> As if three area locations and a food truck weren’t enough, it’s reported that local pizza favorite Pi is going to open a location next spring in Washington, D.C. Guess the president really likes those pies!
> St. Louis is quickly becoming cocktail central. Aficionados of adult beverages have a new outlet for sampling the best concoctions. Drink Lab, the brainchild of mixologists MATT OBERMARK and CHAD MICHAEL GEORGE, is held Monday nights at 6 p.m. at Atomic Cowboy in The Grove neighborhood, where Obermark runs the bar. Each night features a different cocktail theme. Get the full Sasha’s on Shaw schedule at proofacademy.com/drink-lab. George is also helping open the new DeMun Oyster Bar and says the restaurant will feature a more cocktail-oriented bar program as well.
> New York Times columnist and food writer MARK BITTMAN will make an appearance at St. Louis County Library Headquarters on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. There will be a discussion and interview moderated by radio personality Charlie Brennan, and Bittman will sign his latest tome, The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 recipes for Conscious Eating. Left Bank Books will sell copies, and Whole Foods Market will provide samples made from recipes in the book. The event, sponsored by the County Library Foundation and KMOX’s Fontbonne University/Charlie Brennan Show Book Club, is free and open to the public.
> Busch’s Grove Market hosts Gourmet for a Cause Oct. 7, from 4 to 9 p.m. The shopping event will benefit six area charities: Ronald McDonald Foundation, Siteman Cancer Center, Habitat for Humanity St. Louis, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Autism Speaks and Backstoppers. Twenty percent of all sales will go to the worthy cause of your choice.
> Straub’s Markets has partnered with local java purveyor Northwest Coffee Roasting Company to create a new, in-house artisan coffee, dubbed ‘Straub’s by Northwest.’
> The days of mystery meat in the campus cafeteria are a thing of the past at Washington University. The new 800-seat Bear’s Den, in the South Forty House, is managed by Bon Appetit Management Company and opened last month with menu items heavy on locally sourced ingredients. The venue also has a demonstration kitchen where chefs give cooking lessons, an 18,000-square-foot roof garden, and sustainable practices like composting and converting waste oil into bio-fuel. Things sure have changed since I went to school!
> Second Street Bike Stop Cafe is now open in historic St. Charles. The unique restaurant combines healthy eats and a full-service bike shop. Owner JODI DEVONSHIRE says the menu is heavy on vegetarian and vegan items, and features baked goods by Companion. Speaking of vegetarian fare, Gokul Snacks & Sweets is bowing its second location at 6101 Delmar Blvd., in the former home of Miss Saigon. Look for an opening sometime in October.
> Chef Ben Welch has taken over the stoves at The Stable, 1821 Cherokee St. We were told to look for some big menu changes in the next month or so as he settles in.