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Jan 23, 2018
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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 ‘SweetArt’

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

Friday, January 13th, 2017

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1. Smash and Grab
St. Louisans don’t have to wait until Shake Shack opens later this year to get their griddle burger fix of thin patties smashed on a flattop. Get a taste at Reeds American Table, where two patties are smothered with Swiss cheese and tallow aioli, or head to Olive & Oak in Webster Groves, where the kitchen keeps it classic with American cheese and dill pickles. The smashed Farmhouse Burger has been a fixture at Retreat Gastropub since it opened in October 2015, and The Dam in Tower Grove South does smashed patties – though the burgers are stacked so high with fixins, it’s hard to tell. Find griddled burgers at Brasserie, Local Chef Kitchen and Baileys’ Range, too.

2. Drinking like a Vegan
Aquafaba, aka the cloudy liquid in a can of chickpeas that usually goes down the drain, has seen new life as a vegan egg replacer in baked goods. Now it’s found its way behind the bar and into Pisco Sours at Los Angeles establishments like Birch and Gracias Madre. Small Batch pulled a similar move in its Cicer Sour with aquafaba, smoked almond Pisco and dry curacao. Bengelina Hospitality bar manager Drew Lucido shakes it with Old Tom Gin, Becherovka and lemon juice in The Walden at Olio, while the team across the street at Nixta uses a cream whipper to add a foamy, egg-free head to the No. 3.

3. Kung Pao That
The Chinese staple is popping up outside the takeout box these days at restaurants like Mission Chinese in San Francisco, which has a kung pao pastrami we hope someone in town will replicate. Chefs at Cleveland-Heath were inspired by a celery dish at Mission’s NYC location to create a shaved raw beef and celery kung pao special for St. Louisans to enjoy last summer. The Preston swaps in calamari for a sophisticated take on the dish, and the pop-up and future restaurant Good Fortune is crazy about kung pao. It incorporated the flavors into a bratwurst made for a collaboration with Brasserie, and made a kung pao pizza for an event with Delicious Pizza in Los Angeles.

 

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4. Rise and Shine
The Egg McMuffin will always hold a special greasy place in our hearts, but area restaurants are taking breakfast more seriously these days. Whole concepts, like Egg on Gravois Avenue and Yolklore in Crestwood, are devoted to breakfast beyond the standard flapjacks, eggs and bacon. Quick counter-service options at newly opened eateries like Sardella and The Garden on Grand mean we’re setting our weekday alarms a few minutes earlier. Even pop-up eateries are getting in on the action: Revel Kitchen chef-owner Simon Lusky and chef Adam Altnether recently hosted the breakfast-themed Waffle Nut Pop-up, serving sweet and savory waffle combos and cereal milk coffee beverages.

5. Lightning in a Mug
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and a large dose of caffeine, yerba mate is a light, herbaceous tea that’s creeping its way into local spots like SweetArt, where it’s served hot, and Comet Coffee, where it’s found in two forms: as hot tea and as a mocha-nut mate made with toasted mate leaves, chocolate, hazelnut and marigold flowers for a sweet treat. Pick up some of the loose-leaf tea to brew at home from international grocers like Global Foods Market or United Provisions.

6. Meat Lollipops
Some St. Louis chefs are frenching chicken drumettes, trimming classic wings into little meat lollipops. The trend has a confusing extra-work-for-less-meat quality, but we’ve bought jeans with holes in the knees, so we’re not here to judge. Try the lollies at Mona’s, where they’re smoked and served with a creamy giardiniera sauce and salsa verde, or at Copper Pig with a Vietnamese fish sauce caramel or a sweet chile basil sauce. Scapegoat offers a more traditional Buffalo version.

7. Taste the Magic
Magic Shell is making appearances outside grandma’s sundae bar these days. We noticed it with caramelized honey and honeycomb candy on soft serve at The Honey Paw in Portland, Maine, and over caramel corn and vanilla malted milk balls at Girl & the Goat in Chicago. But Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. has offered the topping on soft serve since it opened in 2014, and our favorite matcha-chocolate cookie gelato pop from Porano this summer was dipped in Magic Shell. Taste’s new brownie dessert with candy cap ice cream and toffee sauce lives in a Magic Shell house, too.

 

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Sunday, June 19th, 2016

From new restaurants on Cherokee Street and Edwardsville to big announcements for Midtown and The Grove, here’s what went down in the St. Louis dining scene last week, ICYMI…

 

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1. Husband-and-wife team Michael and Tara Gallina announced June 14 that they will open Vicia, at 4260 Forest Park Ave., in The Cortex. The Gallinas are looking at a fall opening.

2. The Grove is about to get a little tastier. With a year under its belt in Clayton, owner Vincent Marsden plans to open a second brick-and-mortar Vincent Van Doughnut at 1072 Tower Grove Ave., in mid-October.

 

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3. Korean barbecue goes south of the border when Kalbi Taco Shack opened at 2301 Cherokee St., on Saturday. Mother-daughter duo Sue and Olivia Shackelford helm the kitchen and serve flavorful, Korean-inspired proteins with a Latin flare.

4. Anyone for a spot of tea? On Friday, Queen’s Cuisine opened its first brick-and-mortar location, Queen’s Cuisine Tea Room, at 120 S. Main St., on the corner of East Park and South Main streets in Edwardsville.

 

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5. Step inside SweetArt during a bustling Saturday afternoon, and you’ll find it hard to believe co-owners Reine and Cbabi Bayoc had never worked in a restaurant when they opened in 2008. Learn more about the “love and magic” at this cafe/bakeshop/art gallery in What I Do.

6. The newest place to get a slice and a pint is coming to downtown St. Louis when The Sliced Pint opens at 1511 Washington Ave., later this summer.

