It's been announced that Chef GIAN NICOLA COLUCCI has been tapped to replace Chef FABRIZIO SCHENARDI as executive chef at Cielo and the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. A native of Turin, Italy, Colucci most recently served as executive chef at Starwood Hotel & Resort Danieli in Venice. He's expected to take the reins later this month. Benvenuto, Signore!
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!
St. Louis restaurants were well represented on the Opinionated About Dining's Top 25 Midwest Restaurants list that was recently released. Niche took the No. 2 slot; Sidney Street Cafe was No. 8; Stone Soup Cottage was No. 11; Brasserie by Niche came in at No. 12; Farmhaus garnered No. 13; and Tony's landed at No. 20; and Harvest rounded out the list at 22. Well done!
Cupcakes make it easier than ever to satisfy a sweet tooth. Perfectly sized for one--or two, if you're feeling generous--each cupcake bite is an experience to be savored. Lucky for us, there seems to be a never-ending supply--and selection--thanks to cupcake connoisseurs who have elevated the formerly ho-hum children's birthday party staple to a whole new level.
For those just not up to the chore of making a Turkey Day feast for the whole fam, Cielo Restaurant in the Four Seasons downtown has the answer: Chef FABRIZIO SCHENARDI and his crew are whipping up Thanksgiving dinner to-go. The dinners include delectable items like roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potato puree and a take on a holiday favorites, green bean casserole, as well as a whole roasted free-range turkey (brined for a full 48 hours before baking), and a choice of two pies from pastry chef PETER WHITLEY. The cost per dinner is $295 (excluding tax) and it feeds 10. Orders have to be received by Monday, Nov. 19, and can be made by calling 881-2105.
Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe is doing its own spin on 50 Shades of Grey . All through September, Jilly’s will be of- fering an homage to the popular book with three new flavors, dubbed 50 Shades of Delish: Pink Champagne & Strawberry, a chocolate cake with Champagne and strawberry filling; 50 Shades of Coco(a), cocoa cake filled with white chocolate-coconut rum whipped cream; and Red Room, featuring red vanilla cake and a blackberry curd filling.
Foodies can now more easily explore the best of what St. Louis neighborhoods have to offer their palates. STL Culinary Tours is open for business and offers intimate experiences with some of the top local culinary talent. The company, which specializes in walking tours that touch on the best culinary destinations in a given neigh- borhood, is currently booking tours of Maplewood in October and November, which will feature stops at Acero, Vom Fass and Water Street. Look for future tours to fea- ture the Central West End and Webster Groves. The com- pany also will be offering various ‘culinary field trips,’ as well as excursions to area breweries and wineries. Get all of the details at stlculinarytours.com.
Look for Mission, a new Mexican restaurant concept from the folks who brought us Milagro Modern Mexican and Tortilleria, to open up early next year in the former home of Delmar Lounge in the U. City Loop. Plans include an adjoining bodega and a carry-out window.
Vida Mexican Kitchen Y Cantina is scheduled to open sometime in November on the north end of the St. Louis Galleria. The menu will feature a large selection of traditional, regional and contemporary Mexican-inspired foods, including scratch-made tacos, burritos and enchi- ladas. On the beverage side, look for a bevy of Margaritas and a spirits list featuring some 100 tequilas.
Pie Oh My has opened at 2719 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood. The pie-centric bakery features limited delivery, as well as scrump- tious homemade treats.
Congrats to entre, the popular underground dining and catering concern, which celebrated its fourth anniver- sary earlier this month.
Perennial, a local non-profit dedicated to “creative reuse and green living,” will be hosting its annual fundrais- er, Lost + F(o)und, on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Bridge downtown. The event will feature live music, a homemade pie bar and an assortment of local craft beers. Cost is $10, with VIP tickets going for $30. More info at perennialstl.org.
There have been some changes afoot at Bixby’s of late. Executive chef TODD LOUGH has left the restaurant to accept a position at a resort in Florida, and sous chef CALLAGHAN CARTER, who has been at Bixby’s since it opened, has stepped in to helm the kitchen. The restaurant also recently debuted its new spring menu, which includes dishes such as seared beef tenderloin, grilled shrimp lasagna and black forest ham and asparagus crostini.
