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Jan 22, 2018
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Medianoche’

Sneak Peek: Público

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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Nearly one year ago, restaurateur Mike Randolph announced his plans to open South American gastropub Público at 6679 Delmar Blvd., just doors from his Neopolitan pizzeria The Good Pie in The Loop. The wait for the wood-fired cantina is nearly over; Público opens doors for dinner March 3.

The menu is divided into crudo (raw), botanas (snacks), tacos, arepas (corn pancakes), parrilla (grill items) and desserts. In the raw section, look for appetizers like oysters and tiradito, a Peruvian dish of raw fish similar to sashimi served with a spicy aji pepper sauce. Botanas range from El Tri, a trio of house-made dips and salsas served with corn flatbread, to jalapeno soup with smoked trout. Diners can expect tacos with fillings such as seared shrimp, smoked chorizo, carnitas and carne asada on stone-ground corn tortillas made in-house. A custom-built open-wood hearth that also has smoking capabilities will turn out everything from Argentinian-style steak to whole grilled snapper. Although menu items cap at $15, expect an elevated presentation reminiscent of Randolph’s former restaurants-within-a-restaurant, Little Country Gentleman and Medianoche.

On the beverage side, bar manager Nick Diogiovanni will put rum, tequila and mezcal center stage. A frozen drink machine will also churn out a rotation of boosy slushes like Fernet and Coke. The wine list will focus on South American and Spanish wines, along with cellar wines (that include an extensive riesling selection from Little Country Gentleman days).

SPACE Architects + Design renovated the former hair salon, which now offers seating for 60 guests at a bar, a wall of booths, a 10-seat community table and a few stools along the counter next to the open kitchen.

Here’s what to expect when Público unlocks doors March 3:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: Half & Half to add dinner service

Monday, December 8th, 2014

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Fans of Mike Randolph’s daytime eatery Half & Half can soon sate their bacon-and-egg cravings in the evening, too. The popular Clayton breakfast spot will add dinner service beginning Dec. 16.

Shortly after it opened in July 2011, the space at 8135 Maryland Ave., operated as Half & Half during the day, then transformed into avant garde Mexican restaurant Medianoche. That dinner concept later became Little Country Gentleman, which ended its service in December 2013. Since then, Randolph did not sit idle, relaunching popular Neapolitan pizzeria The Good Pie in The Loop and working on his next concept, Mexican gastropub Público. While Half & Half continued to flourish, it remained empty in the evening hours, and many pondered what Randolph would do next.

“That was a missed opportunity, business-wise, for me,” Randolph said. “It won’t be an outlet to experiment like Little Country Gentleman or Medianoche were. Customers have been asking for it.”

Half & Half will continue its regular morning-to-midday operating schedule, then reopen its doors from 5 to 9 p.m. Customers can expect their usual Half & Half favorites, as well as the addition of a few new dinner items like pot roast, fish and chips, mashed potatoes and fried chicken. Wines by the glass and classic cocktails like Old-Fashioneds and gin martinis will be added to the beverage list. Randolph will helm the kitchen with new chef de cuisine Nathan Donsky, former Prasino chef de cuisine, at his side.

The addition of Half & Half’s dinner service comes on the heels of Death in the Afternoon’s announcement that it, too, would serve nighttime fare beginning February 2015 and as Kevin Nashan’s Peacemaker Lobster and Crab Co. adds lunch service today, Dec. 8.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Mike Randolph announces closure of Little Country Gentleman

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

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The run for Little Country Gentleman is coming to an end. “Just couldn’t make it work,” said restaurateur Mike Randolph via text message, regarding the imminent closure of the evening concept that he operates at 8135 Maryland Ave., in Clayton. Randolph shared the news this afternoon on the restaurant’s Facebook page. LCG will continue with regular service until Dec. 31, followed by a few special dinners and a final farewell party Jan. 11.

“We have very adventurous food. We wanted to push the envelope, but there didn’t seem to be enough takers for the style of food we were doing,” said LCG beverage director Daniels Blake-Parseliti, who said Randolph informed LCG staff about the decision to close earlier this week. Randolph confirmed most of the staff will take positions with his other restaurants, breakfast-and-lunch spot Half & Half and pizzeria The Good Pie.

Half & Half, which shares space with Little Country Gentleman, will not be closing. “Business is as good as it’s ever been,” said Blake-Parseliti about Half & Half, which opened in June of 2011. A few months later, Randolph unlocked the space in the evening with an avant garde Mexican concept, Medianoche. In July 2012, he swapped Medianoche for Little Country Gentleman, which Sauce reviewed in last January.

