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Nov 20, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Planter’s House’

Holiday Hacks: Batch the booze and head to Austria

Friday, November 10th, 2017

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Avoid playing bartender all night and choose one great cocktail or punch to serve alongside beer and wine. No time to batch? Planter’s House offers bottled Manhattans, Negronis and more, mixed and ready to go.

For the perfect bottle of wine, look to Austria, which is turning out some amazing medium-bodied, food-friendly reds perfect for the holidays. Sommelier Patricia Wamhoff of Lile Wines recommended Straka Blaufränkisch, available at Reeds American Table. 

“It has bright fruit flavors with good acidity and medium body. The tannins are moderate, and therefore it works well with a number of items from stuffing to the candied yams,” she said. “It’s a great crowd pleaser.”

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Marianne Moore is a contributor to Sauce Magazine and Dierbergs culinary creative director. 

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: Guide to the Holidays 2017

• 3 quick and easy holiday starters to keep your guests at bay

• 7 recipes to help you host the holidays with the most

Trendwatch: What’s on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list right now

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

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1. Proof in the Pudding
We’ve come a long way since Snack Packs – like the butterscotch pot de crème at Olive & Oak, a rich caramel pudding capped with salted caramel and whipped cream. At Pint Size Bakery, occasionally available Yum Cups are filled with rotating pudding flavors. But we all know chocolate reigns supreme, like the blend of milk and dark chocolate pudding with a black cocoa brownie, Thai basil ice cream and fresh blackberries currently on the menu at Taste. Retreat Gastropub recently offered an orange- and lemon-scented chocolate pudding served with toasted marshmallows and almond biscotti, while ClevelandHeath serves its version with Chantilly whipped cream and chocolate-dipped puffed rice.

 

2. Activate
Charcoal has made the move from face masks to the table. Gaining popularity as a detox ingredient at California juice shops like Pressed Juicery and Juice Served Here in recent years, activated charcoal has been making an appearance in cocktails like the inky mezcal-based Moonwalk at New York’s Mission Chinese Food. Closer to home, the black-hearted ingredient showed up for brunch in a chocolate-charcoal waffle at Hiro Asian Kitchen. Try a taste of the darkness at Clementine’s Creamery, where the black cherry ice cream is made with activated charcoal.

 

3. Bring in the Funk
Savory caramels are currently lending a sweet, funky accent to all manner of cuisine in St. Louis. The Copper Pig and Juniper have both combined fish sauce and caramel to great effect – the former on chicken wings and the latter on chicken and waffles. At Vista Ramen, crab caramel brings subtle sweetness and an unctuous umami pop to a tender pork rib dish. A little funk works just as well in cocktails, like The Sound of One Hand Clapping recently at Planter’s House, which combined tequila and mezcal with a miso-caramel syrup. On a more vegetal note, a beet caramel adds earthy sweetness to roasted beets, charred carrots and whipped herbed goat cheese at Boundary, while Vicia recently offered hazelnut financiers with an onion caramel sauce.

 

4. Get Crackin’
Pistachios have been lending their mild, nutty flavor to a variety of cocktail menus around town. The Lights Down, Music Up at ClevelandHeath uses Dumante Verdenoce, an Italian pistachio liqueur, to complement apricot and lemon in the rum-based drink. At The Preston, The Lady of Kildare, a unique tiki cocktail with Irish whiskey instead of the usual rum, includes a house-made pistachio syrup that plays well with tropical flavors like coconut and pineapple. And the Garden of Forking Paths at Taste utilizes the nut itself – ground and rimming a Collins glass.

 

5. The Big Cheese
Grilled cheese sandwiches have been subbing in for buns lately. Take The Big Lou special at The Corner Butcher in Fenton, where two of the sandwiches held two patties topped with nacho cheese. The Libertine appended GC to a classic BLT for a brunch special, and the ever-fluctuating menu at Shift: Test Kitchen recently experimented with The Sasquatch, pulled pork and cole slaw between two gooey sammies. Head to Festus for a Fatty Melt at Main & Mill Brewing Co., a classic patty melt with two grilled cheese sandwiches. And of course, Sugarfire Smoke House and Hi-Pointe Drive-In get in on the action with the Sweet Baby Cheesus special.

