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Nov 18, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Sorrell’

Olive & Oak shares details on new concept, The Clover and The Bee

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

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The latest project from the folks behind Olive & Oak now has an official name, The Clover and The Bee, and an almost official opening date.

As reported by St. Louis Magazine, co-owner Mark Hinkle said the restaurant should debut at the end of this month. “As far as opening day, I hate to throw anything firm out there, but hopefully not long after the Thanksgiving holiday,” Hinkle said.

As The Scoop reported in January, Hinkle announced his plans to open another spot at 100 W. Lockwood Ave., in Webster Groves, next door to his successful restaurant, Olive & Oak.

The Clover and The Bee’s name is taken from a line in Emily Dickinson’s poem “To Make A Prairie.” It is an homage of sorts to the space’s former tenant, Webster Groves Bookshop, and the teamwork needed to open a new venture.

Hinkle said at first The Clover and The Bee will serve only breakfast and lunch, though he expects to start dinner service in early 2018. The restaurant has 40 to 45 seats, and unlike Olive & Oak, will have counter service and be a more fast-casual experience. A walk-up coffee window, delivery service and carryout will also be available.

Hinkle said the menu is still a work in progress, but will have fun twists on breakfast items. “We’re going to try and get out of that normal box you see at breakfast,” Hinkle said. “It’ll be Olive & Oak-style food, but tweaked a little bit for the daytime.”

 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Humble Pie makes way for Dottie’s Flour Shop in Ladue

Monday, November 13th, 2017

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Pizza takeout spot Humble Pie, which opened in April, has officially closed its doors, but the space at 9783 Clayton Road in Ladue won’t be empty for long.

As reported by the Riverfront Times, Jessica Lucas, who owns both Humble Pie and Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium with husband Mark Lucas, will open Dottie’s Flour Shop in the space with her business partner, Dottie Silverman.

Mark Lucas said Dottie’s will be an organic bakeshop that will also feature upscale kitchen goods. “We’re starting on the changeover this week,” Lucas said. “We have to do a couple of cosmetic things and some equipment swaps, but they should be in there within a week or so.”

Lucas said Humble Pie initially closed in mid-October for a menu overhaul, but it became apparent that a concept change was needed.

“We just found that the kitchen space was just too small for that menu,” he said. (Dottie’s Flour Shop’s) business has just grown, and they were looking for a space, so it just made sense.”

Lucas said he plans to revisit Humble Pie at some point. “We’re kind of putting it on the back burner,” he said. “It’s just a matter of finding the right space for it. Right now we have enough going on with the transition, and I’d like to do some stuff with Fozzie’s, so I’d say we’ll revisit it in maybe six months or a year and see where we are.”

Photo courtesy of Humble Pie 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Barrister’s closes doors for good in Clayton

Friday, November 10th, 2017

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Barrister’s in Clayton has closed its doors, effective today, Nov. 10. As reported by the Post-Dispatch, the announcement was made via the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“We’ve truly enjoyed bringing our dreams to reality during this chapter of our lives That is why, with a heavy heart, we are announcing that we have decided to close Barrister’s day to day operations effective Nov. 10, 2017,” the post read.

“More recently, we have had a few unforeseen personal circumstances develop that will require our full and undivided attention. We appreciate your support as we move forward into the next chapter of our lives.

“We cannot thank you all enough for your understanding. We will always hold a special place in our hearts for the Clayton community, our patrons and our staff that have become more like our family.”

Calls and messages to Barrister’s owners Kristie and Sam Boctor were not returned. The couple purchased Barrister’s from Jason Tilford of the Tilford Restaurant Group in 2015.

Photo courtesy of Barrister’s 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Peel Wood Fired Pizza inks a lease on first Missouri location

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

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Peel Wood Fired Pizza will head across the river next year. The popular Illinois eatery, which has locations in O’Fallon and Edwardsville, will debut its first Missouri restaurant in Clayton, according to co-owner Brandon Case.

