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Jan 16, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

The Scoop: Pizzeoli owner to open Pizza Head on South Grand

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

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{ Pizzeoli owner Scott Sandler }

 

South Grand will soon have an old-school pizza joint to complement its array of international restaurants. Scott Sandler, owner of Pizzeoli in Soulard, has announced he will open a new restaurant called Pizza Head at 3196 S. Grand Ave., in the former Absolutli Goosed and Brickyard Tavern space.

Sandler described the concept as “can beer, large pies, slices and punk rock music.” Like Pizzeoli, all the pizzas will be vegetarian (cashew cheese will also be available for vegans), but they’ll be akin to New York style instead of the Neapolitan pies Pizzeoli turns out. Sandler will use electric pizza decks for their high heat, so he can get the pizzas out quickly. The current plan is to have a cheese pizza and a white pizza available, plus around eight classic toppings to choose from at the counter-service spot.

Sandler said he’s had his eye on South Grand for a while, and when the opportunity to get into the neighborhood came up, he went for it. “I’ve always thought this would be the perfect place for pizza,” he said.

The space won’t require much work, and if all goes according to schedule, Sandler said he hopes to open in two to three months.

Photo by Dave Moore

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Best New Restaurants: No. 10 – Melo’s Pizzeria

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.

 

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{ dom pizza }

 

Five seats, five menu items and a fire crackling merrily in the oven: This is Melo’s. The small but mighty Italian-American pizza shop is run by the Valenza family – brothers Joey, Johnny and Vinny, and their dad Vince Sr., the owner of Blues City Deli, whom you could call their consigliere.

When Vince finally bought the Blues City building in 2013, it came with a teeny garage, big enough to fit a couple cars, or to give life to Joey’s bread-making hobby turned pizza-making obsession.

Happily, Dad went with the latter, and now we’re obsessed, too. The Dom is our favorite, a simple pizza topped with Grana Padano, sliced garlic, fresh basil, oregano and a glug of extra-virgin olive oil. It’s Neapolitan-style, with a thin, wood-fired crust and a perfectly pure crushed tomato sauce, but has an American twist, mixing fresh mozzarella with drier, shredded mozzarella. This transgression makes for a lower moisture content that keeps the dough from getting too wet.

“It’s more of a familiar flavor for people,” Joey said. “I don’t know if it’s our American taste buds, but we think it tastes better.”

Melo’s formula for an Italian-American pie combines the best of both worlds. We appreciate an edited menu, pared down to the bare, most delicious bones.

 

More about Melo’s Pizzeria

• Hit List: 6 new restaurants you must try this month

• Sneak Peek: Melo’s Pizzeria in Benton Park

The Scoop: Blues City Deli owner to open Melo’s Pizza

Photo by Dave Moore

The Scoop: Pi Pizzeria’s Chris Sommers to open new pizza concept, ’Zza

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

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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. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the 1,600-square-foot space is slated to open early next year.

Sommers said the menu will consist of personal-size pizzas, salads and a combo plate called a pizzata: a pizza with the center cut out and replaced with a salad. Customers can choose from set topping combinations and salads, or create their own.

Don’t expect the pizza to be a rehash of Pi’s offerings. Sommers developed his own recipes for its new concept. “The dough has higher gluten content, has more chew to it,” he said. “It’s not as thin and crispy as Pi’s [thin crust pizza], but not as deep as its deep dish.”

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for years,” Sommers said. “I finally found the right oven, and there’s better access to better quality food for the speed, price and quality that didn’t necessarily exist a few years ago.” He said he’s already in talks regarding additional locations.

 

First Look: Mona’s on The Hill

Monday, October 24th, 2016

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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. As The Scoop reported in August, Marsden closed Modesto after 15 years, announcing that it was time for a concept change at the space on 5257 Shaw Ave.

The Hill is known for Italian-American eateries, but Marsden has his own spin. Pizzas feature toppings inspired by different American culinary regions, like a smoked chicken pizza with corn, red onion and grilled red pepper. While the ultra-thin pizza crusts lean toward the lighter side, four pasta dishes offer heartier fare.

Marsden spent the last two months updating the interior, which now features white and blue walls. The space seats roughly 100 in bright yellow chairs. While the menu is new, loyal Modesto fans will find a pleasant surprise: the bacon-wrapped dates and bread pudding still make an appearance.

