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Mar 19, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Sorrell’

Side Project Brewing, Angry Orchard collaboration, Burk, debuts this weekend

Friday, March 16th, 2018



Longtime friends Side Project Brewing co-owner-brewer Cory King and Angry Orchard head cider maker Ryan Burk recently put their heads together and came up with a new beer offering: Burk, a sour beer that utilizes East Coast crab apples.

“We’ve always had a lot of respect for each other’s work, and have been looking for an opportunity to work together,” said the namesake Burk. “We have similar philosophies on fermentation and respect for the materials we use.”

King said the crab apples were used twice in the brewing and aging process. “We made an Oud Bruin-inspired beer, a sour brown, that we fermented on and aged with crab apples from Walden, New York, from [Angry Orchard’s] orchards,” King said. King and Burk aged the beer just over a year in a pinot noir barrel. “It’s cool because it has this really tangy astringency on the back side.”

Burk said it’s the first time in his tenure at Angry Orchard that he’s collaborated with a brewer. “It’s pretty uncommon to cross genres,” he said. “It’s like Herbie Hancock collaborating with Led Zeppelin.”

Burk and King will be at Side Project Brewing in Maplewood on Saturday, March 17, from noon to 3 p.m. to introduce their project to the public. Bottles will be available for purchase exclusively at Side Project Brewing and Side Project Cellar. Burk will also pour one of his other recent creations, Edu, a wild-fermented still cider inspired by Spanish ciders.

Photo courtesy of Side Project Brewing Co. 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 



No St. Louis-area chefs, restaurants make it to James Beard finals

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018


{ from left, Vicia chef-owner Michael Gallina and owner Tara Gallina }


The finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced today, March 14, and for the first time in seven years, none of the St. Louis semifinalists advanced to the final round.

As The Scoop reported last month, the James Beard Foundation named four St. Louis-area chefs as semifinalists for Best Chef: Midwest: Elaia executive chef Ben Grupe, Sardella executive chef Ashley Shelton, Privado chef-owner Mike Randolph and Lona’s Lil’ Eats chef-owner Lona Luo.

Tony’s was on the long list for Outstanding Service, and Vicia was singled out as a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.

Two St. Louis chefs have earned James Beard awards for Best Chef: Midwest: Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan in 2017 and Niche Food Group owner Gerard Craft in 2015 for his work at Niche.

Winners of the chef and restaurant awards will be announced at a gala in Chicago on May 7. A full list of the finalists can be found online. 

Photo courtesy of Vicia

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• 6 STL-area chefs, restaurants earn James Beard nominations

• Sidney Street Cafe’s Kevin Nashan wins James Beard Award

• James Beard Foundation names Kevin Nashan, Kevin Willmann Best Chef: Midwest finalists

Earthbound Beer expands its orbit with Earthbound Satellite in Soulard

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018


{ from left, Earthbound co-owners Jeff Siddons, Stuart Keating, Robin Johnson and Rebecca Schranz } 


Earthbound Satellite, the new cocktail bar and taproom from the team behind Earthbound Beer, is set to launch this April inside the Soulard Preservation Hall at 1921 S. Ninth St.

Co-owner Stuart Keating said the bar, which is part of a larger redevelopment of the Preservation Hall, was inspired in part by the Italian futurist art movement of the early 1900s. This movement spawned a culinary offshoot focused on experimental techniques and unconventional presentation. “It was a bit of cultural warfare almost,” Keating said.

Cocktail innovation was another notable part of the movement, and Keating said Earthbound Satellite’s drinks will stay true to that aesthetic, indulging in explorations of flavors and combinations of ingredients. The bar will start with a small rotating list of drinks to keep inventory low and reduce what Keating called “choice paralysis.”

Keating said barman Ryan Piers will helm Earthbound Satellite’s cocktail program. The bar will open with options like a White Manhattan with white whiskey, blanc vermouth and a Rainier cherry and as-yet unnamed beverage with J. Rieger Caffé Amaro, with a green Chartreuse rinse and served on crushed ice. A repurposed Jagermeister frozen drink machine will also be online to pump out batched chilled drinks.

In addition to cocktails, there will be four taps of limited-release Earthbound brews. “We’ll do some one-offs. We’ll do a couple of experimental beers. We really want people to have a reason to come in,” Keating said. “But since we only have four taps, and since it isn’t a brewery per se, I don’t have to worry about having a blonde ale on all the time or anything like that. We can put on four stouts or four variants of the Irish red that are all made with a different base malt, things like that.”

The decor at Earthbound Satellite will also pay homage to the futurism ethos.

