Hello Stranger | Login | Create Account
 
 
 
 
 
  SAUCE MAGAZINE
|
Jun 26, 2017
|
Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
|
SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
Email | Text-size: A | A | A

Posts Tagged ‘Nixta’

The Scoop: Local restaurants participate, support A Day Without Immigrants protest

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

120116_nixta1

{ from left, Nixta executive chef Tello Carreón and owner Ben Poremba } 

 

Across the country today, Feb. 16, people stayed home from work and school or did not shop or eat out in support of A Day Without Immigrants, a protest against current U.S. immigration policy. Participants meant to illustrate the importance of immigrants in American society.

Chefs around the country donated a portion of their revenues to support immigration organizations or closed their eateries entirely, like José Andrés in Washington D.C. and Rick Bayless in Chicago. Locally, a handful of area restaurants did the same.

Chef and restaurateur Ben Poremba decided to close Nixta, his new Mexican eatery, as reported by the Riverfront Times. Poremba said many of his staff had expressed a desire to take the day off to participate.

“I’m not trying to be a pioneer,” he said. “I just respected that some of the guys wanted a day to be heard without worrying about losing their job or having some consequences. I didn’t want to be on the fence.”

Cherokee Station Special Business District liaison Anne McCullough said most of the immigrant-owned businesses on Cherokee closed today. “More than 20 percent of the businesses and properties on Cherokee Street are immigrant-owned,” she said.

 

011316_localchefstl

{ Local Chef Kitchen chef-owner Rob Uyemura } 

 

Local Chef Kitchen chef-owner Rob Uyemura also shut the doors at his Ballwin Restaurant for the day. “In 25 years in the restaurant business, I’ve worked with a lot of immigrants,” said Uyemura, whose family immigrated to the U.S. “They get labeled as criminals and illegals, and that’s wrong.”

Other restaurants remain open, but are donating a portion of their proceeds to nonprofits. Demun Oyster Bar general manager Tom Halaska said his bar, as well as sister restaurants Sasha’s Wine Bars and Scarlett’s Wine Bar, will donate 50 percent of the day’s proceeds to the International Institute St. Louis.

Halaska said it was important to recognize the many immigrants who participate in the restaurant industry and in society. With immigration policy currently in the national spotlight, he said this was a good opportunity to celebrate immigrants.

“This is a way for us as a restaurant group to show respect and compassion for what’s going on in the country,” Halaska said.

 

Catherine Klene contributed to this report.

Nixta photo by Carmen Troesser

 

Trendwatch: 7 trends on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list now

Friday, January 13th, 2017

GetFileAttachment

 

1. Smash and Grab
St. Louisans don’t have to wait until Shake Shack opens later this year to get their griddle burger fix of thin patties smashed on a flattop. Get a taste at Reeds American Table, where two patties are smothered with Swiss cheese and tallow aioli, or head to Olive & Oak in Webster Groves, where the kitchen keeps it classic with American cheese and dill pickles. The smashed Farmhouse Burger has been a fixture at Retreat Gastropub since it opened in October 2015, and The Dam in Tower Grove South does smashed patties – though the burgers are stacked so high with fixins, it’s hard to tell. Find griddled burgers at Brasserie, Local Chef Kitchen and Baileys’ Range, too.

2. Drinking like a Vegan
Aquafaba, aka the cloudy liquid in a can of chickpeas that usually goes down the drain, has seen new life as a vegan egg replacer in baked goods. Now it’s found its way behind the bar and into Pisco Sours at Los Angeles establishments like Birch and Gracias Madre. Small Batch pulled a similar move in its Cicer Sour with aquafaba, smoked almond Pisco and dry curacao. Bengelina Hospitality bar manager Drew Lucido shakes it with Old Tom Gin, Becherovka and lemon juice in The Walden at Olio, while the team across the street at Nixta uses a cream whipper to add a foamy, egg-free head to the No. 3.

3. Kung Pao That
The Chinese staple is popping up outside the takeout box these days at restaurants like Mission Chinese in San Francisco, which has a kung pao pastrami we hope someone in town will replicate. Chefs at Cleveland-Heath were inspired by a celery dish at Mission’s NYC location to create a shaved raw beef and celery kung pao special for St. Louisans to enjoy last summer. The Preston swaps in calamari for a sophisticated take on the dish, and the pop-up and future restaurant Good Fortune is crazy about kung pao. It incorporated the flavors into a bratwurst made for a collaboration with Brasserie, and made a kung pao pizza for an event with Delicious Pizza in Los Angeles.

