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Mar 25, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Tahaa Twisted Tiki’

Extra Sauce: Top 5 Cocktails of 2015

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Matt Berkley works some odd hours as Sauce’s Nightlife critic, spending many a late night sipping craft cocktails around St. Louis on a hunt for the very best. Here, Berkley names his top five cocktails of 2015:




5. The Zombie at Taha’a Twisted Tiki
A tangy and tasteful battleground of flavors where Puerto Rican and Jamaican rums duke it out with high-proof Bacardi 151 rum and absinthe, along with fruit juices, bitters and cinnamon syrup for good measure – truly a monster. Ask nicely, and they’ll even serve it up in a cool tiki mug.




4. The Don Johnson at Art Bar St. Louis
This zesty little gin cocktail makes it worth a trip to Cherokee Street. The Don Johnson matches a liberal pour of Ford’s Gin with dry curaçao, Luxardo Sangue Morlacco cherry liqueur and grapefruit bitters.




3. Yellow Brick Road at Tiny Bar
Spicy, sweet and mind-numbingly strong, Tiny Bar’s take on the classic margarita is a refreshing revelation that joins Ocho tequila with Cointreau, fresh lime juice and jalapeno honey.




2. The Old-Fashioned at Anthony’s Bar
An institution within an institution, Anthony’s Old-Fashioned swims with spicy rye and is served up without the fruity flags or over-the-top frills of other bars. This the sort of satisfying cocktail that makes you close your eyes and smile after every sip.




And the No. 1 cocktail of 2015 is… 

The Barrel-Aged Ginger Manhattan at DeMun Oyster Bar

Big O Ginger Liqueur sends this drink into the stratosphere. Expertly mixed with Four Roses bourbon, a splash of Italian vermouth, and Jerry Thomas’ Decanter Bitters, this is a phenomenal, easy-sipping spin on the classic Manhattan.

-Anthony’s Bar and Taha’a Twisted Tiki photos by Jonathan Gayman 

The Scoop: Ivy Magruder to take the reins at Panorama, dining operations at St. Louis Art Mueseum

Thursday, May 15th, 2014



Chef Ivy Magruder is taking the helm at the Saint Louis Art Museum beginning June 9. Magruder will oversee all museum dining services, which are operated by Bon Appétit Management Co. This includes Panorama, the museum’s cafe and its catering services.

Chef Edward Farrow had led culinary operations at the museum since Panaroma opened in July 2013. According to SLAM communication manager Matthew Hathaway, Farrow will continue to work with Bon Appétit in other capacities.

David Marshall, Bon Appétit’s general manager at SLAM, said in a statement released today that the museum is fortunate to welcome Magruder to both organizations. “He understands St. Louis and the region and diners’ expectations, which will be reflected in a fresh approach to our menus,” he said.

Magruder said he will stick with Bon Appétit’s French and Italian approaches at Panaroma, but he wants to emphasize an “approachable, St. Louis-oriented” menu. He also hopes to bring more visibility to Bon Appétit’s growing catering operation. “You can’t get any hotter than [Bon Appétit],” Magruder said. “They’re white-hot … and I have a pretty good pulse on what is popular in St. Louis.”

Magruder is currently corporate executive chef for Gamlin Restaurant Group, which operates Gamlin Whiskey House, Sub Zero Vodka Bar and Taha’a Twisted Tiki. He joined the company in September 2013, and his final day is June 8.

Gamlin Restaurant Group co-owner Lucas Gamlin said Magruder informed him about the opportunity at SLAM in April, but that the chef made his decision just days ago. “He decided it was the best move for him and his family,” Gamlin said.

Gamlin said the search for Magruder’s replacement will begin soon. In the interim, Gilberto Espinosa, chef de cuisine at Gamlin Whiskey House, will manage the kitchens with the assistance of Jaime Gomez Ortiz, kitchen manager at Sub Zero.

Garrett Faulkner and Catherine Klene contributed to this report.

-image courtesy of Vin de Set’s Facebook page

Hit List: 6 new places to try this month

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014


Small Batch: 3001 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.380.2040, smallbatchstl.com

Restaurateur Dave Bailey’s newest concept, Small Batch, pairs the liquor of the moment – whiskey – with 100-percent vegetarian fare in an elegant bistro setting marked by high ceilings, large windows, marble on the bar top and tables, large mirrors, original tile flooring, and ironwork supporting a newly built mezzanine. Order a  flight to sample the extensive whiskey selection. Among small plates, opt for the offbeat eggrolls stuffed with mushrooms and blue cheese, accompanied by a thick fig-port wine dipping sauce. Also nice for sharing is the gratin, which holds an unexpected combination of cipollini onions and white grapes. The light-as-a-feather gnocchi stands out among heartier fare.


