> WES JOHNSON, chef de cuisine at Eclipse Restaurant in the Moonrise Hotel, will be opening a place of his own this spring. Called Salt, the new venture will be at 4356 Lindell Blvd. in the former home of Savor. Look for in-house charcuterie (hence the Salt title) as well as other unique takes on contemporary American cuisine. Eclipse fans, don’t despair: Johnson tells us he’ll be splitting his time between the two restaurants. And apparently not sleeping much!
> Just a couple of months after its debut, CLAUS SCHMITZ has sold his share of Prime 1000 Restaurant downtown. He’s reported to be focusing his sights now on the latest Mosaic Modern Fusion, which is scheduled to open at 11927 Manchester Road in Des Peres in April, as well as some new ventures in Clayton and the CWE.
> Treats from Kakao Chocolate are now available at Whole Foods Market in Town & Country. Owner and master chocolatier BRIAN PELLETIER tells us he delivered the first batch of barks, brittles and caramels to the store Jan. 14. Now that they’ve been vetted and approved, Pelletier says any midwest Whole Foods store can order his wares. We’re hoping the Brentwood location gets with the program soon! Pelletier also reports the new Kakao location in Maplewood is still on track for an early February opening.
> Speaking of Valentine’s Day, BRIO Tuscan Grill in Frontenac will be offering a special menu for that romantic weekend. From Feb. 11 to 14, pick from three special entrees, including Primavera Formaggio, and a bevy of decadent desserts. Call 432-4410 for reservations and more details.
> Look for a second location of Di Olivas, purveyor of premium olive oils, vinegars and other gourmet wares, to open in the near future. Owner ROBERT PALLEJA says the new location is set to open March 1 at 617 S. Main Street in historic downtown St. Charles. “It really is where a store like this should be,” he says of the new digs, which are in the first brick church built north of the Missouri River. The original location on the second level of West County Center will remain as-is.
> Chef BRIAN HARDESTY confirms Terrene in the CWE has introduced a new menu for the remaining winter months. New favorites like vegetarian meatloaf and made-to-order donuts (oh my) will be available until March.
> L’Ecole Culinaire’s student-run restaurant has re-opened for business for the new school phase, with lunch service set for Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and dinner service Tuesday and Thursdays from 6:30 until 8 p.m. Dinner reservations are available on the half-hour. For reservations and info, call 314-227-9002, or visit
> Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant will host a winter fundraiser Wednesday, Feb. 9, for Circus Flora to commemorate the circus’ 25th anniversary. The eatery will donate 35 percent of the evening’s proceeds to Circus Flora. Reservations are encouraged and can be had by calling 772-8272. Speaking of anniversaries, Modesto will be celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Congrats!