The newest Peel will take up residence in the main floor of 212 S. Meramec Ave., currently under construction in downtown Clayton. Case said the 8,800-square-foot space will feature a patio and three wood-fired pizza ovens. He estimated the doors would open around the middle of 2018.

The menu will include some favorites from the other restaurants, along with some items specifically made for the Clayton crowd.

“Both of our current locations’ menus are about 95 percent the same,” Case said. “And they both have nine to 12 new items, and we’re changing those monthly.  We have ideas for the [Clayton] menu, but we know we’ll be doing something different for that location. We want to do something a little different so the ones that know us in Illinois have a reason to go over there and vice versa.”

Case said there would be 36 beers on tap, focused on craft and import offerings. Peel is looking to pick up a Missouri distributor for its own beer, which is brewed at its O’Fallon location.

Case said he and co-owner Patrick Thirion wanted to bring Peel to Missouri for a while, and Clayton offers the opportunity to serve a large population.

“It’s a very growing, diverse area,” Case said. “It’s a little bit different than our demographic in O’Fallon and Edwardsville. Going to Clayton, it’s almost two times the amount of people in a 15-mile radius.”

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Vista Ramen chef-owner shares plans for Mothership at Earthbound

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Executive chef and co-owner Chris Bork created a menu inspired by several Asian cultures. Dishes include  Japanese ramen, Thai sausage and Korean fried chicken.

 

Vista Ramen chef-owner Chris Bork will land the Mothership at Earthbound Beer this winter.

As The Scoop reported in August, Earthbound Beer announced Bork would helm the kitchen at its new location at 2724 Cherokee St., which opened in September, but the concept was still in the works. Now, Bork has announced the initial menu lineup and a tentative opening timeline, as reported by Feast.

“My inspiration was to find a niche on Cherokee that didn’t exist,” Bork said. “We really just bought a smoker and built the menu around that.”

 

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While bowls of ramen won’t make the move to Mothership, Bork has put together a tight inaugural menu focusing on smoked meats. In addition to a rotating barbecue plate, Mothership will feature smoked turkey with pita, sumac, pickles and yogurt; smoked chicken chili with cottage cheese and pickled daikon; a veggie burger topped with fontina, Kewpie mayo, lettuce and red onion; and kielbasa with mustard and onions.

Sides also follow the barbecue theme: beans, potato salad and coleslaw, along with a variety of kimchi and pickles. House sauces will include pomegranate, root beer, Carolina, Korean barbecue and vinegar. Hawaiian rolls with gochujang honey butter will round out the offerings.

Bork said some of the new menu items will be available at Earthbound’s third anniversary party, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 17, and Mothership should open “a week or two after Thanksgiving.”

Photo by Michelle Volansky; logo courtesy of Chris Bork 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Executive chef Michael Friedman has left Retreat Gastropub

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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{ from left, beverage director Tim Wiggins, owner Travis Howard and executive chef Michael Friedman just before Retreat opened in 2015 } 

Chef Michael Friedman has left his post as executive chef at Retreat Gastropub in the Central West End. His last day of service was Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Friedman, who helped open Retreat in 2015, said he doesn’t have any definite plans yet, but he’s weighing his options.

“I want to challenge myself and do a little bit of personal growth,” Friedman said. “I had definitely hit the ceiling at Retreat and wanted to expand my range and fly a little bit. I think the long-term goal is to definitely open something up on my own. I’ve been talking with a couple of investment partners about that. But until that pans out, I’m doing some consulting work and I’d like to get into another restaurant.”

Retreat owner Travis Howard said in a statement that he is not naming a replacement for Friedman yet.

“Currently, we will be operating with the team that we’ve built over the past two years. We are confident in their ability to deliver all of the favorite dishes from our Retreat menu to the quality that our guests expect,” Howard said in the statement.

