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Oct 20, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Lafayette Square’

First Look: Baileys’ Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square

Friday, August 4th, 2017

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Earlier this summer, restaurateur Dave Bailey announced he would shut down Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, at 1915 Park Ave., in Lafayette Square, and reopen the space as two new, completely separate entities – a new version of Chocolate Bar and a Cajun-Creole restaurant called L’ Acadiane.

The later is still a work in progress (look for an opening later this month), but the new Baileys’ Chocolate Bar reopened yesterday, Aug. 3, after just three weeks of frenzied activity.

The latest incarnation of Chocolate Bar is located on the second floor of the building. The space features a separate lounge area in front of the bar with a larger dining room in the back of the space, for a total of around 70 seats. The more vibrant colors of the original interior have been replaced with muted tones of black, white, green and gray, and the kitchen, which formerly served as a backup, has been expanded to support the space solo.

Subtle accents abound, such as the white marble bar top that matches the tables, and the Spanish tiles that adorn the front of the bar. The overall feel is a cross between a refined French bistro and a Victorian parlor, a vibe Bailey said makes for a perfect date night.

In addition to the space, the menu has received a complete overhaul as well. Guests can choose between a couple of cheese boards and an array of desserts, as well as dessert cocktails like Lavender, a mix of Hayman’s Old Tom gin infused with cocoa nibs and maraschino liqueur.

A tight list of beer, wine and spirits are also available, and the bartenders can replicate some old favorites from the first Chocolate Bar era, like the chocolate martinis, or any favorite classic cocktails, upon request.

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday. Bailey said to look for lunch and brunch service in the future as well.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Dave Bailey announces new concept, L’Acadiane

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

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Dave Bailey has tackled burgers, breakfast and a vegetarian whiskey bar, and now he’s adding a Cajun and Creole eatery to his restaurant portfolio.

As Sauce reported last month, the space that formerly housed Baileys’ Chocolate Bar at 1915 Park Ave., in Lafayette Square is undergoing some changes. The Chocolate Bar is being relocated to the second floor, and a new restaurant has been announced on the lower level: L’ Acadiane, a nod to the Acadiana region in southern Louisiana, which will feature Cajun and Creole fare.

“We’ve got the menu down, the drink menu down,” said Bailey. “We did a really big construction push over the past week. All those decisions are done and the place is at punch list time now. We’ll spend the next three weeks hiring and training and getting ready to open up.”

The rotating menu will feature approximately 15 items, all focused on the region. The initial menu will feature items like house boudin corn dogs with cucumber relish and remoulade, a trio of po’boys, and larger entrees like fried chicken and jambalaya. Cocktails will have a southern bent as well, including takes on regional favorites like the Sazerac and the Hurricane.

Bailey said he hopes to have the doors to L’ Acadiane open by Aug. 23 or Aug. 30. He said the Chocolate Bar should reopen at the end of July with revamped food and drink menus.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Polite Society in Lafayette Square

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

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Polite Society quietly opened in the in Lafayette Square at 1923 Park Ave. on March 23. As The Scoop reported in October 2016, co-owners Jonathan Schoen and Brian Schmitz have spent nearly a year renovating the former home of Ricardo’s, which closed in 2015 after 26 years in business.

Schoen and Schmitz met in the late ’90s as servers at Bar Italia. Since then Schoen opened Savor in the Central West End, as well as restaurants at The Cheshire, while Schmitz opened The Grind coffee house and Sol Lounge. When the 3,000-square-foot space on Park Avenue became available, they leapt at the chance to open a restaurant together.

The co-owners collaborated with executive chef Thomas Futrell, most recently of Scape, to create a menu of appetizers, snacks, salads and entrees that can easily accommodate palates and dietary preferences from all-consuming omnivores to gluten-intolerant vegans. Entrees include a duck breast, a mushroom raviolo and a crispy tofu and riced cauliflower stir-fry.