 

6. The Spice Route
Area bartenders are reaching into the spice cabinet for a taste of India on their cocktail menus. Retreat Gastropub mixes gin with coconut milk, turmeric and ginger in the curry leaf-topped Golden State, and combines rum, mango, vermouth and chai in its Cash Me Outside cocktail. Reeds American Table opts for yellow curry and coriander mixed with coconut milk in the Philosophical Zombie, while Planter’s House recently featured a chai five-spice syrup with bourbon, tequila and amaro in the Exit Stage Left. Polite Society’s arsenal of house-made tinctures and infusions includes a blood orange and cardamom gastrique featured in the Sanguine cocktail, made with vodka and coconut water. Frazer’s makes use of Desipop, a masala-cumin soda, in its rum-based Kama Sutra. Over at Eclipse, they’re shaking cardamom bitters into the Effervescent Love Machine, while just down the street, the team at Randolfi’s also added cardamom bitters to Advice from a Fortune Cookie and curry bitters to A Rule of Plumb.

 

Photo by Carmen Troesser

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Drink This Weekend Edition: Miracle on Chouteau Pop-up Bar

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

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{ Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r! }

 

If the crowds are any indication, St. Louis apparently had a deep need of a Christmas-themed pop-up bar like Miracle. It’s like spending time in your holiday-obsessed grandmother’s basement, surrounded by decorations collected over the past 40 years – only better, since you can escape your family and sip on drinks made by the crew at Planter’s House.  

Located at 1740 Chouteau Ave. (just look for the glow of hundreds of Christmas lights in the windows), drinks like the Jingle Bell Nog or Bad Santa hot milk punch feel right in this Christmas tree forest, but I’m partial to the cocktails with a tiki vibe on the menu.

Yule Be Singing features Plantation 3 Star Rum with Velvet Falernum, lime and a Champagne topper for an unexpected, sweet-tart holiday treat. And nothing can compete with the Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r!, a tiki tipple with two kinds of rum, pumpkin-almond orgeat and lime juice served in a Santa mug dusted with powdered sugar.     

Plan on arriving early if you don’t want to wait, but there’s no bad seat, since every chair sports a Santa hat, and the whole place is dripping with tinsel and twinkle lights. Enjoy a cup of good cheer every day through Dec. 24.

First Look: Intoxicology in The Grove

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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A new cocktail supply and spirits shop is now open in The Grove. Intoxicology opened doors Friday, Nov. 18 at 4321 Manchester Ave. As The Scoop reported in August, co-owners Andy Foerstel and Melissa Pfeiffer aim to supply small batch spirits, bitters and barware to cocktail enthusiasts.

In addition to liquor and an extensive collection of bitters, Intoxicology sells tools of the trade, right down to Kold-Draft ice cubes by the bag. “We were sick of having to go around to multiple stores to find everything we needed to make a cocktail,” Pfeiffer said. “We wanted to create a place where you can find everything you need in one place.”

Foerstel and Pfeiffer credited Planter’s House co-owner Ted Kilgore with introducing them to a proper drink. “Ted really got us into cocktails about 12 or 13 years ago, back when he was at Monarch,” Foerstel said. “He’s been really encouraging and helpful during this whole process.”

Intoxicology is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect:

 

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Read more about The Grove
• The Scoop: Parlor to open in The Grove
• The Scoop:Rockwell Beer Co. announces location in The Grove
• The Scoop: Intoxicology spirits and bar supply store to open in The Grove
• The Scoop: Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods to open in The Grove
• The Scoop: Gezellig Tap House & Bottleshop to replace The Demo in The Grove

-photos by Michelle Volansky

Guide to Drinking 2016: 6 Best Bitter Bottles to Buy

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

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Sweet-toothed Americans are increasingly embracing bitter flavors at the bar. Aperol spritzes are everywhere, and according to Randolfi’s head barman Jeffrey Moll, “No respectable home bar should be without Campari.” The pretty pink amaro and its compatriots are for more than your nightly Negroni. Bitter liqueurs and aromatized wines can be enjoyed simply poured over ice with a citrus twist or neat at room temp. We asked Moll, Planter’s House’s Ted Kilgore and Retreat Gastropub’s Tim Wiggins to tell us which bottles best bring out the bitter.

