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Sep 25, 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘The Scoop’

The Scoop: VietNam Style aims to bring traditional Vietnamese fare to The Loop

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

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A new style is coming to the Delmar Loop in early October. Owners Thao Truong and her husband, Yun Vu, are finalizing plans to open VietNam Style, Delmar’s newest Vietnamese restaurant, at 6100 Delmar Blvd., as reported by the Riverfront Times. Truong will run the front of house and a fresh fruit smoothie bar, while Vu will helm the kitchen with Truong’s mother assisting.

Truong said VietNam Style’s food will reflect authentic cuisine she grew up with in Vietnam. “My mom helped teach me to cook,” Truong said. “Since I was 10 years old, and she always chose the best ingredients to cook with. She would send me to the markets, and when I chose one (ingredient) that was not fresh enough, she sent me back to get a better one.”

Look for traditional Vietnamese dishes like pho or grilled pork with a sweet-and-sour fish sauce served atop rice vermicelli and herbs. Truong also hopes to bring tastes of more modern Vietnamese cuisine like Sizzling Steak, a thin sliced beef dish cooked on hot cast-iron that Truong said has risen in popularity in Vietnam.

“Delmar is a place for mostly international students and people. Customers come there to try new things,” she said. “I can’t think of a better spot for my restaurant.”

When its doors open, VietNam Style will offer daily lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and it will open back up at 5 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant will close at 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The Scoop: New Day Gluten Free closes doors, intends to open new location this year

Monday, September 19th, 2016

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After nearly six years, New Day Gluten Free closed its doors in Ellisville today, Sept. 19 – but owners Garrett and Kelly Beck aren’t ruling out a new home for the gluten-free, peanut-free restaurant and bakery.

After dealing with staffing issues and low sales at the West County location, Kelly Beck said the couple decided to close the restaurant (which was announced on Facebook) to focus full-time on finding the right spot for New Day Gluten Free. “It came down to a location and timing thing,” she said. “With our lease up in six months, we decided to close down this location to focus 100 percent on the next location.”

The Becks hope to move to a more central, accessible location to better serve its customers, many of whom traveled long distances to one of the only dedicated gluten-free restaurants in the St. Louis region. Beck said they haven’t yet decided where New Day’s new home will be, but they aim to be open by Thanksgiving, one of their busiest times of year. “The need is there, so we are going to continue,” Beck said. “This is just a pause.”

Until then, customers can stock their freezers with gluten-free goodies to hold them over during the interim this Saturday, Sept. 24, when New Day will reopen from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for retail orders only. Details will be available on its Facebook page.

The Scoop: California Do-nut Co. cancels plans to open

Monday, September 19th, 2016

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Almost a year after The Scoop reported the coming opening of California Do-nut Co., owner Felinna Love announced on the shop’s Facebook page she will not open due for professional and personal reasons.

“While it is heart-aching to have to admit, I have come to terms with that fact that I am no longer in a position where I can take on the additional challenges and risks associated with opening a new business,” Love wrote in the post. “I am tremendously grateful for all of the support which friends, family, media and the local community poured out.”

Love intended to open California Do-Nut Co. at 2924 S. Jefferson Ave., in a space that once housed a doughnut shop by the same name, which the awning still displays. Love did not return requests for comment.

The Scoop: Stage Left Diner to take the spotlight in Midtown

Monday, September 12th, 2016

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The former City Diner space at 541 N. Grand Blvd. has a fresh new name and look. Stage Left Diner (named for its next-door location to The Fabulous Fox Theatre) will host its grand opening Sept. 24, according to Brad Beracha, who serves as restaurant consultant on this project.

Beracha said Stage Left Diner owner Steve Smith has made several changes to the space in recent months, updating the interior design and improving the overall customer service experience. “The culture has changed drastically,” Beracha said. “It’s an intangible, but the energy and feel of the restaurant is much improved.”

Customers will also see changes on a new menu created by chef Ryan Cooper. Cooper previously served as chef de cuisine at Beracha’s now-shuttered Araka, and he’s spent the last two years working in kitchens at Smith’s Triumph Grill and BaiKu Sushi Lounge. While the menu still includes diner classics like meatloaf, burgers and a slew of breakfast options, lighter fare is also a focus of the new concept. “It’s still very large, just more health conscious,” Beracha said, noting items like a kale and apple salad, a portabello sandwich and crepes.

