7 to 10 days.

Now that you’ve made your shrub, mix it into Keepin’ Up With the Joneses, a cocktail Cuff dubbed “kind of like a cosmo, but with vinegar.” Combine 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of orange shrub and ½ ounce of cranberry juice in a Boston shaker, and shake vigorously for 15 to 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with an orange twist.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

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