 

Egg_04

 

4. Rise and Shine
The Egg McMuffin will always hold a special greasy place in our hearts, but area restaurants are taking breakfast more seriously these days. Whole concepts, like Egg on Gravois Avenue and Yolklore in Crestwood, are devoted to breakfast beyond the standard flapjacks, eggs and bacon. Quick counter-service options at newly opened eateries like Sardella and The Garden on Grand mean we’re setting our weekday alarms a few minutes earlier. Even pop-up eateries are getting in on the action: Revel Kitchen chef-owner Simon Lusky and chef Adam Altnether recently hosted the breakfast-themed Waffle Nut Pop-up, serving sweet and savory waffle combos and cereal milk coffee beverages.

5. Lightning in a Mug
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and a large dose of caffeine, yerba mate is a light, herbaceous tea that’s creeping its way into local spots like SweetArt, where it’s served hot, and Comet Coffee, where it’s found in two forms: as hot tea and as a mocha-nut mate made with toasted mate leaves, chocolate, hazelnut and marigold flowers for a sweet treat. Pick up some of the loose-leaf tea to brew at home from international grocers like Global Foods Market or United Provisions.

6. Meat Lollipops
Some St. Louis chefs are frenching chicken drumettes, trimming classic wings into little meat lollipops. The trend has a confusing extra-work-for-less-meat quality, but we’ve bought jeans with holes in the knees, so we’re not here to judge. Try the lollies at Mona’s, where they’re smoked and served with a creamy giardiniera sauce and salsa verde, or at Copper Pig with a Vietnamese fish sauce caramel or a sweet chile basil sauce. Scapegoat offers a more traditional Buffalo version.

7. Taste the Magic
Magic Shell is making appearances outside grandma’s sundae bar these days. We noticed it with caramelized honey and honeycomb candy on soft serve at The Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, and over caramel corn and vanilla malted milk balls at Girl & the Goat in Chicago. But Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. has offered the topping on soft serve since it opened in 2014, and our favorite matcha-chocolate cookie gelato pop from Porano this summer was dipped in Magic Shell. Taste’s new brownie dessert with candy cap ice cream and toffee sauce lives in a Magic Shell house, too.

 

Related Content
Sauce Magazine: January 2017

Trendwatch: Guide to Drinking 2016

Sauce Magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2016

Extra Sauce: Top 10 Sneak Peeks of 2016

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

From new arcade bars downtown to long-awaited breweries in Maplewood, here are the 10 places you couldn’t wait to check out before they opened in 2016.

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce Magazine on Facebook and Twitter to get Sneak Peeks and First Looks of the latest St. Louis-area restaurant, bar and shop openings.

 

 

1. First Look: Start Bar downtown

2. Sneak Peek: Farm to You Market in Washington

 

 

3. Sneak Peek: Sardella in Clayton

4. Sneak Peek: The Sliced Pint in downtown St. Louis

5. Sneak Peek: Wicked Greenz in Clayton

 

 

6. Sneak Peek: Side Project Brewing in Maplewood

7. Sneak Peek: Yolklore in Crestwood

8. First Look: Catrinas in Edwardsville

 

NathanielReidBakery_06

 

9. First Look: Nathaniel Reid Bakery in Kirkwood

10. Sneak Peek: Nixta in Botanical Heights

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Related Content

10 Best New Restaurants of 2016

Extra Sauce: Top 5 Dishes of 2016

Extra Sauce: Top 10 Scoops of 2016

 

 

Best New Restaurants: No. 5 – Nixta

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

To be the best, everything matters – atmosphere, service and food. Here, the places that dazzled us from the moment they opened: St. Louis’ 10 Best New Restaurants of 2016.

 

120116_nixta1

{ from left, chef Tello Carreón and owner Ben Poremba}

Surrounded by hip Latin music and tropical plants at Nixta’s recent soft opening, we kept spontaneously exhaling and saying, “This feels like vacation.” Along with the bright, beachy colors and dim, candlelit atmosphere of Ben Poremba’s newest restaurant, the menu is strewn with flowers and fruit: ceviche served with a fragrant, viscid sphere of rose water espuma; pork belly al pastor topped with caramelized pineapple pico de gallo; a sea scallop in a pool of green, bergamot-infused aguachile sprinkled with tiny whole blooms.

