◆ In an effort to give back to the community, Monarch Restaurant will be donating 10 percent of its food and beverage sales every Tuesday night to a local charity. Owners JEFF ORBIN and AARON TEITELBAUM hope the initiative gets folks out to support the local economy, as well as help out a worthy cause. You can find a list of dates and charities at monarchrestaurant.com.

◆ Congratulations to ANDREY IVANOV of 33 Wine Bar and ALLYSON GORSUCH of Saint Louis Club. Both passed The Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination of last week in Cincinnati. Ivanov received the highest score among all candidates and was awarded the prestigious Rudd Scholarship. Well done!

◆ We’ve found out that Filippo’s Italian Kitchen and Bar will be opening at 120 Chesterfield Valley Drive in Chesterfield this fall. The location is the former home of Tribeca Lounge, which closed last year. The eatery is the latest from the Sanfilippo family, which owns J.F. Sanfilippo’s downtown, and we’re told it will feature a smaller version of the menu from the flagship restaurant.

◆Local food truck Cha Cha Chow has a chance to get on the national stage. The mobile eatery is in the running to appear on Season 3 of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. Fans can go to Cha Cha’s website (whereschacha.com), for a link to cast their vote. The truck receiving the most votes will be named America’s Favorite, get a cool $10,000 and appear on the show. Good luck!

◆Fresh from winning a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence after being open just 19 months, Balaban’s wine cellar & tapas bar will host a superlative wine dinner featuring vino from Ramey Wine Cellars on Aug. 28, at 6:30 p.m. We’re told Balaban’s co-owner STEVE MCINTYRE ranks Ramey wines among his favorites. Ramey’s SILAS RUSHTON will be on hand to answer questions, and chef KEVIN STHAIR will produce a five-course tasting menu to pair with some of the winery’s best bottlings. For reservations or more info, call 636-449-6700 or email aaron.zwicker@balabanswine.com.

◆Slow Food St. Louis will host the 2011 Art of Food on Sept. 10, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Koken Art Factory, 2500 Ohio Ave. The event features hors d’oeuvres created by a veritable who’s-who of local culinary talent, and a food-themed silent auction. For more info email kelly@slowfoodstl.com.

◆St. Louis Bread Co. has kicked off its Great Sandwich Showdown Contest. Now through Sept. 15, St. Louis sandwich enthusiasts can submit original sandwich recipes online at panerabread.com/showdown. The site lists Bread Co.’s toppings and ingredients, which can be combined with its artisan breads. The initial submissions will be whittled down to 20, and then the public can vote online to arrive at a final five, who will compete live on Oct. 26. The winner will get $2,500, a year’s worth of bagels, as well as the chance to see their sandwich on the menu at area Bread Co. cafés


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