1. Amaro Sibilla is sweetened with honey but tastes boldly bitter and herbal – a siren song for the experienced amaro enthusiast. It’s great in complex cocktails. $54

2. Amaro Sibona boasts a sweet, baking spice-laced start with a smooth, slightly bitter, chocolate finish. Substitute it for Campari or sweet vermouth in your next Negroni. $30

3. Contratto Aperitif is easy to drink with prominent orange notes, like a more complex Aperol. Try mixing equal parts with a dry, sparkling white wine. $30

4. Amaro Nonino’s bittersweet caramel and baking spice notes are best on their own, rather than in a cocktail. Try as an aperitif over ice, or sip it neat after dinner. $50

5. Amaro di Angostura rolls around the palate with the spiced flavors of the classic Angostura bitters. Use in place of vermouth for an amped-up Manhattan. $22

6. Byrrh is a lightly bitter blend of young red wine and quinine. With an approachable flavor profile and price tag, it’s a safe start on your bitter journey. $18

All available at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton, wineandcheeseplace.com

Photo by Jonathan Gayman 

Trendwatch: Guide to Drinking Edition (Part 2)

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

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{Vista Ramen’s Matcha Gonna Do For Me? cocktail} 

1. Go Green
Teatime and happy hour combine in green tea cocktails. Matcha is found in Retreat Gastropub’s Brainfreeze Culprit, which combines the vibrant green tea powder with rum, sherry, pineapple juice, cacao and coconut. We also spied it at Hiro Asian Kitchen, in a matcha mint julep. Green tea-infused vodka gets fresh at Rooster with apple, lime, pineapple and cucumber in the Green With Envy, while Water Street uses it in its Sweet Pea along with snap peas, dandelion liqueur, mint and lemon. Meanwhile, the drink team at Vista Ramen doubles down, using matcha and cold-brewed green tea stems in the gin-based Matcha Gonna Do For Me?

2. East-Coast Vibes
If intensely hopped IPAs blow your palate, head east. The East Coast IPA is a gentler, juicier IPA best identified by its murky, unfiltered appearance. Eastern breweries like Alchemist, Trillium and Tree House are known for these less bitter, slightly resinous beers, and up-and-coming hometown brewers are taking notice. Narrow Gauge Brewing, which recently opened inside Cugino’s in Florissant, is making waves with its cloudy, dry-hopped IPAs like Fallen Flag, and forthcoming Rockwell Beer Co. shared a taste of what’s to come at Heritage Festival with Major Key, an 8.5-percent East Coast-West Coast hybrid double IPA.

3. Concept Menus
Themed drink menus may seem like a marketing gimmick, but one sip of these exclusive cocktails will sell you. Pouring Ribbons in New York has been traveling with a themed menu series, hitting Route 66 and the Silk Road. Closer to home, Olive & Oak’s Gilligan’s Island-themed menu is a boozy voyage that includes a Three-Hour Tour, while sophisticated takes on college drinks were the star on Planter’s House’s spring break menu earlier this year. Recent menus at Blood & Sand have been based off everything from ninth-century Viking trade routes to popular music, and dedicated tiki menus have been found on bar menus from The Libertine to Taste to Retreat Gastropub.