This pretty chiaroscuro of rich meats and delicate seafoods, deep dark mole and bright vegetal spice, is thanks to executive chef Tello Carreón. He’s the reason Poremba wanted to open a Mexican restaurant.

They got to know each other in the kitchen of Poremba’s fine-dining restaurant Elaia, just down the street. “I like his cooking a lot and thought a modern take on Mexican food – his kind of food – would make a great restaurant,” Poremba said. Why look outside – why go to New York to research new ideas – when you have such talent inside your own St. Louis kitchens?

Carreón’s passion for creativity is reflected in unexpected dishes, like the tuna tostada with lime-white shoyu glaze, and in more traditional offerings he grew up eating. “What I’m trying to say is you don’t have to be stuck with the same ingredients,” Carreón said. Which is why he paired his grandma’s classic mole recipe with braised beef cheeks instead of the expected chicken.

“I like to have dishes fresh and more alive than you typically find them. I want to elevate them a little more – bring them to life,” Carreón said. “I think I have the taste, the cuisine that people want to try.”

We think so too, jefe.

 

More about Nixta

• Sneak Peek: Nixta in Botanical Heights

• The Scoop: Ben Poremba to open Mexican restaurant, Nixta, in former Old Standard space

The Scoop: Old Standard Fried Chicken to close

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

From Ben Poremba’s newest restaurant to St. Louis’ first cat cafe, here’s what went down last week in the St. Louis dining scene, in case you missed it…

 

Nixta-04

 

1. Restaurateur Ben Poremba has added another establishment to his fold in Botanical Heights. Nixta hosted a soft opening Nov. 11, at 1621 Tower Grove Ave., under the direction of executive chef Tello Carreon.

2. After nearly a year-and-a-half in business, Fleur de Lilies has closed its doors for good in Soulard. Its last day in business was Saturday, Nov. 5,

 

Mauhaus-14

 

3. St. Louis cat lovers have a new favorite hangout. Mauhaus Cat Cafe & Lounge opened Nov. 12 at 3101 Sutton Blvd., in Maplewood.

4. Pi Pizzeria co-owner Chris Sommers is branching out on his own to open ’Zza, a counter-service pizza spot at 282 N. Skinker Blvd.

 

 

5. Italy came to River City Casino last week when Cibare Italian Kitchen opened on Thursday, Nov. 3.

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky

 

Sneak Peek: Nixta in Botanical Heights

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Editor’s note: This post contains an image that may be NSFW.  

 

Nixta-04

 

Restaurateur Ben Poremba has added another establishment to his fold in Botanical Heights. Nixta hosts a soft opening tonight, Nov. 11, at 1621 Tower Grove Ave., under the direction of executive chef Tello Carreon.

As The Scoop reported in October, Poremba’s Bengelina Hospitality has turned the building that once housed its fried chicken restaurant into this Mexican-inspired eatery. Former patrons of Old Standard will hardly recognize the 42-seat space, which Poremba designed himself. Walls are painted in bright blue and coral; Mexican rugs drape windows and cover floors. Succulents rest on shelves and light fixtures dangle from climbing rope.

Carreon’s menu is inspired by his Mexican heritage with an emphasis on intense flavors, like the al pastor, featuring a thick-cut piece of pork belly topped with caramelized pineapple and a pineapple pico de gallo. The rotating menu is a mix of smaller and larger plates meant to be shared; look for Carreon’s mole negro with braised beef cheeks inspired by his grandmother’s recipe or a seafood cocktail filled with octopus, scallops, mussels, oysters and shrimp.

Bengelina Hospitality head bartender Drew Lucido oversaw development of the bar program in consultation with Layla Linehan, previously at Brasserie, Demun Oyster Bar and Monarch. The bar features a handful of house cocktails, a large selection of tequila, rum and mezcal, as well as fresh juices and a forthcoming list of house-made aguas frescas. A selection of mostly Mexican bottled and canned beers and 14 wines by the glass are also available.

Poremba said the space will function as Nixta until 10 p.m., when it will become a more relaxed, late-night spot called Bar Limón. A selection of dishes will be available on Bar Limón’s late-night menu, as well as scaled down $6 cocktails.

