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Sep 21, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Sorrell’

CWE, Delmar Loop restaurants rally after damage to storefronts

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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In the wake of the not-guilty verdict against former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Friday, Sept. 15, in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, demonstrators have protested the outcome around the city, including the Central West End and the Delmar Loop. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, but some vandalism of area businesses, including several restaurants, occurred after the protests ended.

Evangeline’s Bistro & Music House manager Maggie Gomez said two windows were damaged at the CWE restaurant on Friday night, but no one was injured as a result. “It was better than it could have been,” Gomez said. “When they (hit) the glass, the band was on stage playing. Glass got in the piano, and the musicians had to get off stage.”

Gomez said the windows are made from shatterproof glass and remained largely intact with just some holes, and the restaurant stayed open for the remainder of the night and opened for business as usual on Saturday. She said Friday’s verdict affected business in the area over the weekend, even before the protests.

“We had a slow weekend. We were dead because of everything,” Gomez said. “We’re doing our normal hours, but I don’t think it’s going to be the same down here for a couple of weeks.”

 

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Vandalism occurred on the Delmar Loop, as well. Several establishments along Delmar Boulevard, including Salt & Smoke, Three Kings Public House and Ranoush, had windows broken on Saturday night after the protests there ended. Salt & Smoke owner Tom Schmidt said the damage occurred at approximately 11 p.m., after the restaurant closed for the night.

“No broken bones, just broken glass,” he said. “We lost about five or six windows. It could have been worse.”

The community spent the next few days decorating the boarded up businesses. Photos on the Delmar Loop’s Facebook page show volunteers painting murals depicting positive messages. Salt & Smoke also posted photos of the community cleaning up broken glass around its storefront in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Schimidt said he was able to reopen Sunday morning, and business didn’t suffer. “Sundays are always pretty crazy here, and we were full pretty much all day,” he said.

Photos courtesy of Delmar Loop Facebook 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Hugo’s Pizzeria in Midtown

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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Restaurateur Dave Bailey’s latest venture, Hugo’s Pizzeria, opened doors today, Sept. 20, at 3135 Olive St., in Midtown, formerly home to The Good Pie.

As The Scoop reported in March, Hugo’s marks Bailey’s seventh restaurant concept in the St. Louis area. He named the pizzeria for his son.

The menu at Hugo’s is based around a variety of hand-tossed pizzas. Bailey said they are akin to Roman-style pies with a yeasty pillow-like dough. The pizza selection includes classics like pepperoni and sausage and a white pizza with bechamel, prosciutto and lemon zest topped with charred grapes. For an additional charge, diners can add house-made pepperoni in five varieties: beef, spicy beef, duck, Buffalo chicken or a vegan variant. Vegan cheese and gluten-free dough can be subbed in, too.

The menu also includes salads and shareable plates like meatballs or fresh mozzarella with garlic oil, black honey, toast and more of those charred grapes. On the beverage front, Hugo’s offers a small selection of cocktails, a wine list heavy on Italian varietals, plus approximately 25 beers on tap.

Hugo’s seats approximately 100 inside and also boasts a partially covered patio space. The interior’s centerpiece is an open kitchen, fronted by the bar, for pizza aficionados who want to see the action up close. Rough-hewn wooden tables with fresh flowers and colorful metal chairs soften exposed brick and concrete floors in the dining areas.

Hugo’s is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Here’s a first look at Bailey’s latest new project.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: St. Louis Soup Dumplings in University City

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

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St. Louis is home to dozens of Chinese restaurants, and this week, one more will join the ranks when St. Louis Soup Dumplings opens Friday, Sept. 22, at 8110 Olive Blvd., in University City.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Lawrence Chen and his wife, Emily Yang, who own Private Kitchen, located just two doors down at 8106 Olive Blvd.

As The Scoop reported in March, Chen said the inspiration for the new restaurant came from the popularity of the pork and crab soup dumplings served at Private Kitchen.

Those dumplings will now be available at St. Louis Soup Dumplings, along with fish, chicken, beef and shrimp and mozzarella versions. Chen said other fillings would likely be added in the future, including a veggie option.

A small selection of cold items, including salads, will be available in a refrigerated grab-and-go case near the counter, but Chen’s focus is squarely on the soup dumplings.

The minimalist interior has undergone extensive renovations and retains no hint of its former incarnation as a cell phone store. The space seats approximately 30 and features light wood, neutral colors and light fixtures resembling bamboo lanterns.