“We want the overall vibe to be a dive bar on a space station,” Keating said. “We’re aiming for a hyper-modern feel.” Accouterments include a bar with a backlit, glowing front and a bleached white bar top, sound panels featuring large-format anime-style murals, and approximately 35 seats.

While the space does have a small catering kitchen, Keating said Satellite won’t feature food at the outset, but a menu might happen once the bar takes off.

Photo by Virginia Harold 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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• How Earthbound co-owner Rebecca Schranz learned to brew (and like) beer

• First Look: Mothership at Earthbound Beer

• 6 St. Louis breweries with great food

Wok and Roll food truck to hit the road March 10

Friday, March 9th, 2018



Another food truck is joining the mobile foodie scene. Wok and Roll will debut at the Happy Little Craft Fair at Grant Gym on the Webster University campus, 175 Edgar Road, on Saturday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chef-owner Corey Marion, who has worked in numerous local hotels and country clubs, will be serving up what he called “Asian-inspired cuisine.” The inaugural menu features pork pot stickers, spicy dragon balls (crab- and smoked salmon-stuffed sushi rice crusted with panko and topped with a soy reduction and Sriracha aioli), Asian beef nachos with wonton chips and Thai coconut chicken soup.

The truck will be rolling out on the weekends only to start, but Marion said the schedule will expand in the future. Fans can keep track of the truck’s whereabouts on Facebook at Wok and Roll STL.

Logo courtesy of Wok and Roll

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Valley Park will get its first brewery, Mackenzie Brewing, on Memorial Day

Thursday, March 8th, 2018



A strip mall in Valley Park will soon be home to a new craft brewery. According to owner Jeffrey Doss, Mackenzie Brewing Co. should pour beer around Memorial Day at 932 Meramec Station Road.

While he personally leans toward Belgian and high-gravity brews, Doss said Mackenzie will debut with a sessionable array that will most likely include a couple of IPAs, an American wheat, a French saison and possibly a red ale, a brown ale, a wee heavy and a double IPA.

Doss, who got his start as a homebrewer, said the brewery has been years in the planning. He and his brother, who is no longer with the company, put the first business plan together in 2011. Doss named the brewery after his niece.

“We’ve been on the search for the right location for a long, long time,” Doss said. “We’ve been in and out of two failed leases.”

Capacity-wise, the brewery will have a 3-barrel system, and Doss said he plans to brew two to three times per week, depending on demand. Initially, there won’t be any distribution – all of the beers will be available on tap and onsite – and there also won’t be a kitchen, but patrons are welcome to bring in their own eats or have food delivered.

Stock photo 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: VP Square in South Grand

Thursday, March 8th, 2018



VP Square, the latest eatery from the family of restaurateurs behind Café Mochi, is now serving up pan-Asian fare at 3611 Juniata St., just off the South Grand strip.

Like sister restaurant Café Mochi, VP Square is run by three siblings: Victor Pham (the VP in the name) handles the business side of things, while Duncan Pham helms the kitchen and Mina Pham oversees the front of the house. The restaurant boasts a varied menu of dishes from all over Asia: bibmibap from Korea, ramen from Japan, a Sichuan spicy hot pot from China and banh mi from Vietnam. Beverages include bubble tea, and a selection of sake, wine and cocktails.

The building dates back to 1927, and was most recently split into a salon on one side and apartments on the other. After a year-and-a-half gut rehab, the dividing wall is long gone, and the space has been completely reimagined. The interior spacious interior seats 32 on the first floor and approximately 100 upstairs. Soft colors, wood floors and details like unique light fixtures and the building’s soaring ceilings make it airy and bright.

VP Square is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Here’s a look at the latest international offerings in South Grand.


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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Firecracker Pizza & Beer in The Grove

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018



It’s been quite a wait, but Firecracker Pizza & Beer will finally open for business at 4130 Manchester Ave., in The Grove on Wednesday, March 21.

True to its name, Firecracker is all about that perfect pairing: pizza and beer. There’s a full complement of pies on the menu, and executive chef Doug Weerts offers two rotating specials, one inspired by seasonal beers (Beer Forward) and one by rock ’n’ roll (Rock It Forward), A build-your-own option is also available. There’s even a pizza flight, featuring three specialty pizzas sectioned into a single jumbo pie. The majority of toppings are made in-house, from the sauce to the pepperoni, sausage and turkey pastrami.

Not in a pizza mood? There’s also a selection of snacks and sharables on the menu, like a trio of salads; Cherry Bombs, beef and pork meatballs stuffed with blue cheese and roasted cherry pepper relish; and Boom Sticks, pizza dough stuffed with rotating fillings, cheese and sauce.

