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Dec 08, 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘Clayton’

Sneak Peek: Sardella in Clayton

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

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Get ready, St. Louis. After five months of anticipation, Sardella will open doors for its first dinner service tomorrow, Nov. 2, pending final inspections today. Niche Food Group chef-owner Gerard Craft said Sardella will start with dinner tomorrow and then breakfast service, which will debut Thursday, Nov. 3.

Sardella moves into the former home of Niche, Craft’s flagship restaurant, which he closed in June after 11 years. The announcement came as a surprise to many; Craft had just won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Midwest in 2015 for his work at the fine dining restaurant.

Niche was lauded for its focus on highly regional, Missouri-sourced cuisine. At Sardella, Craft casts off the hyper-local limitations in favor of Italian-inspired dishes. While local purveyors are still widely used, Sardella’s dishes feature previously prohibited ingredients like seafood, lemons and chocolate. “I just want people to have fun again,” Craft said. “I want a noisy restaurant with people having fun.”

Craft also traded in Niche’s white tablecloths and subdued fine-dining demeanor for warm white walls, light wood, intricate blue-and-white tile work and cheery golden-yellow banquette seating. And the bar now seats eight and runs half the length of the restaurant, allowing for a much larger beverage program than Niche’s. One thing that hasn’t changed is the open kitchen visible through the pass, where customers can watch the busy crew under the direction of executive chef Nick Blue and executive pastry chef Sarah Osborn.

 

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{Sardella executive chef Nick Blue, executive pastry chef Sarah Osborn and Niche Food Group chef-owner Gerard Craft}

Sardella will offer breakfast and dinner service, with lunch to follow a few weeks later. Craft said he wanted to bridge the gap between heavy American breakfast (think pancakes and eggs or biscuits and gravy) and unhealthy fast-food options. Sardella will offer a European-style breakfast service with pastries and a coffee program (Sardella’s baristas trained under Sump Coffee owner Scott Carey.). Customers can snack on a cinnamon roll and espresso at the bar, grab a vegan yogurt parfait to go or snag a seat for a smoked salmon English muffin or avocado toast.

Dinner service will feature more than a dozen shareable small plates, a handful of pastas and four heartier meat entrees. “The way (my wife Suzie Craft and I) like to eat these days is having a few small plates,” he said, citing favorite menu items like arugula salad, gnocco fritto and warm dinner rolls (“like crack”).

Sardella’s bar program will be far more expansive than Niche’s offerings. Under the guidance of general manager and beverage director Chris Kelling, the bar will offer six draft beers and a handful of large-format bottled options. Niche Food Group veterans like David Greteman and Kyle Mathis have designed the house cocktail list, and Kelling himself oversaw the wine selection, which Craft described as fun, approachable and “not so fussy.”

Sardella will be open for breakfast Monday to Friday from 7 to 11 a.m., and coffee and pastries will be available until 3 p.m. Dinner service will be offered daily at 5 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect when one of the most anticipated restaurants of 2016 opens doors:

 

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More on Gerard Craft and Sardella

• The Scoop: Gerard Craft to close Niche, Sardella to open
• The Scoop: Gerard Craft to open second Pastaria in Nashville
• The Scoop: Nate Hereford to exit Niche, Brasserie’s Nick Blue to take the helm
• The Scoop: Gerard Craft wins James Beard award
• What I Do: Nick Blue of Sardella

-photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: New Day Gluten Free to open Clayton cafe in December

Monday, October 10th, 2016

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Just weeks after New Day Gluten Free closed its doors in Ellisville, owners Garrett and Kelly Beck have announced a new location at 7807 Clayton Road. As The Scoop reported in September, the Becks planned to find a new home for their dedicated gluten-free, peanut-free restaurant after nearly six years. Kelly Beck said she hopes to open doors in December.

Beck said the kitchen in the new space includes equipment they were missing at the Ellisville location, including a fryer. But former patrons should expect to see the usual pizza, pasta and sandwiches when New Day reopens. “We want to make sure people can get their favorites,” Beck said. “Then once we’re open for a little bit, we can try making some new things like our own chips.”

