This month, Operation Food Search is hosting its annual Tomato Explosion fundraiser. A variety of area eateries are offering a tomato dish on their menu, with part of the sales benefiting the organization. One of our faves so far is the Tomato Tagliatelle at Cielo at the Four Seasons Hotel, featuring homemade pasta, sauteed sea scallops, mussels and crudaiola. Three dollars of each one ordered goes to OFS. For a full list of participating restaurants, go to operationfoodsearch.org.
The Missouri History Museum will be offering the second in its new series of guided tours – History on Tap, presented by MHM's Young Friends, later this month. The first tour explored Soulard. This time around, the subject is Dogtown. History on Tap: Dogtown will take place on Wednesday, July 24. Led by Bob Corbett of the Dogtown Historical Society, guests will hear thought-provoking stories about the neighborhood, businesses and history of this Irish community. The tour will make stops at Seamus McDaniel's, Pat's Bar and Grill, and Felix's Pizza Pub. The ticket price is $45 per person ($35 for members), and includes transportation, appetizers, pizza and beer at each stop. Reservations are required. Call 361-9017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tripel has opened at 1801 Park Ave. in Lafayette Square. The eatery features traditional Belgian fare like stoofvlees (a Flemish-style beef stew served over frites) and a beer list that has plenty of local brews, along with styles not often seen around town, like sour ales and fruit lambics.
Piccione Pastry, which recently opened in the U-City Loop, is now offering four flavors of gelato (chocolate, salted caramel, vanilla bean and coffee) and strawberry sorbet to complement its Italian pastries. Gusto Gourmet Creamery will be handcrafting the frozen treats.
Sad news to report from the CWE: Salt Restaurant has closed its doors, just a little more than two years after opening. The last day of service was June 29. In a release, the owners cited "the economic downturn, litigation with its landlord and pending litigation with a former partner and tax liability" as the reasons for the closure. The restaurant was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant in 2012.
We recently received word that eight St. James Winery wines received 90 points or better at the prestigious 2013 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, held recently at the Los Angeles County Fair. The winery's 2012 Vignoles and Friendship School White took Best of Class honors, garnering 97 points each out of a possible 100. Well done!