The Whiskey Ring: 2651 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.769.7249, Facebook: The Whiskey Ring

The Whiskey Ring recently added its name to a growing list of local whiskey bars. This one has a rotating stash of nearly 50 labels. Not in the mood for Basil Hayden’s or 12-year-old Japanese Nikka? The Whiskey Ring has other spirits – recognizable and lesser-known brands – plus eight local brews on tap, bottled beers and a small wine selection.



Pairings Wine & Dessert Bar: 1131 Colonnade Center, Des Peres, 314.821.5455, pairingswinebarstl.com

While Pairings Wine & Dessert Bar offers starters and entrees, it’s the sweet stuff that impressed us. Peanut Butter Affair is layered with chocolate cake, peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge. Layers of Love (pictured), which features Frangelico-hazelnut chocolate mousse layered between chocolate crepes and topped with dark chocolate ganache and candied hazelnuts, is light and mildly sweet. For a creamy, citrusy delight, try the deconstructed key lime pie.


Fields Foods: 1500 Lafayette Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.3276, fieldsfoods.com

It would be an understatement to call Fields Foods just a grocery store. The locally-owned and operated store in Lafayette Square is the newest option for consumers looking to support area farmers, growers and producers, yet it also carries brands that meet the price point of every patron. The prepared foods (all made on-site) section in the 37,000-square-foot store caters to on-the-go customers morning (coffee, eggs, baked goods), noon (wood-fired pizzas, deli sandwiches) and night (rotisserie chicken, smoked ribs). Kudos for its wine and local beer selection, and double-kudos for a wine bar where you can relax with a glass while you hand your shopping list to the concierge.



Taha’a Twisted Tiki: 4199 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.202.8300, tahaatiki.com

It’s rum all the time at the newest nightspot in The Grove. Cocktail offerings include usual suspects like mai tais and Hurricanes, as well as some lesser-known classics like the gin, brandy and ginger beer-laden Suffering Bastard or the frozen, mouth-puckering Missionary’s Downfall. Complement your umbrella drink with chicken wings, Polynesian beef skewers and fish tacos with Asian slaw, pico de gallo and chile lime crema. Forget about life in the city on the back patio where tiki torches, a fire pit and a bar will put you in an island state of mind.


801 Chophouse: 137 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314.875.9900, 801restaurantgroup.com/st-louis

Everything about 801 Chophouse in Clayton is big: the massive bar, the towering wine racks, the wide tables and booths, and the portions. Order an 8-ounce filet mignon if you want to save room for a few of the 24 traditional steakhouse sides, the majority available as half-orders. Keep an eye on 801’s Fresh Sheet, a changing menu of seasonal salads, sides, fish and featured wines. For dessert, try the deceptively light house-made Milk Chocolate Frangelico Bombe.



This week, Michelle Volansky is obsessed with…

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014


{Newberry Furniture is a special addition to the St. Louis craft scene. Its kitchen items and furniture pieces are gorgeous and completely handmade. I whip out my Newberry cheese board for special occasions, and my table immediately becomes Instagram-worthy.}




{While Gamlin Whiskey House seems as though it was made for my bearded, whiskey-loving boyfriend, I think the Gamlin brother’s newest establishment, Taha’a Twisted Tiki, opened just for me! Give me fun, fruity drinks and a kitschy atmosphere, and I’ll hang out all night. My favorite drinks are the Taha’a floats. House-made ice cream and soda in creative, refreshing flavor combinations like mango and hibiscus make me one happy lady.}




{My go-to present is a gift basket from Parker’s Table. When you’re in a hurry, you can pick one of their themed baskets filled with local goodies, or if you have time, take a leisurely walk around the store and pick out everything yourself. The knowledgeable staff always help me make a great custom basket at a reasonable price.}

Drink This Weekend Edition: Where to drink by the fire

Friday, December 27th, 2013


{EdgeWild’s fire room}

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, a low-key weekend is in order. And what better way to relax than by sipping spirits near the fire? There are plenty of restaurants around town with beautiful fireplaces, but there’s something magical about imbibing in the cold while sitting around a roaring fire. This weekend, grab your winter hat, order your favorite drink and head outside. It’s time to get cozy.

The Scottish Arms – If The Scottish Arms’ fire pit on the back patio doesn’t sufficiently warm you, the 100+ selection of whiskeys surely will.

The Royale – What’s better than drinking by a fire? Eating s’mores. At The Royale, make-your-own s’mores kits are available for purchase. Bonus: Come on Sunday night after 9 p.m. for Cocktail Museum where bartender Robert Griffin features his own curated menu of classic cocktails.

Molly’s in Soulard – Order one of Molly’s spiked coffee drinks like Fat City Finish or Caffe Rue Royal, and grab a seat by the fire on the huge outdoor patio.

Diablitos Cantina – If the fire isn’t blazing when you arrive, just ask, and a bartender will get the flames going in no time. Not smoky enough for you? Add some mezcal to the equation with one of Diablitos’ new mezcal cocktails, such as Poison, featuring mezcal, muddled jalapeño, lime and cinnamon sugar.

EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery – Are you a bit of a cold-weather weenie? In EdgeWild’s glassed-in fire room, you can recreate the feeling of being in the great outdoors, minus the work. Order another glass of wine, shed your layers and stay awhile.

Taha’a Twisted Tiki – While this newcomer won’t be open this weekend, Taha’a Twisted Tiki in The Grove plans to open its doors on Monday, Dec. 30. Imagining yourself somewhere warm is much easier when you’re sipping a flaming Volcano Bowl next to a fire pit adorned with tiki torches.

– photo by Jonathan Gayman

The Scoop: Ivy Magruder to leave Vin de Set, will join Gamlin brothers

Friday, September 20th, 2013



Ivy Magruder has resigned as executive chef and general manager of Vin de Set to take on the role of corporate executive chef at Lucas and Derek Gamlin’s three restaurants, Sub Zero Vodka Bar, soon-to-open Gamlin Whiskey House and soon-to-open Taha’a Twisted Tiki.  Magruder is taking the place of Ian Craig, who The Scoop reported leaving the Gamlin group last Friday.

Regarding Magruder’s departure, Vin de Set owner Paul Hamilton said, “The parting was mutual. He was ready to grow and do more, and we are excited for him at his new position. He’s a great friend of ours.” For the last five or so years, Hamilton said, Magruder had been mainly working as general manager, but he still had his hands in the kitchen. Karen Caputa of Ballpark Hilton has been hired to work as general manager, while Hamilton reported no changes in Vin de Set’s kitchen.

On the hiring of Magruder, Lucas Gamlin told The Scoop, “We’ve always admired what he’s done, and we wanted the opportunity to work with him.” Magruder will officially join the restaurant group in the next two weeks.

-Image courtesy of Vin de Set’s Facebook page



The Scoop: Gamlins lose Ian Craig, gain Lisa Fernandez-Cruz

Friday, September 13th, 2013

091313_steak{Dry-aged Rib-eye steak, on the menu at the soon-t0-open Gamlin Whiskey House}


As Derek and Lucas Gamlin prepare to open Gamlin Whiskey House to the public Sept. 30, they find themselves down a chef. Ian Craig, who has worked at their vodka-centric bar and restaurant, Sub Zero, for the last seven years and helped with the menus for Gamlin Whiskey House and sister restaurant Taha’a Twisted Tiki, is no longer executive corporate chef for the Gamlin’s growing businesses.

Lucas Gamlin told The Scoop today that Craig resigned from his position yesterday, Sept. 12, in a mutual parting of ways. Gamlin expressed confidence that the opening of Gamlin Whiskey House will proceed smoothly, noting that the menu is already developed. The Gamlins will begin interviewing candidates for the corporate chef position next week, said Lucas. Craig could not immediately be reach for comment.

While the Gamlins are searching for an executive corporate chef, their search for a pastry chef has ended. Lisa Fernandez-Cruz, formerly of The Restaurant at The Cheshire has come aboard. Fernandez-Cruz will be responsible for desserts at all three Gamlin-owned restaurants.

-Photo by Michelle Volansky



The Scoop: Sub Zero owners to open tiki bar, sign vodka bar deals with Blues, Rams

Monday, August 5th, 2013



It’s not enough for brothers Derek and Lucas Gamlin, owners of Sub Zero Vodka Bar to be in the throes of transforming the old Liluma space into Gamlin Whiskey House, slated to open in a matter of weeks. The brothers are juggling multiple projects.

For starters, the Gamlins are on track to open another venue, also in September. This one will be a tiki bar called Tahaa Twisted Tiki, located at 4199 Manchester Ave., across the street from Sanctuaria in The Grove. Formerly Premium Lounge, Tahaa (an island located in French-Polynesia) is in the midst of a makeover. When construction is complete, the interior will have more of a nightclub feel, explained Derek Gamlin, while the laidback patio will double in size and boast an outdoor bar, tiki torches and a firepit.

The drink menu is being developed by Dustin Parres, who has become the executive bartender for all the Gamlins’ ventures. Eric Weis, currently at Sub Zero, will become bar manager at Tahaa. Since there is no kitchen at Tahaa, Gamlin noted that “we have to be creative.” The solution: a gas grill outside for firing up fare such as kabobs with a Polynesian twist.

Oh, but there’s more. The Gamlin’s have finalized deals with two local professional sports teams to bring vodka to thirsty fans. The Scottrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues, will see four Sub Zero spots circling the rink. The Sub Zero Vodka Bar-Grey Goose Club will be a venue only accessible to Blues season ticket holders; however, general ticket holders can sip away at one of three bars inside the arena. One will be located on the main level in the space formerly called Pearl Bar, and two satellite bars will be located on the upper level.

Finally, Gamlin said Sub Zero also has finalized a contract with the St. Louis Rams that includes a five-year extension on the club it currently operates at the Edwards Jones Dome and the addition of two more Sub Zero bars at the stadium.

“It’s going to be a great year for us,” summed Gamlin.

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