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Aug 21, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Heather Hughes’

3 new places to try in August

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

From two new breweries to a seafood boil hotspot, don’t miss these three new places you must try this August.

 

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1. The Mad Crab 8080 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.801.8698, Facebook: The Mad Crab

The Mad Crab brings a classic Gulf meal to the Midwest with built-to-order seafood boils. Settle in at a paper-lined table, then consult with your dining partners and strategize the best combination of market-priced seafood available. Will you try meaty mussels with fresh crawfish or go all out with whole lobster and snow crab legs? Don’t forget to throw in the requisite potatoes and corn on the cob, then turn your attention to the sauces or combine all three in The Whole Sha-Bang for a buttery, garlicky, spicy punch. Don your plastic bibs and grab your crab crackers (or use your bare hands) to devour the shellfish feast with messy abandon. Our only advice: Don’t wear white.

 

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2. Center Ice Brewery 3126 Olive St., St. Louis, centericebrewery.com

You don’t have to love hockey to enjoy Center Ice Brewery. Themed touches – like the low rink wall surrounding the brewing equipment and a penalty box, main bar, tables and tap handles all made in part with material reclaimed from the old St. Louis Arena – lend personality without descending into kitsch. Pull up a stool and order a Hop Shelf IPA from the brewery’s house menu (supplemented by locals like Main & Mill and Charleville Brewing Co.), or opt for the light, summery Off Season Saison to beat the heat. You’ve got a new spot to watch the Blues, but there’s no need to wait for the season opener.

 

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3. Third Wheel Brewing 4008 N. Service Road, St. Peters, 636.323.9810, thirdwheelbrewing.com

It’s good to be a third wheel in St. Peters. Snag a seat at the massive horseshoe-shaped bar and watch brewer and co-owner Abbey Spencer at work through picture windows overlooking the city’s first brewery. Order one of the house brews like the Dyslexic API, an Imperial IPA dry-hopped with Columbus and Simcoe, or the lighter Ophelia’s Wit, a traditional witbier with coriander, orange peel and rosemary. For a German summer experience, sip Going Once… Going Twice… – a flight of four 4-ounce pours of Third Wheel’s Berliner Weiss mixed with a rotating selection of traditional syrups like mint, mulberry or woodruff.

 Photos by Michelle Volansky

Eat This: The Classic Breakfast Sandwich

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

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Do not be deceived by the menu of add-ons at Kitchen Kulture’s THE KART stand at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market. There is only one way to order The Classic Breakfast Sandwich: with everything. Thick, soft slices of sourdough bread are sprinkled with sea salt and topped with sharp cheddar, a fried farm egg, crisp strips of applewood-smoked bacon and a drizzle of local honey. The whole salty-sweet-rich extravagance is drenched in butter and griddled. Ignore the $12 price tag – no basic breakfast would get us up this early on a Saturday morning.

Kitchen Kulture’s The Kart, Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, Tower Grove Park, kounterkulturestl.com

Photo by Carmen Troesser 

First Look: Center Ice Brewery in Midtown

Friday, July 21st, 2017

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It’s blistering hot outside, but Center Ice Brewery is keeping things cool in Midtown. The hockey-themed brewery opened today, July 21 at 3126 Olive St., just a couple doors down from Pappy’s Smokehouse and Southern.

As The Scoop reported in August 2016, Center Ice is the brainchild of owner-brewer Steve Albers. “I’ve been playing hockey since I was a kiddo. It’s in my blood,” Albers said. “Breweries represent the brewer’s personality – and that’s me.”

The 5,000-square-foot brewery features reclaimed materials from the old St. Louis Arena – the wood bar and tables in the 2,000-square-foot main bar area used to make up the arena’s roof, and the old penalty box door can be found as a photo-op box adjacent to Center Ice’s brewing equipment. The brewing floor is separated from customers by a low rink wall, which also curves around a private event space that will accommodate 30 to 40 people and offers 10 private taps.

A long time homebrewer, Albers planned to open with three of his own brews along with supplemental taps from area breweries like Main & Mill and Charleville Brewing Co. Center Ice’s opening lineup includes Golden Contract (an American golden ale contract brewed with Charleville), Hop Shelf IPA (a West Coast-inspired IPA) and Off Season Saison (a light, summery example of the style).

Albers said he chose approachable styles to open, but plans on starting a berry series made with fresh fruit and other more unusual beers soon. “With so many beers out there, you should set yourself apart and make something exciting,” he said.

Center Ice is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Louis’ first hockey-themed brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Heather Hughes is managing editor, print at Sauce Magazine.

