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Feb 08, 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘The Scoop’

The Scoop: Former J. Buck’s chef Patrick Viehmann steps into Seamus McDaniel’s

Monday, February 8th, 2016



Former J. Buck’s executive chef Patrick Viehmann took his experience at the now-shuttered Clayton restaurant to Dogtown in January when he joined Seamus McDaniel’s as general manager. Viehmann said he plans to keep Seamus’ family traditions alive and said he hasn’t changed the Dogtown institution since his arrival.

“One thing I don’t want to do is make an abundance of changes to a restaurant that has already succeeded,” Viehmann said, adding that some patrons may have feared he would shake things up. Viehmann said he will keep the integrity of the food, staff and overall feel of Seamus, but he is working on additions to the menu.

Owner Susan Venincasa said Viehmann will balance his abilities and customer expectations. “He made a commitment to me to enhance Seamus with his skills and experience, but to keep the menu and integrity the same,” Venincasa said. “I’m very excited for him to be here.”



The Scoop: McArthur’s Bakery Café to open location in The Loop

Friday, February 5th, 2016



McArthur’s Bakery Café will whip up a lot more frosting next month. The 60-year-old St. Louis institution announced yesterday, Feb. 4, that it will add another bakery and cafe at 6630 Delmar Blvd., in The Loop. McArthur’s will move into the space formerly occupied by St. Louis Bread Co., and is shooting for a mid-March opening.

“When we heard the space was available, we knew it was the right space for us,” said owner Scott Rinaberger. “We opened the cafe concept in Kirkwood around Labor Day, and the concept has done really well. It gave us the confidence to pursue The Loop location.”

The space will undergo mostly cosmetic renovations, and when complete it will have an indoor and outdoor capacity of slightly less than 100 and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“We revamped the food menu at the Kirkwood location to provide upscale soup, salad and sandwiches,” said Ben Abel, executive director of food service. “It’s been extremely well received, and we want the people in The Loop to feel like they can come in and grab something quickly or stay and linger, have a study group or a business meeting.”

A feature unique to The Loop location will be the glass-enclosed pastry kitchen, where patrons will be able to watch pastry chefs prepare everything from European pastries to cupcakes to the special occasion and wedding cakes McArthur’s is known for.

Rinaberger said more McArthur’s locations may be in the works to open later this year.



The Scoop: Ol’ School Smokehouse opens in South County

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016



Meat lovers in Mehlville and beyond have a new place to get their fix. Co-owners Wes Smith, CJ Baerman and Shawn Orloski opened Ol’ School Smokehouse at 7565 S. Lindbergh Blvd., on Monday, Jan. 25. Focusing on fresh meat and side dishes prepared daily, the smokehouse offers traditional takes and less common twists on one of St. Louis’ most popular cuisines.

Pulled pork and chicken wings (smoked for 36 hours) are featured as is beer sausage, a house-made sausage blended with spices and local brew then smoked and cured onsite. Ol’ School Smokehouse also opted to switch out ubiquitous beef brisket with a smoked beef chuck for what Orloski said is tender, juicier result. Two sauces are available now (a sweet, thick sauce and a spicier whiskey sauce) with a hot sauce and Asian-inspired varieties on the way.

“We make everything from scratch,” said Orloski, who started at Bandana’s BBQ in 1997 and has also owned Bully’s Smokehouse in Columbia, Illinois. “We believe in giving the public a fresher product. Fresh meat is better than frozen meat but it’s hard to locate. We source from a variety of local sources and meat markets.”

Ol’ School Smokehouse is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. or until they sell out. “We cook to sell out,” he said. “We don’t want to carry over our smoked meat. People want to eat what was made today, not what was left over from yesterday.”

The dining room currently seats only a dozen diners, but Ol’ School Smokehouse plans to add an additional 60 seats in the adjacent space pending approval from St. Louis County.



The Scoop: Absolute BBQ to open in Chesterfield Valley

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016




A taste of China, India and the Mediterranean is slated to open at the end of March when first-time restaurant owner Venkatesh Sattaru welcomes diners to Absolute BBQ – Indian Wish Grill. The restaurant will be located at 17409 Chesterfield Airport Road in Chesterfield and will serve food inspired by Sattaru’s travels while in the military.

“It’s a fusion and continental grill,” Sattaru said of his 90-seat restaurant. The menu will include Chinese fried rice and chow mein, spicy chicken 65, shawarma and more. Serving lunch and dinner, Absolute BBQ aims to have speedy counter service and combo lunches as well as a la carte dinner choices and a full bar.

