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Jan 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Copper Pig’

Budget Crunch: 9 delicious deals to devour now

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Got $10 and a friend? Then contributor Kevin Korinek has 9 tasty deals you must try now.




1. The new Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood is offering a special $9 chicken and waffle deal Thursdays from 4 p.m. until sold out. And yes, it will probably sell out, so make sure you’re first in line. While Boardwalk supplies the delectable waffle, the fried chicken slingers at Byrd & Barrel supply the Chicken Nugz. Adding hot sauce gets you to Flavortown fast, but a little maple syrup goes a long way.

2. A classic Italian bistro that is always adding good times and new flavors, Mangia Italiano might just be one of the best post-work spots for a good deal. Just in time for warm weather and patio dining on South Grand, you can get half off appetizers and a well-made $3 rail cocktail every weekday. Your best bet is the Honey-Cayenne Wings – a generous $5.50 pound of mouthwatering wings in Mangia’s signature sauce. They’re crunchy, spicy and oh, so satisfying.




3. Every taqueria in St. Louis claims to have the best fish tacos, but The Red Shack in Dogtown may have the best monthly deal to prove it. Fridays during Lent, the Tex-Mex haven has a killer special of two, scrumptious salmon tacos with house-made chips and salsa for a mere $5.50.

4. Of course life isn’t all about tacos. It’s also about pizza. If you find yourself near Lafayette Square during the week, run (don’t walk) to happy hour at Eleven Eleven Mississippi, where you can snag a gorgeous, Tuscan-inspired flatbread for $6 to $7 each Monday to Thursday. Try the Italian sausage for authentic Old World flavor or the poached pear and fig if you’re feeling adventurous.




5. Craft beer has turned a scientific corner, and we are now seeing an explosion of flavors that would make Eberhard Anheuser and Adolphus Busch do a double take. One of the more recent highlights to hit our beloved craft scene is sour beers. Retreat Gastropub in the CWE wants you to get more acquainted at its Thursday Sour Hours. In March, select sour beers are only $5 from 4 to 7 p.m., giving you the chance to pucker-up buttercup and experience some new flavors. Rest assured, the craft beer revolution carries on – what a time to be alive.

6. Back to tacos, because tacos. If you’re eating lunch in Brentwood and looking for a quick fix, Whole Foods kitchen now has you covered. The market recently opened up a lightning fast taqueria where you can grab a made-to-order burrito or three tacos for $8. Where else can you get Mexican food and finish grocery shopping on your lunch break?




7. Copper Pig in beautiful Southampton has an amazing happy hour this month. Weekdays between 4:30 to 6 p.m., appetizers are $6 bucks and most drafts are a cool $3. The deal does not include its famous winter app, bacon jam and Brie (bummer!), but I’m sure you can find something to love between the General Tso’s cauliflower or the duck confit poutine.

8. Ramen is all the rage in St. Louis these days, and Hiro Asian Kitchen aims to keep it that way by offering a Ramen Happy Hour Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Sample from an assortment of ramen dishes that will make your head spin. If you miss the first window, don’t worry – the deal also happens for evening diners from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Two ramen happy hours in one day is one way to keep customers happy.

9. Again, life is nothing without damn good pizza, and Plank Road Pizza has them in spades. The Cottleville pizza den offers lunch special: an 8-inch pizza and side salad for $10. My go-to: the honey-bacon-chicken pizza. It’s a work of art – house-made crust topped with olive oil, brown sugar, roast chicken, bacon, honey, red onion and bubbling mozzarella. The lunch special is good from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also comes with a side salad.


Kevin Korinek is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for making homemade pie.

Trendwatch: 7 trends on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list now

Friday, January 13th, 2017



1. Smash and Grab
St. Louisans don’t have to wait until Shake Shack opens later this year to get their griddle burger fix of thin patties smashed on a flattop. Get a taste at Reeds American Table, where two patties are smothered with Swiss cheese and tallow aioli, or head to Olive & Oak in Webster Groves, where the kitchen keeps it classic with American cheese and dill pickles. The smashed Farmhouse Burger has been a fixture at Retreat Gastropub since it opened in October 2015, and The Dam in Tower Grove South does smashed patties – though the burgers are stacked so high with fixins, it’s hard to tell. Find griddled burgers at Brasserie, Local Chef Kitchen and Baileys’ Range, too.

