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Sep 03, 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘Joel Clark’

Sneak Peek: The Purple Martin

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Purple Martin is opening its doors at 2800 Shenendoah Ave., for a public soft opening tonight, March 19 at 8 p.m., featuring drinks and some samples from the restaurant and bar’s food menu.

Can’t make it tonight? No problem. We’ve got the Sneak Peek on Fox Park’s newest bar and restaurant.

Owner Brooke Roseberry explained that her Mediterranean-inspired bistro is named after the North American swallow, purple martin – a bird that lives in communities and doesn’t nest independently. “It’s a perfect metaphor for community building,” said Roseberry, noting the lack of Fox Park businesses she hopes her restaurant will change. “Purple martins are completely dependent on people to survive,” she said. Because of the swallow’s over-domestication, the eastern variety of the bird must rely on man-made birdhouses for shelter.

Incidentally, general manager D.J. Huchzermeier said purple martins should migrate through St. Louis this week as it flies from north from South America. “It’s serendipitous,” he said.

On The Purple Martin’s menu, developed by Roseberry’s husband Tony Lagouranis, expect to find around four appetizers, three salads, five entrees and some flatbreads. Joel Clark, formerly of Mission Taco Joint and Sanctuaria, has readied the bar menu, which will feature 10 cocktails along with local bottled beer (Roseberry hopes to add taps in the future.) and wines by the glass. Among wine offerings, look for six reds, seven whites, one sparkling and one rosé.

With space for 85 seats inside and 32 on the patio, The Purple Martin will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 4 p.m. to midnight.  The kitchen will serve dinner from 5 to 10 p.m., and down the road, the restaurant hopes to add a Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Here’s what’s in store at The Purple Martin:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

-photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: Blank Space to expand on Cherokee Street

Friday, February 14th, 2014

021414_blankspace

 

Blank Space, a community arts and event space at 2847 Cherokee St., will soon color its empty canvas with an expanded beverage program following renovations this spring.

Currently, Blank Space patrons can sip pour over coffees, experience gong fu-style tea service and alcoholic beverages at its main bar. Owner Kaveh Razani wants to renovate the second floor and basement to add more event space, bars and seating. He plans to turn the second floor into an airy, “off-the-beaten-path” bar that will include small batch spirits, beer and wine. Updates to the basement could transform Blank Space from a relaxed speakeasy one night to a music venue the next night. “The whole Blank Space mentality is that we are a blank canvas for anyone to come in and experiment,” Razani said.

Bartender Joel Clark is spearheading the new beverage program. Clark, who has experience at Sanctuaria and Mission Taco Joint, said a rotating featured cocktail list will be “very ambitious and very ambiguous” and fit the all-encompassing nature of Blank Space.

Razani has also updated Blank Space’s kitchen to allow for culinary collaboration, too, with the potential for pop-up concepts and guest chefs. While he is open to the idea of a permanent chef, he stressed that any food offerings would change frequently, allowing that person to experiment with seasonal ingredients.

The Blank Space renovations are just one of many changes and additions to the burgeoning Cherokee Street community. As reported by Thomas Crone of St. Louis Magazine, the start of this year also marked the opening of Los Punk at 2709 Cherokee St., an event space and restaurant offering international street food-style dishes. Los Punk joins the ranks alongside Athlete Eats and soon-to-open Yaqui’s on Cherokee and Craft Art Bar.

 

 

 

The Scoop: It’s nearly mission accomplished for Mission Taco

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Last summer, restaurateurs Adam and Jason Tilford announced their plans to open Mission Taco Joint. Renovations are moving along inside the former home of Delmar Lounge at 6235 Delmar Blvd., and the Tilford brothers are aiming to unlock doors during the last week of February.