The 3,800-square-foot Clayton location will more than double New Day’s capacity with 50 seats in the new space. “This location gives us the gathering place I’d always envisioned,” Beck said. “The kitchen is bigger, and we’ll have more room for catering, plus a patio that can seat about 25.”

The Becks have added a new partner, and are working to get the necessary capital needed to complete the new space. “There’s very little we need to do,” Beck said. “The kitchen is great, and the front needs to be painted in our colors. It’s mostly just cleaning we need to do for gluten-free and peanut-free certifications.”

The Scoop: Companion’s Clayton Cafe to close Oct. 30

Friday, October 7th, 2016

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After 16 years, owner Josh Allen is closing doors at Companion‘s Clayton cafe on Oct. 30. The cafe in Ladue and baking campus in Maryland Heights will both remain open.

“Our lease was expiring and we had to make the decision as to whether we wanted to re-up on a longer term lease,” he said. “Looking at our business, we’re seeing a lot of growth from our national distribution. We’re seeing quite a bit of growth in catering. We just decided to put our energy into the parts of the business that have been growing and expanding,” Allen said.

Since Companion will vacate the location entirely, Allen wasn’t sure what the future of the space will look like. He encouraged Clayton regulars to visit Companion at its other two facilities.

“We’re incredibly thankful and appreciative to the Clayton community, most specifically, and to St. Louis for all their support in that space and we hope that folks will come and see us in West St. Louis and Ladue,” said Allen. “We’re not going away completely, but we’re just closing that one chapter in our company history.”

This is the latest in a series of big business moves for the hometown break bakery. Companion opened its massive new Maryland Heights campus in February, after closing its original Dutchtown bakehouse and Early Bird Outlet in November 2015.

Sneak Peek: Wicked Greenz in Clayton

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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Lunching Claytonites will line up at the soon-to-open Wicked Greenz at 16 N. Central Ave., Monday, Oct. 3. As The Scoop reported in May, co-owners Chris Sedlak, Matt Ratz and chef Justin Haifley will offer counter-service lunch and dinner with a focus on healthy, veggie-focused dishes.

The menu consists of customizable greens-based dishes, which come “bowled or rolled” (as a salad or a wrap) in two sizes. Menu items can be topped with recommended proteins or dressings, or customers can choose their own. Options include proteins such as marinated steak or lemon-pepper shrimp and dressings such as charred tomato vinaigrette or sweet basil ranch.

A variety of soups like smoked chicken gumbo and the beer cheese and broccoli will be available individually or as part of a combo. Additionally, Excel sodas and a handful of house-made sides can be purchased.

For those pressed for time, a cooler offers packaged salads, wraps and drinks available to grab and go. Wicked Greenz will also provide in-house bicycle delivery service.

Wicked Greenz will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s to come when doors open Monday:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Dan Sammons takes over as Demun Oyster Bar exec chef

Monday, July 25th, 2016

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A new tide has rolled in at Demun Oyster Bar. Fifteen-year kitchen veteran Dan Sammons began his tenure as executive chef today, July 25. Sammons fills the spot left behind after chef Ben Edison exited the kitchen earlier this year. Sammons brings a range of experience from corporate operations chef at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood to working the kitchens at Berkeley, California’s eatery, Revival Bar & Kitchen.

“I fell in love with farm-to-table dining at Revival,” said Sammons. “The farmers brought the deliveries every day. We had to eighty-six menu items when we ran out of ingredients.”

For the past year and a half, Sammons has been working at LHM hotel properties, most recently serving a seven-month stint as the executive chef at Three Sixty. Both Sammons and Demun Oyster Bar general manager Tom Halaska said they are eager to work together to bring more local ingredients to the menu.

“In our initial interview, I asked him which farmers he knew and he said, ‘Which kind of farmer?’ That lead to a 45-minute conversation about who we knew and what they were doing,” said Halaska. “We have the same passion for food and drink.”

