A big congratulations to Balaban’s Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar in Chesterfield, which has been awarded a Best Award of Excellence in Wine Spectator’s 2012 restaurant awards. The 3-year-old restaurant is one of only 878 internationally eateries to receive the accolade. Qualifying restaurants must have a wine list of 400 or more selections, superior presentation and display of “significant vintage depth or superior breadth in one or more major wine regions.” Balaban’s surpassed the criteria with some 700 different labels and recognized strength in California and French wines.

Congrats to St. Louis landmark Tony’s, which has been named Best Fine Dining in the Best of the Midwest 2012 polling by readers of AAA Midwest Traveler.

Overlook Farm in Clarksville, Mo., will be hosting its Third Annual Luv Luv Farm Festival from Friday, Aug. 10, through Sunday, Aug. 12. The 325-acre working farm will be the site of dinners and cooking demos from some of the area’s leading chefs, as well as a BBQ competition and live entertainment. There also will be a silent auction and fundraiser to benefit Chefs4Students, a nonprofit that raises scholarship funds for culinary students in need of financial support. Some of the local chefs participants include WES JOHNSON, JOHN STUHLMAN and BEN WELCH. Get more info at overlookfarmmo.com.

Area food trucks now have a hassle-free place to ply their trade downtown. The City of St. Louis is setting aside a block of parking spaces on 13th Street between Chestnut and Pine just for the mobile eateries. Along with the city, the St. Louis Food Truck Association will manage the area, unofficially dubbed ‘Food Truck Row.’

Just in time to beat the heat, Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt has opened in the University City at 7708 Delmar Blvd. The spot offers a rotating selection of 75 flavors, 10 of which are available at any one time. While the chain has more than 400 locations in the U.S., this is the first one to open in Missouri.

Livery Company, a new drinking establishment, has opened at 3211 Cherokee St. featuring craft spirits and custom cocktails.

Community Living Inc. is hosting its annual Big Kahuna Bartender Challenge on Thursday, July 26, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Side Pockets in St. Charles. The event benefits Community Living’s mission of helping people with disabilities in St. Charles County. For more event info or for VIP tickets call 636-970-2800 or go to cliservices.org.


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