Another Scape alum, Travis Hebrank, helms the beverage program. With a year to experiment, he created an extensive portfolio of syrups, tinctures and infusions that feature in 10 house cocktails. Around 20 wines are available by the glass, and an extensive cellar is available by the bottle. There is also a curated bottled beer selection.

Brunch and lunch plans are the works, but for now, Polite Society is open daily from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., with dinner service ending at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 p.m. Sunday. Here’s a first look at what to expect at Lafayette Square’s newest eatery:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

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The Scoop: Details emerge as Polite Society plans on late 2016 opening

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The Scoop: Details emerge as Polite Society plans on late 2016 opening

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

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After nearly seven months of construction, co-owners Brian Schmitz and Jonathan Schoen are finishing up work on Polite Society at 1923 Park Ave. The duo hope to open in late November or early December.

“Polite Society grew out of a conversation about the type of restaurant that should exist but hadn’t,” Schmitz said, adding that the name itself comes from a dedication to their customers and, as employers, to go the extra mile for their staff. This includes things like giving employees a stake in the company or access to employment benefits.

A focus on their staff’s well-being is not surprising; both Schmitz and Schoen got their starts in the restaurant industry as servers at Bar Italia. Individually, they’ve consulted on several area projects, including Lucha, Egg and Spare No Rib.

As reported by the Post-Dispatch in March, the concept of Polite Society had been in the works for years, but it wasn’t until Ricardo’s closed in late 2015 that things started to click. The 3,000-square-foot space will feature a 12-seat bar and cozy interior with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, an extensive wine rack and seating for 60 to 70. “When Ricardo’s auction came up, I saw the space in a new light when it was more emptied out,” Schmitz said.

Executive chef Thomas Futrell, who spent two-and-a-half years as Scape’s executive sous chef, will bring a seasonally focused menu to the table. Schmitz described the cuisine as “vegetable forward and seasonally driven with a fair amount of change” that may include dishes like a pork Wellington or a rotating root vegetable salad.

Beverage director Travis Hebrank, another Scape alum, will helm the bar with an equal focus on classic and house cocktails, a curated wine selection and around 30 bottled beers.

Schmitz said Polite Society will be open daily for dinner service with weekday lunch and weekend brunch.

The Scoop: Hamilton Hospitality, Charleville Brewing to open brewery, restaurant in 2017

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

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Combine the brewing prowess of a Ste. Genevieve staple with the skill and experience of a downtown restaurant powerhouse, and you have Charleville Brewing Co. and Restaurant. The owners of the Ste. Genevieve brewery have joined forces with Paul and Wendy Hamilton of Hamilton Hospitality to open the new concept at 2101 Chouteau Ave., in early 2017.

Co-owner Paul Hamilton said he had just purchased the space across the street from his current Chouteau Avenue establishments (21st Street Brewers Bar, PW Pizza, Vin de Set and Moulin Events) when Charleville director of operations Tait Russell approached him about a partnership for a downtown brewery. “It was serendipitous,” Hamilton said. “I’ve always really liked Charleville and respected them for what they do.”

Russell said after a decade of distributing in the St. Louis area, Charleville wanted to bring a brewing operation to its largest market. “It was important to bring our brand and our beer closer to the population,” he said. “If you can’t bring them to you, bring it to them.”

Charleville’s Ste. Genevieve facility will continue to serve as the base of its operations, with a 30-barrel system pumping out the majority of the brewery’s offerings. Russell said the 7-barrel system at the Chouteau location will let him “be more playful in what we can do with small-batch things,” including exclusive offerings for all of Hamilton Hospitality’s restaurants, like Eleven Eleven Mississippi. Hamilton said the counter-service restaurant will see a menu heavy on appetizers and elevated comfort food dishes.

