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Mar 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Vidhya Nagarajan’

Meals That Changed My Life: Mike Randolph

Saturday, July 1st, 2017



Chef Mike Randolph has opened a number of restaurants since working at Chicago’s now-shuttered Moto. Starting with The Good Pie in 2008, Randolph went on to open Half & Half, Little Country Gentleman, Medianoche, Randolfi’s and Público. As he gears up to open Half & Half’s second location in Webster Groves this summer, he told us about one meal he ate in 2001 when he was at a professional fork in the road and the late chef Michel Richard changed his life.


Citronelle, Washington, D.C. (2001)
“I was finishing school for political science and had just kind of realized I hadn’t done well enough to get the jobs I really wanted. I didn’t want to muddle around at the bottom of the industry, so I started thinking about culinary school. One night [my wife, my parents and I] went to Michel Richard’s Citronelle in D.C. It was in the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown, and the restaurant had this beautiful glass-front kitchen. It was the first time I had seen four guys plating one plate of food. And I remember thinking, ‘Look how calm everything is.’ The kitchens I had worked in were like a mad rush, and here’s this place and nobody’s breaking a sweat.

“One of the things that really stuck out to me was that there was a sense of humor in the food. They had the toques, the pressed chef jackets, tweezers, all that … but at the same time they didn’t take themselves too seriously. I remember getting a plate that looked like a sunny side up egg with bacon and toast. I think the toast was marzipan, the bacon was something, the egg was set panna cotta for the whites and a mango for the middle. Now, that dish is the Food Network version of molecular gastronomy, like, ‘You can do this at home in six easy steps!’ But in 2001, it was eye-opening. Here you are at this French institution, and you expect this delicate little financier, and then here comes this cafeteria tray. There was the sense that Michel Richard was having fun with you at the end of your meal.

“This was before Moto and Alinea. Throughout the course of the night, I was just totally blown away that food could be something that I never knew about. It was perfectly seasoned small bites of food, tons of textures – that was Michel Richard’s big thing. Every dish had some crunchy element, some kind of creative textural contrast. It was absolutely my first exposure to any of that, and I think that’s what made me so interested in Moto. At this point in my life, [molecular gastronomy] is something I’ve grown out of – now I just want a perfectly cooked piece of meat with one sauce. But I felt like at that time it was cool to research and delve into what food could be – texturally and flavor-wise. I’ve had a lot of pretty transcendent meals, but that stands alone.”


Illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan

Editors’ Note: The print issue of this story incorrectly stated that the new Half & Half location would be in Kirkwood. This piece has been updated with the correct location. 

Elixir: Booze Cruise

Saturday, July 1st, 2017



Float trips don’t require much: a raft or canoe (or inner tube, if you must), sunscreen and a large cooler full of beer. Our days of Bud Light and Wild Turkey shoots are remembered fondly (or not at all), but our palates have grown since those first drinking days on the river. Now we sip session IPAs, crisp wheat beers and juicy pale ales as we bob down Missouri waterways. Here are the six cans – no glass on the river! – we’re floating with this year.


1. 2nd Shift Brewing Co. Brewligans
Originally meant to sustain St. Louis Football Club fans through a 90-minute soccer game, this 6-percent brew is an IPA for hopheads who want to kick back on the Black River.
Four-pack: $12. 2nd Shift Brewing Co., 1601 Sublette Ave., St. Louis, 314.669.9013, 2ndshiftbrewing.com

2. Civil Life Brewing Co. German Pilsner
For those who forage in the cooler for something besides hop bombs and fruity adjuncts, we present the cool, crisp 5.1-percent German Pilsner. This is a Pils as it should be.
Six-pack: $10. Civil Life Brewing Co., 3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis, thecivillife.com

3. 4 Hands Brewing Co. Passion Fruit Prussia
The lowest ABV in our cooler is also one of the most flavorful. 4 Hands loads tropical passion fruit into a Berliner Weisse for a 4-percent taste of the Caribbean on the Current River.
Four-pack: $11. Craft Beer Cellar, 8113 Maryland Ave., Clayton, 314.222.2444, clayton.craftbeercellar.com

4. Destihl Brewing Co. Wild Sour Blueberry Gose
Destihl has canned a rainbow of tasty brews in its Wild Sour series. The 5.2-percent Blueberry Gose offers a hint of salinity and puckering notes of sweet-tart blueberry.
Four-pack: $10. Saint Louis Hop Shop, 2606 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.261.4011, saintlouishopshop.com

5. Old Bakery Beer Co. Citrus Wheat
Looking for less hop and more grain? This 4.7-percent wheat beer offers a touch of citrus and coriander that pairs perfectly with southwest Missouri sunshine.
Four-pack: $9. Lukas Wine & Spirits, 15678 Manchester Road, Ellisville, 636.227.4543, lukasliquorstl.com

6. Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. Fallen Flag
Grab a 32-ounce Crowler of this juicy, hazy Northeast-style American IPA on regular rotation at the Florissant brewery. True, at 7 percent, it breaks our lower ABV rule, but it wouldn’t be a true float trip if you didn’t get just a little drunk.
$12. Narrow Gauge Brewing Co., 1595 N. US Highway 67, Florissant, 314.831.3222, narrowgaugestl.com

Illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan

Sauce Guide to Beer: STL Beers Take Flight

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

We can drink a Budweiser on a finca in Bolivia or aboard a catamaran off the coast of Tanzania, but now we can order tons of other local brews outside of Missouri, too. A Schlafly Oatmeal Stout in D.C.? Why yes, Mr. President. A Crown Valley Farmhouse Lager on the plains of Texas? Yee-haw! Check out our whopping list of 27-and-counting area breweries,  including the states where they currently distribute to plan your next vacation accordingly. You’ll also find each brewery’s address, so you can turn any day into a sudsy staycation.