“We wish chef Friedman the best of luck in his future endeavors. We’re appreciative of the time that he spent with us at Retreat, and we’ll continue to feature the dishes that our guests have come to know and love, from our burger to the bread pudding.”

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Squatter’s Café in Grand Center

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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Grand Center is adding another spot to its roster of breakfast and lunch spots. Squatter’s Café, the daytime eatery from chef Rob Connoley, is set to open Monday, Nov. 6, at 3524 Washington Ave., the former location of KDHX’s Magnolia Café.

While the space itself has changed very little since the Magnolia days, the menu at Squatter’s is light-years removed from the previous bill of fare. Connoley, who was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest in 2014, has developed a streamlined menu that features frequent culinary surprises – like the tiny white chocolate cup filled with espresso nestled in the raw oatmeal, or the soup dumpling at the heart of the cassoulet.

“I don’t do health food, but I do healthy food,” Connoley said.

He has also recreated sophisticated versions of childhood favorites like Crunchy Cinnamon Toasters served with pecan milk and an upcoming take on the venerable Pop-Tart.

Sustainability is also a focus at Squatter’s. Most serving dishes are compostable, and the yogurt and raw oatmeal on the breakfast list are served in glass jars diners can take home.

The Squatter’s space has approximately 24 seats, but many of the menu offerings are made for the grab-and go contingent like the foldable Sidewalk Tart, Connoley said, is “a full breakfast you can hold in your hand as you walk down the street.”

Squatters Café will be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Here’s a first look at Grand Center’s newest lunch spot:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Salt & Smoke in St. Louis Hills

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

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The second location of Salt & Smoke debuted at 5625 Hampton Ave., on Sunday, Oct. 29, bringing the Delmar Loop restaurant’s famous barbecue to St. Louis Hills.

As The Scoop reported in January, owner Tom Schmidt bought/leased the building, which has a long culinary history. At one time it was home to Del Pietro’s and, most recently, it housed Mathew’s Kitchen. However, the building bears little resemblance to its former incarnations.

Gone are the drop ceilings and low lighting, replaced by tall ceilings with exposed ductwork, bright colors and new windows for an open, airy feel. Schmidt moved the bar to the center of the first floor and replaced the stairway to the second floor for a more open floor plan. The main dining and bar areas seat 120, and there are two private event spaces available on the second floor.

Outside, wood fences shield the parking lot from traffic-heavy Hampton Avenue and serve as a backdrop for the front patio, which will seat approximately 40 when the weather permits. A mural of a cow, a pig and a chicken vying for a bottle of booze on the side of the brick exterior brings a splash of color and some whimsy to the neighborhood.

Below the mural are the restaurant’s two smokers, which are constantly stoked to keep up with demand for the restaurant’s meaty wares. One is an original smoker from Salt & Smoke’s Delmar location, while the other is a new custom rig that can hold a ton of meat at one time.

The menu mirrors that of the original restaurant, including favorites like barbecue ribs and the fried bologna sandwich, so fans can get their go-to’s no matter which location they frequent.

Schmidt said so far, the neighborhood has embraced Salt & Smoke as its own. He said on opening day, there was a line down the block waiting for the doors to open.

“I’ve opened four restaurants, and that’s the first time I’ve had that happen,” he said. “Honestly, I got a little choked up.”

Salt & Smoke is open daily at 11 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m., though the bar remains open later for those who want to drop in for a nightcap. Here’s a first look at Salt & Smoke’s second home:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos by Michelle Volanksy 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Longtime St. Louis food journalist Joe Bonwich dies at age 58

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

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A mighty voice in the St. Louis food community has been silenced. Respected area restaurant critic and food journalist Joe Bonwich died Tuesday, Oct. 31, at age 58 of neurological complications while vacationing in Florida, according to his daughter, Susie Bonwich. She said her parents were in Florida celebrating their upcoming 30th anniversary when her father collapsed.

