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Apr 18, 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘The Scoop’

The Scoop: The Pasta House Co., Schlafly team up for new venue at Lambert

Thursday, April 17th, 2014



Two well-known names in the local food and drink scene have teamed up to create a new venue at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The Pasta House Co. and Schlafly have expanded their current presence with a combination restaurant and bar, now open in Terminal 2 near Gate 4E.

The 1,500-square-foot space offers the traditional Pasta House lineup of Italian entrees, as well as appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads and burgers. In addition, customers will find a selection of Schlafly beer on tap, plus rotating food specials inspired by similar fare offered at its other area restaurants downtown, in Maplewood and at the airport in Concourse C. The new restaurant marks the 16th location for Pasta House and its second at the airport. Both establishments will maintain their current airport locations in addition to the new combined venue.

The restaurant joins another newcomer to Lambert; Mike Shannon’s Grill is slated to open in early summer. The new venue is operated by St. Louis-based OHM Concessions Group, which also operates Dunkin Donuts and Great American Bagel at the airport.

-photo courtesy of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

The Scoop: Chef Gian Nicola Colucci takes the helm at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Thursday, April 17th, 2014



{Chef Gian Nicola Colucci}

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis recently announced the appointment of Gian Nicola Colucci as its new executive chef. Colucci will oversee all the hotel’s culinary operations, including its fine dining Italian restaurant, Cielo Restaurant & Bar.

A native of Turin, Italy, Colucci holds 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Most recently, he worked as executive chef at Resort Danieli in Venice, Italy. Prior to that, he was executive sous chef at Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf in London.

Colucci replaces chef Fabrizio Schenardi, who recently departed from the downtown luxury hotel for Florida. As The Scoop reported in December, Schenardi accepted a position at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, slated to open this summer.

“Chef Schenardi was very involved in the local culinary scene and will be greatly missed, but we know that chef Colucci will continue his great work in the community,” said Alper Oztok, general manager at Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. “Chef Colucci is a culinary talent that will bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to Cielo and the Four Seasons Hotel.”

-photo courtesy of Four Seasons St. Louis

The Scoop: Sauce on the Side adds second location

Thursday, April 17th, 2014


Sauce on the Side recently announced plans to add a second location at 7810 Forsyth Ave., via its Facebook page. The popular downtown eatery, specializing in calzones and salads, has been open for two years. Brendan Maciariello, one of three owners of Sauce on the Side, said that the trio hopes to open their new Clayton location by mid-June.

“We are looking to keep it as much the same as possible, but we would like to expand the wine program,” Maciariello said. Right now, in the beer department, Sauce on the Side has 73 different bottles. Maciariello said the new location will have the same amount but hopes that the new space will allow for a draft system. Owner Ryan Mangialardo will head up the Clayton location, and the hiring process for both front and back of the house will start next month.

-image from Sauce on the Side’s Facebook page


The Scoop: Russo’s Catering rolls out food truck

Monday, April 14th, 2014


Russo’s Catering has joined the fleet of local food trucks. Its mobile eatery, Russo’s Trucktoria, hit the pavement in late March.

The Italian-centric menu for the truck includes offerings such as a chop salad, linguine Bolognese, grilled lemon-herb chicken spiedini, jumbo ravioli and sandwiches like Italian beef and a chicken BLT.

The truck rolls onto the street three to four times a week, according to Trucktoria manager Jeff Robinson. Besides offering lunch to curbside diners, Russo’s Trucktoria will make an appearance at community events, including Food Truck Friday. Follow the truck on Twitter @russoscatering.

The Scoop: Eric Kelly leaves Scape to move to Seattle

Monday, April 14th, 2014


Scape American Bistro’s Eric Kelly has left the Central West End restaurant. After six years as chef and partner at Scape, Kelly is moving to Seattle to work for multi-concept dining operation Restaurants Unlimited. His last day in the Scape kitchens was April 10.

“I’m stepping away from the kitchen and going into operations,” said Kelly, who will join the company’s corporate office. Restaurants Unlimited manages nearly 50 restaurants, primarily located in California, Oregon and Washington. Kelly said the opportunity appeared just two weeks ago when the president of Restaurants Unlimited approached him. The two had previously worked together as employees of Levy Restaurants.