St. Louis Soup Dumplings will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Here’s a first look at what to expect from St. Louis’ first soup dumpling shop:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Westport Social in Maryland Heights

Friday, September 8th, 2017

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Get in touch with your inner child at Westport Social, which opened earlier this month at 910 Westport Plaza Drive in Maryland Heights.

The cavernous, adults-only space – almost 14,000 square feet – is billed as a “classic bar and gaming lounge” with an extensive selection of beer, wine and house cocktails, elevated pub grub and an adult playground with all manner of diversions.

Patrons can grab a drink and try their hands at bocce ball, table tennis, foosball, or even shoot a few free throws. Those who don’t feel like playing can catch the latest college or pro game of the moment on banks of ginormous TVs or play rock star in the karaoke lounge on the second floor.

Westport Social pairs industrial elements like ultra-high ceilings, exposed ductwork and brick walls with warm wood, metal and leather accents. An entire wall in the front of the space features a colorful mural highlighting Westport amenities. There’s plenty of room for 175 or so to spread out at two bars, tables, patio seating with fire pits and indoor alcoves replete with upholstered armchairs, rockers and couches.

The menu features several shared plates and pub fare like pulled pork or chicken sliders, burnt end nachos and meat skewers. Tacos, pizzas and a handful of entree-sized plates are available, as well. The beverage program at Westport Social is rife with libations from curated wine and beer lists to classic and house cocktails available solo or by the pitcher.

Westport Social is open Tuesday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Here’s a First Look at Westport’s newest happy hour hotspot:

 

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Photos by Meera Nagarajan

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

 

Pizzeoli founder sells Soulard pizzeria

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

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 { Pizzeoli founder Scott Sandler } 

Pizzeoli in Soulard is now under new ownership. Founder Scott Sandler sold the popular vegetarian pizzeria to Kyle Weber, effective Tuesday, Sept. 5, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sandler said he sold Pizzeoli to focus his attention on his other pizza restaurant, Pizza Head, which opened at 3196 S. Grand Blvd., earlier this year.

“It came down to that it was too much work,” Sandler said. “I realized quickly after opening Pizza Head that I needed to make a change. We were doing fine, but it was like having more than two full-time jobs. I’ll be able to focus on (Pizza Head) and do some more creative things and also get some more time off.”

Weber, a Collinsville native, said he plans to make some changes to the restaurant, including adding some meat to the menu, but the vegetarian and vegan options won’t go away.

“My hope is to serve the Soulard community,” Weber said. “I’m taking things one ingredient at a time. I’m working with vendors to find local farms and looking to find the best quality.”

Weber said other upcoming changes include expanding the craft beer selection, adding a craft cocktail list and including apps and salads, among other items. Lunch hours will return as well.

Pizzeoli is Weber’s first foray into restaurant ownership, but he said Sandler has helped him transition into the role of restaurateur.

“Scott has been such a great mentor. He’s gone over and above what has been necessary to help me out here,” Weber said.

Photo by Dave Moore

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Pangea in St. Charles

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

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Pangea, the debut restaurant from chef-owner Jessie Gilroy, is set to open Thursday, Sept. 7, at 3245 Rue Royale St., in The New Town neighborhood in St. Charles.

“We’re focusing on simple food with bold flavors,” said Gilroy, who most recently served as sous chef at Sidney Street Cafe.

To that end, she’s put together a menu of eclectic dishes that lives up to the restaurant’s expansive name, from salmon crudo topped with slivers of radish and pickled cucumber, to flaky potato-crusted snapper augmented by roasted beets. Many of the dishes feature ingredients from nearby Herman’s Farm Orchard and GlenMark Farms.

Pangea features a tight list of cocktails, like the Negroni-esque Camillo’s Cousin, featuring local Pinckney Bend gin, Aperol and Lillet Blanc, and a selection of wines by the bottle and glass.

Pangea boasts 64 seats in the dining room plus another 10 at the bar and a few seats are available outside for those wanting to dine al fresco. The restaurant’s minimalist decor underscores Gilroy’s less-is-more aesthetic: muted colors, exposed ductwork and understated table settings are accented by streams of natural light, thanks to the building’s abundance of windows.

