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Oct 22, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Entre’

The Scoop: Two CWE restaurants debut, plus new noshes at MX Movies

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Fall is in the air. That means lots of new restaurants opening doors and loads of menu changes. The Central West End is seeing the debut of two restaurants, while this weekend moviegoers at MX Movies downtown can watch a flick with some new eat-in-the-dark foods.

091013_johnperkins{Juniper chef-owner John Perkins}

 

For Entre chef-owner John Perkins, the pop-up has run its course. Agrarian, his latest temporary restaurant, is out, and he’s ready to roost in the space at 360 N. Boyle Ave., with only one concept, as The Scoop first reported, in early September. The restaurant is called Juniper; the focus is southern cuisine. Juniper opened this week and serves dinner Wednesday through Sunday.

 

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101813_gamlin1{A Manhattan featuring hand-selected bourbon at Gamlin Whiskey House (top),  a mint julep (bottom left), a whiskey flight (bottom right) }

 

On Oct. 21, Gamlin Whiskey House will enter the scene as St. Louis’ first whiskey house. Located at 236 N. Euclid Ave., the highly anticipated restaurant will focus on paring whiskey with creatively prepared comfort food. The bar will have a selection of 270 whiskeys, including its own hand-selected barrels, as well as more than four dozen whiskey-centric cocktails. Helming the kitchen is Ivy Magruder, who recently left his post as exec chef and GM at Vin de Set to join owners Derek and Lucas Gamlin in their new venture. The liquid side of the house is guided by the hand of Dustin Parres, now corporate bar manager for the Gamlin Restaurant Group, which includes Sub Zero and soon-to-open Taha’a Twisted Tiki. During its first week of service, Gamlin Whiskey House will open at 4 p.m. Lunch service will begin the week of Oct. 28.

 

101813_mx

{MX Movies kitchen leader Jeramy Perry with a spread of flatbread pizzas}

 

Today marks the newest round of changes to the food at MX Movies. One draw for the theatre when it opened in January was that patrons could have an enhanced experience by ordering bistro-like fare from the touch screen next to their seats instead of munching on typical concession items such as candy and popcorn. Some 10 months after Josh Galliano, consulting chef for MX Movies developed the initial menu, the staff at MX has made tweaks so that “more things are easier to eat in the dark,” said GM Chris Bruemmer. New menu items include shrimp and beef tacos, quesadillas, shrimp cocktail and a variety of flatbread pizzas. Among the latter, try the barbecued chicken, a crisped pita topped with barbecue sauce, southwest-seasoned chicken, bacon, smoked cheddar and red onions.

 

 

 

 

The Scoop: Post-Agrarian, John Perkins to stick to southern food

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

091013_johnperkins

 

If you’re wondering what will become of John Perkins after his latest temporary restaurant, Agrarian ends after dinner service Oct. 5, you’re not alone. The space won’t be the hyper-local concept Perkins described late last year when he outlined his plans for four short-lived restaurant concepts at 360 N. Boyle Ave., in the Central West End, nor a wild game-focused menu.  In fact, the Agrarian is “the last time for the quarterly thing,” he told The Scoop. “I’m not going to do that or a game-themed restaurant.”

Instead, Perkins plans to return to – and hopes to stick with for good – the southern dining concept he explored this spring with pop-up A Good Man is Hard to Find. “I want to explore that a little bit more. It went well in terms of numbers, and it was fun cuisine for us to make,” Perkins said. “The other factor is it’s kind of an unexplored style of cuisine here, I think, at least [being that it’s] southern food that’s not Cajun or Creole. I don’t see a lot of low-country southern, Mississippi Delta southern food.”

Perkins is still deciding what to call the southern-focused restaurant (It won’t be named A Good Man is Hard to Find.), which will debut mid-October. He expects it to be open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, the same days of operation for his previous concepts. However, he plans to add carryout at lunch featuring fried chicken plus sides.

In the meantime, Perkins hopes for a strong finish for Agrarian in its final four weeks. The menu, which offers many plant- and grain-based dishes, was never exclusively vegetarian. “There’s always been meat on the menu,” he said. “Now we have four meat entrees on the menu – but we can make most dishes vegetarian – so we’re friendly to a vegetarian diet but extremely friendly to carnivores, as well.”

-Photo by Jonathan Gayman

 

 

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

John Perkins’ The Agrarian to pop up in the Central West End next week

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

 

Entre chef-owner John Perkins is preparing to launch his latest pop-up restaurant. The Agrarian, which debuts Tues., June 11 at 360 N. Boyle Ave., in the Central West End, will showcase the unsung heroes of the Midwest: summer vegetables.

The primarily vegetarian menu is categorized by crop, with headings such as “root,” “leafy,” “field” and “fruit.” “I want to let the vegetables speak for themselves, with intensity or subtlety, if that be the case,” said Perkins, whose previous pop-up concepts, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Le Coq, paid homage to southern food and chicken, respectively. “Whenever I design a dish, I am always trying to balance everything, different components of taste and texture. With this menu, I am going to design smaller plates to share that may simply express one element, completely rich with no acid or completely tart. The dishes should be able to play off each other.”

Perkins cited dishes like whey-poached asparagus, beet-infused tofu and poutine with smoked shitake velouté and blue cheese and examples of the fare that diners would encounter at The Agrarian. “I want to channel the ripe flavors of fresh herbs and spices, in lieu of meat or animal fats to season the dishes,” he explained. For carnivores looking for a bit more meat on the plate, there will be a few meat and seafood side dishes, such as steamed halibut wrapped in ramps as well as goat belly.

