Little Country Gentlemen, the evening time concept that shared the space at 8135 Maryland Ave. in Clayton occupied in the am hours by Half & Half, has announced that it's closing after service on Dec. 31. Half & Half will remain continue on as-is. Little Country Gentlemen opened in the summer of 2012, taking the place of Medianoche.
Congratulations are in order for a longtime St. Louis dining institution and a popular up-and-comer. The venerable Tony's downtown recently garnered a spot on Open Table's 100 Best Restaurants in America list, the only Missouri restaurant to make the cut. More than five million restaurant reviews were collected from verified OpenTable diners between November 2012 and November 2013, and used to determine the finalists. Meanwhile, Tower Grove's Elaia & Olio got a nod on Thrillist's roster of the 33 Best New Restaurants.
We told you recently that Chef JOHN DILL has taken over as executive chef at Hollywood Casino, formerly Harrah's. One of his prime culinary responsibilities, Final Cut Steakhouse, is now open in the space formerly home to Kelly English Steakhouse, part of a $62 million renovation of the casino property. The new steakhouse offers plenty of hand-cut steaks, dry-aged in-house as well as seafood specialties and other dishes.
Some more chef movements to report: CHRIS BORK is leaving his post as executive chef of Blood & Sand downtown, which he's held since the members-only dining club was established in the fall of 2011. Coming in to take the reigns in the kitchen is NICHOLAS MARTINKOVIC, who most recently was head chef at Central Table Food Hall in the CWE. No word on where Bork is bound, nor who will be helming Central Table. We'll keep you updated.
The Morganford location of Local Harvest Cafe and Catering is undergoing some changes for the new year. It's been announced that on Jan. 17, the South City favorite will officially change its name to LHC and add some new features. Among these: a juice bar with fresh-pressed juice and smoothies; a return to counter service (except for brunch); and a condensed menu highlighting house-made cultured specialties like sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, kefir and kimchi.