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Spicy Bits: August 29, 2008 - Ladue News: Diversions

Spicy Bits: August 29, 2008

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Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:00 am

Ruth’s Chris Steak House is on the verge of a corporate announcement that it will open a second St. Louis restaurant this spring downtown in the new Hyatt, where Faust’s was in the Adam’s Mark. The other big news is the new executive chef at the Clayton location, JAY WITTE. While he learned his way around a kitchen during 15 years at Annie Gunn’s, Witte still was sent to California for Ruth’s Chris ‘steak college.’ He is going to be sharing his grilling expertise on the patio from 5 to 7 p.m. the week before Labor Day. He and GM GEOFF DILL are doing impromptu, free classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, weather permitting. These guys really just want to ‘talk steak’ and share tips. They even said you can bring your video camera!

• The doors to Molly Darcy’s at the Seven Gables Inn opened Aug. 15. Clayton is the second location for the Celtic pub; the first is at Muckross Park Hotel, overlooking Lake Killarney in Ireland! Authentic pub fare is being prepared by executive chef JOSH JORDAN. The $10 daily features are classics like bangers and mash on Tuesdays and chicken pot pie on Thursdays. In addition to having the expected Guinness and Smithwick’s on tap, Magner’s Cider is available in draught pints. Partner/manager Carl Winters is quite proud of the shelves full of top-notch Irish whiskey, single and double malt scotches, and single barrel bourbons. Psst…don’t pass up a chance to eat and imbibe on the hidden courtyard patio out back.

• When chef PHIL NOE opened his rustic coastal Italian restaurant Mia Rosa last week, his ownership dream came true. Noe’s cicchetti, Italian tapas, will be perfect to enjoy at the granite-topped bar. The menu was inspired by his Italian mother, including items like prosciutto-wrapped monkfish and fregula pesto. (Fregula is hand-rolled pasta that is toasted before cooking.) Noe worked on the striking interior design with AMRIT GILL of Restoration St. Louis, whose double phoenix logo appears on the restaurant. The company has been a major force in renovating The Grove neighborhood.

JOEY BARCZESWKI loved the Hampton and Columbia corner location when he went looking for a spot for a second Joey B’s. With four years of success on The Landing under his belt, he recently launched the new location with an all-star menu on The Hill. MIKE McMANUS, the chef at The Landing, is leading the kitchen in preparing some of the menu favorites and adding classic Italian dishes made with family recipes from partner TONY GIANINO. The old Bartolino’s was gutted entirely; the new interior features booth seating, a great-looking bar, and 15 flat-screen TVs.

• In other food news from The Hill, LoRusso’s Cucina will have a larger bar and a different entrance configuration by mid-November. With the retirement of the optometrist whose office had been between the restaurant’s main entrance and the banquet room for decades, RICH LoRUSSO is adding 1,000 square feet and separating the dining area from the bar. The enlarged bar will have live music, with a customer survey determining what kind of musicians should be featured.

• At the close of the delicious private tasting event held last week at Terrene restaurant, new executive chef TELLO CARREON spoke of his relationships with farmers, including how the blackberries in the dessert were delivered right to his door! Creating the seasonal menus is a challenge and delight to the chef, who explained that while this month’s bounty of basil and cucumbers appear on menu items like heirloom tomato salad and cucumber gazpacho, it is also being preserved for winter. He is pickling cukes and fast-freezing basil pesto. Terrene also has a seasonal menu for special bar drinks, how do cantaloupe margarita and strawberry pound cake martini sound?

Got something for Spicy Bits? Write to Amy Peck Abraham at spicybits@laduenews.com.

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