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Jan 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Poletti’

First Look: Louie on DeMun Avenue

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

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St. Louis restaurant veteran Matt McGuire is almost ready to open doors at Louie as soon as Tuesday, Dec. 5.

As The Scoop reported in November 2016, the former King Louie’s owner announced he was taking over part of 706 Demun Ave., in Clayton, the space that used to house Jimmy’s on the Park. The 2,800-square-foot space  underwent a significant makeover and now features custom wallpaper, a 21-seat bar and shelving units constructed from old post boxes. Louie’s focal point is a massive wood-fired oven at the back of the restaurant, where house pizzas are fired each night.

McGuire tapped head chef Sean Turner and chef de cuisine Josh Poletti to helm the tight, Italian-inspired menu. Dishes will rotate frequently, featuring small plates, pizzas, a house pasta or two and a few meatier mains. Turner and Poletti developed simple dishes relying on quality produce and careful execution, like charred broccolini with a Calabrian vinaigrette.

 

McGuire’s passion for wine is evident in the bar program, where around 55 Italian varietals are available by the bottle and a dozen or so by the glass. Local bartender Samm McCullough designed the aperitif-focused cocktail menu featuring classics like a Negroni, a spritz and an Old Pal. One tap pours Bells Amber Ale, and easy-drinking bottles and cans round out the beer selection.

Louie’s will start with dinner service Monday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from DeMun’s newest restaurant when it opens next week.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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• Matt McGuire to open Louie in former Jimmy’s on the Park space

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• Jimmy’s on the Park closes after more than two decades

The Scoop: Gerard Craft to open second Pastaria in Nashville

Friday, November 6th, 2015

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Niche Food Group chef-owner Gerard Craft announced today, Nov. 6, that he will open a second location of his Italian eatery Pastaria in Nashville in summer 2016. This will be Craft’s sixth restaurant and his first outside of the St. Louis area.

Craft said he has been looking for the right expansion opportunity for two years. “Our company is growing, and it’s been ready to expand, but we want to make sure we’re taking the right steps and growing with the right people,” he said. “We’re been spending a little more time (in Nashville) … and (the west end) seems like an area that had a lot of potential.”

Craft is dispatching St. Louis talent to helm the Nashville kitchen; Josh Poletti will take on the role of executive chef. Poletti was a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2014 and joined the Niche Food Group team earlier this year.

The Nashville location at 8 C1TY Blvd., will feature a similar menu of house-made fresh pastas, sauces and wood-fired pizzas as the Clayton location. Grab-and-go options like jarred sauce, gelato and dried pasta will also be available.

At home in The Lou, the James Beard Award-winning chef is putting the finishing touches on Porano, his fast-casual Italian concept set to open downtown at 634 Washington Ave. Craft said he hopes to host a soft open for that restaurant in late November or early December.

 

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

 

The Scoop: The Libertine’s Josh Galliano to join Companion Bakery, Schlafly chef Matt Bessler to replace Galliano

Monday, June 15th, 2015

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Executive chef Josh Galliano is leaving The Libertine and joining the bread-baking crew at Companion beginning June 22. Galliano’s last day at the Clayton eatery, which he has helmed since it opened in May 2013, is this Thursday, June 18.

“I’m going to be … learning the ins and outs of everything they do,” Galliano said, noting his recent fascination with fermentation. “It’s stuff I want to know about. This allows me to delve into (bread baking) more and to do it with training wheels on because these guys are pros at it.”

Companion owner Josh Allen likened Galliano’s position to that of a bread production manager. In addition to his interest in baking and food science, Allen said Galliano also brings “tremendous leadership skills and a great mentoring ability” to Companion. He also said Galliano’s skills as a chef will be used when Companion moves to a larger facility in Maryland Heights Sept. 1.

The new location will have an educational center with a baking school and a full-service bakery and cafe. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for both of us,” Allen said. “(Josh) is always posting pictures on Instagram about baking bread, and he’s kind of a science geek at heart.”

Galliano’s departure means that Matt Bessler, former chef at Schlafly Bottleworks will helm the kitchen at The Libertine. Bessler, a longtime friend of co-owners Nick and Audra Luedde, started his career at Schlafly in 2000 and worked his way from prep cook to chef with an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine.

“Josh knew for months that he was going to move on to Companion,” said Nick Luedde, who wished Galliano well in his future endeavors. “Ultimately we’re a family restaurant and a close team … (Bessler) will be true to the heart of The Libertine.”

The Libertine kitchen will also see the departure of chef de cuisine Josh Poletti, who confirmed he is leaving for another opportunity. His last day is also June 18. However, sous chef William Volny will stay on to work with Bessler on the new menu, which Luedde said will change from “fine dining where people can only afford to eat once a month to a place where the neighborhood can come out once a week and not burn a hole in their pocketbooks.”

Bessler’s new menu will include a more traditional format – appetizers, entrees and sides – and also feature sharable items that can serve two to 20.

 

Ligaya Figueras, Kristin Schultz and Catherine Klene contributed to this report.

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