4. Taste the Rainbow
Brewers are getting experimental, fermenting some of their classic base beers with fresh fruit. Side Project Brewing Co. has released raspberry, peach, blueberry and, most recently, apricot versions of its flagship Saison du Fermier. Over at Perennial Artisan Ales, Funky Wit has seen raspberry-rhubarb, raspberry, apricot and melon varieties, while fans of 2nd Shift Brewing’s Katy can try a veritable fruit salad of blackberry, peach, cherry and raspberry varieties. Looking for an insider taste? Rumor has it that 4 Hands Brewing Co. has quietly released infrequently available strawberry- and blueberry-inflected kegs of City Wide at its tasting room.

5. Basque Wine
Txakoli, a super dry, acidic white from Spain’s Basque region, has popped up on menus and in shops all summer. Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery offered the crisp 2014 Xarmant Txakolina with barely-there bubbles on its summer wine list, while Reeds American Table still has two Txakolis to try. 33 Wine Bar has three of these Basque beauties on its September wine list, including Gorrondona Txakolina.

Miss Part 1? Click here to find out what else in trending in the STL beverage scene. 

-photo by Jonathan Gayman

Trendwatch: What’s trending now in the STL dining scene (Part 1)

Friday, August 5th, 2016

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1. A Better Swiss Cheese
You may not recognize the name, but you’ve probably seen raclette (a funky, nutty Swiss-French cow’s milk cheese that melts like a dream) on a BuzzFeed list or foodie Instagram account. You don’t have to go to Raclette NYC (Yes, a whole restaurant is named for the cheese.) to get it. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. has topped winter veggies with the stuff on seasonal menus since it opened in The Grove. Larder & Cupboard has held fondue and raclette classes, and chef-owner Jim Fiala currently melts this gooey goodness over beef tenderloin at The Crossing. Chef-owner Bill Cawthon purchases whole wheels of the stuff and broils until molten, then scrapes it to order over a basket of fries at Frankly Sausages food truck.

2. Fit to Be Fried
It’s never too early for Chinese food – or completely bastardized, completely delicious American-Asian fusion. Places like The Rice House start mornings off with breakfast fried rice (fried rice with the addition of eggs and a breakfast meat). Half & Half offers a spicy version with scrambled eggs, sausage, jalapeno and grilled onion, while Cleveland-Heath goes with green onion, bacon, peas and sesame seeds topped with eggs any style.

 

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3. Get Lit
Neon isn’t just for dive bars anymore. The beer sign classic has a fancy new job as a fun design element lighting up a number of restaurants around town. It’s the red pulsing heart behind the bar at Olive & Oak. See neon inside Friendship Brewing Co. telling guests where to eat with bright pink letters. Vista Ramen took its name from the massive vintage sign that now glows green in its small Cherokee space.

4. Spotlight on Sambal
First there was Sriracha, then pungent gochujang. Now sambal is heating up plates around town. Planter’s House uses the spicy Southeast Asian chile paste to add heat to pickled eggs, as well as the cornbread crumbs scattered atop its summer salad. Seafood got sauced with the condiment at Hiro Asian Kitchen, where it graced the grilled whole squid, and at Guerrilla Street Food, where it livened up a recent pan-roasted salmon special. The Crossing drops the temp a few degrees, mixing sambal into a cooling aioli for its Maryland blue crabcake sandwich, and a house-made version snuck in with strawberries atop ricotta and fresh snap peas at a recent Sardella pop-up.

 

Ready for more? Click here for Part 2 of Trendwatch.  

Readers’ Choice 2016: Favorite Bartender – Tim Wiggins

Friday, July 1st, 2016

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{From left, Tim Wiggins, Ben Bauer, Seth Wahlman and Ted Kilgore at Retreat Gastropub}

Your favorite bartenders of 2016 tell us: What’s the worst confession they’ve heard while tending bar?

Winner: Tim Wiggins, Retreat Gastropub
“I was talking to a boss of a company at the bar. I’m trying to remember the exact quote. It was basically, ‘I’m excited for our new hires because I’ve already slept with everyone in the office.’”

2nd: Ted Kilgore, Planter’s House
“All of the worst things people have confessed are unfit for print. I have worked at mostly classy places and have served Nebraska farmers, exotic dancers and movie stars. The one connection is people sometimes get really weird after a few drinks. … It’s like improv sometimes.”

