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Mar 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘The Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton’

31 Days of Salad: The Ritz-Carlton’s St. Louis Cobb Salad

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014



The St. Louis Cobb Salad from The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis is massive but delicious because every component is treated with care. The eggs are cooked perfectly, the blue cheese is piquant and the bacon is crunchy. The problem with some salads is that they rarely keep you full. After consuming this one, we challenge you to even fathom hunger for at least several hours.

Trendwatch: A look at what’s on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list right now

Friday, November 8th, 2013


{Pork belly corn dogs with smoked tomato remoulade at Vino Nadoz}


Keep a Cork in It: How can you pour wine from bottles without ever pulling the cork? Insert a hollow, medical-grade needle through the cork, extract the wine as inert gas displaces the liquid so oxygen never touches it, remove the needle and let the cork reseal itself. “It’s going to be a game changer for wine lists,” said Harvest chef-owner Nick Miller about the new Coravin wine system he purchased recently for his Richmond Heights restaurant. Harvest, along with Sasha’s on Shaw, has begun to offer by-the-glass specials on some very fine wines. They join Hoity-toity restaurants with hoity-toity wine lists – Del Posto, Eleven Madison Park, NoMad – as Coravin converts.

I Hop for Okonomiyaki: Pancakes are good, but tell us they’re flipping okonomiyaki, and we’ll hop on over to places like Cleveland-Heath, where this Japanese savory pancake holds the flavors of shrimp, bacon, cabbage, Kewpie mayo and barbecue sauce. At Blood & Sand, chef Chris Bork uses a beer batter to make a flapjack topped with salmon roe, mayo and yakatori glaze.

I Scream Savory: Who said ice cream has to be sweet? Or even dessert? Restaurants everywhere – from The Fat Duck in the U.K. to The Granary in San Antonio are breaking out of the (ice)box, scooping savory ice cream onto main plates. Locally, Niche recently served a quenelle of hickory ice cream alongside pulled pork and Brussels sprouts leaves, while Sidney Street Cafe churned out a sorghum-mustard flavored frozen sundry as part of a hearty fall dish of rabbit, house-made sausage, waffles and collard greens.

Hot Dog!: Corn dogs, carnival fare for carnivores, are making appearances at places you’d normally wear your little black dress. When batter is encasing things fancier than plain-Jane frankfurters, why not? At Lola, lobster tail is the flavor on the stick, while a chorizo corn dog was among brunch bites at Table. Vino Nadoz is going high on the hog with an unctuous pork belly corn dog. Mortadella is making its own case as the new corn dog. It was a snack at Blood & Sand; look for it at soon-to-open Cucina Pazzo in the CWE.

Gussied-up T-Ravs: Forget your loyalty to the classic T-rav and embrace new takes on this STL original. Buffalo chicken ravioli is among the funked up fare at Three Kings Public House and newly opened The Precinct. Veritas Gateway to Food and Wine is adding Middle Eastern spices to its T-rav filling, garnishing the house-made pasta with tomato relish and serving it up with tomato jam. It’s all glam at The Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton; its toasted ravioli is filled with short ribs, truffles and mushrooms and served with a brown butter emulsion. At Quincy Street Bistro, hand-made ravioli is stuffed with an atypical combo of roasted beef and pork. A T-rav for dessert? That’s a winner at Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood, where pasta got crazy sweet when stuffed with raspberries, coated with lemon shortbread crumbles and drizzled with raspberry basil sauce.

Face Face: Fish face, a staple of the seafood stockpot, is making its way onto main plates. Recently spied on the menu at Little Country Gentleman was salmon collar with udon noodles swimming in dashi. Halibut cheeks were here and gone at Element, where the chefs created a sophisticated take on fish sticks and tartar sauce: butter-poached halibut cheeks with tempura chips, capers, garlic and crème fraiche. Missed it? Look for halibut cheeks in an upcoming special at Eleven65.

Drink Up India: Area bartenders are raiding the Indian pantry, grabbing heady scents from the spice rack along with delicate liquids like floral and coconut waters. Among buzzworthy India-in-a-glass concoctions is Almond Milk Punch with a cardamom kick at Tree House. Try Tripel’s cardamom-scented Spiced Dark & Stormy or clove-touched Smoke Wagon, but be sure to order the H.D.Y. with orange flower water before that cocktail leaves the menu this month. Coconut water is what made the gin-based Green Isaac’s Special at Olio so special. And at Taste, you’ll find Kid Vicious – with its serrano- and pink peppercorn-infused tequila and rose water, as well as menu newbie Bols in a China Shop, featuring spiced ginger syrup and a cardamom tincture.

Bastardized Umami Bomb: Dashi is the umami darling of 2013. The Japanese fish stock is normally made from dried bonito, but rules are meant to be broken. We first noticed it when Sidney Street Cafe concocted a caffeinated Kyoto dashi using coffee by Sump. Right now, Blood & Sand is finding the fifth taste via corn dashi.

Editor’s Note: In the print issue, we mistakenly said Cleveland-Heath’s shiro dashi was similar to an Ethiopian stew. 