Pending approval, Sattaru will have flattop grills at each table. Patrons will be able to select their protein (lamb, goat, chicken, fish or shrimp) and sauce. The protein of choice will arrive on a skewer for diners to eat right then or add extra sear with a quick hit on the grill.

Sattaru hopes to expand quickly, looking to open a second location in the Delmar Loop by the end of the year.



The Scoop: Local breweries take top RateBeer awards

Monday, February 1st, 2016




{Mahlab ESB at Earthbound Beer}

It was a good weekend for the St. Louis beer scene as several breweries, restaurants and retailers took home RateBeer awards at the website’s annual festival and awards show last weekend, Jan. 30 and 31. The awards are based on user reviews of craft beers from around the world.

Earthbound Beer took home the award for Missouri’s best new brewery. “They sent us and email, and we thought it was a scam,” said co-owner Stuart Keating. The award was legitimate though, and an honor for the expanding brewery. “I’m so proud of everyone at Earthbound,” Keating said. “It’s a group effort and everyone works so hard and to have that effort recognized is supremely awesome.”

Earthbound plans to start keg distribution to 35 St. Louis metro bars and restaurants in February and move to a larger brewery and tasting room on Cherokee Street later this year.

Perennial Artisan Ales took home best beer in Missouri with its barrel-aged Abraxas. “It’s one of the most labor intensive beers,” said Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore. “I think that comes through in the finished product.”

Wymore said he values the democratic process by which winners are chosen and acknowledges the pressure to keep performing at a high level. “It’s a real honor when we win, but the patting ourselves on the back is a short process,” he said. “We need to meet a level of expectation.”

Side Project Brewing also took top honor as best brewer in the state and rated the eighth best brewery in the world. “It was crazy, absolutely crazy and an incredible honor for how tiny we are,” said co-owner Karen King. “It’s motivating us to make the best beer we can.” The Side Project Cellar was also honored as the top Missouri brewer tap room. “I’m very excited about that,” said King. “We have a great team there.”

Other area restaurants and retailers took top spots, including Schlafly Tap Room, which won Missouri’s best brewpub. Baileys’ Range was awarded Missouri’s best restaurant beer retailer, while Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar won Missouri’s best bar beer retailer. Clayton’s Wine and Cheese Place was rated Missouri’s best bottle shop.


The Scoop: Chef Carl Hazel leaves The Scottish Arms

Friday, January 29th, 2016




Executive chef Carl Hazel fired his final ticket at The Scottish Arms on Wednesday, Jan. 27. He worked at the Central West End restaurant since 2007, having left in 2012 and returned again in 2013. Hazel said he was grateful for his years at the Scottish pub, but it was time for a change. “It was time for me to explore something different,” he said. “This past year, we have had significant growth and had things dialed in. It’s time for me to find something else to put my effort into.”

Hazel said he appreciated the opportunity to be creative in the kitchen. “I was fortunate to have some of the best eaters in the city,” he said. “They were adventurous and willing to try anything I was willing to prepare for them. It allowed me to grow as a chef. I am grateful to (owner) Ally (Nisbet) and the guests.”

Hazel is still working on his future plans and is considering a return to a consulting work, which he had previously done with restaurants outside of St. Louis, including a bed and breakfast in the Farmington area.

In Hazel’s absence, Nisbet said the team at The Scottish Arms is strong and will step up and work together until Hazel’s replacement is named. “(Carl and I) have been together a long time,” Nisbet said. “I have nothing but respect for him. He’s incredible, and I know Carl will go on to do great things.”





First Look: Catrinas in Edwardsville

Thursday, January 28th, 2016



It was out with the arcade and in with asada when Catrinas opened on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 1027 Century Drive in Edwardsville. As The Scoop reported Monday, Jan. 26, Catrinas moved into the space formerly occupied by Unkle Munkey’s Coin Club after it closed doors in November 2015.

Co-owners Megan and Ana Becerril serve up Mexican-inspired fare that aims to go beyond the Tex-Mex chimichanga. Eight starters range from octopus salad with avocado toast to taquitos to corn and bean salsa and chips. The taco selection eschews ground beef or shredded chicken with offerings like a chicharrón and a pulled pork version with habanero onion slaw. Hungrier diners can choose from nearly a dozen platters featuring chicken, pork, beef and fish, as well as a vegetarian option.