Mona’s is currently open Monday to Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m.; Marsden plans to add lunch service in the coming weeks. Here’s a first look at The Hill’s newest eatery:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

Sneak Peek: The Sliced Pint in downtown St. Louis

Friday, September 30th, 2016

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The Sliced Pint opens doors for pizza and beer lovers today, Sept. 30. As The Scoop reported in June, the 4,300-square-foot restaurant is located next-door to City Museum at 1511 Washington Ave., downtown. Owners Amy and Amrit Gill are developers who also own Restoration St. Louis, as well as O’Shays Pub in The Grove, Holiday Inn Route 66 and several others in Iowa.

Create your own pie with four kinds of crust (including a signature T-Rav stuffed crust option), or choose from 13 specialty and signature pizzas like the Philly cheesesteak-inspired The Wonder Years or the St. Louis-centric pork steak pizza called The Urge.

The beer list has a local focus with 80 options from breweries like Old Bakery, Urban Chestnut and 4 Hands, 36 of which are available on tap. Indulgent fried appetizers, sandwiches and a handful of salads are also available at the pizza-and-beer themed restaurant.

The Sliced Pint will open this weekend (Fri., Sept. 30 to Sun., Oct. 2) from 5 p.m. to midnight before taking on regular hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to midnight and Thursday to Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. Here’s a sneak peek of your next slice and pint downtown:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Vero Pasto to deliver pizza and pasta kits

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

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After a limited trial run earlier this year, Katie and Ted Collier, along with Katie’s mother Belinda Lee and brother Johnny Lee, have secured a space in Creve Coeur where they will launch Vero Pasto – a meal delivery service initially offering a weekly selection of pizza and pasta. The Colliers, who also own Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria, hope to have the business open by the holiday season.

Unlike some other local options, Katie Collier said Vero Pasto (that’s “real meal” in Italian) will deliver the raw ingredients and customers will cook the dishes courtesy of written recipes, as well as You Tube tutorials.

“We’re doing this because we love our restaurant and love serving the community,” said Collier. “With a restaurant we can only reach so many people and we’ve been thinking how to expand and reach more people with our food.”

Meal kits will include the raw ingredients necessary to prepare pizza or pasta at home, including handmade pizza dough and extruded pasta along with raw vegetables and other components. New kits are available each week. The Lees and Colliers plan to source fresh, seasonal ingredients and hope to use local vendors like Volpi and Salume Beddu.

“We want this to be a fun experience,” said Collier. “We want it be easy but interesting so people can cook then say, ‘Wow, I made that.’”

Orders will be placed online. Delivery will follow a couple of days later with ingredients arriving in temperature-controlled packaging. Pricing is still being determined, but each kit pizza kit will contain items for two pizzas, and each pasta kit will serve four people and will run between $25 and $30.

“We’ll pivot and learn as we grow,” said Collier. “We’re starting off humbly and small, but we chose a space where we can grow quickly if we need to. The meal delivery system, like Blue Apron, is a new phenomenon within the last few years. We’ll learn and grow it naturally.”

 

First Look: Start Bar downtown

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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Start Bar, downtown St. Louis’ new arcade bar opened Wednesday, July 13 at 1000 Spruce St. As The Scoop reported in April, the colorful, game-themed space was designed with an eye for detail, from the old school Nintendo console wall art to the narrow tables hidden between game cabinets for drink storage while you play.

“You make enough venues and you start to learn a few things,” co-owner Stephen Savage said. “And [the branding and design firm] Atomicdust did a phenomenal job. We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.”

Game manager Mike Ahearn said Start Bar’s 19 cabinets offer a variety of fighting and combat games, shooters, and other classic old school and multi-player games that will rotate based on popularity. Enthusiasts will be happy to know the arcade bar is awaiting the arrival of Killer Queen, a multi-player game with a cult following. “It should be in within six weeks,” Savage said. “It’s our number one requested game.”

Gamers can take a break at one of the 55 seats inside or one of the 50 picnic table seats on the patio. Parties of six to 10 looking to relive childhood glory can take over four reservation-only game lounges stocked with Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart and GoldenEye 007 games.

The menu reflects Start Bar’s playful atmosphere, with boozy shakes, floats, snow cones, slushies and popsicles for your inner child and a short list of snacks and candy. The kitchen turns out house-made Neapolitan-style pizzas for those who need something a little more substantial.