Joe Bonwich was a fixture on the St. Louis culinary scene for years, writing about food restaurants for a variety of local publications since the mid-1980s, including The Riverfront Times, St. Louis Magazine and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he served as the paper’s restaurant critic for more than a decade.

Susie Bonwich said her father strove for constructive criticism in his reviews, earning a reputation for honesty and candor in the restaurant community.

“He was such a giving man, and very supportive,” she said. “Anytime he went and did a restaurant review, he was never walking in with the attitude of ‘I’m going to make this so brutal.’ He always wanted to be constructive, and that’s how he was with everything. He was honest and loving, and he loved giving to other people. He was a quiet, humble man who went out of his way for everybody.”

In recent years Bonwich returned to St. Louis Magazine, contributing restaurant critiques in his Eat at Joe’s column, along with news and opinions in his online Bon’s Bits. He also taught a popular food writing class at Washington University.

“I say ‘no’ to a lot of events and requests every year, but the one invite that I always looked forward to was speaking for his class at Washington University,” Niche Restaurant Group chef-owner Gerard Craft said in a statement. “His students always loved him and were so engaged in the topic of food. This is one of a million memories I have of Joe, and he has been such a big part of my life since I moved here. There were not many that cared more about the chefs making the food than him. RIP Joe, you will never be forgotten. The Craft family is heartbroken.”

Vista Ramen chef-owner Chris Bork said Bonwich’s work was crucial to his early success. “When we opened Blood & Sand, it was my first big gig,” Bork said. “Joe gave us three stars, which was huge. I sent him a message, and he said ‘I didn’t do anything. All credit goes to you guys.’ That was just his character – super humble.”

Even when he wasn’t wearing his “official” critic’s hat, Bonwich was known to give restaurateurs the benefit of his knowledge and insight.

“He was behind me long before I owned The Royale. He’d send me a little note here and there, sometimes a suggestion, sometimes a critique, always helpful,” said Steven Fitzpatrick Smith. “When I was in my tight spots, he’d send me constructive, positive messages.”

Besides restaurant owners and employees, Bonwich also influenced area food writers and publications, including Sauce Magazine.

“I followed Joe long before I started Sauce Magazine,” said founder and publisher Allyson Mace. “He did his job right, and I used him as a benchmark for the way we do our restaurant criticism, his professionalism, his way of doing things anonymously. Over the years, I was also lucky enough to grow a friendship with him outside of the magazine. We had a lot of great conversations about everything, but mostly the state of our wonderful culinary scene and how to help it continue to shine. He’ll be missed.”

In addition to his daughter Susie, Bonwich is survived by his wife, Jennifer Shipman Bonwich, and four other daughters: Lucie Bonwich, Lily Bonwich, Gracie Thompson and Celeste Kucvewski. Details for a memorial service are pending.

Photo courtesy of The Vandiver Group

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

 

Thai Table will open next year in Maplewood

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

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Downtown Maplewood will soon have its first Thai restaurant, Thai Table, which is scheduled to open in January 2018 at 7403 Manchester Road.

Co-owner Somying Fox, who also co-owns Basil Spice Thai Cuisine on South Grand Avenue and The Blue Pearl on Cherokee Street, is opening the restaurant with Natthinee Hughes, who will also serve as executive chef.

Fox said the Thai Table menu would be centered on dishes from northeastern Thailand, where Hughes is originally from.

“There will be stronger flavors for people who like spicy foods,” Fox said. “It’s going to be different [from Basil Spice]. It will be upscale, and the food will be more authentic.”

The space, which most recently was an art studio, will have approximately 49 seats and serve beer, wine and sake.

Fox said she’s looking forward to joining the Maplewood restaurant community.

“We’re excited to be here,” she said. “We look forward to bringing more variety and options to Maplewood. It’s also close to the city and easy to commute to our other locations. We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from our neighbors here.”

Photo: Google Street View

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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