Margaritas made with house-squeezed juice feature Tres Agaves tequila with additional flavors like strawberry-habanero available on Margarita Mondays. Catrinas is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Here’s what to expect when you step inside Edwardsville’s newest eatery:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 



The Scoop: Bixby’s brings on new chef, Will Volny

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016



Spring promises a fresh start and fresh ingredients, especially for chef Will Volny. Volny now leads the kitchen staff at Bixby’s, the restaurant located on the second floor of the Missouri History Museum operated by Butler’s Pantry.

Butler’s Pantry president Richard Nix Jr. said Volny came on board in mid-January after chef Corey Ellsworth left to spend more time with his family. After impressing Butler’s Pantry chef Chuck Friedhoff with his tweaks to the winter menu, Volny has started putting together the menu for spring — light fare that fits the Bixby’s brunch and lunch service.

“Will is going to be a great fit for our kitchen with his experience and love of locally sourced food,” Nix said.

Nix said Bixby’s is known for locally sourcing its produce, and Volny will seek out local cheeses and meats, as well. As a former sous chef at The Libertine and an apprentice at Truffles‘ Butchery, Nix said Volny is a seasoned butcher with a love for charcuterie. The spring menu will reflect that interest with a Bixby’s BLT featuring house-smoked bacon. Bixby’s Vegetable Tart will also be making a comeback with seasonal flavors, as well as a salad featuring local produce from Such & Such Farms. Look for the new menu items to debut around April.

-photo courtesy of Missouri History Museum 

The Scoop: Catrinas opens in Edwardsville

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016



Uncle Munkey’s Coin Club is out, and Catrinas is in at 1027 Century Drive in Edwardsville. Co-owners Megan and Ana Becerril both worked at Uncle Munkey’s owner Ryan O’Day other restaurant, Wang Gang, and decided to open their own place when Uncle Munkey’s shuttered in early November after a sale of the bar and arcade fell through. Wang Gang expanded into Unkle Munkey’s dining area, adding more seating, and Catrinas opened in the remaining space Thursday, Jan. 21.

“My husband’s side of the family is from Mexico,” Megan Becerril said. “We want to serve the food you’d find if you walked into a kitchen in rural Mexico.”

To that end, do not expect to see chimichangas, refried beans or seasoned ground beef on the menu. Catrinas offers a variety of tacos like carne asada and al pastor cooked to order on house-made tortillas. Also on the menu is a Bistecitos Criollos – a thick cut, 8-ounce steak topped with bell pepper sauce, tomatoes and a sunny side-up egg served with either mashed potatoes or Mexican rice.

The drink menu will feature beer, wine and margaritas made with Tres Agaves tequila and fresh juice, which diners can enjoy in the 70-seat dining room or in the 30-seat bar area. Plans are in the works for a patio as well. Catrinas is open for lunch and dinner service.


The Scoop: Maplewood’s The Wood to close, The Muddled Pig to move in

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016



A longtime Maplewood bar and grill is closing to make way for a new gastropub. The Muddled Pig is set to open doors in mid-February in the space currently occupied by The Wood at 2733 Sutton Blvd., as reported by Feast. Co-owner and co-chef Austin Hamblin said The Wood’s last day in business is Jan. 31.

After working together for two-and-a-half years at Bella Vino in St. Charles, Hamblin and chef Michelle Allender were interested in opening their own place. “One of (The Wood’s) old investors contacted us and wanted us to take part ownership and completely change everything,” Hamblin said. The Muddled Pig will see a new staff, menu and interior.

Hamblin and Allender will focus on a pork-centric menu sourcing Missouri hogs and other proteins locally. Hamblin said they plan to take advantage of their convenient location across the street from Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions, sourcing pork skin for house-made pork rinds and charcuterie for meat and cheese boards. Hamblin said other menu items will include house-ground burgers, cast-iron skillet fried chicken and farro and Missouri mushrooms from Naturally Mushrooms.

Behind the bar, look for craft beer from local breweries like Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands, Six Mile Bridge Beer and soon-to-distribute Earthbound. Hamblin also hopes to have a fine-tuned cocktail menu featuring local spirits and heavily focused on whiskeys.

In the two-week period between The Wood’s closure and Muddled Pig’s opening, Hamblin said they will transform the space from a neighborhood bar and grill to a casual yet cozy gastropub. Look for reclaimed wood throughout the space, a fresh coat of paint and new tables and chairs. Decor changes will continue throughout the first few months of opening. “You’ll see a slow progression,” he said.




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