◆August was a big month for the craft cocktail scene in St. Louis. Sanctuaria’s JOEL CLARK took top honors in the St. Louis edition of the Nation’s Most Inspired Bartender competition, held Aug. 17 at Cafe Napoli in Clayton, sponsored by Bombay Sapphire, the United States Bartenders Guild and GQ magazine. Clark won with his original drink ‘Bollywood Nights,’ and is now off to Las Vegas to compete for the national title and a chance to appear along with his cocktail creation in GQ. And CHAD MICHAEL GEORGE of DeMun Oyster Bar took third place in the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition. George competed with his custom creation ‘The Standoff.’ Well done to both mixologists!

◆ Speaking of Sanctuaria, the eatery was recently named a winner of OpenTable Diner’s Choice Awards Top 50 Late Night Dining Restaurants in the U.S., along with downtown favorite Lola. The winners were chosen from more than 10 million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants across the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

◆Area artisan cheese maker Baetje Farms recently took home five awards from the annual American Cheese Society competition held in Montreal. The Bloomsdale, Mo., company’s armload of trophies includes First Place Coeur de la Creme-Plain; First Place Coeur de la Creme-Three Pepper; and First Place Fleur de la Vallee.

◆ Morton’s The Steakhouse is hosting a Celebrity Server Night on Sept. 12. The event benefits St. Louis Rams player DONNIE AVERY’s charity, Catches For Kids, which focuses on improving the lives of children from low-income homes. Avery and some special guests, including some of his Rams teammates, will serve guests four courses of Morton’s signature cuisine. The evening begins at 7 p.m with a reception and a silent auction, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m. Visit donnieavery.org to make reservations.

◆The Lou’s latest craft brewery, 4 Hands Brewing Co., is slated to open in early October at 1220 S. 8th St. downtown. The opening has been pushed back previously due to construction issues, but we’re told the wait will be worth it. Co-owner KEVIN LEMP says the new interior will boast wood salvaged from a 107-yearold barn that was taken down in Tipton, Mo.

◆ The Presentation Room Restaurant on the campus of L’Ecole Culinaire, 9811 S. Forty Drive, has started its new cycle of lunch service. The menu features late summer/early fall favorites, along with some old standbys. Reservations can be made for noon, 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday by calling 587-2433.

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