What I Do: Reine Bayoc of SweetArt

Monday, June 13th, 2016

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Step inside SweetArt during a bustling Saturday afternoon, and you’ll find it hard to believe co-owners Reine and Cbabi Bayoc had never worked in a restaurant when they opened in 2008. Cheerful staff pipe frosting onto mini cupcakes and prep vegetables behind the counter while they chat with regulars. Others dine at a community table, surrounded by Cbabi Bayoc’s colorful, family-focused artwork. The Bayocs’ recipe for success: hard work, relentless optimism and a vegan menu that delights omnivores and herbivores alike. Here, Reine Bayoc shares her thoughts on baked goods, honest conversation and serving more than great cupcakes.

 

Starting out
“It worked in the beginning because it had to. We spent all our money to open this, and we didn’t take out a loan. We had three kids and a couple hundred dollars left. When you’re in that sort of do-or-die situation, you do. So we did.”

On vegetarian and vegan food
“We don’t put out anything unless it tastes delicious. It’s not one of those ‘It’s delicious – for vegan.’ It has to be delicious, period.”

Mom’s buttermilk biscuits
“On Saturdays we have these biscuits … that remind me of my mother’s biscuits, and they are the best baked good in the shop. … I’ve had people come in and say, ‘This is better than Popeye’s!’ And look, to black people, when you come in and say a biscuit is better than Popeye’s – what? That is a spectacular biscuit.”

Beyond sweets
“It’s so not about cupcakes and cookies. People come here (when) they could go anywhere and they come here for a reason. … That’s the energy that we are trying to create. Everyone has a day; some people have really long days. Everyone has a life, and some people have really hard lives, and they come here to release a little bit.

Fostering dialogue
“We have people from all walks of life and all nationalities and ethnicities who feel comfortable (here). And I don’t know how that happens. I don’t know if it’s the art, I don’t know if it’s (the) cupcakes, I don’t know if it’s the staff, but they come and they feel safe, so I feel like that made it easier for us to have those open dialogues (about) racial issues.”

Pursuit of perfection
“Everything evolves. Even our traditional baked goods evolve. I’ve changed probably 90 percent of our recipes in the last year. I’m constantly pushing it just a little bit further.”

On confidence
“In the beginning I questioned myself so much because I didn’t go to culinary school. (I thought), ‘Oh, but I’ve worked really hard and I think I’m good at this and people seem to like it.’ … Now there is no ego in this. I come in, I put on my apron, I get to work, and I don’t question myself. If I think it’s good, it’s good.”

 

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

The Scoop: New Digs

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Last month, we reported that Zoe Robinson, owner of Bobo Noodle House in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood and I Fratellini in Clayton, would be opening a small bar-cafe across the street from I Fratellini at 7637 Wydown Blvd. Last Friday, Robinson informed The Scoop that the new restaurant (rendering pictured) will take the name Bar Les Frères, meaning “The Brothers Bar” in French. “[It] works well with I Fratellini,” Robinson noted.

Another eatery that will soon see new digs is Sweet Art Bakeshop & Art Studio. The bakery-cafe is moving eastward from its location at 2203 S. 39th St. in the Shaw neighborhood to 2800 Shenandoah in Fox Park, as reported by Brandon Chuang of Feast. According to an employee at the bakery-cafe, Sweet Art will move to its new home during the month of May. The Scoop has been unable to discuss details of the move with co-owner Reine Bayoc.

— Rendering courtesy of SPACE Architecture + Design

The Scoop: A roundup of recent restaurant action

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

There has been quite a bit of locking and unlocking of restaurant doors lately. Among the eateries recently opened is BlackFinn American Grille, now open at the Saint Louis Galleria. The space formerly occupied by department store Mark Shale received a complete renovation by Pernikoff Construction, which turned the 10,000 square-foot-space into a multi-room bar and restaurant with seating for more than 400. BlackFinn serves classic American fare for lunch, dinner, happy hour and late night. The independently owned restaurant also has locations in Houston and Jacksonville, Fla., with a location slated to open this summer in northern Virginia.

Also recently opened is O’Kelley’s at the Ballpark, a casual, Irish-themed sports bar located at 756-758 S. Fourth St., just south of Busch Stadium.

Tavolo V, Michael Del Pietro’s newest project, is set to open this Saturday at 5 p.m. The Italian restaurant, located in The Loop at 6118 Delmar Blvd., was originally slated to open last summer (under the name Trattoria Spezie) but experienced delays in construction.

And now on the other side of the swinging door, two restaurants have recently closed. Park West Grille, located at 2917 S. Jefferson Ave., shuttered its doors, as did American Craft Brewing & Distilling, the latter of which was noted earlier this month by STL Hops and reported by Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch. The restaurant, formerly known as The Stable, saw a name change after a change in ownership last fall.

 

Sweet and savory (and veg-friendly)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

My latest stop at SweetArt, the new pastry shop-cum-art gallery in the Shaw neighborhood, turned up savory fare, too. SweetArt is already making waves with its decadent cookies and cupcakes, and just last Saturday, Reine and Cbabi Bayoc’s storefront debuted a small-but-tasty menu of vegetarian sandwiches. SweetArt was already offering incredibly good quiche and savory turnovers, but now it has more traditional lunch fare. Look for sun-dried tomato-artichoke hummus on thick white bread (vegan if you omit the feta); a tofu salad sandwich with carrots, scallions, celery and basil; a thick, warmly spiced veggie burger; and a PB&J that’s steps above the norm. So now when you stop in for a carrot cake cupcake with fluffy cream cheese buttercream, you can temper any sugar guilt by eating a healthy lunch before you start licking all that icing off.

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