2. Drinking like a Vegan
Aquafaba, aka the cloudy liquid in a can of chickpeas that usually goes down the drain, has seen new life as a vegan egg replacer in baked goods. Now it’s found its way behind the bar and into Pisco Sours at Los Angeles establishments like Birch and Gracias Madre. Small Batch pulled a similar move in its Cicer Sour with aquafaba, smoked almond Pisco and dry curacao. Bengelina Hospitality bar manager Drew Lucido shakes it with Old Tom Gin, Becherovka and lemon juice in The Walden at Olio, while the team across the street at Nixta uses a cream whipper to add a foamy, egg-free head to the No. 3.

3. Kung Pao That
The Chinese staple is popping up outside the takeout box these days at restaurants like Mission Chinese in San Francisco, which has a kung pao pastrami we hope someone in town will replicate. Chefs at Cleveland-Heath were inspired by a celery dish at Mission’s NYC location to create a shaved raw beef and celery kung pao special for St. Louisans to enjoy last summer. The Preston swaps in calamari for a sophisticated take on the dish, and the pop-up and future restaurant Good Fortune is crazy about kung pao. It incorporated the flavors into a bratwurst made for a collaboration with Brasserie, and made a kung pao pizza for an event with Delicious Pizza in Los Angeles.




4. Rise and Shine
The Egg McMuffin will always hold a special greasy place in our hearts, but area restaurants are taking breakfast more seriously these days. Whole concepts, like Egg on Gravois Avenue and Yolklore in Crestwood, are devoted to breakfast beyond the standard flapjacks, eggs and bacon. Quick counter-service options at newly opened eateries like Sardella and The Garden on Grand mean we’re setting our weekday alarms a few minutes earlier. Even pop-up eateries are getting in on the action: Revel Kitchen chef-owner Simon Lusky and chef Adam Altnether recently hosted the breakfast-themed Waffle Nut Pop-up, serving sweet and savory waffle combos and cereal milk coffee beverages.

5. Lightning in a Mug
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and a large dose of caffeine, yerba mate is a light, herbaceous tea that’s creeping its way into local spots like SweetArt, where it’s served hot, and Comet Coffee, where it’s found in two forms: as hot tea and as a mocha-nut mate made with toasted mate leaves, chocolate, hazelnut and marigold flowers for a sweet treat. Pick up some of the loose-leaf tea to brew at home from international grocers like Global Foods Market or United Provisions.

6. Meat Lollipops
Some St. Louis chefs are frenching chicken drumettes, trimming classic wings into little meat lollipops. The trend has a confusing extra-work-for-less-meat quality, but we’ve bought jeans with holes in the knees, so we’re not here to judge. Try the lollies at Mona’s, where they’re smoked and served with a creamy giardiniera sauce and salsa verde, or at Copper Pig with a Vietnamese fish sauce caramel or a sweet chile basil sauce. Scapegoat offers a more traditional Buffalo version.

7. Taste the Magic
Magic Shell is making appearances outside grandma’s sundae bar these days. We noticed it with caramelized honey and honeycomb candy on soft serve at The Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, and over caramel corn and vanilla malted milk balls at Girl & the Goat in Chicago. But Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. has offered the topping on soft serve since it opened in 2014, and our favorite matcha-chocolate cookie gelato pop from Porano this summer was dipped in Magic Shell. Taste’s new brownie dessert with candy cap ice cream and toffee sauce lives in a Magic Shell house, too.


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The Scoop: Molly’s adds new exec chef, dining room

Monday, August 8th, 2016



Molly’s in Soulard is growing with a new dining room and a new executive chef, Brandon Busby, who took the helm early last week.

Most recently sous chef at Copper Pig, Busby also has prior experience at The Shaved Duck, Evangeline’s, Planter’s House and Revel Kitchen. He has also built a reputation on coordinating Taco Tuesdays at Ryder’s Tavern, which he will continue while putting his stamp on Molly’s menu.

“I’m definitely working on new menu items now and making changes, like tweaking the gumbo and jambalaya recipes,” said Busby. “I’m going to bring over my five most famous tacos, and I want to step up the game on the bar food and make stuff from scratch.”

New menu items will include duck confit tacos and fried cheese curds and hand-dipped corn dogs, both featuring batter made with 4 Hands brews. Busby said guests can expect menu changes to start kicking in by next month.