While the news is disappointing to fans of LCG’s modern Midwestern cuisine and drinks, Randolph won’t be sitting idle. He’s in the midst of readying the space at 6665 Delmar Blvd., to become the home of The Good Pie, which he is relocating from its original spot in Midtown. He expected to open the pizzeria in mid-January. In addition, he noted that he may extend Half & Half hours into the evening, but said that would not happen until The Good Pie is off and running in the new space. “We’re going to work on one project at a time,” he said.

 

 

Sneak Peek: Little Country Gentleman

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Now that MEDIAnoche, the Mexican-in-the-evening restaurant at 8135 Maryland Ave., in Clayton has closed for good, chef-owner Mike Randolph and his staff are preparing to open another evening-only restaurant, Little Country Gentleman, in its stead. The space’s by-day restaurant, Half & Half, will still operate for breakfast, lunch and brunch.

Randolph and his team recently gave Sauce a glimpse of the Midwestern cuisine to come from Little Country Gentleman’s kitchen. Although the exact plates are still being tweaked, these dishes offer an idea of the three-course, six-course and grand tasting menus that diners will be able to choose from when doors open on Tuesday, Sept. 18. For a first look at the fare, visit our Facebook page.

Barman T.S. Ferguson creates all-star cocktail list for Galliano’s pop-up

Monday, August 13th, 2012

St. Louisans hungry for Southern-style fried chicken and fish have been salivating ever since chef Josh Galliano announced his one-day pop-up restaurant. But the food is only half of what will be available when All-Star Fried Chicken & Fish opens doors tonight at 5 p.m., at 8133 Maryland Ave., in the space that’s home to Half & Half by day and MEDIAnoche by night (at least for a little while longer). While Galliano has given careful consideration – and prep time – to the eats, T.S. Ferguson, head barman at MEDIAnoche, has given just as much regard to the cocktail menu.

The cocktails will include a few classics and a handful of house creations. Among the oldies, patrons will see two New Orleans-born concoctions – Sazerac and Vieux Carre – along with a Bourbon Peach Smash and an Old-Fashioned. Among Ferguson’s five creations of his own is Little Country Gentleman (pictured), which will be the signature drink at Little Country Gentleman when the evening concept launches in a few weeks. Ferguson dubbed the drink Little Country Gentleman No. 1, explaining that the cocktail will evolve with each menu change at the restaurant. This first incarnation holds Wild Turkey rye whiskey, Busnel Calvados VSOP cognac, Green Chartreuse, house-made sweet vermouth and Creole bitters. Regulars at MEDIAnoche who know that Ferguson has been offering pre-batched cocktails to diners will be happy to hear that he will continue the bottled option this evening with a cocktail called Ignatius Reilly, a carbonated combination of rye whiskey, Pimm’s No. 1, amaro, white wine, lime juice, ginger syrup and strawberry essence.

The Scoop: Say adios to MEDIAnoche and how do you do to Little Country Gentleman

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

MEDIAnoche, the Mexican-in-the-evening restaurant at 8135 Maryland Ave. in Clayton that operates by day as Half & Half, is on the way out. As owner Mike Randolph announced on a Stewed STL podcast, he is bringing the Mexican concept to a close, replacing it with another: Midwestern cuisine. The new restaurant-in-a-restaurant will be called Little Country Gentleman.

Randolph explained that the change has “been in motion for some time,” a result of diners “consistently ordering tacos and guacamole. Meanwhile, we just butchered this beautiful lamb from Jones Heritage Farm. It’s a matter of getting people to eat the food we are selling.”

Once MEDIAnoche shutters after service on August 18, the space will reopen in the latter part of the following week in the evening as Little Country Gentleman, complete with gentlemen and lady servers donning genteel bowties. The name, said Randolph, refers to an heirloom varietal of Midwestern corn, just one of many regional products that will adorn diners’ plates. “All of our product is going to come from the Midwest, including all fresh-water fish,” Randolph said.

Little Country Gentleman will offer the bounty of the Midwest via tasting menus that include a three-course menu with options, a six-course set menu and a grand tasting menu.  Prices will range from approximately $36 to $80 for the grand menu. On the beverage side, there will be about 5 to 7 wines by the glass, with another 10 to 15 reserve bottles; the 15- to 20-long beer list will have Midwestern representation as well and will include a few cellar-aged brews. Randolph noted that he and his culinary crew will be showcasing a few Little Country Gentleman dishes at 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar’s monthly Dorm Room Dinner series on July 30.

Gerard Craft talks to Eater about his restaurants and “Midwest’s thriving restaurant scene”

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Today national culinary website Eater published an interview with our very own Gerard Craft. Craft is, of course, chef-owner of the Niche family of restaurants – including Niche, Brasserie, Taste and Pastaria, set to open later this summer.