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What I Do: Logan Ely at Square1 Project

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

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Chef Logan Ely doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he’s figuring it out. A St. Louis native, Ely moved back in February after stints at James Beard Award-winning restaurants like Blue Hill in New York City and Pass & Provisions in Houston, to name a few.

He started his underground dinner series, Square1 Project, while looking for a permanent restaurant space. With a propensity for fermented flavors and radically sustainable ingredients – think weaver ants, not just local produce – he serves unique, 14-course tasting menus prepared with minimal equipment and limited resources. He might just know more than he’s letting on.

 

“I had zero money. I had a couple friends who I knew would help me and be a part of it, but I had zero vendors. I was like, ‘Oh, shit. How are we going to do this?’ That’s square one: I know I need tables and chairs. I know I need to get a good credit card and max that thing out. I didn’t want help. I wanted to build this up to something … find my voice. I think it’s the same thing with a writer or a painter. You need a venue to write and get better at what you do, and this is what that is for me – and us, I should say. That’s Square1 Project.”

“Cooking is such a hard thing to do and dedicate your life to. To me, it has to mean something. It’s gotta be important. It’s not enough to just open a restaurant and be like, okay now I want to get an award or two. … I certainly wouldn’t call myself an activist at all, but I’m in that realm of, ‘Hey, it’s OK to eat insects, and look – I can make this taste really good, and it’s sustainable, and you get to support this woman in Denver that’s really trying to do this thing.’ [Wendy Lu McGill, from Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch] is an activist. She’s out doing speeches and all that stuff. I think that’s where I see this whole project, restaurant, team going.”

“I’m not going to hand you a bowl of maggots or anything. You won’t even probably see the bugs. Right now I have a garum, a fish sauce, going with crickets and a miso that will take 10 weeks with weaver ants. It’s not gross. I wish I had some on me – I’ve been giving people tastes. When the vendors come by I’m like, ‘Here, taste this.’”

“It’s not like a chef comes into a kitchen and writes a menu and teaches a cook how to do it and that’s it. It’s like, ‘Hey, the fish delivery didn’t show up,’ or, ‘Hey, there’s a gas leak,’ or, ‘This thing caught on fire,’ or, ‘The health inspector is going to shut us down unless this is fixed.’ It’s literally that every single day. It’s the unglamorous part of the gig. It’s what all these Netflix shows don’t show – the chef in the back trying to fix the oven.”

“[North Pond in Chicago] was the first restaurant I worked at where it was so hard, I hated every day of it. Nothing was ever right that I did, nothing was ever good enough. I wasn’t fast enough. I wasn’t clean enough. I was terrible. I had stomachaches every day. … And then, a year-and-a-half goes by, and you realize, ‘I’m way better than my first day.’ The chef [Bruce Sherman] pulled me outside and was like, ‘Hey, good job. You did really well. I pushed you really hard and you were there every step of the way and you grew a lot and I’m really proud of you.’ That was huge.”

“There’s always those things you don’t learn as a cook. Anything fermented, you don’t get a lot of in kitchens – most health departments or inspectors don’t like to see that shit around. So when we were in New York, me and my buddy decided we should know how to do charcuterie. So we started fermenting meat, and we ended up with like seven refrigerators full in our Brooklyn apartment – it was hilarious. He actually now owns a butcher shop in Brooklyn.”

“I get bored very easily. We’ll put something on the menu, and four weeks later I’m like, ‘Oh my God, that’s so embarrassing. I can’t believe we were actually serving that.’”

“At a successful restaurant, the chefs work more hours than the cooks. Dan [Barber, chef at Blue Hill] is a good example. Between the two restaurants, writing his book, doing TED Talks and all this stuff. He’s an awesome dude, very smart, but he’s working his ass off. He’s doing so much stuff. I think that’s inspiring, and it keeps you going if you’re having a hard night or a rough week.”

Book your reservation at Square1 Project, Twitter: @Square1_Project, Instagram: @square1_project

Photo by Ashley Gieseking

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First Look: Pizza Head on South Grand

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

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{ Pizza Head chef-owner Scott Sandler }

 

Scott Sandler, best known for his vegetarian Neapolitan pizzeria Pizzeoli, is putting the finishing touches on his latest pizza project, Pizza Head. As The Scoop reported in January Sandler took over the space at 3196 S. Grand Ave., the former home of Absolutli Goosed and Brickyard Tavern. The new restaurant will serve up New York-style pies to the sounds of classic punk music when it opens in early May.

The menu features cheese, white and vegan 20-inch pizzas with a short list of vegetarian toppings. With just one salad and a handful of drinks, the barebones menu is focused on pizza specials. An enormous cheese pizza and four 16-ounce cans of Stag are available for $25, or snag two foldable slices and a pint for $8.

