> Congratulations to Niche pastry chef Mathew Rice, whose wedding cake and red velvet sandwiches are featured in the summer issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. The layered buttermilk-vanilla cake is decorated with lengths of ribbon with homemade rhubarb jam that Rice made for St. Louis stationer Cheree Berry’s wedding. Slices of red velvet cake wrapped in paper stand in for the groom’s cake. “I can’t wait to see Cheree’s cake in Martha Stewart Weddings,” Rice beams.
> Savor food and enjoy live music at a Cajun concert at Stone Hill Winery pavilion Sat., July 11, from 1 to 6 p.m. Ed Gary and the Louisiana Cajun Aces, a Cajun band from the bayous of Louisiana, are back this year for three days. Dancers from Louisiana will perform authentic Cajun dances.
> The Cheshire Lodge’s Fox and Hounds Tavern goes SMOKE-FREE! The London-inspired and reincarnated tavern and lodge, is run by Dan Apted and daughter Dani, who together have brought many innovations to the well-known hotel over the years, like revamping the rooms and fantasy suites, offering free Wi-Fi and ‘healthy start’ breakfasts, and adding entertainment packages in conjunction with Forest Park. “This isn’t about the rules or financial impact, it’s about a quality of life for my family, staff, hotel and bar guests, as well as anyone who chooses to use or be in this lodge,” says Dan Apted, explaining the smoke-free policy.
> FIVE Bistro is now open in its new location at 5100 Daggett Ave. on The Hill. Chef Anthony Devoti’s New American menu still offers an eclectic mix of ethnic cuisines and changes daily, depending on availability of the freshest ingredients from local farms.
> Sapore Italian Cafe is coming soon, from the family that brought us the former Benedetto’s in Frontenac and Limoncello in Clayton. Son and chef Paul Buzzetta is opening the new establishment in Manchester in early July. Located at the corner of Manchester and Baxter roads (in a corner of Dierberg’s Plaza Lafayette Center), the spot will serve creative pastas, seafood and steaks. Corporate catering will be available, along with the opportunity to reserve the restaurant for private functions.
> Dessert bar/lounge The In Spot is now open at 5854-A Delmar Blvd. Its Web site promises kabobs, sandwiches and “a full menu of gourmet desserts selected from the best pastry chefs around the country.” Of course, drinks, including milkshakes, will be offered, along with live music.
> Stone Wolf the Place for Steaks has changed its name to Stone Wolf Grill and introduced a new menu. Located in Wildwood the casual spot is under new ownership.
> Mixologist Ted Kilgore is heading east, from Maplewood hotspot Monarch to his new gig behind the counter at Niche Taste Bar, a soon-to-open addition to the popular (and nationally acclaimed) Benton Park restaurant.
> In less happy dining news, Carondelet pizza joint, bar and concert venue, The Wedge, and Rock Hill wine bar, Bella Vita, are both closing their doors.