Show your pride for St. Louis beer and hang this distribution map in your own home. Click here to order a print.

2nd Shift Brewing
Distribution area: Mo.
Local contact: 1401 Olive Road, New Haven, Mo., 2ndshiftbrewing.com

4 Hands Brewing Co.
Mo., Ill., Pa.
1220 S. Eighth St., St. Louis, 314.436.1559, 4handsbrewery.com

Anheuser-Busch Inbev
In more than 85 countries
12th and Lynch streets, St. Louis, 314.577.2626, anheuser-busch.com

Alpha Brewing Co.
1409 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.2337, alphabrewingcompany.com

Augusta Brewing Co.
John G’s Tap Room and Bier Deck, 107 W. Main St., Washington, 636.239.5010;
Augusta Brew Haus & Bier Garden, 5521 Water St., Augusta, 636.482.2337, augustabrewing.com

Cathedral Square Brewery
Mo., Ill., Ark., Neb.
3914 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 314.803.3605, cathedralsquarebrewery.com

Charleville Vineyard Winery & Microbrewery
Mo., Ill., Ark.
16937 Boyd Road, Ste. Genevieve, 573.756.4537, charlevillevineyard.com

The Civil Life Brewing Co.
Mo., Ill.
3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis, thecivillife.com

Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
Mo., Ill., Ala., Ark., Del., Fla., Ga., Kan., Ky., La., Mich., Miss., N.C., Okla., Tenn., Texas
13326 State Route F, Ste. Genevieve, 573.756.9700, crownvalleybrewery.com

Excel Bottling Co.
Ill., Mo.
488 S. Broadway, Breese, Ill., 618.526.7159, excelbottling.com

Exit 6 Brewery
5055 Highway N, Cottleville, 636.244.4343, exit6brewery.com

Ferguson Brewing Co.
418 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson, 314.521.2220, fergusonbrewing.com

Heavy Riff Brewing Co.
6413 Clayton Ave., St. Louis, Facebook: Heavy Riff Brewing Co.

Kaskaskia Brewing Co.
104 E. Market St., Red Bud, Ill., 618.282.2555, kaskaskiabrewing.com

Kirkwood Station Brewing Co.
105 E. Jefferson Road, Kirkwood, 314.966.2730, kirkwoodstationbrewing.com

Morgan Street Brewery
721 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.231.9970, morganstreetbrewery.com

O’Fallon Brewery
Mo., Ill., Ala., Ark., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., Mich., Miss., Mo., Ohio, Pa., Tenn., Wis.
26 W. Industrial Drive, O’Fallon, Mo., 636.474.2337, ofallonbrewery.com

Perennial Artisan Ales
Mo., Ill., Colo., Mass., Md., N.Y., Pa., Va.
8125 Michigan Ave., St. Louis, 314.631.7300, perennialbeer.com

Ridgebrook Brewery
Ridgebrook Lane, Godfrey, Ill., 618.971.8580, ridgebrookbrewery.com

Schlafly Beer
Mo., Ill., Ark., D.C., Del., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., Md., Miss., N.J., N.Y., Tenn., Va.
The Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust St., St. Louis, 314.241.2337; Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, 314.241.2337, schlafly.com

Scratch Brewing Co.
264 Thompson Road, Ava, Ill., 618.426.1415, scratchbeer.com

Side Project Brewing
8125 Michigan Ave., St. Louis, sideprojectbrewing.com

Six Row Brewing Co.
Mo., Ill.
3690 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.531.5600, sixrowbrewco.com

Square One Brewery and Distillery
1727 Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.231.2537, squareonebrewery.com

Trailhead Brewing Co.
921 S. Riverside Drive, St. Charles, 636.946.2739, trailheadbrewing.com

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
Mo., Ill., Ind.
3229 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.222.0143, urbanchestnut.com

Coming Soon
4204-Main Street Brewing Co.
4204 W. Main St., Belleville, Ill., 618.660.8612, Facebook: 4204-Main Street Brewing Company

Main & Mill Brewing Co.
240 E. Main St., Festus, Mo., 314.603.0924, mainandmillbrewingco.com

Modern Brewery
5231 Manchester Ave., Unit E, St. Louis, mb314.com

Recess Brewery
307 N. Main St., Edwardsville, Ill., recessbrewing.com

Six Mile Brewery and Smokehouse
1324 Niedringhaus Ave., Granite City, Ill., 618.501.4200, Facebook: Six Mile Brewery and Smokehouse

Templar Brewing Co.
331 Belle St., Alton, Ill., templarbrewing.com

-illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan



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