With opening day just weeks away, Jason gave The Scoop a peek at a draft version of the food menu he developed. The tightly focused menu begins with a handful of shared appetizers. Highlights include crab taquitos as well as roasted mushrooms with huitlachoche, goat cheese and arugula presented in a fried corn masa base called a huarache. A la carte tacos include popular choices such as baja fish and carne asada, but Mission gets creative with quite a few others, such as the chile-roasted duck with crisp pork belly and avocado serrano sauce. The menu also beckons for vegetarians with options like a roasted cactus taco or one featuring the local product Mofu tofu. The restaurant will feature giant Mission-style burritos wrapped in house-made tortillas, plus tortas served on telera rolls from Diana’s Bakery. Diners looking for a square meal can round things out with side dishes like fire-grilled vegetable quinoa and chayote calabacitas.

Joel Clark, who recently departed from Sanctuaria, will be helming the beverage program. Clark stated that the bar at Mission Taco Joint will be “a very culinary bar,” explaining that “as many fresh ingredients the kitchen is going to get, I’m going to get the same.” The focus on fresh will be seen in the likes of numerous flavors of agua fresca and horchata, available in virgin form or as alcoholic beverages. In addition, he plans on aligning beverages – not just cocktails, but also beer and wine – with the food. “I’m going to work really closely with the kitchen,” he commented. Clark, who’s been part of a local movement in progressive bartending, plans to continue in that direction, preparing house-made ingredients like syrups and shrubs (No flavored vodkas, sorry.) and noted that the Mission bartending crew will be quite capable of crafting classic cocktails. “I want [the bar] to be an extension of [the kitchen] as well as a bar on its own,” Clark said.

The Scoop: A round of bartending news

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013



With beverage programs holding their weight against food menus these days, it’s not enough to simply keep up with what the chefs around town are up to. A trio of talented area bartenders are doing some moving and shaking worthy of notice.

Jamie Kilgore, the bartender at Cielo Bar and Restaurant whose face adorned the December cover of Sauce magazine and whose drinking advice got us through the holiday season, has given notice that she will be leaving the downtown restaurant inside The Four Seasons-St. Louis. Kilgore will be joining her husband, Ted Kilgore of Taste, as part of his new project, The Plantar’s House, a cocktail bar targeted to open mid-year.

Also, Jason Reed, who has worked behind the stick at Salt and briefly at newly opened Basso at The Cheshire, will be leaving Salt to develop the cocktail program for the recently announced Table.

Table is the communal dining restaurant to be located in Benton Park in the space formerly occupied by The Stable. Chef Cassy Vires and her husband Josh Renbarger of Home Wine Kitchen are behind that project and hope to have doors open by June.

Finally, Joel Clark (pictured) has left Sanctuaria. Clark, who jumped aboard the bar train at Sanctuaria more than two years ago, informed The Scoop that his final day at the restaurant was December 20. While Clark plans to remain a member of the St. Louis bartending community, his plans are still to be determined.

— photo by Jonathan Gayman

Drink This Weekend Edition: Trick or treat? Can you get tell me how to get a drink on Sesame Street?

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Politics makes for Halloween fodder. Last year, my own son dressed as a down-and-out Wall Street occupier. This year, we’ve heard about the run on Big Bird costumes, what with the poor creature from peace-loving Sesame Street having been surreptitiously caught in the middle of a battle between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. The affable character’s wings are getting yanked so hard on both sides; he might just get his big yellow flappers ripped off.

Kill Big Bird? Now that would be a topsy-turvy world. But so is one where Big Bird sets down his teddy bear, Radar, and picks up a cocktail. Then again, Halloween is about make-believe, so you can pretend the night away on this particular holiday. And at that Halloween party, be sure that when you raise a glass of Big Bird Punch, you toast the 42-years-and-running TV show that most likely defined your childhood and taught you bipartisanship, otherwise known as getting along. (Editor’s note: Neither this article nor this drink has been endorsed or approved by the Children’s Television Workshop.)

Big Bird Punch
Courtesy of Sanctuaria’s Joel Clark
20 4-oz. servings

30 oz. Hayman’s Old Tom gin
15 oz. lemon juice
15 oz. pineapple juice
7½ oz. Yellow Chartreuse
7½ oz. cinnamon syrup (recipe follows)
Yellow pansies (optional garnish)

• Combine all of the ingredients in a large container and dilute with ice to taste.
• Once the punch reaches the desired dilution, strain it from the leftover ice and either transfer it to a large punch bowl and serve, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
• For added yellow color, float yellow pansies or other edible flowers in the punch bowl.