Molly’s patrons can dig into these new offerings in a new 1,100-square-foot dining room. It seats 60 guests, and that capacity doubles when they step outside to a connecting 500-square-foot outdoor bar and patio area. The space opened to the public last Friday, Aug. 5

“That space originally had a structure that was considered a historic site and involved lots of negotiating with the city before we could knock it down to expand,” said owner Luke Reynolds. The space will allow Molly’s to host more private events.



Trendwatch: What’s on our plate, in our glasses and at the top of our wish lists now (Part 1)

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016



1. Sweet Heat: Golden honey infused with chile peppers makes for a fiery topping around town. Hot spiced honey is drizzled over a mountain of rich butternut squash on toast at Cleveland-Heath, while the crew at Pastaria adds the spicy nectar to balance its ’nduja pie. Likewise, chef Cary McDowell was spotted drizzling this sticky treat atop Pi’s Burning Man pizza. Top your DIY creation with Mike’s Hot Honey at Porano Pasta or pick up a bottle at Larder & Cupboard in Maplewood.


2. Carbonara Change Up: Chefs are putting their stamps on this classic Roman dish. Carbonara traveled south of the Mason-Dixon line at Juniper, where country ham stepped in for bacon. Farmhaus has gilded the creamy lily with lobster and a butter-poached farm egg, while Eleven Eleven Mississippi opts for roasted red pepper fettuccine and grilled chicken. The Libertine combines two Italian favorites (cacio e pepe and carbonara) and adds crispy pork belly; Small Batch goes the vegetarian route with bacon-esque smoked mushrooms, roasted cauliflower and snap peas; and Element chef Josh Charles breaks the carbonara mold completely with celery root-black pepper tortellini, sous vide egg yolk and pancetta.


3. Hooked on Whole Fish: Forget fillets; St. Louis is looking whole fish square in the eye. Público and Olive & Oak encourage sharing with a rotating whole fish special. Boundary offers whole fried snapper with Vietnamese salad, or you can fuse those Vietnamese flavors with Peruvian notes at Copper Pig when you order the fried red snapper with sofrito rice, maduros and a chile-tamarind sauce. Dig into herb-stuffed and grilled pompano at Lona’s Lil Eats, then dive in at Chaparritos with Mexican mojarra, whole fried tilapia served with rice, beans and tomatoes.

-photo by Greg Rannells


Hit List: 6 new restaurants you must try this month

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016



1. Frankly Sausages: 11841 Dorsett Road, Maryland Heights, franklysausages.com

Frankly Sausages hit the road this fall and promptly parked it Thursday through Saturday at Six Mile Bridge Beer in Maryland Heights. Owners Bill and Jamie Cawthon serve hand-made sausages to brewery-goers, and there’s no waiting in line. Just grab a table in the tasting room, place your order and artisan sausages and fries are delivered inside. Don’t miss the Six Mile Bridge Session IPA brat, topped with sauerkraut and coarse ground mustard, or the rotating special: chile verde pork sausage with avocado and tomatillo relish, queso fresco, cilantro and lime. All the sausages come nestled in LaBonne Bouchee baguettes. Share (if you must) a side of the hand-cut fries: russet potatoes brined and double-fried with a house-made dipping sauce like the creamy buttermilk ranch.




2. Melo’s Pizzeria: 2438 McNair Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.4489, Facebook: Melo’s Pizzeria

Vince Valenza opened Melo’s Pizzeria in a renovated garage behind his Blues City Deli in Benton Park with the help of his son, self-taught pizzaiolo Joe Valenza. Joe did Dad proud with a tight menu of 12-inch Americanized Neapolitan-style pizzas and named the spicy Veets pizza (which features fontina, sausage and pepperoni) after his father. And don’t miss the salty, fragrant Angelina pizza (named for Joe Valenza’s great-grandmother) which includes green onion, Grana Padano and Romano cheese and optional whole anchovy filets. All pies are baked in a wood-fired oven, resulting in crisp, chewy house-made crust. Order at the counter, then dig in at the standing bar or grab your pizza and take a seat inside Blues City’s dining room.