Recognizing that many of their customers will attend performances after dining, Beracha said the menu is also built for speed. “If we shave three or four minutes off a customer experience when they’re trying to get to a show, that’s valuable time,” he said.

It’s not only the theater crowd that Stage Left Diner is after, though. Beracha said he hopes new large developments like City Foundry and upcoming Hotel Agnad (slated to open in 2018 and 2017, respectively) will spur increased interest in Grand Center and Midtown. “We’d love for Midtown to be on the map (like) the Central West End and Clayton,” he said.

Stage Left Diner is currently open Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight.

 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Monday, September 12th, 2016

From new restaurant openings on South Grand to a new concept in a Hill institution, here’s what went down last week in the St. Louis food scene, ICYMI…

 

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1. Just north of the hustle and bustle on South Grand, The Garden on Grand has opened with limited hours at 2245 S. Grand Blvd. Owner Cevin Lee and executive chef Kore Wilbert hope to provide meals that are health-focused without sacrificing flavor.

2. Tapas are out and pizzas are in at 5257 Shaw Ave., the former home of Modesto. Owner Brendan Marsden plans to open Mona’s, an American-Italian restaurant, the first week of October.

 

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3. Narwhal’s Crafted Urban Ice opens doors at 3906 Laclede Ave., in Midtown Sept. 9, to serve its cocktail slushies to the thirsty masses. Co-owners Brad Merten and Brandon Holzhueter are opening the 1,900-square-foot space with a rotating menu focused on upscale frozen cocktails.

4. After a yearlong search for a suitable St. Louis location, The Blue Duck is building a new nest in Maplewood at 7401 Manchester Road. The restaurant is part of new development in the space that once housed Monarch Restaurant.

 

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5. You may not know Dan Brewer’s name, but you’ve seen his Missouri-sourced tofu on dishes from Revel Kitchen to Mission Taco Joint. However, producing Mofu is only part of his resume.

6. After four years at Niche Restaurant Group, Anne Croy has left her position as Pastaria’s executive pastry chef. Her last day was Thursday, Sept. 1.

 

 

 

The Scoop: Mona’s to open in former Modesto space

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

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Tapas are out and pizzas are in at 5257 Shaw Ave., the former home of Modesto. Owner Brendan Marsden plans to open Mona’s, an American-Italian restaurant, the first week of October, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The restaurant is named for Marsden’s mother.

Don’t confuse American-Italian and Italian-American, though. “It’s regional American cuisine and ingredients presented in an Italian way,” Marsden said. Pizzas or pastas may feature toppings inspired by American regions, such as crawfish and andouille or pork paired with chiles and pineapple. Executive chef Carlos Hernandez will develop a menu centered around pizza with four or five pasta options and appetizers.

“We’re not really playing by the rules. We want people to know we’re not trying to be authentic in any way, but it’s all going to be high quality,” Marsden said.

Marsden, who also owns Whitebox Eatery in Clayton, closed Modesto on Aug. 20 after 15 years serving Spanish tapas. Customers can expect a new look to go with the new concept. “It’s a complete remodel,” he said. “We’re not removing walls, but it will look a lot different. Everything will be refinished or replaced.”

The beverage program will focus primarily on beer and wine with a limited selection of Italian-inspired cocktails like Negronis and spritzes. Marsden said fans of Modesto’s sangria need not worry; a version will still be available at Mona’s.

The Scoop: The Blue Duck to open location in Maplewood

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

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After a yearlong search for a suitable St. Louis location, The Blue Duck is building a new nest in Maplewood at 7401 Manchester Road. The restaurant is part of new development in the space that once housed Monarch Restaurant, as reported by Feast. The Washington, Missouri restaurant is known for its riverfront views and DLT sandwich – that’s smoked duck, lettuce, and tomato.

Maplewood is “the place to be right now,” said owner Chris Rayburn. “It’s a hot spot for restaurants.”

The new location will have a similar menu of salads, sandwiches and entrees, Rayburn said, and will maintain his devotion to making almost everything in house, including breads and desserts.

Diners can also expect local beers, cocktails made with spirits from Pinckney Bend Distillery in New Haven, and a wine list featuring selections from Missouri wine country, which surrounds The Blue Duck’s Washington spot.

