Restaurateur FRANK SCHMITZ, of BARcelona, Bocci Bar and Coastal Bistro & Bar fame, is set to open a new garden cafe in Clayton’s Shaw Park this summer. The concept is still being developed, but we’ve been told by Clayton city officials that the cafe will hopefully be open in mid-June and will be located outside in the Century Garden area of the park, with seating for approximately 40. No word yet on specific menu items, but we’ll keep you posted.
Market Grill in Soulard, which retooled last year and brought chef JONATHAN OLSON on to helm the kitchen, will be closing its doors effective Saturday, June 9. Olson tells us the restaurant just wasn’t able to make things work financially. He says he’ll be taking some time off this summer, then start contemplating his next move. We wish him and the rest of the staff all the best.
Perennial Artisan Ales has created Brew for the Crew, a Munich lager brewed exclusively for Farmhaus Restaurant. To celebrate the release of the beer, the brewery and the eatery are teaming up to celebrate with the Brew For The Crew BBQ. The event will be held at the brewery, 8125 Michigan Ave., on June 9, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., with the BBQ courtesy of Farmhaus. There’s no cost to get in, and food and beer will be available for purchase.
Turkish restaurant Aya Sofia will be hosting a wine dinner, featuring five courses from chef MEHMET YIDIZ paired with wines courtesy of sommelier JILL ABOUSSIE of Trademark Wines. The dinner will be held on Wednesday, June 13, at 6:30 pm. Call 645-9919 for reservations.
The historic Soulard Farmers Market will be holding a series of cooking tutorials this summer, dubbed Food 101: The New Chef Demonstration Series. These free classes will be held on select Saturdays through June from 10 a.m. until noon and will feature technique demos and recipes. More info at soulardmarketstl.com.
Mount Pleasant Estates will be hosting its second Uncorked...From The Barrel To The Bottle class on Saturday, July 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. Guests will get to taste the same young wines out of French oak barrels that the Mount Pleasant team tastes before bottling, as well as sample gourmet hors d’oeuvres. The tasting is limited to 20 guests. More info is available at mountpleasant.com.
Congratulations to TJ VYTLACIL of Blood & Sand, TED KILGORE of Taste and JOEL CLARK of Sanctuaria. All three eminent St. Louis mixologists will have original cocktail recipes featured in Gaz Regan’s 101 Best Cocktails 2012, to be released later this year.
Coastal Bar & Bistro, formerly Mosaic Market Bistro, is one of the eateries owned by the brother-and-sister duo of Ellen and Frank Schmitz. The pair have quite a presence on Central Avenue with Coastal and their other two projects, Bocci Bar and BARcelona Tapas, just up the block. We’ve been told the new name and concept was designed to help better differentiate Coastal from its restaurant siblings, and the ‘new’ restaurant is quite different from the rest of the stable, though equally delicious.
ERIC SCHLOSSER, author of the bestselling tome, Fast Food Nation, will be the guest of honor at an April 24 dinner held at Farmhaus. The five-course meal will be created by chef JOSH GALLIANO, of the recently shuttered Monarch. Proceeds from the event will benefit Slow Food St. Louis’ Small Farm Micro Biodiversity Grant, and reservations are limited to 45 guests. For tickets, go to brownpapertickets.com/event/235999.
Five Star Burgers, the latest project from chef STEVE GONTRAM, will be opening this summer at 8125 Maryland Ave. in Clayton, in the same strip that includes Almond’s and Half and Half. Look for a menu chock-full of beef burgers, with turkey, lamb, bison and veggie versions as well. Gontram tells us all of his products will be all-natural and hormone-free. If all goes according to plan, the eatery should be open by July 4.
Chef BRIAN HALE, late of the Chase Park Plaza, is the new director of culinary operations for Coastal Bistro & Bar, Bocci Bar and BARcelona Tapas, the trio of Clayton restaurants owned by the brother-and-sister team of FRANK SCHMITZ and ELISE SCHMITZ.
Chef CARL HAZEL is leaving his longtime post running the kitchen at The Scottish Arms in the CWE and will be assuming the role of executive chef at Eleven Eleven Mississippi in Lafayette Square early next month.
We’ve been told that chef GRACE DINSMOOR, who recently left Modesto, is now working in the kitchen at Franco in Soulard.
Congratulations to chef GERARD CRAFT of Niche, who has made the cut to become a finalist for the James Beard Awards Best Chef: Midwest. This year’s winners will be announced Monday, May 7. Good luck Chef!
In other culinary award news, ANDREY IVANOV of 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar recently won the TopNewSomm Midwest regional finals sponsored by the Guild of Sommeliers. He’ll compete for the national title in San Fransisco in May. Congrats!
More Easter brunch offerings to report: The Coronado Ballroom at 3701 Lindell Blvd. will be serving a menu that includes more than 100 selections, including a children’s buffet. The brunch will run from 10 a.m until 3 p.m with seatings every half-hour. Call 367-4848 ext. 100 for reservations. The Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is taking a creative twist on tradition with a Willy Wonka Easter Brunch. Each party will receive a Wonka Bar, and five of those bars will contain a golden ticket, good for one of five prizes, including the grand prize: an overnight stay in one of The Ritz’s club suites. The brunch will take place from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 719-1433 for reservations.
◆Mosaic Market Bistro in Clayton is now Coastal Bistro &
Bar. The revamped restaurant is still owned by the Schmitz family
but now features a raw bar with oysters, crab legs, seafood towers
and shrimp cocktails, among other items. The eatery also offers
some local country menu items and has both large- and small-plate
options. Co-owner FRANK SCHMITZ tells us the changes were made to
differentiate the restaurant from the other Mosaics, including the
upcoming Des Peres location.
Diners who have a hard time deciding from among two or three
entrees, all of which sound delicious, now have better options.
Many of St. Louis’ most creative restaurants are embracing the
‘small-plates’ trend by featuring items that are larger than an
appetizer but not as big as an entrée.
> Look for
Market to open this month at 14 N. Central Ave. in
Clayton. The restaurant will feature French-inspired menu items and
also have a small market space. Owner ELLEN
SCHMITZ will have plenty of backup for her venture.
Brother FRANK SCHMITZ owns BARcelona Tapas just
down the street, and brother CLAUS SCHMITZ owns
Mosaic Modern Fusion downtown. There will be a soft opening
sometime in early September, with an official grand opening Sept.
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