“The great thing about this pizza is it’s great warmed up,” Sandler said. “Reheated it’s almost better.” He hopes about half the business will be carryout and plans to partner with Postmates to offer delivery.

Pizza Head will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, starting around the first week of May with a possible soft opening next week. Here’s a first look at what to expect on South Grand’s newest place to grab a slice:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Heather Hughes is managing editor, print at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Pizzeoli owner to open Pizza Head on South Grand

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DTWE: Schlafly’s Dr. Kentucky’s Concoction from his Curious Cabinet Batch No. 40004

Friday, April 7th, 2017

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Get a sneak peek of Schlafly’s Art Outside festival when you pick up the fourth installment of the brewery’s Artist Series. “This is an area where we can step outside the norm a bit,” said brand specialist Wil Rogers.

Local artist Noah MacMillan worked with a team at Schlafly to develop the beer and illustrate branding for the special release with an absurdly long name: Dr. Kentucky’s Concoction from his Curious Cabinet Batch No. 40004. 

The beer, available in 750-milliliter bottles, is a riff on a whiskey buck cocktail: a golden ale flavored with ginger root, lime juice and bourbon-barrel chips. If you grab a bottle with a tag, hold onto it until Memorial Day weekend. Some will win a free gift from a curious cabinet at Schlafly’s Art Outside Festival May 28 to 26.

Of course, the beer itself is the real golden ticket: bright and bubbly with a subtle zip of ginger, we’re crushing some this weekend. Dr. Kentucky’s Concoction from his Curious Cabinet Batch No. 40004 is available at local bottle shops and groceries.

Photo by Heather Hughes

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Hit List: 3 places you must try this April

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

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1. Vicia: 4260 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9239, viciarestaurant.com

After more than a year of anticipation, pop-ups and special events, doors have finally opened at Vicia in the Cortex Innovation Community. Veterans of New York’s acclaimed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, owners Michael and Tara Gallina focus on vegetable-forward, seasonally driven cuisine. To that end, the menu is flexible, letting farm-fresh ingredients dictate the day’s dishes. Take a leisurely lunch break at Vicia’s sun-drenched dining room to mix-and-match from a short list of meticulous dishes. Our tartine featured a thick slice of house-made porridge bread topped with butternut squash sofrito, marinated kale and oyster mushrooms, while the grain salad tucked a mix of wheat berries, rye and farro under shaved carrots, daikon and a rainbow of radishes with dollops of goat cheese sauce and pesto made from radish and turnip tops. Indulge with a quiche – ours included earthy shiitake mushrooms, spinach and leeks nestled in a fluffy, rich filling – but don’t forget to save room for dessert. A buttery turnover shattered at first bite, revealing sweet kumquat and ricotta. At press time, only lunch service was available, but based on that experience, we’ll eagerly make our dinner reservations.

 

2. Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade: 2236 First Capitol Drive, St. Charles, 636.224.8626, twoplumbers.com

Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade is as simple as a place named for Mario and Luigi should be: just 10 taps and more than 30 arcade games. The 21-and-older brewery currently offers a couple of its beers (keep an eye out for Ermac Irish red IPA and Braunenmantel American brown ale) and is brewing more to add alongside taps pouring the likes of Schlafly, Founders and Crown Valley. Bring in food (or order a Dan O’s frozen pizza from the bar), grab a pour and drop some quarters to play old-school favorites like Dungeons & Dragons, Time Crisis II and, of course, Super Mario Bros.

 

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3. Snax Gastrobar: 3500 Watson Road, St. Louis, 314.353.9463, snaxstl.com

And now for something completely different from the minds behind Robust Wine Bar. Instead of extensive wine lists and small plates, fill up with comfort food at Snax Gastrobar. Try the messy, delectable burger (two smash patties piled with cheese, bacon, a mayo-based Snax Sauce and the usual accoutrements), or pick up the Reuben, featuring a balance of house-cured smoked pastrami and sauerkraut. Prefer a knife and fork? Order the simple roasted chicken; a boned breast is seared for crisp skin and juicy, tender meat, all piled atop braised beans with rich shiitake mushrooms and bright lemon-garlic jus.

 

Photos by Michelle Volansky

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DTWE: 3 tea-infused cocktails to try at Retreat Gastropub

Friday, March 31st, 2017

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 { Creole Colada at Retreat Gastropub }

 

When Retreat Gastropub bar manager Tim Wiggins comes up with a tea-themed cocktail menu, it’s going to be more than boozy glasses of your grandma’s finest.

“A lot of people hate tea,” Wiggins said. “These don’t taste like tea cocktails – they taste like cocktails with unusual elements.” The menu ranges from sweet and fruity to spicy and savory, balancing bold, unexpected flavors in strange-sounding, but highly drinkable cocktails.