Pangea will be open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when this Sauce One to Watch alumna opens doors:

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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Trendwatch: Guide to Drinking 2017 Edition

Friday, September 1st, 2017

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1. Shake It Off
Love ’em or hate ’em, milkshake IPAs made a splash this summer. These creamy, dreamsicle-like IPAs are brewed with fruit and lactose sugars commonly used in milk stouts that gives their signature thick, rich mouth feel. Pennsylvania’s Tired Hands and Sweden’s Omnipollo Brewing kicked off the trend in 2015 with the titular Milkshake IPA (with several variations to follow), and St. Louis brewers are also experimenting with the style. Jeff Hardesty at Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. released To the Yard (Peach), a rich, hazy IPA brewed with lactose sugar and aged on vanilla beans and peaches. Forthcoming Rockwell Beer Co. tried out the technique with a few versions of Meringue, a beer brewed with lactose, lemon and vanilla, including Coconut Meringue, Raspberry Meringue and Orange Meringue. A handful of milkshake IPAs were spotted at 2nd Shift Brewing’s annual Criderfest, including Nashville’s Southern Grist with its Guava Upside Down Cake (a double IPA brewed with guava, vanilla beans and lactose) and Windmill Brewing out of Indiana, which brought its Memes & Dreams, a lactose-fermented IPA with mangoes and vanilla.

2. To-Drink List
The wine list has always had top billing at fine dining eateries, but many area restaurants are giving craft brews a place in the spotlight. Places like Vicia, Olive & Oak and Sardella boast a healthy mix of local, regional and international options. Retreat Gastropub describes its beer list like its wines, categorizing brews with helpful key characteristics. The Libertine pays homage to beer’s heritage with large-format German bottles, and Cleveland-Heath appeases both the workaday drinker and the craft fan with a list including Stag and offerings only available in Illinois like Surly Brewing Co. Some fine dining establishments even partner with local breweries to create custom beers for the restaurant like Side Project Cup of Love previously at Sardella; look for Perennial Ollie Ollie Oxen Free at Olive & Oak, Perennial Brew for the Crew at Farmhaus and Perennial Single Barrel Stout at Juniper.

3. Hot New Pinots
German pinot noir, or Spätburgunder, is all the rage right now. In fact, it can prove difficult to find a bottle despite being the third-largest producer of pinot noir in the world. Why? Let’s just say German pinot noirs of the past didn’t taste good – thin and on the acidic side – because the weather was just not right for this grape. But due to recent rising temperatures and longer, sunnier days (thanks, global warming), the fruit now ripens better, making the resulting wine resemble an expensive Burgundy at an affordable price. Think light-bodied, refined reds with notes of red fruit that are delicate with a very dry, long finish. Find it on the shelf at Parker’s Table (a Koehler-Ruprecht 2013 Spätburgunder for $20), at the Wine Merchant (a 1 liter Heger 2014 Pinot Noir for $20) or order it off the wine list at Eleven Eleven Mississippi or 33 Wine Shop & Bar.

 

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{ Narwahl’s Crafted Urban Ice drinks } 

 

4. Brain Freeze
Frozen and blended drinks have experienced a resurgence of late, becoming a “thing” again at such highly regarded establishments as Diamond Reef in Brooklyn and Preux & Proper in Los Angeles. St. Louis has been getting in on the frosty action as well. Narwahl’s Crafted Urban Ice in Midtown has a dedicated menu of frozen delights that includes such concoctions as the Watermelon Frosé and the Rhubarb Paloma. The Preston has brought out the blender to create drinks like the absinthe watermelon colada, and Porano has had great success with its über-popular Negroni Slushie.

5. Powder Powered
Instead of using traditional hop pellets, some brewers are sprinkling their beer with a little magic dust. 4 Hands Brewing Co. brewery manager Martin Toft used hop powder – aka cryogenically processed hops – in Loose Particles, a juicy Northeast-style IPA with Simcoe and Mosaic. Toft said he can use significantly less product and get more aroma and flavor from the hops, and he’s already planning to hit more recipes with the powder next year. 2nd Shift Brewing also experimented with Cryo Hops in its Equanot Experimental IPA, a light, clean brew with equanot hops.

6. Can It
Canned wine sales are booming like never before as consumers shrug off the lowbrow stigma of popping a top to quaff their vino. In fact, Nielsen Company reported sales rose 125 percent from summer 2015 to summer 2016. The perks of canned wine are numerous. They’re eminently portable, perfect for the pool or float trips where glass is off-limits. No additional glassware – or a corkscrew – is required, and cans can be easier to recycle than bottles. Plus, more and more high-quality producers are now ensconcing their juice in aluminum, like Alloy Wine Works, which cans several of its wines, including Everyday Rose, (a Sauce office favorite), and Union Wine Co.’s Underwood line, which offers five canned varieties.

 

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

Chef Carl Hazel takes over Gamlin Whiskey House kitchen

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

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Carl Hazel has quietly taken the reigns as executive chef of Gamlin Whiskey House. Most recently, he had been executive chef at West End Pub and Grill.

