> PW Pizza, at 2017 Choteau Ave., the latest addition to the stable of PAUL and WENDY HAMILTON (Eleven Eleven Mississippi, Vin De Set, Malt House Cellar and Moulin Events), is now open. The pizzas feature three different crust options, including a gluten-free version. Also, VITO RACANELLI’S Mad Tomato opened officially at 8000 Carondelet Ave. in Clayton, and the new Stadium Bar & Grill opened May 9 at Lumiere Place Casino.
> Kakao Chocolate is introducing Peculiar Pairings, which will pair Kakao confections with things that might not immediately spring to mind when you think of chocolate. For June, look for chocolate and cheeses; for July, chocolate and beer; chocolate and farmers’ market fruits, veggies and herbs pair up for August; and September’s pairing will be chocolate and Asian flavors. The Peculiar Pairings confections will be introduced on the first Thursday of each month at a VIP tasting event at one of the Kakao locations, with proceeds going to a local nonprofit. Owner BRIAN PELLETIER says final details will be announced soon on the Kakao website, kakaochocolate.com.
> PuraVegan, the area’s first all-raw vegan restaurant, opened its doors Saturday, May 14, at 307 Belt Ave. The restaurant is the latest eatery from A.J. and LEAH MENSEY, owners of Vega Deli in Chesterfield. The all-raw menu features 100 percent gluten- and soy-free foods, pastries, ice creams and beverages. Initially, the eatery will be open Sunday through Friday for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Look for the hours to expand.
> St. Louis restaurants continue to get much-deserved national recognition. Soulard BBQ spot Bogart’s Smokehouse was mentioned in the latest Food & Wine Magazine as one of six ‘Best New Barbecue’ restaurants from across the country. And Monarch got a mention in the latest Bon Apetit for chef JOSH GALLIANO’s unique lima bean hummus. Congrats!
> Chefs NICK MILLER of Harvest and JOSH GALLIANO of Monarch recently duked it out for mango supremacy. The two local favorites competed in the National Mango Board’s Mango Hometown Tour Ultimate Mango Taste-Off, which was held at Monarch. The voting was close, but Galliano’s shrimp chorizo with mango puree barely edged out Miller’s trio of pork and mango delights. The event was part of a six-city tour promoting, um, mangos.
> It’s been announced that Crostini Restaurant & Lounge will be going into the space at 4501 Manchester Road in The Grove, former home of Mia Rosa, which closed last year. More as we learn it.