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Mar 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Whitebox Eatery’

Mona’s on The Hill will close doors this Sunday

Friday, September 1st, 2017



After less than a year in business, owner Brendan Marsden is closing doors at Mona’s – An American-Italian Joint on The Hill. The restaurant’s last day of dinner service will be Sunday, Sept. 3.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s a decision that I had to make and decided to focus on some more important things in my life, like family and my other job,” he said.

Marsden, who also owns Whitebox Eatery in Clayton, surprised the restaurant community in August 2016 when he closed Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant after 15 years. He opened Mona’s in the same space just a few months later. Now, Marsden is selling the 3,600-square-foot space as a turnkey restaurant.

Marsden now plans to focus his energy on his Clayton breakfast and lunch spot.“It’s all on Whitebox now. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on over there,” he said.

He hopes to expand catering operations, explore options for evening events and possibly even take the concept outside the St. Louis area.


Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.

Related Content
First Look: Mona’s on The Hill

Mona’s to open in former Modesto space

Modesto to close Aug. 20

The Scoop: Modesto to close Aug. 20

Monday, August 1st, 2016




After 15 years on The Hill, Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant will serve its final small plate on Saturday, Aug. 20. Owner Brendan Marsden, who also owns Whitebox Eatery in Clayton, said he has decided to shutter the space at 5257 Shaw Ave., and open a new concept in late September.

“It was just time,” he said. “I wanted to go out on a high note. It’s run its course, and I wanted to breathe new life into the space.”

Announcements regarding the new concept are expected in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, Modesto’s staff and management will remain on board for the new restaurant.

“I want to thank everybody for their patronage,” said Marsden. “We look forward to seeing people at the new concept and hope they’ll enjoy it as much they enjoyed Modesto.”


Budget Crunch: 10 delicious dishes and sweet deals to try right now

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

It’s time for Budget Crunch, wherein intrepid reporter Byron Kerman offers 10 tips on delicious menu items and sweet deals happening now. Got $10? Grab a friend and sample, split and stuff yourselves with these steals.



1. Leftovers get some serious love with the Holiday Mostarda for around $12 a pound at Salume Beddu. With cranberries, Bosc pears, currants, fresh ginger, white wine and mustard seeds, this relish makes the average cranberry sauce crawl back in the can. Slather some on a turkey sandwich (maybe with a little stuffing, even), and you’ll become a convert.

2. About 10 steps from Kakao in Clayton, a collaboration with Pastaria has yielded a winner: maple-roasted parsnip gelato with crumbled Kakao Big Squeal Bacon Brittle mixed in is a wonder. The crunchy delight of the brittle and the strong bacon flavor in the creamy gelato make for a sweet-savory triumph. Get a double scoop for $4.

3. The newly opened Avenue Restaurant has burst from the blocks with a nighttime happy hour that offers classy eats for small bucks. The new Monday Industry Night features drink specials and half-off the items from the bar menu from 9 to 11 p.m. Check out the half-pound burger with cheese on a brioche bun ($7), grilled ham and Swiss with grain mustard on Cuban bread ($4.50), macaroni-and-cheese ($5), French onion soup gratinee ($3 to $4), Parmesan biscuits ($1.50) or a spinach salad with blue cheese and walnuts ($4.50).




4. The Q-icide sandwich at Vernon’s BBQ & Catering has “one of every meat.” That’s pulled pork, brisket, smoked turkey breast, ham, corned beef, sausage and smoked bologna, all piled to a vertiginous, Dagwood, fork-and-knife-height on the bun. The Friday special weighs more than a pound and goes for $12.

5. 5 Star Burgers has officially moved beyond its namesake menu item and added a whole new tubular section: hot dogs. Wenneman’s beef-pork blend hot dogs are split, grilled, bedded in brioche buns and topped three ways. The 5 Star Dog is simplified a Chicago style with house-made sweet relish, diced red onion and tomato ($6). The Ballpark Dog reposes beneath sauerkraut, griddled onions and bacon ($6.50). The Triple Dog Dare Ya, inspired by the restaurant’s Southwestern Dad’s Green Chile Cheeseburger, is a dog under Angus beef chili, cheddar cheese and crispy New Mexico Hatch chile peppers ($7).

6. The Whitebox Coffee Break is a new, afternoon pastry happy hour at Whitebox Eatery. Pastries, muffins, scones, cookies and sometimes even those simply ass-kicking Vincent Van Doughnuts are all half-off, dropping to $1.50 to $2 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Add a medium cup of Blueprint’s drip coffee for $1.25 with your selected pastry at the cafe or the sweet little Whitebox kiosk in the building next door.