Cinnamon syrup

5 cinnamon sticks
10 oz. water
1 cup sugar

• Break each cinnamon stick into 3 sections crosswise.
• Combine all of the ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil.
• Once the liquid reaches a boil, immediately remove it from heat and let it sit for 20 minutes.
• Discard the cinnamon sticks.
• Strain the syrup through a colander lined with cheesecloth into a bowl.

Note: This recipe yields slightly more syrup than the amount called for in Big Bird Punch, but when preparing the punch, be sure to only use 7½ ounces.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Where to sip Cardinal Sin

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Area bartenders are eager to shake and stir local, quality products into their cocktails. When it comes to vodka, they’re giving a nod to Cardinal Sin, a small-batch vodka that St. Louis Distillery launched a few months ago.

Like many vodkas, Cardinal Sin is crisp and clean. Contrary to many unflavored vodkas, though, it has a full-bodied, almost buttery mouth feel. According to distiller Greg Deters, the artisan spirit is achieved thanks in part to the recipe (that uses a mash bill of Midwestern malted corn and northern plains barley) but also to the advanced technology of his still.

“We’re able to, with one distillation, get the heads, hearts and tails more precisely separated,” explained Deters. Through batch distillation instead of continuous distillation, he said, “Once the still does its work, we can manually go in and more accurately slice off the tails and heads.”

Thus, Cardinal Sin vodka reaches its purest form the first time it passes through the still (unlike the four, five, six or more times that many vodka producers like to tout these days), yet it still retains the flavor and aroma that give it character.

Earlier this week, a handful of bartenders assembled at vodka haven SubZero in the Central West End to hear Deters discuss the operations at St. Louis Distillery and to share a few Cardinal Sin-inspired libations. Looking to taste what the pros concocted? Here are three places where you can sin with pleasure this weekend.

At SubZero, bar manager Dustin Parres has created The Homegrown Sin (pictured, center). Parres’ garden-fresh libation includes Cardinal Sin, Thatcher’s organic elderflower liqueur and a house-made cucumber syrup topped with club soda and a cucumber garnish. At Salt, Matt Obermark is offering the Spiced Collins (pictured, left). For this summery, sprightly Collins, Obermark combines Cardinal Sin with another local product, The Big O ginger liqueur, along with house-made honey syrup, lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters and a splash of club soda. Want something boozier? Try Essential Sin (pictured, right): a vodka martini created by Joel Clark of Sanctuaria. Clark uses a three-to-one ratio of Cardinal Sin vodka and dry vermouth, then he adds depth of flavor with orange bitters and a dash of house-made brown butter sage liqueur before garnishing the drink with an orange twist.

If three sins aren’t enough for you, Deters mentioned that St. Louis Distillery will soon be looking for local bartenders to create cocktails inspired by each of the seven cardinal sins. Get ready to go to confession.

Drinks by three St. Louis Bartenders named among 101 best new cocktails of 2012

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Congratulations to three area bartenders whose drinks were selected by bartending legend Gaz Regan to be among the 101 Best New Cocktails of 2012. Ted Kilgore of Taste by Niche, TJ Vytlacil of Blood & Sand and Joel Clark of Sanctuaria each submitted drink recipes that impressed Regan enough to make the final cut.

While the cocktails themselves have yet to be announced, the list of the bartenders who concocted these tasty beverages is posted on the Ardent Spirits website that Regan hosts. Each of the winning drink recipes will be published in Gaz Regan’s 101 Best New Cocktails 2012, which should be available in mid- to late June. Regan has written a bevy of beloved cocktail books including The Bartender’s Bible, The Joy of Mixology and The Bartender’s Gin Compendium.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Sanctuaria taps into kegged cocktails

Friday, October 28th, 2011

102711_drinkthisTap handles aren’t just for beer anymore. Earlier this month, we reported that keg wine is headed to St. Louis and will make its first appearance at Sasha’s on Shaw, followed by Green Bean in the Central West End. Now, it’s cocktails’ turn to get drafted.