After this weekend’s soft opening, Nixta and Bar Limón will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect from Poremba and Carreon:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Monday, October 31st, 2016

From Ben Poremba’s newest restaurant to a fire at Waterloo’s newest brewery, here’s what went down in the St. Louis restaurant scene last week, in case you missed it…

 

102616_nixta

 

1. Three months after closing Old Standard Fried Chicken, Ben Poremba has a new concept ready to debut: Nixta, a Mexican restaurant at 1621 Tower Grove Ave. A soft opening is slated for Nov. 11.

2. After nearly three years in business, Nathalie’s is closing doors at 4365 Lindell Blvd., in the Central West End. Owner Nathalie Pettus said the restaurant’s last day will be Saturday, Nov. 5.

 

BSide02

 

3. Cherokee Street has a new spot for cheap, late-night eats and just one more round. The B-Side hosted a soft opening on Friday, Oct. 21 at 2709 Cherokee St.

4. The former catering arm of Local Harvest Grocery is under new ownership, emerging as Seed Sprout Spoon. Erin Wiles and The Civil Life’s former chef Brendan Kirby quietly purchased the business in August, finishing up existing catering contracts before making the transition.

 

Monas_03

 

5. Two months after closing doors at his Spanish tapas restaurant, owner Brendan Marsden opened doors at Mona’s, an American-Italian joint, on Oct. 19.

6. Just one month after opening, a fire broke out at Hopskeller Brewing Co. on Oct. 23. Owner Matt Schweizer said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, and no one was injured.

 

 

 

The Scoop: Ben Poremba to open Mexican restaurant, Nixta, in former Old Standard space

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

102616_nixta

 

Three months after closing Old Standard Fried Chicken, Ben Poremba has a new concept ready to debut: Nixta, a Mexican restaurant at 1621 Tower Grove Ave. A soft opening is slated for Nov. 11. “I’ve opened many restaurants in the past five years,” Poremba said. “This one is as exciting as Olio.”

Don’t expect endless bowls of chips and salsa or a long list of tacos. Nixta’s menu will focus on the complex styles and techniques found in traditional Mexican cooking. “It’s a Mexican restaurant, but not in the traditional American sense of the word,” Poremba said. “It’s mostly inspired by street food, but it’s also inspired by my partner chef Tello Carreon’s grandmother’s cooking.”

Carreon spent the past two years as chef de cuisine at Elaia, and the previous year and a half between Elaia and Olio’s kitchens. “Tello appeals to me. I’ve been working side by side with him. We’ve been toying with ideas to showcase his cuisine,” Poremba said.

Dishes will also see some South American and Spanish influences, which Poremba said run parallel to the Mediterranean and North African influences he’s known for at Olio. Dishes include pepita guacamole, grilled octopus with mole, roasted pork shoulder, braised beef cheek mole and more. The bar program will focus on pisco drinks.

 

062215_benporemba

 

{Bengelina Hospitality Group owner Ben Poremba}

 

The Mexican restaurant is only one project in the works for Bengelina Hospitality Group, which has had an eventful year. In June, Poremba passed the top toque of Elaia and Olio to chef Ben Grupe, shifting his focus to that of restaurateur for the group’s Botanical Heights establishments and newest restaurant, Parigi in Clayton.

Now more details have emerged about Poremba’s Jewish deli project, which The Scoop reported in June 2015. AO&CO is slated to open next year, in a location yet to be determined (Clayton, the Central West End and University City are all contenders, Poremba said.), but customers can get a sneak peek of what’s to come at brunch popups beginning next month at Parigi.

Poremba said he wants to bring a contemporary Jewish deli to the St. Louis area in the vein of Russ & Daughters Cafe. To that end, menu items for the first popup include house-made bagels, cured fish, chicken soup, beef tongue tartine and other traditional deli items with a Poremba twist. “I want to make it feel sort of traditional and true to the spirit of a Jewish deli,” he said.

Though the first popup on Nov. 20 has already sold out, Poremba said there will be some walk-in seating available, and he hopes to host the next at the beginning of December.

 

RSS FEEDS
Keep up with one or all of your favorite Sauce Magazine columns
Conceived and created by Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC 1999-2017, Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Sauce Magazine 1820 Chouteau Ave. St. Louis, Missouri 63103.
PH: 314-772-8004 FAX: 314-241-8004