There’s no question LN readers are in-the-know, so who better to ask about the things that make St. Louis stand out and stand proud? Here, we present the very best, as selected by our readers, in the 2014 Ladue News Platinum List!
In March, there will be a new Schnuck at the helm of the venerable local grocery store chain. Todd Schnuck will become the company’s president/CEO. After almost eight years, older brother Scott is stepping down but will remain chairman.
The culinary scene in St. Louis continues to flourish, and 2013 was an especially exciting year for diners and drinkers and those who serve them. Here are just a few of the notable events in the past 12 months:
MISSION: Saint Louis Crisis Nursery protects children by offering a free child care facility to parents in crisis with nowhere else to turn. “Everyday, we save babies’ lives, keep kids safe and build strong families—and we do that by providing a safe haven for children, birth through age 12, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explains Crisis Nursery CEO DiAnne Mueller.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is giving young diners a chance to help others in need with a new program, ‘Crafting for Kids.’ All kids 12 and younger are invited for a complimentary Sunday brunch when accompanied by their family. A special crafting area will be set up in The Restaurant at the hotel for the youngsters to make cards and other paper handiwork with positive and inspirational messages for the kids and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis. In addition, the hotel will donate $2 to the organization for every signature Bloody Mary Cocktail purchased during brunch, which is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The program will run every Sunday through Sept. 15. To learn more about ‘Crafting for Kids’ or to make reservations, call 719-1433.
Do you know where to find one of the top hotels in the country? According to Travel + Leisure, you can find it right here in St. Louis. The magazine has ranked Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis No. 4 on its ‘Best Large Hotel’ category on its recent Top 50 list.
You wouldn’t trust a stranger with your money, but how much do you know about the person helping you make the biggest purchase of your life? LN asked six area real estate agents about local favorites and the like so you can see what makes these professionals tick. (Hint: The Cardinals might have been mentioned once or twice…)
You voted, we listened! Ladue News readers know what they like; and with this year's Platinum List, you've made your voices heard. This list compiles the best of St. Louis.
When the Walker family moved to Frontenac five years ago, they immediately were greeted with a friendly welcome. Stephanie, a North Carolina native, is a former attorney and homemaker; and her husband Chip, originally from Virginia, is a managing director at Wells Fargo Advisors. The couple has two children, 9-year-old Thornton and 8-year-old Emmi, who attend Conway Elementary. Simon, a yellow Labrador; Macie, a Goldendoodle; and a cat, Trixie, are the family pets. Stephanie told us more about what she and her family enjoy in Frontenac.
Families these days come in many shapes and sizes. Similarly, cars for families come in a variety of shapes, sizes, trim levels and prices. If your family doesn’t require the space of a minivan or SUV, a sedan can be a great way to get the family around in style and comfort at a price commensurate with your desired level of performance and luxury.
After years of helping Saint Louis Crisis Nursery’s kids, John Carney was moved to adopt two children of his own. The KTRS radio personality is one of more than 100 local volunteers who dedicate time to the Nursery’s annual Celebrity Waiters’ and Waitresses’ Night. Celebrating its 22nd year, the fundraiser will include dining, parties and ‘celebrity’ sightings on Aug. 16 at four Plaza Frontenac restaurants: Brio’s Tuscan Grille, Cardwell’s at the Plaza, Canyon Café and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.
Frontenac Grill was the final project from restaurateur Mike ‘Talayna’ Failee, who passed away just before the restaurant opened last year. We visited recently to see if the eatery was a fitting legacy for his storied career and came away suitably impressed.
Frontenac Grill, 731 S. Lindbergh Blvd., 569-4105, frontenacgrill.com
Best Local Coffee House
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◆The latest Saint Louis Bread Co. bakery/cafe officially opened on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 10336 Clayton Road, adjacent to Plaza Frontenac. The new location features Bread Co.’s fresh artisan breads and quality ingredients, as well as the company’s take-out concept, Saint Louis Bread Co. Catering.
◆We’re sad to report that local legend MIKE ‘TALAYNA’ FAILLE passed away last week, on Oct. 27, from complications arising from a heart attack. The 73-year-old was famous for his Talayna’s Italian Restaurant, which closed in the late 1990s, along with a string of other restaurant projects, and was just getting ready to open a new venture, the Frontenac Grill, in West County. His family has announced the restaurant will still open to honor his dream.
Remember to tip your server generously… SAINT LOUIS CRISIS NURSERY’s annual Celebrity Waitresses’ & Waiters’ Night takes place Aug. 18 at Plaza Frontenac. This year’s celebrity lineup, which includes Fox 2’s ANDY BANKER, KMOV anchor LARRY CONNERS, Channel 5’s HEIDI GLAUS, Mayor FRANCIS SLAY, County Executive CHARLIE DOOLEY and LN’s own TRISH MUYCO-TOBIN, will work alongside professional servers in an effort to earn tips to benefit Crisis Nursery. Reservations are available for dinner at Cardwell’s at the Plaza and Canyon Café. There also is a happy hour event at Brio Tuscan Grille and an after-party at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. Visit crisisnursery.com for more information.
St. Louis may not be considered a food mecca, but its culinary recognition is moving beyond just toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake. We asked local foodies for their dining tips, and the variety of answers showcases all that St. Louis has to offer.
> ALEKSANDAR JOVANOVIC, former GM at SLeeK Steakhouse at Lumiere Place, has been tapped as the GM and sommelier at Truffles. He replaces John Cain, who moved over to Annie Gunn’s earlier this year. Truffles executive chef JOHN GRIFFITHS has also told us that the first round of improvements to the dining room, including a custom service table, should be completed in the next month or so.
BEST GROCERY STORE
> Mad Tomato, the newest restaurant from Chef Vito Racanelli Jr. of Onesto Pizza & Trattoria fame, is finally ready to open, and they’re celebrating by helping out a worthy cause. On Friday, April 15, the restaurant, located at 8000 Carondelet Ave. in Clayton, will hold an opening party, dubbed ‘The Ripening of Mad Tomato,’ to benefit Operation Food Search (OFS). The event kicks off with a ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m., followed by an open house, and will feature samples of the farm-to-table menu, Italian wines and desserts, courtesy of pastry chef Sally Sciaroni. Tickets are $30, with half of the proceeds going to OFS. For reservations, email email@example.com. Mad Tomato will be partnering again with OFS once they’re open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the end of May with their ‘communal table.’ Guests reserve a seat and order from a fixed menu, with a percentage of the proceeds going to OFS. The communal table menus will be posted online at madtomatostl.com.
> It’s been announced that Chef BRIAN HARDESTY has officially stepped down as executive chef at Terrene. Taking over the kitchen is Chef MICHAEL WARHOVER, formerly the sous chef at Terrene. Hardesty will be focusing on opening his new food truck, Guerilla Street Food, which he hopes to get rolling sometime later in the spring. Good luck to both!
> WES JOHNSON, chef de cuisine at Eclipse Restaurant in the Moonrise Hotel, will be opening a place of his own this spring. Called Salt, the new venture will be at 4356 Lindell Blvd. in the former home of Savor. Look for in-house charcuterie (hence the Salt title) as well as other unique takes on contemporary American cuisine. Eclipse fans, don’t despair: Johnson tells us he’ll be splitting his time between the two restaurants. And apparently not sleeping much!