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Jul 24, 2016
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘The Scoop’

The Scoop: Chef Carl Hazel takes helm at West End Grill & Pub

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

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After taking six months off, chef Carl Hazel is once again top toque in the kitchen. Hazel started as executive chef at West End Grill & Pub (WEGAP) on July 13.

As The Scoop reported in January, Hazel spent the majority of the last nine years running The Scottish Arms’ kitchen before departing at the beginning of the year. “The pub atmosphere is something I really enjoy,” he said. “(WEGAP) runs the gamut from super, super casual, cold beer and flip-flops at the bar to a really nice date-night place in the dining room.”

The 20-year industry veteran plans to change the menu’s focus to an emphasis on local, sustainably grown and responsibly raised ingredients, but he will balance that change with what restaurant regulars have come to know and love. “We’re definitely going to change things quite a bit, but we’ll be real careful not to lose the personality of WEGAP,” he said. “People are more aware of what we eat and what we put in our bodies.”

Hazel also said he plans to improve plating presentations and perhaps incorporate wild game dishes. “People will see more than the standard beef, chicken and pork choices,” he said.

In addition to the menu, the 8-year-old restaurant will also update its interior and beverage selections. Hazel anticipates the new menu will be released in mid-August. “I’m excited to be back in the kitchen, doing what I love to do,” he said.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: LuLu Asian Kitchen to open in Olivette and Rock Hill

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

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Expansion has been the theme this year for LuLu Seafood and Dim Sum, which recently launched its first food truck and, as reported by St. Louis Magazine, plans to open two locations this fall called LuLu Asian Kitchen. They will feature a pared down, casual menu with items that food truck and LuLu Fresh Express customers will recognize.

“We learned a lot selling at Dierbergs and at the food truck,” said Julia Li. “We learned that people want orange chicken and crab rangoon.”

In addition to Americanized Chinese dishes, the menu will see rotating authentic Chinese dishes as well as LuLu Seafood classics like steam buns and pot stickers.

The Olivette location will be at 9626 Olive Blvd., while the Rock Hill restaurant will be located at 9737 Manchester Road. Coincidentally, the building on Manchester used to house a Chinese restaurant at which Li’s mother took her first job after immigrating to the United States in 1993.

Li eventually plans to expand LuLu Asian Kitchen out of state, starting with locations in Chicago and Miami.

 

The Scoop: Gamlin brothers unveil concept for new project

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

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The Central West End’s newest establishment, courtesy of Derek and Lucas Gamlin (of Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar) will be called 1764 Public House and, as previously announced, will open at 4910 W. Pine Blvd. Breaking with the spirit themes of their other establishments, 1764 Public House will instead honor the history of the building, as well as the city of St. Louis.

“When we started researching the building, we discovered it had so much crazy St. Louis history, we felt we had to do something that would harken to that history,” said Lucas Gamlin.

Gamlin said the building used to house Circus Snack Bar nightclub in the middle of the 20th century during which time pianist Liberace was a weekly fixture, as were other famous artists.

To harken to that history, the food menu at 1764 Public House will include versions of the Lou’s most iconic dishes including “a twist on hand-made toasted ravioli.” While the menu is still being finalized, diners can also expect St. Louis-style pizzas with and without Provel.

In a move Gamlin admits is ambitious, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night crowd. Customers can expect to see local doughnuts, as well as de rigueur local beers on 16 or so taps. A curated spirits and cocktail list, as well as a wine list, will round out the beverage program.

An opening date has not been set, but when doors open, the space will accommodate around 120 diners inside with additional space for guests outside. “We want to open a comfortable, casual place that people can come to every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Gamlin.

 

The Scoop: Yori opens in Chesterfield

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

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Don’t let the Kampai Sushi Bar sign fool you. Yori, a new Korean restaurant, has opened at 1637 Clarkson Road in Chesterfield.

As reported by Feast, co-owners Sae Kim and Jay Moon were looking for a place to expand from their flagship location in West Lafayette, Indiana, and discovered one of Kim’s St. Louis friends, the owner of Kampai Sushi Bar, wanted to leave the 2,200-square-foot space in West County. Kim and Moon said they welcomed the opportunity to expand the neighborhood’s palate. “We’re trying to introduce our authentic Korean food to people who aren’t so familiar with it,” said Moon.

A few signature dishes include the galbi, short ribs marinated with Korean barbecue sauce, and soon tofu soup. “The tofu has a very silky smooth texture, and we make the broth with seafood and beef stock so it has a very deep flavor,” said Moon.

Kim and Moon quietly opened the 85-seat space three weeks ago, and it will hold a grand opening next week partly to celebrate one important change. “Our sign still shows Kampai Sushi Bar. We are just waiting to get a new sign,” said Moon, laughing.

Yori is currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 9:30 p.m.

The Scoop: Owners of Sugarfire Smoke House to open burger joint this fall

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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The owners of Sugarfire Smoke House are opening another restaurant – but barbecue isn’t on the menu. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, The Hi-Pointe Drive In will serve griddled burgers on potato buns, fries and shakes in a new space at 1033 McCausland Ave., after tearing down the former Del Taco building at that address.

Sugarfire co-owner Mike Johnson has wanted to open a burger joint for years. “Probably even before Sugarfire first opened,” he said. “We’ve been working on it for a long time.”

The building will be made up of shipping containers, to be designed by Tom Cohen. “It’s going to be unreal,” Johnson said. “You won’t believe you’re in St. Louis.”

The fast-casual Hi-Pointe Drive In is slated to open in November.

The Scoop: Chefs Kevin and Britt Pellegrino launch BK Catering

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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Husband-and-wife duo Kevin and Britt Pellegrino, both formerly of Five Bistro and Olive & Oak, are starting their own catering company, BK Catering, Feast Magazine reported. BK Catering will focus on smaller private events in clients’ homes.

