•  Herbie’s Restaurant opens Oct. 17 after a whirlwind two months of interior redesign and menu development. As you may recall, this is the re-christened Balaban’s, a beloved CWE fixture for decades. Co-owner JEFF ORBIN has buttoned it all together with new flooring and pendant lights over the bar, which has a new tufted look. The vintage ambience is enhanced by founder Herb Balaban’s French poster art, which diners will, no doubt, recognize from the original restaurant. Co-owner and executive chef AARON TEITELBAUM has created a French-American bistro menu.

)Now it’s possible, seven days a week, to get real pastrami on rye in Chesterfield!  On Oct. 15 the second Lester’s Sports Bar and Grill opened at 14810 Clayton Road, a quarter-mile east of Baxter Road. The menu is exactly the same as Lester’s in Ladue, only the TVs are bigger…all 35, Hi-Def sets!  The bar is bigger, too, and there is a patio that seats 30. GM DON TAMILLO, who opened Busch’s Grove and the first deli with owner LESTER MILLER, is excited to bring their popular house-smoked and sliced-to-order meats to West County.

•  For a very special midweek meal in Clayton, check your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 23, when Oceano Bistro is having a five-course Surf & Turf Wine Dinner for $60 per person. GM SANJIV GUPTA has shared an advance copy of the menu with us, and the smoked Muscovy duck confit and Dungeness crab beignets sound pretty good. The wines span the globe from New Zealand to California,  Argentina, Greece and Oregon.

•  How do you improve the best ice cream shop in St. Louis?  You make it bigger!  On Oct. 14, Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream expanded to seat 20 in a new cozy space next door at 8130 Big Bend Blvd. Be sure to check out their ‘Good Food Mood’ menu, too. Chef BRENDAN MAHONEY is making fresh daily soups and chili. Deli favorites like Reubens (with kosher corned beef) are the perfect accompaniment for soda phosphates and egg crèmes.  To put the kiddies in a good mood, owner/ice cream diva BECKIE JACOBS suggests ordering the pb&j and following it up with a waffle sundae served on an Eggo! 

•  Two of St. Louis’ most talented chefs are making a book signing event very food friendly. On Oct. 21 at the Missouri History Museum at 7 p.m., ERIC BRENNER of Moxy Bistro and STEVE KOMOREK of Trattoria Marcella will each do a 20-minute demo, with samples, to celebrate the release of ‘Eating St. Louis: The Gateway City’s Unique Food Culture’ by PATRICIA CORRIGAN. The heavily illustrated book covers restaurants, watering holes, farmer’s markets and food manufacturers.  The Twilight Tuesday event is free, and all attendees will get a gift pack that includes Gus’ Pretzels and Fitz’s root beer!

•  It’s not just the beef that is prime at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Clayton. The only stemware to be found on tables there is Reidel from Austria, the best glassware in the world. To find out what a difference a glass makes, attend the From the Vine to the Glass Reidel Tasting Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. Wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle will be accompanied by Morton’s signature hors d’oeuvres. The tasting costs $70 per person and includes a four-piece Reidel wine glass set worth $60!

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

More Diversions articles.