Customers can get a sneak peek of the new space at the Boar & Brew Barrel-Aged Bottle Release Party Oct. 20. Charleville will pour and sell rare bottles including barrel-aged Box of Chocolates and barrel-aged barleywine, while the team at 21st Street Brewer’s Bar roasts a whole hog for the occasion. More details are available online.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Valentine’s cocktails at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar

Friday, February 12th, 2016

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Single or spoken for, Valentine’s Day is upon us with all its saccharine romance. Baileys’ Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square has dreamed up a threesome of cocktails perfectly suited for a weekend of amour. This romantic venue is a hotspot on Valentine’s weekend, so get in line early via the No Wait app and hang out at home, not in the cold, while you wait for a table. Whether you’re doing the wooing or just treating yo’self here’s what to order starting today, Feb. 12.

1. The Double Dipped is a peanut butter and chocolate cocktail that can be sipped over the chocolate ganache-coated rim or through the chocolate straw. Either way, it’s a layer of house-made dark chocolate liqueur and hazelnut liqueur topped with a layer of peanut-infused vodka and Bailey’s Irish cream.

2. The Chocolate Bar’s version of Chocolate, Flowers and Teddy Bears is less trite than cliche Valentine’s Day gifts. Dark chocolate liqueur, chocolate vodka, crème de violette and coconut milk are shaken, then poured into a martini glass and garnished with two teddy bears cookies holding hands. Whether that makes you coo in delight or chomp their heads off, you’ll enjoy this lightly floral chocolate sip with a creamy finish.

3. The Valentine’s Smash is a chocolate- and berry-flavored libation that features chocolate vodka, Dolin blanc, house-made limoncello and raspberry liqueur and lemon juice all shaken together and topped with bubbly Prosecco and garnished with raspberries and mint.

 

 

 

The Scoop: Balentine’s Restaurant & Bar to open in Lafayette Square

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

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{Owner Pierre Balentine} 

 

Finding that retirement didn’t quite suit him, 10-year food service veteran Pierre Balentine plans to open Balentine’s Restaurant & Bar in the former Tripel space at 1801 Park Ave., in Lafayette Square. Balentine plans to offer comfort food from around the world, a concept based on his decades of travel. Customers can expect everything from black beans and rice to spaetzle to Cuban sandwiches.

“I want this to be more than a place to eat,” Balentine said. “I want it to be an experience and a place where people can enjoy their time and have fun.”

To execute Balentine’s vision of classic dishes from Cuba to Germany, he has hired three chefs: Kyerra Cox, who will develop the menu, Coco Ali, who will run a specialized pastry program, and Raven Smith, who Balentine hired for her “young, creative mind and can-do attitude.” Angela Gray will be the floor manager. “I want to empower people,” Balentine said. “This can be a hard industry for women, and I want to empower them and give them opportunity.”

The 250-seat restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch when it opens in mid-February.

 

 

The Scoop: Chef Bradley Hoffman leaves Planter’s House

Monday, September 28th, 2015

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Planter’s House chef Bradley Hoffman worked his final shift on Friday, Sept. 25 after heading the kitchen since its inception and opening in 2013. Hoffman is currently keeping mum on his new endeavor, but he said his departure from the Lafayette Square bar was an amicable split.

“I had a blast,” Hoffman said. “I learned so much from working with Ted (Kilgore), Jamie (Kilgore) and Ted (Charak). It was like family in the kitchen and in the restaurant. I’ll have nothing but great memories forever from working in that kitchen.”

Co-owner Jamie Kilgore said the Planter’s House team was sorry to see Hoffman go but wished him well. “Bradley was a real asset to Planter’s House,” she said. “He’s going to do great things. We are happy for his continued success and the continued success of Planter’s House.”

Planter’s House has not yet announced Hoffman’s replacement.

 

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 29 to clarify information about a replacement chef at the time of publication.

-photo by Carmen Troesser 

 

The Scoop: Ricardo’s closes in Lafayette Square

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

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After more than two decades preparing Italian fare in Lafayette Square, Ricardo’s served its last dinner on Friday, Sept. 4.

