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Mar 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Planter’s House’

First Look: Small Change in Benton Park

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

small change in benton park

Small Change, the neighborhood bar from the folks behind Planter’s House, opened quietly on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 2800 Indiana Ave. in Benton Park.

Small Change, named after a Tom Waits record, combines qualities of a dive bar and a cocktail bar. There’s no food per se, just a couple vending machines to dispense bar snacks – all the better to focus on the drinking.

The cocktail menu features seven drinks named after Tom Waits songs or lyrics like Chocolate Jesus and Waltzing Mathilda, along with a couple of shot options: Little Drop of Poison, a rotating amaro shot, and PBJ Time, a combo of peanut butter fat-washed cognac and Manischewitz grape wine.

As at sister bar Planter’s House, Small Change focuses on fresh juices, house-made modifiers and select spirits. There’re also canned beers to choose from, along with a couple draft options.

Inside, Small Change is decorated with vintage bar signs and liquor-related novelties. Small Change has 49 seats, and when the weather starts cooperating on a regular basis, there’ll be an additional 40 to 50 seats outside.

Small Change hours are Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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Photos and captions by Caitlin Lally 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine and occasionally bartends at Planter’s House. 

Related Content
• Planter’s House owners will open Small Change in Benton Park

• Chef Sam Boettler steps into the kitchen at Planter’s House

• Review: Planter’s House

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

From a new project from a trio of the city’s top barkeeps to 12 ways to use up all those Thanksgiving leftovers, here’s what went down last week, ICYMI.




1. Big news for cocktail aficionados: Planter’s House owners Ted Kilgore, Jamie Kilgore and Ted Charak will open their second bar, Small Change, in mid-January at 2800 Indiana Ave., in Benton Park.




2. Knead Bakehouse & Provisions is officially open for business at 3467 Hampton Ave. Owners AJ and Kirsten Brown opened doors at their bread bakery and cafe on Nov. 18.




3. Andrey Ivanov, executive beverage director at Reeds American Table, will relocate to San Francisco at the end of the year to further his position as national sales manager for Bliss Wine Imports, which is based in Napa Valley, California. He’ll remain at Reed’s through Tuesday, Dec. 26.




4. After a successful Maplewood opening in February, Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream is set to open a second location, this time near Valley Park. Owner Eric Moore said he will open the second Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream at 2901 Dougherty Ferry Road in February 2018.




5. Your fridge is still full, but you can only make so many sandwiches. Fear not! Here are a 12 recipes to use up those holiday leftovers – from the bird to that extra bag of cranberries to a can of pumpkin puree.


Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Scoops in the St. Louis restaurant scene.




Planter’s House owners will open Small Change in Benton Park

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017


 { from left, Ted Charak, Jamie Kilgore and Ted Kilgore }

Big news for cocktail aficionados: Planter’s House owners Ted Kilgore, Jamie Kilgore and Ted Charak will open their second bar, Small Change, in mid-January at 2800 Indiana Ave., in Benton Park.

More minimal than Planter’s House, Ted Kilgore said Small Change, named after a Tom Waits tune, will feature canned and draft beer, a small selection of spirits and a tight menu of five to six rotating cocktails, along with some bartender’s choice specials. There won’t be a formal menu per se, just a chalkboard with the day’s featured drinks.

“We’ll still have quality ice and fresh juices and some geeky stuff, but also beers and shots of quality whiskey that won’t break the bank,” Kilgore said.

Small Change won’t have a kitchen, though there will be a vending machine and a microwave on hand for those who crave some low-brow, late-night eats. “Think truck-stop sandwiches and noodle bowls, some healthy stuff, and some not-so-healthy stuff,” Kilgore said.

The trio intends for Small Change to be a neighborhood joint where guests can unwind without pressure or pretense. “The space is comfortable and laid back,” he said. “It’s similar to Planter’s House, where it feels like it could’ve been around for a while or brand-new at the same time.”

The “hobo chic” interior, which seats 49, includes repurposed chairs, tables and doors. The ancient Falstaff sign outside above the entrance, though, will eventually be replaced with the Small Change logo.

Planter’s House vet Harrison Massie will helm Small Change, and Sam McCulloch, who has previously worked at Cleveland-Heath and Niche Restaurant Group, will serve as assistant bar manager. The space will be open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.




The Kilgores and Charak are warming up the space Friday, Nov. 24 when Miracle, the Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar franchise, returns with a few changes. This year, Miracle will remain open through Dec. 31 (the last day of service in 2016 was Christmas Eve), only closing on Christmas Day.

Reservations will also be available this year via Tock, and bar seats and standing room will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Miracle will be open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Kilgore said Miracle is also partnering with Tom’s Town Distillery. A portion of the sales of drinks featuring Tom’s Town gin and vodka will support Santa’s Helpers, an area nonprofit that assists families in need.

Owners photo by Michelle Volansky, Miracle photo courtesy of Jamie Kilgore

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Chef Sam Boettler steps into the kitchen at Planter’s House

• Review: Planter’s House

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

Holiday Hacks: Batch the booze and head to Austria

Friday, November 10th, 2017



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



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

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

Saturday, December 10th, 2016


{ 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



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



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



{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



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.




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.  

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