According to owner Chip Schloss, Firecracker aims to be as earth friendly as possible, so all beers will be on draft. There are 66 taps – 60 for beer and six for other beverages like wine, cider or coffee. While beer is the obvious focus, beverage director Cory Moszer has cocktails available, too, many with beer-inspired ingredients, like syrups made with beer reductions and spent grains.

Outside, the building takes a cue from sister restaurant Atomic Cowboy across the street and features a prominent firecracker-themed mural on one wall. Inside, Firecracker has 72 seats, an open kitchen and a clean red, black and gray color scheme that accentuates the industrial details of the space, like the exposed ductwork and repurposed rolling mechanics’ tool cabinets.

Firecracker will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Here’s a first look at The Grove’s new pizza place:

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Editor’s note: This article originally misspelled Corey Moszer’s name. It was updated at 10:35 a.m. March 8 to correct the error. 

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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NYC chef David Burke reveals details about upcoming Grand Tavern

Friday, March 2nd, 2018


{ chef David Burke } 


Chef David Burke has opened restaurants all along the East Coast, as well as Chicago, Washington D.C. and Las Vegas. His next project: St. Louis.

Earlier this week, New York-based ESquared Hospitality announced a partnership with Burke to open Grand Tavern by David Burke this fall in the upcoming Angad Arts Hotel in Grand Center. St. Louis-based Lawrence Group is currently developing the property at 634 N. Grand Blvd.

Though St. Louis is a smaller market than some of his other projects, Burke said he’s excited by the opportunities here.

“It’s a smaller market, but I think the markets that are interesting right now are the smaller markets,” he said. “You’re starting to see Austin and Nashville and Charlotte, and St. Louis right there with them, starting to embrace the modern American culinary scene and get behind local restaurants. I’ve opened restaurants in lots of different cities, but I’m pretty excited about getting to know St. Louis.”

Burke described Grand Tavern as casual yet elevated, with food “loosely based” on the fare at his Tavern62 by David Burke in NYC.

“It’s a tavern by name, which means there’s a sense of casualness to it, but on the highest end of what a tavern would be,” Burke said. “We like to give some uniqueness to each property, so we’ll try to fold in some of the local favorites and do a twist on them. We have Pappy’s around the corner, which I couldn’t get into because it was so crowded. I know there’s a nice appetite [in St. Louis] for that type of flavor, so you might see us do something with a smoked or barbecue item on the menu, or maybe we’ll do a gooey butter cake-French toast or something like that.”

Burke is designing the menu, but he will search the area for local talent to helm the Grand Tavern kitchen.

“The best case would be to find someone local who has worked with me in the past or would be willing to come up and spend some time in my NYC or D.C. kitchens,” he said.

Photo courtesy of ESquared Hospitality 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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8 food trends taking over St. Louis now

Friday, March 2nd, 2018



{ Impossible Burger patty melt at Polite Society } 



1. Nothing Is Impossible
The Impossible Burger’s inventors had one goal: make a patty that looks like meat, smells like meat, tastes like meat and has the texture of meat without using any meat. When cooked right, the Impossible Burger tastes like the real thing. Plant-based “blood” (yeah, you read that right) is what makes the patty taste and look like beef – when cooked medium-rare, it bleeds like meat. Coconut oil delivers that addictive greasiness synonymous with a juicy burger. Try it at Polite Society, where you can get it in classic cheeseburger form, but we recommend it in a patty melt with buttered and toasted rye, melting cheese, caramelized onions, mustard and tons of Russian dressing. Versions have also been spotted at Frida’s, Retreat Gastropub and The Royale.


2. Move Over, Miss Muffet
, the commonly discarded byproduct of making cheese and yogurt, is getting a little more respect on local menus. Due to its acidity, whey can be used for marinades and as a protein supplement, while its probiotic qualities aid digestion. Along with occasional dinner menu appearances, Vicia recently featured house-made yogurt whey in a cocktail with Plymouth Gin, blood orange juice and club soda, as well as in a tonic of rose tea-infused yogurt whey. Sidney Street Cafe makes use of a carrot-whey emulsion to complement a pan-roasted chicken breast, gnudi and Parmesan mousse. Those looking for a sweeter sensation can try Marcoot Jersey Creamery’s line of fruit and whey ices available at Dierbergs and Schnucks.


3. What a Jerk
Few St. Louis-area restaurants offer authentic Jamaican fare (h/t: De Palm Tree and Irie Eats), but a handful of unexpected spots have offered their takes on the Caribbean classic, jerk chicken. Chef Matthew Birkenmeier spent six years cooking in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and occasionally throws a traditional jerk chicken preparation on the specials board at Quincy Street Bistro. The kitchen crew puts a fine-dining spin on it at The Preston, and Pangea chef-owner Jessie Gilroy adds a touch of the South with her jerk fried chicken. Pig & Pickle features several chicken preparations, including a jerk-inspired dish spiked with chipotle and served pulled with red beans and rice.