3rd: Ben Bauer, The Libertine
“It’s mainly the things you see more than confessions. Most recently I had a couple sitting at the bar, and they seemed really happy when they came, but at some point during the meal they got super quiet. Then she just left, and he started slamming cocktails and talking to everyone about how she had just broken up with him.”

Honorable Mention: Seth Wahlman, Eclipse
“A robotics engineer once told me he felt bad about wiping out factory jobs and that his wife was a replacement for his first love. Other than that it’s mostly affairs.”

 

-photo by Jonathan Gayman

Trendwatch: What’s on our plates and in our glasses right now – Part 2

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

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{South Side Poutine at Byrd & Barrel}

4. Don’t Call Them Cheese Fries When Americans slather french fries in cheese, meat and gravy, it’s called drunk food. When Canadians do it, it’s called poutine, which has taken St. Louis by storm. Byrd & Barrel covers house-made tater tots in smoked chicken, cheese curds and either smoked mushroom or fried chicken gravy in the South Side Poutine. Winslow’s Home likewise uses tots in its poutine with oxtail gravy. Retreat Gastropub keeps it veg-friendly with mushroom gravy and fried fingerling potatoes, while Small Batch swaps cheese curds for gooey fontina on its house-cut fries. The Libertine ups the ante with sweet peas and foie gras gravy, and the newly opened Copper Pig offers three versions: traditional with beef gravy, a duck confit or a saag paneer option. Urban Chestnut in The Grove has a poutine of the moment that previously featured white gravy with chicken and bacon. Or cash it all in for the foie gras poutine at Sidney Street Cafe featuring a crispy potato cake, french fry-encrusted foie and pickled apples.

5. The Spirit of Norway There are only two things to do during a long Norwegian winter – drink and, well, you can figure it out. Aquavit, a neutral distilled spirit flavored with herbs and botanicals, is the Norwegian sauce of choice. Lucky for us, the clear, full-bodied liquor isn’t just for Scandinavians. Chat up Matt Osmoe at Blood & Sand and sample the flavor variations ranging from dill to caraway to anise. Have it mixed by Randolfi’s Jeffrey Moll in the lemonade-like Madam I’m Adam. Emphasizing Aquavit’s food-friendly qualities, Planter’s House can whip up a bloody mary-esque Bloody Well Right.

6. Grape Crush Chefs around the country are taking grapes to the next level with vinegar, smoke, dehydration and high heat. New York’s Blue Hill restaurant pairs smoked grapes with Brussels sprouts and uses dehydrated grapes in a chicken dish. Blackbird in Chicago pairs pickled grapes with scallops. Get in on the trend closer to home with the newly opened Standard Brewing’s Coraline salad, where sweet-sour pickled grapes are tossed with radishes, goat cheese and spinach. Sound weird? Give them a try at Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar in a starter, or see how they do when roasted with mushrooms in both the seared scallops and the strip steak at Eclipse. At Randolfi’s, try the lamb hearts and sausage starter with roasted grapes.

Check out Part 1 of Trendwatch here

 

-photo by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Chef Sam Boettler steps into the kitchen at Planter’s House

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

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There’s a new top toque in the Planter’s House kitchen. Chef Sam Boettler stepped into the role today, Sept. 29, replacing former chef Bradley Hoffmann, who fired his last dish at Planter’s Friday, Sept. 25.

“Sam brings a log of great experience managing a kitchen,” said Planter’s House co-owner Jamie Kilgore. “We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Boettler brings 23 years of culinary experience to the table, including six years as the executive chef at The Vine in St. Charles. He most recently spent two years at Element as one of four chefs helming that kitchen when it first opened in 2013.

Describing his cuisine as “simple comfort food” with some French bistro influences, Boettler aims to roll out the fall menu at Planter’s House by mid-October. “The staff at Planter’s House is amazing,” he said. “I’m super excited to work with them.”

 

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. to correct chef Bradley Hoffmann’s name spelling.  

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