Last week, a new drink menu rolled out at cocktail haven Sanctuaria, including two cocktails on tap. Bartender Joel Clark explained that bringing ‘tails to the tap handle involved batching up enough cocktails to fit inside a 4.5 gallon stainless steel soda keg. The cocktails were then put on ice, just as they would have been if shaken or strained when served individually. Clark tested the mixed drinks as the ice diluted and removed the ice once the cocktails had reached a balanced flavor. Both kegs, which are kept under refrigeration at 38 degrees, were then connected to the taps. Each keg has two hook-up lines, one that brings carbon dioxide to the keg; the other connects to the tap handle. So, has that bit of carbonation changed the character of the cocktail? Not according to Clark. “I have been testing it every day for the last week. It is consistent to me.”

Among the two cocktails, I enjoyed the Uncommon Ground (pictured) for its fall flavors. The drink, which is served up, combines Scotch, cognac, cinnamon syrup, Malbec, passion fruit juice and baked apple bitters. Apple and cinnamon tickle the tongue, and overall, Uncommon Ground tastes of an earthy punch or sangria with a splash of port, which feels quite right on a chilly autumn night.

Four Ways from Sunday is a mixture of Purus vodka, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice and Orchard Pear liqueur. Served tall with crushed ice and topped with club soda and a lemon wedge, this long drink may be familiar to regulars at Sanctuaria since Four Ways from Sunday is really just a tweak to Blonde Ambition – No. 93 on the Sanctuaria Cocktail Club menu, that combines vodka, cinnamon syrup, lemon juice and club soda. The mild-mannered cocktail is a nice seasonal transition sipper that vodka drinkers will especially enjoy.

Sanctuaria launches monthly social Cocktails by Candlelight

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

12611_cbycRevelers who rang in the new year at Sanctuaria will remember how “The Great Blackout, ” which caused power loss throughout much of the area, resulted in a most memorable evening at the restaurant on Manchester in The Grove. No electricity? No worries. Chef Wil Pelly cooked by bunson burner and on a grill outside. The staff grabbed candles and, recalled Sanctuaria bartender Joel Clark, “The place looked fabulous.” So, fabulous, in fact, that they are making no-electricity night a monthly occurrence.

Cocktails by Candlelight will be an evening of all-inclusive food and cocktails. The event will be held the last Monday of every month, running from 7 p.m. until midnight, with Feb. 28 slated for the debut. Cocktails by Candlelight will only be open to members of the recently created Sanctuaria Cocktail Club and to St. Louis chapter members of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild. (Members of either are entitled to bring one guest.) For the February festivities, Cuban beef stew and snacks will be in the offering, and among drinks, patrons will find a punch and a selection of five cocktails to choose from.

The cost for the evening is $30 for Cocktail Club members, $35 for USBG members and for guests of members. Reservations are required. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit nonprofit coffeehouse Urban Studio Café to support their community service efforts in north St. Louis City.

The Scoop: Joel Clark jumps behind Sancturia’s bar

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

110410_sanctuariaSanctuaria’s recent hiring of Joel Clark brings Pi’s talented bar manager to the wild tapas eatery in The Grove. As lead bartender, Clark told Sauce that he’ll be supporting bar manager Matt Seiter who has been running ragged shaking up original cocktails like Wascally Wabbit, The Prince of Jalisco and 47th Ward while also grabbing fresh herbs, flowers and vegetables from Sanctuaria’s patio. Somewhere in-between, he’s found time to turn out infusions and other crafty concoctions.

With Clark and his six years of experience behind the bar, Seiter will be freed up to “create more tinctures and bitters and get out on the floor to talk with customers,” said Clark. Considering Seiter’s penchant to create and educate – after all, he was a teacher once upon a time – plus Clark’s affinity toward “classic simplicity” and “boozyness,” as he stated during a previous interview with Sauce, we’d agree with Clark that he and Seiter “will be a good pair.” You can find Clark behind Sanctuaria’s bar beginning next week.

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