Scape began as a venture between Kelly, Ted Kolpar and his son, Sam Koplar, both of Kolpar Properties. The Koplars purchased Kelly’s share in the business. “It was a very, very difficult decision,” he said. “My experience at Scape, the relationships I built with hundreds and hundreds of great people from St. Louis – it is a difficult separation.” Kelly departs for Seattle May 1.

Taking the helm in Scape’s kitchen is Joe Everett, who transitioned from his role as Scape’s executive sous chef. “Joe is an amazingly talented chef,” Kelly said. “Culinarily, he’s more talented than I am. He’s going to take Scape to another level.”

Everett’s experience includes 10 years working for Levy Restaurants at venues in Florida like Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa before joining the team at Scape last year.

“He was ready for the task,” Ted Koplar said of his new executive chef. “We couldn’t be happier with the way the restaurant is right now. We have exciting plans for summer. We’re opening the courtyard soon. The team that is in place that people are used to is still there and doing a great job.”

-photo by Wesley Law



The Scoop: R-café, R-space now open in Soulard

Friday, April 11th, 2014



Calling all coffee-hounds: R-café is now open, serving coffee, espresso, pastries, sandwiches and more as part of R-space, an artists’ and merchants’ cooperative located at 1704 S. Broadway in Soulard. A grand opening is scheduled for April 25.

Patrick Reiner, who co-founded R-space with Mei Yang, sees the project as a sanctuary for artists, designers and other creative types plugged into the Soulard community. “We feel Soulard already has a strong local arts scene. Instead of using art from elsewhere in the country, we have a lot of talent right here. The cafe is an extension of that,” he said.

Yang, an avid foodie and experienced home cook, will be behind the counter brewing coffee, pulling espresso shots and making the edibles in house. Looking to keep its footprint local, R-café will source its coffee beans from St. Louis roaster Chauvin Coffee Company.

The space is generous, seating 20 to 30 inside and 25 on the patio. Adhering to R-space’s architectural aesthetic, the cafe sports elegant, mid-century furniture for those looking to lounge in style. Reiner also has plans to host evening events at the cafe, including a continuing education course for architects and designers, a board game night and an open mic night. Exact dates for these, however, aren’t set yet. “We want to bring in traffic by having these events – bring people in and support our local artists,” Reiner said.

R-café is open Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Scoop: Bocci Bar in Clayton reopening as Bocci Wine Bar

Friday, April 11th, 2014


Clayton’s Bocci Bar located at 16 N. Central Ave., will unveil a new identity as Bocci Wine Bar May 1. The restaurant, which has been closed for renovation since Jan. 1, will see an updated menu, revamped decor and new additions to its eclectic wine selection. “We’re starting with some decorative changes inside to accommodate a wine display style,” said owner Frank Schmitz. This includes technological updates to offer patrons a sleek, straight-from-the-barrel experience.

“The key to me is that the wine is served at the right temperature,” Schmitz said. “We have a wine chilling system that chills the (red) wines down to 55 degrees. And we have implemented this new wine keg system of stainless-steel 20-liter kegs that are filled at the winery and shipped out.” On top of that, Bocci will offer four wines on tap using the Coravin system to keep the bottles airtight and fresh.

When it comes assembling the wine menu, Schmitz makes no bones about his international ambitions. Each month, Bocci will feature a region known for a particular varietal or blend. The wine of the moment will be paired with food and the music of the featured culture in the background. Argentina debuts as May’s featured wine region, followed by France, Italy and Australia during the summer months, Napa Valley in September and continental Europe in the fall.

Schmitz said the food menu is still being finalized, but it will reflect the diversity and breadth of his wine selection. “All our food is wine friendly – from farm, sea and land,” he said. Bocci Wine Bar will serve lunch and dinner Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and dinner Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m.



The Scoop: New coffeehouse Restituo opens in Shaw neighborhood

Thursday, April 10th, 2014



New coffeehouse Restituo is the latest addition to the expanding Shaw neighborhood. Located at 4100 Shenandoah Ave., the shop opened doors April 5.

