• Restaurateur ZOE PIDGEON, the force behind such popular eateries as Bobo Noodle House and I Fratellini, is planning a new project. Pidgeon has taken over the space across the street from I Fratellini, formerly the longtime home to Wydown Shoe Repair, and plans what she calls a petite cafe/bar with a French accent. The new eatery is still unnamed, but plans are currently in place for a summer opening.
  • It’s already time to start planning that Easter brunch. Cafe Madeleine at the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park will be serving an array of locally inspired favorites on Easter Sunday, April 8, and will offer three seatings: 10 a.m. to noon; noon to 2 p.m.; and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 575-5658. At Vin de Set, chef IVY MAGRUDER and staff will be preparing some classic brunch dishes and some French fare, as well. Call 241-8989 for reservations and info. And Bixby’s in the Missouri History Museum will be featuring a varied brunch menu, a complimentary glass of Champagne, and as always, a grand view of Forest Park. Three seatings will be available for this brunch, as well: 10 a.m. to noon; noon to 2 p.m.; and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For reservations and info, call 361-7313 or visit online at bixbys-mohistory.com.
  • Gastronomes who’re interested in getting an up-close view of what goes on in a professional kitchen can now dine at the chef’s table at Cielo in the Four Seasons. For $125 per person, diners get a five-course, wine-paired dinner prepared by chef FABRIZIO SCHENARDI, personal service from restaurant manager ALEC VAN MEIJEREN and a birds-eye view of all the behind-the-scenes action.
  • Congrats to chef JOSH GALLIANO of the recently shuttered Monarch in Maplewood. He’s been named People’s Best New Chef-Midwest by Food & Wine Magazine. Another popular Maplewood chef, CASSY VIRES of Home Wine Kitchen, also was in the running.
  • Oenophiles interested in exploring Missouri wine country can now download apps for their iPhone and Android devices, courtesy of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board. Links to the apps can be found at missouriwine.org. Old-schoolers also can download a hardcopy of the 2012 Missouri Wine brochure at the site, as well.

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