4. One for the Road
First, there were food trucks. Now, people are hitting the road with bars on wheels available for special events. The Wandering Sidecar Bar was the first to get in on the action, and recently added a red 1969 Chevy truck to its fleet. Food truck progenitor Sarah’s Cake Stop has added beverage to its repertoire with Sarah’s Drink Stop. Last year, brewer-turned-barman Luke Oldham launched Beer Outside, a 20-tap beer trailer that hosts pop-up Biergartens, and CWE mainstay Brennan’s rolled out its Mini Me on wheels, complete with cigars and a turntable. Look for frozen cocktail bar Narwhal’s to take its new wheels for a spin this summer.


{ self-serve wine wall at Handcrafted by Bissinger’s }


5. DIY Bartender
Bars equipped with pour-your-own beer and wine systems combine two of our favorite things: tech and booze. Both Tapped in Maplewood and Germania Brew Haus in Alton use the iPourIt system, which equips customers with wristbands. Just wave them in front of your selected beer and start pouring; each ounce is automatically added to your tab. Handcrafted by Bissinger’s in the CWE built a self-serve wine wall that dispenses 2-, 4- or 6-ounce pours at the press of a button.


6. Here Comes the Sun
Long a familiar sight at farmers markets, sunchokes are now cropping up on menus all over town. These rugged, earthy little root vegetables can be enjoyed in myriad ways, from raw to roasted. A puree is a simple, effective way to make the most of sunchokes’ flavor. Boundary employs this approach to augment salmon and honey-roasted heirloom baby carrots to delicious effect, while The Preston at The Chase Park Plaza combines it with charred octopus, brown butter gnocchi and a smoked paprika vinaigrette. Elaia recently featured roasted sunchokes with braised chestnuts in a lobster bisque.


7. Got (Oat) Milk?
Oat milk
is the new favorite nondairy milk for coffee. Where almond milk can carry the slightest bit of salt, and soy’s texture has some grittiness, oat milk is super smooth with a biscuit-y flavor and just a hint of sweetness. Swedish brand Oatly recently became available in the Midwest. Try it in a latte at Sump Coffee, Coma Coffee, Comet Coffee or Cursed Bikes and Coffee.


8. Hot Stuff
Peanut butter and jelly. Bacon and eggs. Cauliflower and harissa? While it may not be quite as iconic a pairing, the combo of the crunchy veg and Tunisia’s unofficial  national condiment has given local chefs plenty of inspiration. Sardella executive chef Ashley Shelton compresses the cauliflower with harissa before searing it, then tosses it with harissa again and serves it with herb yogurt, almond and garlic chips. At Reeds American Table, chef-owner Matthew Daughaday combines lemon pickled cauliflower with harissa – he said the mild citrus notes accentuate the North African spices. Meanwhile, at Blood & Sand, executive chef Brian Coltrain uses harissa as an accent on the plate with curried cauliflower, along with sour apple and pine nut brittle.

Patty melt photo by David Kovaluk; wine wall photo by Michelle Volansky

Catherine Klene, Matt Sorrell and Meera Nagarajan contributed to this article. 

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine // March 2018

• Review: Pig & Pickle

• 6 STL-area chefs, restaurants earn James Beard nominations

Five Bistro to rebrand and open as J. Devoti Trattoria

Thursday, March 1st, 2018


{ gnocchi at Five Bistro }


Five Bistro, located at 5100 Daggett Ave. on The Hill, will soon be rebranding. The restaurant will close after service on Saturday, March 24, and reopen on Wednesday, April 5, as J. Devoti Trattoria – named in honor of chef-owner Anthony Devoti’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

“Part of the driving force is that I have two kids,” Devoti said of the coming changes, which include the addition of more kid-friendly fare and a dedicated kids’ menu. “And I just wanted to do something different. We’ve been doing Five for 11 years. We want to keep the farm-to-table aspect and open it up a little bit to more of a family atmosphere. We’re going to call it farm-to-table Italian.”

The overall concept of the cuisine won’t change, he said, and seasonal menus focused on local vegetables, heritage breed meats and sustainable seafood will still be the norm.

“People can come in and have a Five Bistro-quality dinner, but if they have their little ones with them, they could have pizza or pasta,” he said.

The kitchen at J. Devoti’s will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. A daily happy hour from 4 to 5:30 p.m. will feature small plate options, pizza by the slice, charcuterie and wine specials. There will also be a rotating Family Meal special from 4 to 8 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month, served family style.

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Eat This: Gnocchi at Five Bistro

• J. Devoti Grocery to open inside Five Bistro

• Review: Five Bistro on The Hill


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