Mixologist and bartender Michelle Bildner designed a summertime cocktail list that features lighter spirits such as gin, rum and tequila, and that balances the alcohol with stone fruit juices and herb infusions. The wine list features food-friendly wines from around the world with enough complexity and spice to hold up to bold dishes.

The Agrarian will be open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday from June 11 through July 27. Go here to make a reservation.

 

 

The Scoop: Chefs on the move

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Three area chefs are adding heat to an already hot restaurant scene. Brian Hardesty (pictured, left) co-owner of food truck Guerrilla Street Food, is planning to open a restaurant, as reported by St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe. Hardesty, who was executive chef for the short-lived Root at Starr’s in Richmond Heights and who previously helmed now shuttered Terrene, plans to open his restaurant, Element, at 1419 Carroll St., on the doorstep of the Lafayette Park neighborhood.

Element will be a “modern American restaurant that is local, seasonal and affordable,” said Hardesty. Its home will be on the second and third floors of the former power plant for City Hospital. The industrial feel of the space – there will be a restaurant and a lounge as well as two outdoor terraces – is also one of the inspirations for the restaurant’s name, related Hardesty, adding that the name was abstract enough to give the concept and the cuisine some “freedom.”

Leeway will be key, Hardesty emphasized, since his newest project is still in its infancy. “We’ve got blueprints drawn out. But until construction starts, I can’t say when it will be completed. Summer of 2013 is totally a guess. It’s more like, ‘hope [for] summer.’”

While Hardesty is excited to be back in the world of fine dining, he is still involved with Guerrilla Street Food, noting that he and his business partner, Joel Crespo (pictured, right), remain on the hunt to find the right brick-and-mortar place for their Filipino fusion operation. “We’re not in any hurry,” he said in regards to that business move.

John Perkins, chef-owner of underground dining and mobile catering business Entre, is another local food figure making moves. Starting in January, Perkins will be holding month-long, themed restaurants at 360 N. Boyle Ave., in the Central West End, another news item that Mahe was first to report.

Perkins’ first concept is chicken-themed Le Coq. Why chicken? “I love chicken, and I feel like it’s not very well appreciated as an ingredient,” said Perkins. “We’re trying to improve its reputation, [to show] that you can do a lot with chicken, use it a lot of ways. Pretty much every dish on the menu has chicken on it.” To get an idea of the pointedly poultry menu, check out the November 26 post on Entre’s Facebook page.

Le Coq is one of four concepts that Perkins has planned. Following Le Coq, and likely to debut in April, is A Good Man is Hard to Find. The concept, inspired by Flannery O’Connor’s short story that explores tensions between the old and new South, will feature Southern comfort food. This summer will see the arrival of a vegetarian restaurant, Green. The fourth concept, Black Walnut, will feature dishes prepared from hyper-local food sources.

Le Coq (and subsequent concepts) will operate for one month only, Thursday through Saturday, serving dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. At Le Coq, diners can choose from a 3-course prix fixe for $35, a 5-course prix fixe for $55, or a chicken dinner for four that runs at $160. The latter, noted Perkins, will also be available for carryout. Reservations to Le Coq are not necessary but will be accepted. Perkins is in the process of updating the Entre website so that reservations can be made online.

Finally, Jon Dreja is the new executive chef at Franco, as reported first by Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch. Dreja replaces Kris Janik, who took over this spring when Chris Williams moved over to Nico, Franco’s sister restaurant in The Loop, to help open the new eatery. Dreja has worked for restaurateurs Paul and Wendy Hamilton at Eleven Eleven Mississippi and most recently at Vin de Set.

The Scoop: News from the underground

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

101311_demitasseSandy Tally, the chef behind St. Louis’ first (now closed) pop-up restaurant Demitasse 665, is already planning his next project. “I just finished the pop-up and went to bed for three days,” Tally wrote in an e-mail. “[I] thought to myself, what fun, well that’s off the bucket list. Wrong. Woke up with the next one in my head pictured as clear as day.” What Tally pictured was a “late-night, fun, noisy, artful” pop-up that will run for two weeks during the spring break season. Unlike Demitasse 665, this temporary restaurant won’t be a multi-course, reservations-only affair. Tally is currently scouting a venue that receives high traffic during late-night hours.

The other news trending from the underground dining world comes from Entre. While chef John Perkins recently went higher above ground from his underground dinners by taking over the kitchen at Perennial Artisan Ales, he will soon be rolling out the Entre Underground Club. Members will have the opportunity to attend quarterly cocktail parties, “upstairs dinners” (10-person, 10- to 12-course tasting menu extravaganzas), and cooking classes and demos that will range from knife sharpening to whole hog butchery. Get on the Entre mailing list to receive the deep, dark gastro details.

Secret supper club goes deeper underground

Monday, June 29th, 2009

St. Louis’ Clandestine Chef took his underground dinner party truly subterranean on Saturday, holding his invite-only affair known as Entre in the vintage wine cellar of a posh cottage in Augusta. This month’s fete featured an all-vegetarian menu: brioche toast with black garlic, goat cheese, tomato, microgreens and a balsamic glaze; a cucumber-mint sorbet floating atop gazpacho served alongside an avocado purée with olive oil powder, roasted corn and flash-fried basil; and white and green asparagus with fried béarnaise and strawberry foam. Next up, a beet tartare with mango yolk, followed by a veggie pot pie filled with blue potatoes, carrots, English shelling peas and corn. For the final round, mango sticky rice with green tea foam. Oh, and six rounds of libations – wine or beer, choose your fleet.

Want to get in on the covert supper club? Contact the Clandestine Chef via his Web site www.danssouslaterre.com and you might make the next guest list.

– Ligaya Figueras

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