1. If you like earthy flavors, the Parasol Shade combines the lush funkiness of Wray & Nephew overproof rum with a rooibos tea Wiggins said tastes like rich soil, all brightened by white rum, mango, cream and lime. The overproof rum’s raisin notes meet the mango’s sunnier sweetness, grounded by cream and a lively zip of lime on the finish. The complex combination is balanced – you’ll keep sipping as you try to figure it out.

2. If you like juicy and floral, try the tiki-inspired Creole Colada. Sweet, fresh pineapple juice and coconut cream are tempered by a full ounce of Peychaud’s bitters, Jamaican aged rum and an infusion of hibiscus and lemongrass. The drink is finished with a spray of hibiscus-infused absinthe and a sprinkle of nutmeg. A creamy pink, it looks throat-coating sweet, but it goes down easy with a hint of herbal spice and a pleasantly tart finish.

3. If you like vegetal drinks, order the Bells and Whistles. The savory, subtly sweet flavors of orange and yellow peppers are paired with Cana Brava rum infused with fragrant, tannic jasmine, along with green tea, honey-like white port and amontillado. Finished with a hint of lemon La Croix and garnished with a lemon wheel, it has a bright acidity and savory sweetness.

Photo by Meera Nagarajan

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Sneak Peek: Vicia in Midtown

Monday, March 20th, 2017

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More than a year after announcing their move to St. Louis, Michael and Tara Gallina’s highly anticipated Vicia opens for lunch this Wednesday, March 22 in the Cortex Innovation District at 4260 Forest Park Ave. Dinner service will debut on Tuesday, March 28.

The Gallinas, both alums of the internationally acclaimed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, made news in October 2015 when they announced a return to Michael Gallina’s hometown to open a seasonally driven, vegetable-forward restaurant where he would serve as executive chef and Tara Gallina as general manager.

The 2,500-square-foot space features a 14-seat bar, an exposed kitchen and a covered patio, all separated from the main dining room by walls of windows. The patio is bookended by a lounge area with more casual seating on one end and an enormous wood-fired grill on the other.

“I’d love to have that thing covered with meat and vegetables basically all day,” said Michael Gallina. His menu incorporates meat as a condiment more than main attraction and features vegetables as the unexpected stars of Vicia’s dishes. He plans to utilize the grill for everything from slowly cooking large cuts of meat to burying vegetables in the coals for unique charred sauces.

Lunch will consist of soups, salads, sandwiches and tartines with pick-two and pick-three options, supplemented by sweet treats from executive pastry chef Summer Wright. “The menu will not be set at all,” said Gallina, who plans to print offerings daily.

Though some dishes will have the same general structure – like a grain salad made with fruits or vegetables, goat cheese and vegetable-top pesto – the specific ingredients will depend on what the restaurant gets day-to-day from area farmers.

Dinner will have a more varied menu of bite-sized snacks, shareable plates and entrees. “I want it to change as much as we can,” Gallina said. “I’m holding off to see what’s available next week.” The restaurant also plans to eventually offer a tasting menu.

Vicia will be open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. When it begins next week, dinner service will be Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect from one of this year’s most anticipated new restaurants:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

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The Scoop: Gallinas to open Vicia in The Cortex

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Sneak Peek: Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade in St. Charles

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

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Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade officially opens doors this Saturday, March 18, at 2236 First Capitol Drive in St. Charles. As The Scoop reported in December 2016, Two Plumbers is the brainchild of owner Robert Schowengerdt and head brewer John Simon. “I was trying to figure out a way to make an arcade make money,” Schowengerdt said. “I know how to pour a beer and I knew this guy (Simon).”

The 21-and-older brewery will offer two of its beers at opening, the Ermac Irish Red IPA and Braunenmantel American brown ale. “All our beer names will be nerd references of some kind,” Schowengerdt said. Simon is hoping to add a honey blonde and a few other beers soon.

The bar has 10 taps supplemented by breweries like Logboat Brewing Co., Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., Schlafly and Great Divide Brewing Co., as well as one cider and a few wine options. Customers are welcome to bring in food, or order a Dan O’s frozen pizza from the bar. “We’re not complicated,” Schowengerdt said. “It’s pretty much just beer and video games.”

The 80-seat space includes more than 30 arcade games with classics like “Donkey Kong” and “Super Mario Bros.,” and old school favorites like “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Time Crisis II.”

Regular hours will be Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Saturday from noon to 1:30 a.m. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when doors open at St. Charles’ newest brewery:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: Guide to Beer 2017 

• Guide to Beer 2017: Class of 2017

The Scoop: Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade to open in St. Charles

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