In the interview, Craft discussed how he chose to move to St. Louis as a young “completely tattooed chef,” why he’s moving his flagship Niche from its original Benton Park home to Clayton, what his future goals are for both Niche and Pastaria, the evolution of the St. Louis dining scene, and a bit more. Craft even gave a nod to several of his fellow chef pals, including Sidney Street’s Kevin Nashan (whom he credits as one of the reasons he chose to open Niche in St. Louis in the first place); Mike Randolph, whose lineage at Moto led him to open up The Good Pie and, later, Half & Half and Medianoche; barbecue bigwig Mike Emerson of Pappy’s; and Josh Galliano, who is in the process of opening his own restaurant.

To check out the full interview, click here.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Discovering the drinks at Medianoche

Friday, March 9th, 2012

I love a good show. I’m all for giving a bartender a lighter and seeing the magic that flames can do to my drink. Such was the case the night I visited Medianoche, the new restaurant inside Mike Randolph’s brunch spot, Half & Half. I’d heard that the drinks were good at the Mexican-by-night spot in Clayton, and when I noticed “fire” listed as an ingredient for a cocktail, I got excited.

Last Evening on Earth is a mescal-based drink, but building it starts with over-proof rum and Angostura bitters poured into an atomizer. The contents are sprayed like a fine mist into a pint glass containing granulated sugar and macerated cherries, then quickly – and dramatically – set ablaze to caramelize the sugar. Next, add mescal, Cherry Heering liqueur and lemon juice to the glass, drop in some ice cubes, then shake and strain the cocktail into an antique punch glass. The final touch is a skewer of boozy house-made mescal-soaked cherries.

Act I is a visual stunner. Act II – how it tastes – is no less impressive. I love the choice of mescal for this drink. The Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal (mescal with agave syrup) adds layers of flavor: creamy almond, sweet orange – and, of course, the smokiness so associated with the spirit. No single flavor profile dominates the drink. Instead, Last Evening on Earth is fruity, tart, smoky and sweet – all at the same time. It is highly balanced. If I were macabre enough to keep a “last drink” list in my Moleskine, this cocktail would no doubt appear near the top.

While Last Evening on Earth is my beverage pick at Medianoche, there are quite a few other cocktails that call for fire. The Calypso Sour – a bitters-based sipper with ginger liqueur, citrus-sweet Lillet Blanc and tart lime juice – gets garnished with a fancy flamed skewered pineapple. Classics like a pisco sour and a Dark ‘n’ Stormy also undergo blazing action. Fire even makes its way into punches, available on weekends.

The Scoop: Half & Half to become Medianoche at dinnertime

Monday, October 17th, 2011

101711_mikerandolphMike Randolph is adding a new dimension to the operations at Half & Half, his new-ish breakfast, lunch and brunch spot located at 8135 Maryland Ave. Starting early next year, Randolph will add evening hours, at which time the restaurant’s name will be changed to Medianoche and waffles and French toast will be swapped out in favor of Mexican eats, as reported by Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch. Randolph, who is also chef-owner of Midtown’s The Good Pie, explained that this restaurant-in-a-restaurant was no sudden idea. “I come up with a restaurant plan a day,” he said. “I just looked at it as a unique opportunity, with Half & Half functioning between 7 [a.m.] and 2 [p.m.] and paying rent for a space in Clayton, which is an exorbitant amount of money, and fixed costs. What can I do? My first idea was to try to maybe open Half & Half and let the menu run all day. But I was looking for an opportunity to try to do something new and fresh.”

According to Randolph, Medianoche’s menu will include “adventuresome” as well as “traditional” Mexican fare, with a “focus on culinary skills.” Among entrées, he cited sweetbreads, red snapper and posole with pig’s head, all ranging from $12 to $16. Tapas will be “more akin to what you would get on Cherokee Street: good, fresh corn tortillas … with braised lamb, pickled radish, cilantro and onion. Really simple stuff.” Look also for a house-made guacamole and two to three rotating salsas. “The menu will be pretty focused – not that big – to allow us to play, and have two to three things as specials,” Randolph explained. Fans of Half & Half’s coffee program will be happy to hear that the coffee beverages served during morning and lunch hours will also be available at Medianoche, alongside a selection of Margaritas and craft beers, of course.

Randolph expects to launch Medianoche in January or February of next year, at which time the restaurant will be open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday, from 5 to 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m. As for the atmosphere and décor, Randolph noted that customers should expect enough changes – wall hangings and a lighting scheme – that “they can come in for eggs and coffee in the morning and come in at night and feel like they are in a different spot.”

— Photo by Greg Rannells

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