-photo by Elizabeth Jochum




Drink This Weekend Edition: The Ritz-Carlton’s Sweet Basil martini

Friday, August 23rd, 2013



Sometimes the only way to end a workweek is with a stiff martini. If selection is what you’re seeking, head over to The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis newly renovated Lobby Lounge. The Ritz’s theme for the remodel, “Rhythm and Martinis,” gives a nod to St. Louis’ tradition of music, and martinis refers to the hotel’s long-standing, martini-heavy cocktail menu.

The only problem (I can possibly imagine) with 200 options on a martini list is that the menu is too big to sit on a bar. Instead, the staff has shortened the list to include only a handful of signature and seasonal martinis, such as the Sweet Basil, pictured. Lillet Blanc, Hendrick’s gin and house-made basil syrup make up this slightly sweet, slightly peppery, very refreshing cocktail. The flash-fried basil leaf garnishing the rim adds a nice, aromatic touch.

Can’t find something you want on the abridged bar menu? Don’t be shy; ask for the full tome. Some of the martinis are fresh takes on old classics, some you will have never heard of, and one – the Grand XIII, which rings in at a whopping $500 – you will never be able to afford. Well, most of you. The Ritz actually sold one recently.



The Scoop: Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis begins $1 million renovation of The Lobby Lounge

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is getting a $1 million makeover. Renovations are already underway at the 4-star, 4-diamond luxury hotel in Clayton to give its lounge and bar a fresh look.

Each Ritz-Carlton property has a theme reflecting that property and the surrounding community. The theme chosen for the renovated lounge and bar at the St. Louis location is “Rhythm and Martinis.” “Rhythm” is a nod to St. Louis’ tradition of music and entertainment; “Martinis” recognizes the Martini-minded cocktail lineup at The Lobby Lounge. According to a press release, the theme “infuses the traditional Ritz-Carlton elegance with renewed energy and the social air of a modern club.”

While the mahogany millwork, classic marble floors and grand chandeliers that have made The Ritz’s lounge a glitzy gathering spot for afternoon tea or an evening cocktail will remain, interior design plans include: a gold granite bar top plus an illuminated bar front with glass and brass panels; an eclectic mix of art deco-inspired furniture, including leather settees and barrel-back lounge chairs; and bold, lattice-patterned carpeting. The hotel’s art collection, a selection of contemporary works – some from local artists – will similarly reflect the Rhythm and Martini theme.

International interior design firm BAMO is overseeing the renovation, scheduled to be completed in April. The Lobby Lounge project is the first phase of a $3 million renovation that will also include The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom and The Restaurant.

— photo courtesy of Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis

Cake couture is in vogue at The Ritz

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

042710_shoesIf Mom is a foodie – or a fashionista – then you gotta make The Ritz-Carlton part of your Mother’s Day plans. Executive pastry chef Simone Faure’s Edible Fashions Collection, purse- and pump-shaped cakes that look so real it’s hard to believe they are meant to be eaten instead of toted around town, will be on display in the lobby of the Clayton hotel through Mother’s Day. Faure’s collection includes Gucci and Chanel look-alikes, zebra and snakeskin purses, and truffle-filled chocolate open-toed pumps.

Faure explained that inspiration struck while she vacationed in Paris two years ago. “I saw this purse but couldn’t afford it. So I decided to make it instead.” At the time, Faure worked at The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans. Her line of cake couture came to include shoes, handbags, hats and even necklaces, and became popular for Mother’s Day, Kentucky Derby festivities, sweet 16 parties and bridal showers. “People are really whimsical in New Orleans,” commented Faure.

On average, it takes Faure five hours to make her glitzy cake purses, which can range in size from a small clutch to as large as a duffel bag and come in flavors like strawberry shortcake, tiramisu, hazelnut crunch and the best-selling red velvet. Pumps, explained Faure, are “a bit harder to do because I’m dealing with 100 percent chocolate, and that’s not always as easy to manipulate as when working with fondant.” But if Mom’s got a favorite shoe, Faure says to just bring her a picture and she’ll literally whip it up.

If you’re thinking about ordering one of these edible luxuries for Mom, Faure needs just two days’ notice. Cakes average $100 and serve 20 people. For more information, call 314.863.6300.

– Ligaya Figueras

The Ritz-Carlton rolls out cheesecake bar

Friday, April 16th, 2010

041610_CheesecakeCoffee bar, wine bar, chocolate bar, sushi bar – you’ve done them all. Need something new for date night? Then check out the cheesecake bar at The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis. On Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 11 p.m., a new cheesecake bar has us shamelessly licking our fingers right in The Lobby Lounge of the luxe Clayton hotel.

You’ll find at least seven varieties of cheesecake prepared by pastry chef Simone Faure, including a decadent dulce de leche, a wicked Black Forest, creamy bananas Foster, cookies and créme, and a ripe seasonal strawberry swirl. Hunky slices are $9 each, and chocolate or vanilla cheesecake martinis go for $4.50. Nope, that’s not a typo. All it takes is a bill with Hamilton’s or Lincoln’s face and you can live in the lap of luxury – at least for a few hours.

– Ligaya Figueras

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