“We wanted to do something different and try to work on our own thing,” Britt Pellegrino said. “We’re trying to do something on a smaller scale, a little more specialized, (and) I think it is nice for us and for the guest.”

The Pellegrinos also want to do in-home cooking classes for small groups. “I’ve gone to one of those parties and it’s nice to have somebody come in, it’s like girls night out (and) everyone has wine and we teach them something fun,” Britt Pellegrino said.

While they’re still pulling parts of the company together — they don’t have a website yet — Kevin and Britt have done several events together already. Additionally, Kevin is working at Claverach Farm in Eureka, Britt is a private chef for two families and they are catering together whenever they can.

Eventually, the two hope to open a fast-casual Filipino spot—Britt’s family is Filipino. Even when the restaurant opens, catering will remain a part. Until then, track down Kevin and Britt through email at bkcateringstl@gmail.com or give them a call at 314-435-1068.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Spare No Rib to move to larger space, expand Egg

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

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Get ready to brunch (and barbecue) hard, St. Louis. Spare No Rib is set to move to a new location in South City in mid-August, while its brunch concept Egg takes over the original Spare No Rib space at 2200 Gravois Ave., in Benton Park.

Since owner Lassaad Jeliti hatched the idea for a Sunday brunch pop-up at Spare No Rib in fall 2014, he said intended to expand the two concepts. “We could have done breakfast under Spare No Rib, but I gave (Egg) a different name to have an opportunity to split them apart,” Jeliti said.

The new location for Spare No Rib had to be near its current customer base in Benton Park, Tower Grove, Lafayette Square and Soulard. Jeliti found his opportunity in a freestanding building at 3701 S. Jefferson Ave., previously occupied by Lucky Buddha.

The Jefferson Avenue location will raise Spare No Rib’s capacity to about 60 seats and add outdoor seating from two patio spaces. The menu won’t change initially, but Jeliti is open to extending the hours and adjusting the menu at some point. “I’m going to let the space tell me what to do with it,” he said.

Egg and Spare No Rib are expected to open as separate restaurants next month. Spare No Rib will maintain its regular hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the new location.

Egg will serve its usual brunch menu on weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will shift to quick breakfasts and lunch items Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Scoop: Jax Café closes doors, Kopperman’s and Tavern of Fine Arts also say farewell

Monday, July 11th, 2016

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Jax Café has closed doors for good. The Benton Park restaurant served its last meal Sunday, July 10. Co-owner Gina Seltzer said that while brunch business was brisk, the dinner crowd was too thin to keep the restaurant going.

“We were just hoping that with the addition of dinner a year and a half ago that business would pick up,” Seltzer said. “(Customers) became regular brunch patrons but never really sustained the dinner part of it, which is where we shine, so it’s unfortunate.”

Seltzer, who co-owned Jax Café with her husband David Seltzer along with chef Brian Hale, opened the restaurant in 2013. Sauce reviewed it in April 2014.

Another local favorite has closed after more than three decades. Kopperman’s Deli in the Central West End announced its closure on Friday, July 8. “After months of trying different combinations of hours and staffing, we realize that we cannot sustain operations at Kopperman’s,” the owners wrote in a Facebook post. “We have decided to close the business effective immediately. We appreciate everyone’s patronage over the nearly 34 years we’ve been open and will miss our many regular customers.” A recorded phone message at the New York-style deli confirmed the post.

Tavern of Fine Arts also took its final bow at the end of June. After five years, co-owner Mathew Davis said the DeBaliviere Place wine bar and performance space could not turn a profit. “The business operated and managed to support itself, so we were able to pay the bills, employees and artists,” he said. “(But) we could never get off that plateau of breaking even.” Tavern of Fine Arts closed Saturday, June 25.

 

The Scoop: Twisted Tree to open in Sunset Hills

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

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There will once again be a dining option at the corner of Lindbergh Boulevard and Watson Road when Twisted Tree Steakhouse opens July 14 in Sunset Hills. As reported by Feast, Twisted Tree will be located at 10701 Watson Road, the space was most recently home to Mile 277 Tap and Grill.

The Syberg family, which also owns the eponymous restaurant group, owns Twisted Tree and brought on Mike Abbadessa of the former Pear Tree Restaurant to help with menu development and opening. “We’ve all been in the business for a long time,” said Syberg’s marketing director Tracy Stamper. “The Pear Tree had a great menu, and we have seven restaurants. We’re excited.”

Stamper said Twisted Tree will aim to create a rustic, comfortable steakhouse featuring traditional cuts like prime rib, filet mignon and rib-eye. A signature item from Pear Tree, the battered, fried lobster tail, will be on the Twisted Tree menu, as well.

The 9,100-square-foot restaurant holds 200 seats inside with an additional 50 seats on a patio. When it opens, Twisted Tree will initially serve dinner from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with plans to add lunch service in August.

 

The Scoop: The Wheelhouse in Clayton to close July 1

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

 

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After nearly three-and-a-half years, The Wheelhouse in Clayton will close its doors tomorrow, July 1. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, The Wheelhouse location in downtown St. Louis will remain open, and co-owner Stephen Savage’s next project, Start Bar, is still slated to open this summer.

“The biggest reason we’re closing the Clayton location is to put all of our efforts into our downtown projects and focus on the future of the company,” Savage said.

The group is also looking down the road to expand its brands outside of the St. Louis market, but no specific city has been chosen. “We love where we’re at in the downtown location,” said Savage. “We’re between Busch Stadium and Scottrade (Center), so we’d love to go to a city with another hockey and baseball stadium nearby.”

 

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