Diners can expect that passion to translate to changes on both the food and beverage menus. Halaska aims to create cocktails that complement the restaurant’s well-known oyster program and food menu, rather than a set list of standalone cocktails. “We want the food and beverage programs to work together in a unified way,” he said.

Sammons, who grew up on Southern cooking and summertime produce from his grandfather’s garden, plans to add and tweak menu items to reflect his experience. “There will be a salmon dish on the menu,” he said. “It will be like a salmon summer succotash with fresh vegetables.”

 

Sneak Peek: Mayana Mexican Kitchen in Clayton

Friday, July 1st, 2016

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Fans of Hacienda Mexican Restaurant in Rock Hill can get a quick bite when its sister restaurant opens Mayana Mexican Kitchen at 7810 Forsyth Blvd., in Clayton on Friday, July 8. As The Scoop reported in January, Hacienda co-owners Alex Rodriguez de Torres and John Rodriguez announced the build-your-own concept (then called Wet Burrito) as a way to accommodate the busy Clayton lunch rush.

Racks of tortilla dough waiting to be pressed greet guests upon entering the bright 1,500-square-foot casual eatery. Flour tortillas are made to order and serve as the base for customizable burritos, tacos or quesadillas. Other base options include tortilla-free burrito bowls, salads or a flaky piece of fry bread. Each dish can be customized with meats like citrus-marinated chicken, fajita steak and carnitas, as well as rice, beans, cheese, sauces and salsas.

Managing partner Brian Michaels said he expects the Clayton location to be the first of many Mayana Mexican Kitchens, and plans to open additional locations across the country. “We’re ready,” said Michaels. “(Hacienda has) already restructured to go national.”

Mayana Mexican Kitchen will be open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect when you step inside:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: The Wheelhouse in Clayton to close July 1

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

 

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After nearly three-and-a-half years, The Wheelhouse in Clayton will close its doors tomorrow, July 1. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, The Wheelhouse location in downtown St. Louis will remain open, and co-owner Stephen Savage’s next project, Start Bar, is still slated to open this summer.

“The biggest reason we’re closing the Clayton location is to put all of our efforts into our downtown projects and focus on the future of the company,” Savage said.

The group is also looking down the road to expand its brands outside of the St. Louis market, but no specific city has been chosen. “We love where we’re at in the downtown location,” said Savage. “We’re between Busch Stadium and Scottrade (Center), so we’d love to go to a city with another hockey and baseball stadium nearby.”

 

The Scoop: Herbie’s Vintage ’72 to move to Clayton, Cardwell’s in Clayton to close

Monday, May 16th, 2016

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{The Grand Plateau at Herbie’s Vintage ’72} 

 

The Clayton dining scene gains a new neighbor in October when Herbie’s Vintage ’72 pulls up stakes in the Central West End and replants them in Clayton. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the 8-year old French-American restaurant will serve its last crepe in the CWE on Oct. 2, move to 8100 Maryland Ave., and reopen at the beginning of November. Herbie’s Vintage 72 will take over Cardwell’s in Clayton, which will close on Oct. 1 as owners Rich and Debbie Gorczyca retire.

“I know the Rich and Debbie and originally looked at Cardwell’s when I first wanted to open Herbie’s,” said chef-owner Aaron Teitelbaum. “The location is right, the patio and the building matches up to who Herbie’s is.”

Rich Gorczyca agreed. “We’ve had a good, long run and Herbie’s is going to be a great fit,” he said. “The arrangement is good for all of us and what really swayed me is that (Teitelbaum) is going to offer every one of my current employees a position.”

In addition to familiar faces, Herbie’s current historic feel with French decor will remain the same at the new location, but customers will be able to enjoy new features, including three additional private rooms, a 100-seat patio and lunch service.

“We’re excited to be in Clayton where there’s such a great lunch clientele,” Teitelbaum said. “Clayton has a lot going on, and Herbie’s clients know our team to be professional and accommodating.”

Teitelbaum said he looks forward to bringing that accommodating environment and eclectic menu, including seafood, steaks and burgers, to the Clayton dining scene.

