> We’ve confirmed that IL Vicino will not be reopening for business in Clayton, at least not in its old location. The restaurant, at 41 N. Central Ave., has been closed since a fire and subsequent water main break Sept. 27. According to RICK POST, vice president of Il Vicino International, it seems they would have trouble meeting current code standards for the restauraunt’s flue and ductwork. However, Post says the company would like to find another location in the area. “We’d definitely like to be back in Clayton if we can make it work,” he says.
> We just received word that Gelato Di Riso will be shuttering its CWE location at 4663 Maryland Ave. Nov. 21. Owner SUSAN REIS says she wants to concentrate on the flagship location at 5204 Wilson Ave. on The Hill. The Warson Woods store closed in July.
> The gastropub concept has headed west. The Tavern Kitchen & Bar opened last month at 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road, specializing in what co-owner BRANT BALDANZA calls “exquisite comfort food; rustic fare with a culinary twist.” He says Chef JUSTIN HAIFLEY is doing some interesting spins on local favorites, too, like toasted lobster ravioli, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free menus. Baldanza and his partners (Parkway West alums) aren’t new to the business or the area; they also own The Corner Pub & Grill restaurants in Kirkwood and Chesterfield.
> The Ninth Annual St. Louis Food & Wine Experience is slated for Jan. 28 through 30 at The Chase Park Plaza. The event benefits the Repertory Theater of St. Louis and is the largest international wine tasting event in Missouri. Experience culinary demos, wine tastings and the wares of more than 90 exhibitors.
> A hearty congratulations to Charlie Gitto’s On The Hill! Open Table Inc. included the eatery on its 2010 Diner’s Choice list of the Top 50 Italian restaurants in the nation.
> Operation Food Search is holding its 12th annual Empty Bowls event at Plaza Frontenac this weekend. On Nov. 19 and 20 during normal mall hours, browse through a selection of artwork donated by local artists and schools, get your holiday shopping done early and support a great local charity!
> Ruth’s Chris Steak House recently added Friday Night Live, an extended happy hour that starts right after lunch service at 2:30 p.m. and runs until 6 p.m. Part of the draw is the chi-chi half price drinks and half price appetizers.
> We mentioned back in July that Deer Creek Coffee would soon be taking over the space at 9820 Clayton Road. Well, the wait is over; the shop opened for business Nov. 5. According to owner RICK WILLIAMS, they’re squeezing the O.J. fresh each morning and baking a variety of goods in-house, like muffins and scones. Williams says to look for a menu expansion in the future, including additional breakfast items and lunch fare.