• Chef ALAN McREYNOLDS, formerly of Red Moon, is serving ‘high-end, home-style’ fare seven days a week at the new West End Grill and Pub. Interestingly, its main dining room doubles as the foyer to the Gaslight Theater when the St. Louis Actors Studio is staging a production. The comfortable, 60-seat dining spot is at 354 N. Boyle Ave.
• ROGER McELROY, grocery buyer for Straub’s Markets, has added a new line of coffee, Celebrity Chefs Kitchen Signature Coffees, crafted by fourth-generation roastmaster DAVE CHARLEVILLE. The CCK Signature Coffees bear a ‘Best of the Best’ seal of approval from the Celebrity Chef Kitchens culinary council of professional chefs, and a price tag of $11.79 per pound.
• Come mid-May, there will be two more locations for Bandana’s Bar-B-Q in town, one right in our backyard at Manchester and McKnight roads. Diners can kick back on the patio or in the 140-seat dining area. Manager JASON KOCSIS is really excited about this Bandana’s because it was built from the ground up!
• When BRETT EISEN called his mentor Jon Lowe at Oceano Bistro during dinner service on a Saturday night, the chef told him he was too busy to talk…then Brett went ahead and told him he had just won the Johnson & Wales University National High School Chef of the Year competition! His entree of Chilean sea bass with Israeli couscous was judged the best of the 10 finalists. Brett loved that one of the judges was Shaquille O’Neal’s personal chef. His parents, Rick Eisen and Marci Mayer Eisen of Chesterfield, as well as his Parkway Central teachers, Linda Trecker and Hilary Grabow, traveled to Miami for the competition and are thrilled about his full scholarship to the distinguished culinary school. This summer Brett will travel to New York to film with J&W grad and Food Network star Tyler Florence.
• Pizza, pizza, pizza!!! If you missed certain urban references at the new B&T Pizza on Washington Avenue, don’t worry, you’ll get another chance. Owner OSCAR IGLESIS’ motto is: “You usually have to pay a toll for pizza this good.” Bridge and Tunnel sells pizza by the slice, a street slice: $2.50 for plain cheese (mozzarella, not provel). When you chow down next to the 30-inch convex mirrors on the wall, authentic bus rear view mirrors, you’ll remember that there is a tunnel under Tucker, and that Eads Bridge is just blocks away. But unlike most big city slice sellers, Iglesis has Bud and Bud Light on tap. Of course, he makes pizza pies, too: 18 inchers that start at $15, but for take-out and delivery only.
• From anchovies to roasted zucchini, there are about a dozen toppings at the new Onesto Pizza and Trattoria. VITO and MICHELLE RACANELLI, CRAIG STETSON and SETH BERKOWITZ are co-owners of the new Italian joint in SoHa (the hip name for the South City neighborhood around South Hampton Avenue). Vito’s house-made, fresh-roasted tomato sauce stars in the 14- and 18-inch pies, $13 and $16 without toppings. Onesto’s rice ball appetizer is big and filled with ground beef; it’s deep-fried and served in a pool of Bolognese sauce. Family-style eating is encouraged, as the menu offers family-size portions of all the pastas and salads that could easily feed four. Onesto, located at 5401 Finkman (on the corner of Macklind), is open for lunch and dinner every day except Tuesday. And yes, they deliver!
Onesto and B&T join Katie’s and Pi on the growing list of new StL pizza places. Has anyone else heard the rumor that the U. City Farmer’s Market space is going to become a pizzeria? If so, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.