“It’s been a great run for 26 years,” said co-owner Mark Adams. “We’ve had wonderful, wonderful customers who have become wonderful friends, but it’s time to move on.”

Adams owned the restaurant with wife Michelle Adams and two sons, Tim and Tom Adams. Mark and Michelle will move on to jobs outside the restaurant industry and said they look forward to what lies ahead.

 

Hit List: 4 new places you must try this month

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

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1. Clementine’s Creamery: 1637 S. 18th St., St. Louis, 314.858.6100, clementinescreamery.com

Owner Tamara Keefe has peddled her rich ice creams to dozens of St. Louis-area restaurants since last fall, and now customers can snatch up “naughty” (alcohol-infused) and “nice” (non-alcoholic) creations any time at the petite shop in Lafayette Square. A rotating selection of 24 ice creams is made ultra-creamy thanks to a high 16- to 18-percent butterfat content. Try flavors like Manchego with Truffles and Honey (featuring local label Woodside) or Salted Crack Caramel swirled with house-made caramel and chocolate-covered cracker candy. Chocoholics can indulge in the luxurious (and surprisingly vegan) Coconut Chocolate Fudge made with Patric chocolate. Order your scoops in a house-made waffle cone (pictured) or, for a sophisticated sundae, get a waffle bowl and top your selection with house hot fudge lightly spiced with cumin and cinnamon.

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2. Elijah P.’s: 401 Piasa St., Alton, 618.433.8445, elijahps.com

Alton has stepped up its restaurant game in recent months, and the newest addition to the roster is Elijah P.’s, serving up creative burgers, hearty appetizers and plenty of suds. The massive space boasts more than 200 seats between the large dining room, bar and spacious outdoor pavilion. Chef Jarvis Putnam helms the kitchen, creating a menu of approachable dishes like potato croquettes studded with ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano, breaded with crushed potato chips and served with house-made ranch dressing. Burgers make up the core of Elijah P.’s entrees (order the BaconJamBrie), but generously sized appetizers like littleneck clams (pictured) swimming in a fragrant broth of chorizo, white wine, tequila, clam juice and garlic can easily serve as a meal. Among the 60 draft brews and 40 bottled varieties, look for Alton breweries Templar and Old Bakery Beer, heavy hitters from The Lou like 4 Hands and Urban Chestnut, and numerous other standout beers from the Midwest.

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3. Tiny Bar: 1008 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.800.7218, tinybarstl.com

This diminutive downtown cocktail bar squeezes in 10 seats – and that’s if three people don’t mind getting cozy on the couch. With real estate at a premium, quality trumps quantity behind the bar. The cocktail menu, created by Planter’s House co-owner Ted Charak, shakes up classic cocktails like martinis and Manhattans, as well as a few originals. The 1/8th Cocktail, an eight-part sipper that’s fruity and rum-forward, was made in tribute to Eddie Gaedel, the dwarf with a brief baseball career as No. 1/8 for the St. Louis Browns. Five rotating local draft brews are also available, as well as glass pours of exactly one red, white, rosé and sparkling wine. Petite patrons, note the 5-Foot Special: a 25-percent discount for those shorter than 60 inches.

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4. Kingside Diner: 4651 Maryland Ave., St. Louis, 314.454.3957, kingsidediner.com 

Traditional diner fare gets the royal treatment at Kingside Diner. Located next to Saint Louis Chess Club, the chess-themed daily eatery features fare fit for a king but sold at plebeian prices. If breakfast is on your mind any time of day, order the Kingside Slinger, which piles pulled pork, chorizo chili and fried eggs atop crispy hash browns. Those who waver between waffles and French toast don’t have to choose with Waffled French Toast, brioche that bathes for a day in French toast batter before getting pressed in the waffle iron. For lunch, try the Trout and Greens Salad, or dig into the Thanksgiving All Year sandwich (pictured), which combines the flavors of the best food holiday into one giant sammie.

-Clementine’s photo by Meera Nagarajan, all others by Michelle Volansky 

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