> Restaurateurs PAUL and WENDY HAMILTON, owners of Eleven Eleven Mississippi, Vin de Set, Grand Petite Market, Malt House Cellar and Moulin Events are taking the plunge once again. The couple will be opening PW Pizza on the first floor of 2017 Chouteau Ave., the building that houses their other culinary venues. The new, 75-seat restaurant will have a seasonal focus and feature gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian menu options. BTW, ‘PW’ stands for ‘Paul and Wendy.‘ Opening should be early May; we’ll keep you updated.
> It’s that time of year again, when various local groups fire up their stoves for Lenten fish frys. This year, though, St. Vincent DePaul church, 1408 S. 20th Street, is taking a more culinary approach by sponsoring Filet of Soul: A Gourmet Lenten Dinner to Help The Homeless, Friday, March 18 at 6 p.m. Chef GEORGE GUTHIER, instructor at L’Ecole Culinaire, will be preparing a menu of fresh flounder stuffed with Chesapeake crab, rice pilaf croquettes, green beans Almandine, homemade breads. and hand-crafted orange sorbet and Baba Rhums for desert. Each meal comes with a glass of wine, beer or soda, and there will be a cash bar, as well. Proceeds benefit St. Vincent DePaul’s Social Ministry Program. Tickets are $20 (adults) and $15 (children under 12). Reservations are required. Call
231-9328 or visit http://stvstl.org">stvstl.org.
> Executive chef CHRISTOPHER LEE and chef de cuisine KATIE CASE of Cafe Ventana took first place in the professional division at the Soulard Mardi Gras Crystal Cajun Cookoff. The duo won with Creole Trinity, which features spicy fried chicken, cornmeal waffles, crawfish pie and BBQ shrimp and grits.
> Congratulations are in order to owner STEVE NEUKOMM and his crew at Square One Brewery & Distillery in Lafayette Square. The brewery, distillery and brewpub just celebrated its fifth year in business.
> National Pig Day was March 1, but the folks at Onesto Pizza & Trattoria didn’t think one day was enough, so they’re stretching the pork celebration out to include the entire month. Chef VITO RACANELLI Jr., who comes from a long line of butchers, will be preparing a variety of charcuterie delicacies, including coppa di resta, mortadella, sopressata and more, which will be available throughout March at the restaurant. All of the meat comes from farmers market favorite Hinkebein farms in Cape Girardeau. Racanelli says the charcuterie extravaganza is both a nod to his family heritage, and a gesture of respect and responsibility to the animal.
> Area mixologists MATT SEITER of Sanctuaria, TED KILGORE of Taste by Niche, NATE SELSOR and TJ VYTLACIL of Monarch have been selected to represent the St. Louis Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild at the organization’s National Leadership Conference in San Francisco this month.
> The guns have been silenced in the Fiala Food Wars. Chef IAN VEST of The Crossing bested, though just barely, boss JIM FIALA in the final night of the competition. The bout was close, but apparently Vest’s lemon bars with pineapple and strawberry gastrique were enough to put him into the winner’s circle. Congratulations!