3. Copper Pig: 4611 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, 314.499.7166, copperpigstl.com

Copper Pig is serving up gastropub fair with Asian influences on Macklind Avenue in Southampton. Grab a seat at the copper-topped bar and order a refreshing, gin-based Socialite cocktail. Start your meal with Copper Pig’s duck confit poutine featuring crispy fries, piping hot gravy and cheese curds. Then check out the Three Little Pigs sandwich, which features bacon, ham and a panko-breaded pork cutlet, stacked high with brie, hot pepper jelly and an egg on lapinja, a chewy Bosnian bread. Larger plates include a bibimbap bowl of tender bulgogi beef, sweet Chinese sausage, pickled carrot and daikon, kimchi, bean sprouts and a sunny egg rest atop a bed of garlic rice.




4. Sheesh Restaurant: 3226 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.833.4321, sheeshrestaurant.com

Kebabs are king at Sheesh on South Grand Boulevard. Don’t miss the Adana kebab (heavily spiced, tender ground lamb served over fragrant rice) or the Iskender kebab (thinly shaved lamb served atop bite-sized pieces of pita and covered with tomato sauce). Start with a bowl of spicy, tomato-based Ezogelin Soup or a sharable side of kibeh, two football-shaped balls of bulgur stuffed with ground beef and walnuts and fried. And be sure to save room for dessert: The flaky pistachio baklava pairs well with a strong cup of Turkish coffee.




5. Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken: 7434 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.899.9899, gusfriedchicken.com  

The newest (and busiest, judging from the lines that form around 10:30 a.m.) fried chicken shack in the St. Louis-area came to Maplewood via Memphis. Order two- or three-piece plates of crisp, slightly spicy chicken or half a bird. All plates come with sides of baked beans, creamy cole slaw and a slice of white bread. While you wait for your bird, start with tangy fried green tomatoes or poppable fried okra. For dessert, indulge in the sweet satisfaction of chocolate chess pie.




6. Yo! Salsa: 2 W. Pearce Blvd., Wentzville, 636.856.8444, yolosmex.com

Firmly planted in downtown Wentzville, the brick-and-mortar expansion of Yo! Salsa food truck welcomes diners craving big flavor at truck prices. Build your own tacos or salad and choose from 10 proteins such as chorizo and fried sweet potato or the achiote-grilled mahimahi, which is well spiced without searing your taste buds. Larger entrees are amply portioned dishes developed and honed on the truck. Try the shrimp and creamy poblano grits featuring large Gulf shrimp, bell peppers and spicy chorizo. While you nosh, sip a top-shelf, house-made margarita at a pocket-pleasing $7.


-photos by Michelle Volansky



Trendwatch: What’s on our plates and in our glasses right now – Part 2

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015



{South Side Poutine at Byrd & Barrel}

4. Don’t Call Them Cheese Fries When Americans slather french fries in cheese, meat and gravy, it’s called drunk food. When Canadians do it, it’s called poutine, which has taken St. Louis by storm. Byrd & Barrel covers house-made tater tots in smoked chicken, cheese curds and either smoked mushroom or fried chicken gravy in the South Side Poutine. Winslow’s Home likewise uses tots in its poutine with oxtail gravy. Retreat Gastropub keeps it veg-friendly with mushroom gravy and fried fingerling potatoes, while Small Batch swaps cheese curds for gooey fontina on its house-cut fries. The Libertine ups the ante with sweet peas and foie gras gravy, and the newly opened Copper Pig offers three versions: traditional with beef gravy, a duck confit or a saag paneer option. Urban Chestnut in The Grove has a poutine of the moment that previously featured white gravy with chicken and bacon. Or cash it all in for the foie gras poutine at Sidney Street Cafe featuring a crispy potato cake, french fry-encrusted foie and pickled apples.

5. The Spirit of Norway There are only two things to do during a long Norwegian winter – drink and, well, you can figure it out. Aquavit, a neutral distilled spirit flavored with herbs and botanicals, is the Norwegian sauce of choice. Lucky for us, the clear, full-bodied liquor isn’t just for Scandinavians. Chat up Matt Osmoe at Blood & Sand and sample the flavor variations ranging from dill to caraway to anise. Have it mixed by Randolfi’s Jeffrey Moll in the lemonade-like Madam I’m Adam. Emphasizing Aquavit’s food-friendly qualities, Planter’s House can whip up a bloody mary-esque Bloody Well Right.