Several staff members will move to the new location, including pastry chef Karmen Rayburn and bar manager Adam Anglin.

Rayburn hopes to have the restaurant open by Thanksgiving. It will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

The Scoop: Anne Croy leaves Pastaria, to focus on Banner Road

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

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After four years at Niche Restaurant Group, Anne Croy has left her position as Pastaria’s executive pastry chef. Her last day was Thursday, Sept. 1, as reported by Feast.

Croy said she intends to focus on her business, Banner Road Baking Co. “Banner road is a wholesales specialty food business,” she said. Currently, she sells four varieties of granola under the Banner Road name. She hopes to expand her distribution throughout the Midwest and add more flavors and products like energy bars, granola bars, cookies and crackers.

“Anne makes some of the best granola in the world, and we’re proud to still serve her recipe at Pastaria,” said Niche Food Group owner Gerard Craft.

 

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Croy worked at Pastaria’s since it opened in 2012. “I’ve been able to work with some of the finest chefs in the city,” she said. “I just had an amazing team, and I’m really excited about what (executive chef Ashley Shelton) is doing with the restaurant.”

Craft said Sardella executive pastry chef Sarah Osborn has taken over pastry operations and will develop desserts for Pastaria and Taste. She will also have a hand in developing gelato pop flavors for Porano.

Pastaria Nashville executive pastry chef Mathew Rice has been named Niche Food Group executive pastry chef and will work with Osborn to develop the gelato programs at Pastaria and Porano, as well as the overall dessert programs at Pastaria and Taste.

Rice said he looks forward to the added responsibilities, as well as more frequent trips back to St. Louis. “This will keep me involved in the St. Louis food scene, so that’s something I’m excited about,” Rice said.

 

Catherine Klene contributed to this report. 

 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

Here’s what went down recently in the St. Louis food scene, ICYMI.

 

1. Our new issue featuring our annual Guide to Drinking hit stands this week. Don’t miss six salad recipes you need in your life, the coolest places to eat in St. Louis and what’s trending in the STL beer, spirits and wine scene.

 

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2. A new cheese shop has opened in Hermann. Der Käse (German for “the cheese”), a 900-square-foot shop, opened doors at 100 E. Fourth St., in mid-August. Owner and cheesemaker Tom Blatchford’s shop focuses only on Missouri artisan cheeses and carries more than 30 varieties.

3. A little more than a year after opening his first restaurant, chef Ben McArthur has left J. McArthur’s An American Kitchen. The announcement was posted on J. McArthur’s Facebook page on Aug. 28.

 

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4. Close out summer out with something different. Click here for three bottles perfect for sauvignon blanc lovers seeking something new.

5. The Cortex in Midtown will soon be home to a food hall and market. City Foundry is planned to include three brick-and-mortar restaurants as well as 20 food kiosks set to open around Labor Day of 2018.

6. Yet another new establishment is opening doors in The Grove. Co-owners Ricky Barakat and Ahmad Salameh are putting the finishing touches on Shisha at 4229 Manchester Ave., the former home of SoHo Restaurant and Lounge. Barakat said they hope to host a soft opening by mid-September.

 

 

The Scoop: Missouri-sourced cheese shop opens in Hermann

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

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{Der Kase and Cool Cow Cheese owner Tom Blatchford}

A new cheese shop has opened in Hermann. Der Käse (German for “the cheese”), a 900-square-foot shop, opened doors at 100 E. Fourth St., in mid-August. Owner and cheesemaker Tom Blatchford’s shop focuses only on Missouri artisan cheeses and carries more than 30 varieties.

Der Käse features products from cheesemakers such as Baetje Farms, Heartland Dairy, Homestead Dairy, Green Dirt Farms and Blatchford’s own Cool Cow Cheese. He hopes to have representative from these dairies in the store most days. Pairing products are available, too, like wine, fresh bread from Hummingbird Kitchens and locally made pickles, jams and mustards. The shop will also be home to cheesemaking and pairing classes and workshops.

“Wisconsin has so many rules for what qualifies as Wisconsin cheddar, and Vermont has rules for its Vermont cheddar, but Missouri’s like the Wild West for cheesemakers; there are no rules,” Blatchford said. “I want to highlight all these different cheeses being made in Missouri. … This is the type of cheese shop I wish was around when I started making cheese.”

Der Kase is open Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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