• We received some really sad news for the St. Louis dining scene: Monarch in Maplewood will be closing its doors after a nine-year run, with its last day of service on Sunday, March 11. Owners JEFF ORBIN and AARON TEITELBAUM cited the weak economy, the prevalence of “discount dining deal programs” and the large size of the venue as some of the main reasons for the closure. The duo have announced plans to open another concept this fall. We’ll keep you posted.
  • MICHAEL DEL PIETRO’S latest restaurant, Tavolo V, is on track to open at the end of this month at 6120 Delmar Blvd. in the U. City Loop.
  • We recently got word that Tony’s, Cielo and Giovanni’s On the Hill have all been awarded the 2012 AAA Four Diamond Award. Well done!
  • JOHN GRIFFITHS, executive chef at Truffles in Ladue, will be heading to NYC to cook at the James Beard House in June. Griffiths will be preparing a six-course dinner inspired by his journey as a chef for James Beard Foundation members and the media. Congrats!
  • Two of the city’s best chefs recently got national exposure: GERARD CRAFT of Niche and WES JOHNSON of Salt were both featured on the TODAY Show, where they did cooking demos. Craft appeared Feb. 27, while Johnson took his turn Feb. 29. Way to represent the Lou!
  • Popular wine and gourmet food shop Parker’s Table, which closed its location in the CWE in 2009, has reopened in Richmond Heights at 7118 Oakland Ave., behind the Tip Top Cleaners.
  • The 17th annual St. Louis Microfest will be taking place Friday, May 4, and Friday, May 5, at the Upper Muny parking lot in Forest Park. Some 80 craft beers and 50 international brews will be available for sampling. Proceeds from the event benefit Lift For Life Gym. Tickets and more info can be had at stlmicrofest.org.
  • One of our town’s premier java purveyors, Goshen Coffee in Edwardsville, has a new owner. JAY BEARD recently purchased Goshen from founder MATT HERREN, who will continue to be involved in the company.
  • The folks at Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville have released the March and April class schedule for the successful ‘Cooking at the Cottage’ group classes offered at the restaurant. The classes are centered around recipes featured in the cookbook authored by owners CARL and NANCY MCCONNELL, Stone Soup Cottage: A Vignette of Seasonal Recipes. Get the full class schedule at stonesoupcottage.com.

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