“For us, we’re driven by a team mentality,” he said. “We have a chef that will cook without ego. He has a menu and specials, but it’s more important that we are accommodating to if a guest wants something, we say, ‘Yes.’ If we don’t have it, we’ll run out and get it.”

Don’t look for the Gorczycas to ride off into the sunset. The couple plans to travel and Rich hopes to pursue volunteer opportunities with St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Humane Society. “We want to thank all of our friends and patrons and business associations who have supported us for almost 30 years,” Gorczyca said.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

 

The Scoop: Healthy eats spot, Wicked Greenz, to open in Clayton

Friday, May 6th, 2016

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Folks on the go in Clayton will have a new healthy option when Wicked Greenz opens. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, Chris Sedlak, Matt Ratz and chef Justin Haifley are targeting a July open date for the flagship location at 16 N. Central Ave. Wicked Greenz will serve lunch and dinner, focusing on healthy dishes served quickly.

“The people who want to eat healthy have a hard time because they can’t get food that’s fast and consistent,” said Sedlak. “Most of the stuff in the category didn’t have robust flavors or was something you would crave. Thanks to Justin’s talents, we’ve found a way to do that.”

Haifley said he has served as chef for 17 restaurant openings across the country, including his most recent position helming the kitchen at St. Louis’ The Tavern Kitchen & Bar. At Wicked Greenz, Haifley has developed a menu of salads, soups and “grips” (salads wrapped in tortillas). The salads and grips can be ordered with proteins like beef, shrimp, salmon and chicken and are served with dressings. Dishes can be customized, and Haifley lists suggested protein and dressing pairings.

The owners’ unanimous favorite menu item is the Mexicali, a mix of black beans, avocado, red onion, sweet corn, cilantro, pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, crispy tortilla strips and avocado-lime crema. Haifley suggested pairing it with charred tomato vinaigrette with adobo grilled chicken or blackened shrimp.

Other offerings will take an Asian turn, such as a salad composed of edamame, green onion, bell pepper, almonds, cilantro, wontons and bean sprouts with sesame-soy vinaigrette. Fresh fruit and vegetables will come together in the Sunburst – strawberries, grapes, green apple, toasted almonds, quinoa, parsley, cucumber, broccoli, kale and avocado.

When complete, diners can grab a bite at one of 60 to 70 seats inside or can take in some fresh air at one of a dozen outdoor seats. Meals will be available from a grab-and-go section and via delivery, as well.

Sedlak, Ratz and Haifley are currently in negotiations for four additional locations in the St. Louis area. With planned expansion, all the dressings and soups will be made in a commissary kitchen, which is under construction in University City.

Sneak Peek: Parigi in Clayton

Friday, February 12th, 2016

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Restaurateur and chef Ben Poremba’s latest eatery, Parigi, is firing up the burners in Clayton at 8025 Bonhomme Ave. As The Scoop reported in June 2015, Parigi is Poremba’s fourth restaurant venture, an Italian restaurant on the ground floor of Clayton on the Park at Bonhomme Avenue and Brentwood Boulevard

While Poremba continues to helm the kitchens at Elaia and Olio in Botanical Heights, Ramon Cuffie will serve as Parigi’s executive chef. Poremba will work closely with Cuffie, a St. Louis native whose experience includes time at Bar Italia and in kitchens in Washington D.C., Seattle and France.

Following a traditional Italian meal format, the menu includes antipasti, a selection of first-course pastas and meat-centric second course options featuring a variety of proteins. Guests can also opt for the chef’s choice, an evening special selected by Cuffie.

Director of operations and wine director Aaron Sherman curated the extensive wine list. Thirteen sparkling, white and red wines are offered by the glass with more than 120 varieties available by the bottle. Urban Chestnut beers are available on tap while four signature cocktails and 10 Champagne-based and classic cocktails are offered.

Customers can currently get a taste of Parigi at reservations-only soft opening dinners featuring a limited four-course menu at a fixed price. Regular dinner service will begin Friday, Feb. 19. Dinner hours will be Monday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., with breakfast and lunch hours to follow.

Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect when doors open at Parigi:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

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