Start Bar is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday from noon to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from noon to midnight. A short brunch menu with breakfast pizzas and drinks is available from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends. Here’s a peek inside downtown’s new arcade bar:

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-Photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: The Sliced Pint to open in downtown St. Louis

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

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The newest place to get a slice and a pint is coming to downtown St. Louis when The Sliced Pint opens at 1511 Washington Ave., later this summer. As reported by the St. Louis Business Journal, owners Amy and Amrit Gill are developers who own Restoration St. Louis, as well as O’Shays Pub in The Grove, Holiday Inn Route 66 and several others in Iowa. They also own the building where The Sliced Pint will pour and bake.

“We want it to be a casual, fun place,” said Amy Gill. “A lot of people want a nice place downtown to go and not spend a million dollars.”

Although a pizza-and-beer themed eatery is a casual concept, both the suds and the slices will be thoughtful with 32 craft beers – almost exclusively local – and pizza with international flare. Drawing from a San Francisco trend, look for Indian-inspired options like a chicken tikka masala pie. To keep the whole crew happy, The Sliced Pint will also offer chicken fingers and salads, as well as gluten-free crust options.

When complete, The Sliced Pint will accommodate between 70 and 80 guests inside and will have an entrance that faces The City Museum.

Sneak Peek: Scarlett’s Wine Bar in the Central West End

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

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The newest member of the Sasha’s Wine Bar family will open to the public today, Thursday, June 2, when Scarlett’s Wine Bar opens its doors for service at 4253 Laclede Ave., in the Central West End. Like any sibling, Scarlett’s has the same DNA as her sister locations, but is her own, distinct restaurant.

The large, front patio – a la Sasha’s on Shaw – has room for roughly 30 guests to wine and dine al fresco under large umbrellas, while the inside features ample seating and plans for a back patio are in the works. Owners Rachel Jones and Alan Richman sourced vintage, art deco light fixtures and early 20th-century bar rails from Prince Edward Island that serve as a wine glass rack above the white marble bar.

While the dark walls and polished stone table tops are signature Sasha’s, Scarlett’s Wine Bar’s food menu boasts wood-fired pizzas, an option unique among the sister locations. Along with Neapolitan-style pizzas, Scarlett’s offers hummus plates, cheese and charcuterie, burgers, crab cakes and a vegetarian lasagna.

There are a handful of cocktails on the menu, including the Bey’s Knees, a nod to Beyonce. The mostly bottled beer selection is a lineup of craft beer bar man Tim McAndrews chose as “the best representation of the style.” The draft selection adheres to the same philosophy and features The Civil Life Brewing Co.’s American Brown and Perennial Artisan Ales’ Hopfentea.

The wine is the focus at Scarlett’s, and upon opening will offer 20 reds and 20 whites by the glass and will eventually have up to 175 bottles available for purchase. Scarlett’s Wine Bar will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when you step inside:

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

 

The Scoop: Firecracker Pizza and Beer to open in The Grove

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

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{From left, Firecracker Pizza and Beer owner Chip Schloss, chef Wil Pelly and beverage director Tony Saputo}

With the goal of putting pizza and beer on the same footing, Atomic Cowboy owner Chip Schloss has teamed up with chef Wil Pelly and barman Tony Saputo to open Firecracker Pizza and Beer at 4130 Manchester Road in late summer. “The focus will be to match the quality of the pizza with the quality of the beer,” Schloss said.

The menu is still in development. While neither Schloss nor Pelly (who was most recently corporate executive chef at Sugarfire Smoke House and oversaw culinary operations at In Good Company restaurant group before that) will divulge specifics, they said their pizza style will be unique – “the opposite of thin, wood-fired pizza” – and will incorporate ingredients also used in beer, such as brewer’s yeast or spent grains. Available by the slice or as whole pies, the pizzas will feature a variety of toppings, some with an international influence.

“If somebody wants a pepperoni pizza, we can do that, but we will have mostly nontraditional options,” Pelly said

Schloss, Pelly and Saputo plan to have a large selection of craft beers on up to 60 taps, half of which will feature local options. The remaining 30 will be divided between regional and national brands. “We want this to be a place for beer drinkers, a craft beer house,” said Saputo, who also helms Atomic Cowboy’s beverage program.

Schloss has sustainability in mind which is why any bottle program would likely be limited. “The best recycling is to not use (bottles or cans) in the first place,” he said.

Once complete, Firecracker will accommodate 80 guests inside with an equal capacity on the back patio, which will also include space for yard games. Late-night Grove-goers can look forward to an eventual window service that will offer pizza by the slice. “We want a place that feels comfortable, where people can stop before or after a concert or just hang out,” Schloss said.

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