7. Snack cakes referencing a certain childhood treat are waiting at Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop. “Twinkles” (ahem) are sticks of vanilla sponge cake filled with light vanilla fluff. They’re available on some weekends (call ahead) and for special orders at $2 each.

8. Should you find yourself at the River City Casino at 7 a.m. (and you know who you are), consider gambling on the lobster frittata. Available at the Casino’s Lewy Nine’s Café, the generous breakfast offers a big ol’ mound of lobster meat for a friendly price ($12). The dish consists of a three-egg lobster fritatta topped with a warm lobster salad with a touch of garlic and served with toast on the side.

9. Been to Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream lately? The Webster Groves scoopers have holiday flavors like eggnog, peppermint and a sugar-plum sorbet. Speaking of sugar plums, Serendipity’s new Nutcracker on Ice Cream flavor features coffee ice cream with pistachios, almonds and pecans and a fudge ribbon. The nutty creation gets its name in honor of the Metro Edge Figure Skating Club’s upcoming performance of The Nutcracker on Ice. Grab a single scoop for $3 in a cone or bowl; quarts are also available for $7 to $9.

10. The $2 Chocolate Chewy Goodness cookie, baked by Sarah’s Cake Shop, is not like other cookies. Melted marshmallow and butter caramelize around its edges for an ambrosial chewiness. Pick it up at United Provisions in The Loop.


The Scoop: Vincent Van Doughnut to open shop in Clayton

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014



For Brian Marsden, owner of Vincent Van Doughnut food truck and soon-to-be Clayton storefront at 40 N. Central Ave., the love of doughnuts runs deep.

“As a kid, I would go through sleeves of those processed, powdered sugar doughnuts,” said Marsden, a more than 20-year veteran of the restaurant industry. Love for the fried treat followed Marsden into adulthood, and in November 2013, a 1960 Ford Grumman Olson step van known affectionately as “Clyde” began rolling St. Louis streets, serving up a wide variety of classic and specialty doughnut creations.

“Things just took off,” said Marsden, who received a call to compete on the premiere of Cooking Channel’s “Donut Showdown” soon after launching the food truck. Vincent Van Doughnut clinched first place, bringing home bragging rights and $10,000.

As first reported by Feast Magazine, Vincent Van Doughnut is now expanding its business with a brick and mortar slated to open late December. “We have been looking for a storefront for over a year,” explained Marsden. “In Clayton, we found what we wanted.”

The new Vincent Van Doughnut will land next door to Barcelona Tapas in the space that was previously home to Pomme, at 12 N. Meramec Ave. Marsden says fans of the food truck needn’t worry; they can continue to catch Vincent Van Doughnut curbside throughout St. Louis, too.

Marsden envisions the storefront like a European cafe, offering breakfast and coffee options to complement its lineup of classic and artisanal doughnuts. Other offerings will likely include scones and croissants, and Marsden is also considering items like Alumni’s decadent Vincent Van Doughnut-pudding made with his cake doughnuts.

Inside, the storefront has exposed brick, hardwood floors and enough space for just under 20 seats. Marsden expects to be open early, around 6 a.m., to cater to the Clayton work crowd, but he said he might have late-night hours on the weekends to accommodate bar goers.

The new location will also place Marsden near his brother, Brendan Marsden, who heads Whitebox Eatery at 176 Carondelet Plaza. “We’re stoked,” Brian Marsden said. “The response to Vincent Van Doughnut has been overwhelming, and we’re excited to keep growing.”


Hit List: 11 places you must try this month – Part 2

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

If it’s new and different you want, you’ll easily get your fill this month. Restaurants and bars have been opening left and right, not to mention food trucks, an ultramodern ice cream shop and an international grocery store. Are you ready, food-obsessed St. Louis? We’ve got 11 – yes, 11! – places you need to check out this month.

Did you miss Part 1 of our September Hit List? Never fear; click here to for 5 other places you must try this month.




6. Ices Plain & Fancy: 2256 S. 39th St., St. Louis, 314.601.3604, icesplainandfancy.com

One of Shaw’s newest (and zaniest) storefronts masquerades as a modest corner ice cream shop, but a closer look reveals some seriously weird science going on behind the counter. Started by four college chums, Ices Plain & Fancy evokes the techniques of Victorian desserts innovator Agnes B. Marshall to make the Nitro Ice (pictured), which uses liquid nitrogen to flash-chill cream to silky perfection. Best of all? It’s made to order right in front of you with nitrogen steam pluming all around. Pick from around seven seasonal flavors each day, or try the Sump Pump, soft-serve infused with whatever’s on the grind over at Sump Coffee. Most items are available in soy if you’re eating vegan or gluten-free – otherwise, be sure to have your ice cream scooped into one of the house’s fresh-made waffle cones.


