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Spicy Bits: November 20, 2009 - Ladue News: Diversions

Spicy Bits: November 20, 2009

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Posted: Thursday, November 19, 2009 12:00 am

> There are two more names to add to your dining destinations in The Grove: Sanctuaria now sits at the corner of Boyle and Manchester in the space previously occupied by Agave. The concept is ‘wild tapas,’ prepared by chef Chris Lee, formerly of Café Ventana and the late Melange in the CWE, with Matthew Seiter shaking things up behind the bar. A few blocks to the west, Phil Noe is opening an all-night diner next door to his Italian joint, Mia Rosa. Doors open Nov. 26 at the yet-to-be-named nocturnal eatery.

> Dining for a cause: From Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, your dollars will do double duty when you eat at one of more than 35 independent area restaurants participating in Dine Originals, a project launched by St. Louis Originals, a consortium of St. Louis restaurateurs who aim to support local food purveyors and farmers. For $25, patrons can enjoy a three-course dinner of local fare. Additional donations benefit St. Louis Foodbank. A list of participating restaurants is available at stlouisoriginals.com.

> The Wine & Cheese Place is hosting the third annual PKD Foundation Winter Wine Tasting Dec. 3 at its Forsyth location. Sample wines, bid on silent auction items and stock up on favorite holiday wines. Ten percent of proceeds benefit PKD Foundation for research of Polycystic Kidney Disease. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at pkdcure.org.

> St. Louisans will soon get to experience Vom Fass, the German chain whose gourmet condiments, vinegars, oils, wines and liqueurs have excited folks in Europe for years. Owner Anita von Mallmoos will open the store on Manchester in downtown Maplewood Dec. 1. Vom Fass means ‘from the cask,’ reflecting the company’s philosophy that shoppers “should be able to taste everything before they purchase,” says store manager Anita Rezek.

> Shakers ‘n chefs: Talented mixologist Michelle Bildner has moved from Monarch to the soon-to-open Brasserie by Niche. Bildner joins chef Perry Hendrix in the newest project by Gerard Craft, but you can find her subbing for master mixer Ted Kilgore every so often at Taste by Niche. Former Eclipse GM Chad George will be tending bar at Pi at Euclid and McPherson when owner Chris Sommers completes the Pi triad in December.

> Butler’s Pantry chef de cuisine Todd Lough is quite busy these days. The former chef at Busch’s Grove managed to serve 380 people during opening night at Palladium St. Louis, the sleek new venue in Lafayette Square that once served as the laundry facility for City Hospital. In addition, Lough and his crew will take over catering duties at the Missouri History Museum, including the operation of Meriwether’s, which will close in January for renovation and reopen in early spring as Bixby’s, along with a separate cafe that offers museum goers sandwiches, soups and salads.

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