6. Grape Crush Chefs around the country are taking grapes to the next level with vinegar, smoke, dehydration and high heat. New York’s Blue Hill restaurant pairs smoked grapes with Brussels sprouts and uses dehydrated grapes in a chicken dish. Blackbird in Chicago pairs pickled grapes with scallops. Get in on the trend closer to home with the newly opened Standard Brewing’s Coraline salad, where sweet-sour pickled grapes are tossed with radishes, goat cheese and spinach. Sound weird? Give them a try at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar in a starter, or see how they do when roasted with mushrooms in both the seared scallops and the strip steak at Eclipse. At Randolfi’s, try the lamb hearts and sausage starter with roasted grapes.

Check out Part 1 of Trendwatch here


-photo by Michelle Volansky 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Monday, November 16th, 2015
Get caught up on all last week’s food news, from the latest restaurant openings to the best way to roast a chicken (Hint: you’re doing it wrong.). ICYMI, here’s the latest in the St. Louis restaurant scene:




1. After brewing beer for over a year in an industrial space in at 5231 Manchester Ave., in Dogtown, Modern Brewery opens its tasting room today, Nov. 13. Click here for the Sauce Sneak Peek.

2. Former Brandt’s Café and The Stable chef Ben Welch is breaking into the St. Louis barbecue scene. Big Baby Q and Smokehouse, located at 11658 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights, is set to open in early 2016. Click here for the Sauce Scoop.




3. Doors are officially open at Copper Pig, owner Nhat Nguyen’s newest venture at 4611 Macklind Ave., in the Southampton neighborhood. Click here for the Sauce First Look.

4. Sugarfire Smoke House chef and co-owner Mike Johnson took third place in the bacon category at the World Food Championships in Kissimmee, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 7. Click here for the Sauce Scoop.




5. Meet the salad to convert all Brussels sprouts haters. Click here for the recipe.

6. You’ve been roasting chicken wrong. Dee Ryan shows the way in Just Five. Click here for the recipe.


First Look: Copper Pig in South Hampton

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015



Doors are officially open at Copper Pig, owner Nhat Nguyen’s newest venture at 4611 Macklind Ave., in the South Hampton neighborhood.

As The Scoop reported in March, Nguyen aims to serve gastropub fare with Asian influences. He brought on executive chef Tudor Seserman, who created a menu of pork-centric (though not exclusive) starters, sandwiches, entrees and desserts. Nguyen said the menu reflects his Asian heritage and travels. Look for everything from chao tom (shrimp meatballs skewered on sugarcane) and a rotating poutine to a pork belly Cuban with plantains and whole red snapper, fried and served with a chile-tamarind sauce.

The 50-seat space features a modern, sleek interior, including single hanging bulbs, wooden light fixtures created by local artists and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to create an alfresco dining experience in warmer months. Behind the gleaming copper bar, 12 taps pour several local brews and more are available via can or bottle. Patrons of Nguyen’s former South Grand bar, Urban, will recognize a few of their old favorites on the Copper Pig’s tight house cocktail menu. Wine lovers can select from five red and five white by-the-glass options.

Copper Pig is open Monday to Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you step inside South Hampton’s newest restaurant:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Copper Pig gastropub to open on Macklind Avenue

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015




Macklind Avenue in the Southampton neighborhood will soon see yet another restaurant joining its burgeoning ranks. Owner Nhat Nguyen plans to open Copper Pig in mid-summer alongside neighborhood establishments like The Mack Bar & Grill and Macklind Avenue Deli and more recent additions like Russell’s on Macklind and Grapeseed.

Nguyen, who used to own now-shuttered Urban on South Grand, is currently renovating the space at 4611 Macklind Ave., which once housed an eco-friendly home goods store. “I bought the building in July and have been (working) with it ever since then,” he said. The 2,200-square-foot space will seat 40 to 50 inside, and Nguyen plans to install large panel windows in front that will open to let in fresh air in lieu of a patio.

Nguyen envisions The Copper Pig as a gastropub serving elevated bar food like pork belly and maduro Cubans. Look for a few dishes with Asian influences, too, like fish sauce-marinated wings and bulgogi cheesesteaks. Once a liquor license is approved, the bar will serve a wide variety of draft and bottled brews from the St. Louis area, as well as European and Belgian styles.




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