7. United Provisions: 6241 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.833.5699, unitedprovisions.com

What do you get when Olio and Elaia chef-owner Ben Poremba teams up with Global Foods guru Suchin Prapaisilp? You get shelves upon shelves of international foodstuffs, from kefir to pork ramen to Pocky. You get an unexpectedly diverse selection of beer, wine and cider, curated by Andrey Ivanov. You get sushi master Naomi Hamamura delicately arranging spicy tuna rolls behind the raw bar. You get coffee and espresso served over the marble countertop at the coffee bar. And at the restaurant area known as Dining District, you get table service for an impressive lunch (sandwiches, salads and burgers) or dinner (oysters, barbecued ribs, lamb kebabs and so much more). This grocery store-turned-gastronome refuge has us standing united in admiration.


8. Whitebox Eatery: 176 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314.862.2802, whiteboxeatery.com

Early risers can tuck into fine breakfast fare at Whitebox Eatery in Clayton. Step up to the gleaming white counter and place your order for coffee and a grilled ham breakfast sandwich, a thick slice of house-baked ham, an over-hard egg and gooey melted Gruyere cheese stacked between a house-made buttermilk biscuit slathered with apple butter. Lunch service starts at 11 a.m., and we’re digging into a filling organic farro salad, the ancient grain tossed with a handful of peppery arugula, roasted mushrooms, caramelized fennel, mozzarella and a pesto dressing. On your way out, snag that fruit Danish you’ve been staring at since you arrived. Its buttery, flaky goodness is so worth the calories.





9. Rack House West Winery: 5065 N. Highway N, Cottleville, 636.244.0574, rackhouse.westwinery.com

Rack House West Winery somehow successfully manages to be a tasting room, whiskey bar, restaurant and cigar lounge all at once. The new spot in Cottleville exclusively serves West Winery wines, (and will soon make a few in-house), but with 14 varietals from the super-sweet Duck Creek rosé to the dry, full-bodied Roundhouse Red, there’s something to please every palate. While you taste, snack on a few bar bites like bacon kettle corn. Hungry for more? The smoked brisket panini will more than satisfy with a mountain of tender meat slathered in a house-made barbecue sauce and topped with a spicy horseradish aioli, arugula, melted cheddar and caramelized onions. It’s comes on herb foccacia, but a knife and fork are required for this one. If you’d rather a whiskey and a stogie, step into the cigar lounge, sink into one of the comfy armchairs and light up, a snifter of one of 85 available whiskeys or a barrel-aged Manhattan (pictured) by your side.


10. Unkle Munkey’s Coin Club: 1027 Century Drive, Edwardsville, 618.692.5152, unklemunkeys.com

For the last few years, food has beckoned us to Edwardsville. Now that Unkle Munkey’s Coin Club has unlocked its doors, we’re heading across the river for some good, clean fun. The arcade offers more than 50 classic video games like Pong, Tetris, Galaga and Breakout, along with a dozen wicked pinball machines, including the classic Addams Family, and three skee-ball lanes, too. When thirst, hunger or a hand cramp finally pull you away from blinking lights and digital chirps, grab a table or take a seat at the full-service bar, the top of which is laminated with old comic book covers, quarters and game tokens. Hot dogs, pizzas and sandwiches make up the bulk of food offerings. Opt for The Hot Mess, a toasted Companion baguette packed with pastrami, roast beef, bacon, provolone and Swiss cheese, then turned into a hot mess thanks to ranch dressing and house-made giardiniera. Wash it down with one of seven mostly local rotating beers on tap. Kids can run amok until 8 p.m., when this hangout turns into a playground for the 18-and-older crowd. Sundays, however, offer amusement for all ages, all day.


11. Taste of St. Louis: Fri., Sept. 19 to Sun., Sept. 21, Chesterfield Amphitheater and Park, 631 Veterans Place Drive, Chesterfield, 314.534.2100, tastestl.com

The annual three-day food festival Taste of St. Louis returns this month, promising even more culinary delights. Grab a bite from one of more than 35 restaurants participating in Sauce Magazine’s Restaurant Row, watch area chefs compete in the Stella Artois Chef Battle Royale and take a stroll on the Art and Wine Walk. New this year are ticketed events featuring interactive cooking demonstrations by Food Network chefs Tyler Florence of Food Court Wars and The Great Food Truck Race and Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes fame. Live music and fireworks are also in store.

-photos by Michelle Volansky



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