According to owner Nicole McCormack, Restituo is now brewing up a coffeehouse lineup of esperesso-based drinks, drip coffee, teas, smoothies and even snow cones. McCormack’s food menu consists of a daily spread of pastries and treats from local bakers, but she will offer a full cafe menu featuring soups and New York-style paninis in May. “I don’t brag about many things, but my soups are off the hook,” McCormack said.

In homage to the 10 years she spent living in Manhattan, McCormack even imports her coffee beans from Porto Rico Importing Co. “(Porto Rico) just has a beautiful pH. Their balance is superb without being acidic or burnt-tasting,” she said.

A potter, musician and entrepreneur, McCormack returned to her hometown to be closer to family and said she soon fell in the love with the city all over again. “I had a friend say to me, ‘I feel so much culture in this place,’” she said. “I recognized a niche (in Shaw) for a cafe and my pottery.”

McCormack has outfitted her latest venture with vintage upcycled furniture reminiscent of New York City’s cozy, urban, boutique aesthetic. Restituo’s offbeat decor sprawls across a casual living room layout and includes a fish tank retrofitted from an old television, a manual typewriter open for typing letters or crowd-sourced poetry, and even a vintage turntable where patrons can spin their favorite album while sipping their coffee.

Plus, McCormack uses her own hand-potted mugs and dishes to serve customers, and regulars can even purchase and store a personal mug in one of the site’s dedicated cubbies.

The coffeehouse is currently open weekdays at 7 a.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. A dog-friendly, 10-seat outdoor patio is slated to open once warmer climes arrive.

-photo courtesy of Restituo

The Scoop: Molly’s In Soulard gets new chef, updated menu

Thursday, April 10th, 2014



A changing of the guard is in the works at Cajun and Creole hub Molly’s In Soulard, located at 816 Geyer Ave. The kitchen will now be helmed by executive chef Bryan Johnson, following chef David Timney’s departure. Previously, Johnson worked at Brasserie for almost two years before working as a sous chef at Central Table.

“Beyond his cooking ability, it’s his enthusiasm and everything he wants to do that I’m excited about,” said Molly’s owner Luke Reynolds. “He’s really excited about the cuisine.”

Reynolds and Johnson are looking to update and tighten Molly’s menu, including items that pull from Johnson’s French culinary background like oysters Rockefeller, oyster po’ boy, roasted chicken sourced from Double Star Farms and Scottish salmon, among others. The new menu will focus on seasonality and will rotate monthly. Johnson has slated the first full menu rotation for May 1.

“We’re going to elevate the food and bring it to a better, fresher level,” he said. “We’ll use more local products and turn it into a from-scratch kitchen.”

The Scoop: Mike Shannon’s Grill to open in Lambert St. Louis airport

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014



Attention, passengers: a St. Louis classic is landing at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Mike Shannon’s co-owner Pat Shannon-VanMatre has announced plans to open a Mike Shannon’s Grill at the airport in early summer. This will be the third Mike Shannon’s restaurant location. “We are excited about representing what we feel is an iconic St. Louis restaurant in the airport,” she said. “[We’re] very proud that the airport invited us to represent St. Louis food culture.”

The grill will be located in the former space of Mosaic Restaurant in Terminal 1 and will seat roughly 48 in the dining area and another 40 at the bar. Shannon-VanMatre said the airport had approached the restaurant in previous years, but the family wanted to perfect its grill concept in Edwardsville, Ill., before introducing it to the airport.

Shannon-VanMatre said the menu at the airport will include Edwardsville grill items like burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads, as well as a selection of Mike Shannon’s signature steaks. The airport location will also add something new to the restaurant’s repertoire: breakfast. Morning offerings could include breakfast burritos and sandwiches, baked oatmeal, French toast and more.

The Shannon family has worked closely with HMSHost, which manages Lambert’s dining program, to design a space that adheres to the Mike Shannon’s aesthetic and to fine tune the grill menu to better serve traveling customers. “It’s very different from what we do because obviously as a family-owned business, myself and sons, we are involved every day in both our locations,” Shannon-VanMatre said. “It’s a very different working environment, but what we feel confident about is that HMSHost is one of the premier management companies in the country.”

-rendering courtesy of HMSHost, Ideation and Mike Shannon’s

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