Hazel assumed the role in July, and since then, he has worked with Gamlin Restaurant Group’s corporate chef Ryan Cooper to get a feel for the kitchen and the organization.

Hazel said Gamlin Whiskey House’s focus meshes up well with his background, especially his lengthy tenure as executive chef at The Scottish Arms.

“Gamlin Whiskey House being big on meat and whiskey is right up my alley,” Hazel said. “And after talking with some industry friends that have worked for (owners) Derek and Lucas (Gamlin) in the past, I couldn’t find anyone who said anything negative about them at all.”

Hazel said he doesn’t foresee any big menu changes at Gamlin Whiskey House until after the company’s latest project, 1764 Public House, opens later this year at 39 N. Euclid Ave.

“We’ll do some tweaking when (1764 Public House) opens because a couple of the items here will probably fit the menu and environment down there,” he said. “We’ll be looking at more of a broad menu change in late fall or early winter.”

Hazel said he welcomes the challenges of working in a bigger, high-volume kitchen.

“The numbers we put up are astounding,” he said. “It’s quite an undertaking to keep up with everything and everyone, but I’m really enjoying it.”

Photo courtesy of Gamlin Whiskey House

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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New owner discusses the future of Cleveland-Heath

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

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 { pulled pork sandwich at Cleveland-Heath } 

Keith and Kari McGinness don’t plan to mess with success at Cleveland-Heath.

As The Scoop reported earlier today, the McGinnesses bought the popular Edwardsville restaurant from owners Jenny Cleveland and chef Ed Heath. The founders plan to return to Heath’s hometown of Salt Lake City. The sale is final Sept. 1.

Both McGinnesses grew up in the St. Louis area and come from restaurant backgrounds. Most recently, Keith McGinness was a director of operations for Applebee’s, overseeing 25 restaurants in the mid-south region, while Kari McGinness ran an Italian restaurant in Cape Girardeau.

Keith McGinness said everything about Cleveland-Heath attracted the couple. “My wife and I had been looking for a number of years, and seriously looking the last couple of years, for a restaurant. It was a dream of ours for a long time,” he said. “When we found Cleveland-Heath, we found what we were looking for, which was a place with a really strong tie to the community, upscale food and service but with a totally casual feel about it.”

McGinness understands why Cleveland-Heath fans might be concerned about the change, but he said they have no plans to mess with a winning formula.

“Our goal is, it’s going to stay Cleveland-Heath. Our plan is to run it as it is,” he said. “I’ve said this to a couple of guests and even the staff members, but in six months, if it feels different to the guests, I’m doing something wrong.”

As Cleveland confirmed earlier today, current chef de cuisine Rick Kazmer will step into the executive chef position, and Elijah Barnes (Ones to Watch class of 2017) will continue his role as general manager.

McGinness said Cleveland and Heath will continue to have a presence at their namesake restaurant.

“Jenny and Ed have been great to work in terms of the transition, but we don’t have a drop-dead date as to when they exit,” McGinness said. “Jenny’s from this area, and they’re always going to have ties here. We have several events booked out over the next 12 months, and they’re going to come back and help us work some of those events. This isn’t the end of Jenny and Ed in this restaurant.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Solera wine bar will open next month in Alton

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

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Illinois oenophiles will soon have another spot to enjoy their vino. Solera, a new wine bar, will open soon at 212 W. Third St., in Alton. Co-owner Chris Aldridge said he plans to open Solera by mid-September.

“We were in Mendoza, (Argentina) doing a wine tour, and they did such a nice job of educating us on winemaking and the different grapes and the history,” Aldridge said. “It was just inspirational, and I wanted to bring that back to Alton.”

While he wants to create a fun place to hang out, Aldridge said he also wants to help educate patrons on what they’re drinking, and bring in some bottles that are less commonly seen in the area.

Aldridge said the bar will feature wines by the glass and also a retail component. There will be 150 to 175 labels available to drink on site or take home. By-the-glass offerings will include four dry reds, four dry whites, four to six local wines from Illinois and Missouri, and a selection of sherries and ports. In addition to wine, Solera will also have a limited food menu.

“We’re going to try and focus on stuff that’s a little more local and a little less commonly found, at least on the Illinois side,” Aldridge said, including chocolate from Kakao Chocolate and charcuterie from Salume Beddu.

Solera will have approximately 38 seats inside with a few more outside and plans to be open Tuesday through Sunday.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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