Looking back, 2014 proved to be another banner vintage for the St. Louis culinary scene, which continues to grow and expand. Here are a select few of the events that helped shaped the year that was:
We're pleased to report several new openings: The new Strange Donuts location is now up and running at 107 East Argonne Drive in Kirkwood. The debut comes on the heels of the first anniversary of the opening of the flagship Maplewood store earlier this month.
Sarah Marshall, Emily Coulter, Angela Brady
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, is welcoming a new pastry chef this month: chef BRIELLE FRATELLONE. Most recently, she was at the famed Everglades Club in Palm Beach, Florida, where she spent 18 months as assistant pastry chef. Welcome aboard!
Look out, lovers of preppy fashion: That well-known smiling pink whale is coming to St. Louis.
After 95 years in business, it's been announced that Yacovelli's Restaurant & Banquet Center in Florissant is closing at the end of the year. There will be a farewell party on Dec. 26 from 7 p.m. until midnight. Check out the restaurant's Facebook page for more info.
Fans of football and fine food will be happy about the latest offerings at the Edward Jones Dome. The St. Louis Rams and food, beverage and retail partner Delaware North Companies Sportservice recently announced a multi-year contract extension that includes an expansion of services at the Dome. Look for some signature menu items from some of the area's best eateries to be available on game day, including: Sugarfire Smokehouse's Brisket Cheese Steak Sandwich and Smoked Sausage; Strange Donut's Chicken ‘n Waffle Sandwich and a selection of its signature donuts, including the Gooey Butter, Maple Bacon and Camp Fire; The BLT Sandwich and Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows from Crown Candy Kitchen; the Smoked Brisket Sandwich, Fried Oyster Po' Boy Sandwich and Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes from The Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Company; Gus' Pretzels famous Pretzel Bites and Bratwurst Pretzel Sandwich; and the Bandana's Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Sandwich and BBQ Nachos. In addition, two local concepts are being added exclusively to the club level concessions: Vin De Set's Croque Monsieur Sandwich and Tarte Flambe, and the Butternut Squash Soup and Roasted Porchetta Sandwich from Eleven Eleven Mississippi.
The dual culinary movements of barbecue and whiskey continue to gain traction around town. Case in point: Salt & Smoke in the Delmar Loop, which incorporates both of these tasty trends to fine effect.
St. Louis Craft Spirits & Cocktail Week begins on Saturday, Sept. 13, with The Classic Cocktail Party in Lafayette Square Park from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring a variety of local spirits and cocktails. The week wraps up on Sunday, Sept. 21, with Punch in the Park, also in Lafayette Square Park, hosted by the St. Louis chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild. The event will include barbecue by BBQ ASAP and punches from a variety of local bars. In between these two stellar events, there will be all manner of tastings, tours, happy hours and more. For additional info, check out the event Facebook page at facebook.com/StLouisCraftSpiritsCocktailWeek.
A St. Louis first will be unveiled next month in the Grand Center Arts District: The Public Media Commons is being described as a 'playground for the mind and the senses.'
Katie Keller, Cherish Patterson, with Deluxe BBQ Sandwich
Kudos to St. James Winery. Its Friendship School White Wine was named Best White Wine at California’s Long Beach Grand Cru Competition earlier this month. The winery also took home five additional gold medals, seven silver medals and a bronze medal for its other entries in the competition.
Local mobile donut purveyor Vincent Van Doughnut won big on the recent season premiere of Cooking Channel's Donut Wars earlier this month. Owner BRIAN MARSDEN and his pastry chef assistant, JAMIE HARDESTY, took home first-place honors and a cool $10,000. Their winning confections over three rounds were The Bellagio, featuring a caramel pastry creme filling with chocolate ganache glaze and hazelnut caramel crunch; The Venetian, with a ricotta pastry cream filling and a lemon glaze with pistachios and tarragon; and The Flamingo, a maraschino cherry cake donut with a maraschino cherry glaze and silver nonpareils. Congrats!
Walking across the small parking behind Adam's Smokehouse, you're immediately enveloped in the rich aroma of cooking meat. Even before you cross the restaurant's threshold, it's obvious you're in for a delicious experience. Adam's is one of the latest in the current boom of barbecue places cropping up around town.
So, this was the scene: In the spring of 1986, Pattonville was hosting De Smet in the district final. De Smet led 2-1 in the sixth. There was a man on second and two outs. DeSmet elected to pitch to Scott Cooper, who had homered earlier in the game. Bad idea. Cooper hit the ball 400 feet on the track by the football field. Pattonville won 3-2.
Ring in the Fourth of July St. Louis-style at one of these community celebrations.
Lately, there has been an influx of new restaurants offering their take on barbecue and what has been termed Southern-style ‘comfort food.’ The latest eatery in the Michael Del Pietro Restaurant Group stable, The Salted Pig, serves up a bit of both.
Backyard BBQ Grill Co.
Chef Vito Racanelli, Jr., has brought Chef Christopher Lee into the fold at Mad Tomato in Clayton.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis will be hosting a Spring Coffee Dinner on Saturday, May 17. The event will feature Kaldi’s Coffees in all menu courses created by the culinary team of The Ritz, led by executive chef MELISSA LEE. There also will be a special appearance by Kaldi's own FRANK MCGINTY, along with paired coffee cocktails and Urban Chestnut Beers. The dinner begins at 6 p.m, with tickets priced at $150 per guest. The dinner is the first in an ongoing new series of seasonal dining events to be presented by the hotel. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Space is limited, and early reservations are recommended (call 719-1433 or email email@example.com)
Q: Chef, I am a newcomer to St. Louis. With the hope of warmer weather coming, I am getting ready to pull my grill out of the garage and fire it up. I want to invite my neighbors over and get to know them. Do you have any great recipes that will be good for our first grill of the season?
As the weather warms up, that itch to spend your time outdoors may only be scratched until it's time to head in and make supper—unless, of course, your outdoor kitchen features the latest modern upgrades. Area experts discuss how backyard kitchens these days can handle a lot more than hot dogs.
It sure seems like the wait for our area’s farmers markets to reopen has been so much longer this year. At any rate, we’re getting closer, and that makes this columnist and market enthusiast all the happier! So as we count down these final weeks and days, mark your calendar with the opening dates and check out the latest at a market near you.
The sign welcoming guests to Big Cedar Lodge says, Folks been havin’ fun here since 1921—and there’s no arguing that! From horseback riding and campfire wagon tours to kayaking, water-skiing and fishing; and even sand volleyball, ‘dive-in’ movies and yoga hikes, the 800-plus-acre resort, nestled in vast Missouri Ozark wilderness, is a playground for every man, woman and child.