Oenophiles have another first-class place to pursue their love of the grape. The upper level of The Crossing in Clayton has been transformed into a wine bar. Owner JIM FIALA says the new space will focus for now on Mediterranean reds and Italian whites, as well as small plates and other adult beverages.
Online restaurant site Opinionated About Dining (opinionatedaboutdining.com) featured six St. Louis restaurants in its Top 25 Midwest list recently: Niche, Sidney Street Cafe, Brasserie by Niche, Tony’s, Taste by Niche and Farmhaus. Congrats!
Local purveyors Stringbean Coffee and Kakao Chocolate are teaming up to create some new chocolate and coffee confections. We’re told one of these will be a white chocolate bark topped with Stringbean’s Redeye Roast beans. The treats will be available at Kakao, which will also be offering bags of the premium coffee soon. The Maplewood Kakao location will be offering Stringbean Coffee for samples during the third annual Maplewood Coffee Crawl tomorrow from 9 a.m. to noon.
Jilly’s Cupcakes was recently touted in USA Today as one of the 10 best places for cupcakes in the country. Well done!
GEORGE RANDALL, owner of the three Randall’s Wine & Spirits stores in the St. Louis area, is planning to open store No. 4 in West County sometime this year. He’s currently negotiating for a location at 141 and Manchester Road, and tells us he has several other possibilities in the area if this space doesn’t work out. Plans for the new store include a tasting bar, among other amenities.
In other local spirits news, Square One Brewery & Distillery’s J.J. Neukomm Malt Whiskey recently won a bronze medal in the Smoked Whiskey category at the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of American Artisan Spirits. And MATT SEITER, bar manager at Sanctuaria, has been invited to share his expertise in the area of cocktails on tap by leading a seminar on the subject at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail held in New Orleans, one of the premiere cocktail events of the year.
◆Folks in West County don’t have to travel to University City
for a fix of Jilly’s any more. Jilly’s Cupcake Bar A-Go-Go opens
today at 1131 Colonnade Center in Des Peres. The new
1,300-square-foot space features grab-and-go sandwiches and all of
the cupcake varieties available at the original Delmar location, as
well as a brisket bar with 30 different ingredients. Also, the
Delmar location finally received its liquor license last week, so
customers can now enjoy cocktails, beer and wine with their
◆ Chef BRIAN HARDESTY, who took over the kitchen at Nosh a few
weeks ago, has announced he’s dropping the Nosh name in favor of
Root. The name is reflective of the new culinary direction Hardesty
is pursuing: original takes on classic American cuisine that span
the years from the founding of the country until roughly the Great
Depression era. Hardesty says to expect lots of game, roasted meat
and whole fish preparations. The restaurant (co-located with
Starr’s in Richmond Heights) is closed during the transformation,
and is scheduled to open for business on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
People are still buzzing about chefs Casey Shiller and Dana
Holland of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Café, who recently took home
the gold in Food Network’s popular show, Cupcake Wars. In
the episode that premiered June 28, the pair beat out three other
contenders for the $10,000 grand prize.
> The Del Pietros are a busy bunch! Last week we told
you about Marc Del Pietro’s new restaurant The Block, coming soon
to Webster Groves. This week we learned that MICHAEL DEL
PIETRO will be debuting another addition to his group of
restaurants come springtime. Trattoria Spezie
will be occupying the former home of Original Cast Lighting at 6118
Delmar Blvd. in the U. City Loop. Del Pietro says there will be
roughly 140 seats inside, with another 50 on the patio. Look for
lots of vegetarian offerings and locally procured items.
• More room in cupcake heaven!!! Very soon they’re going to
knock down a wall and expand Jilly’s
Cupcake Bar to accommodate 30 more seats and all
the requests for Girl Scout Troop meetings and other social events.
Owner Jill Segal recently adjusted the bar’s hours
to include brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The added space will be
filled with Valentine bliss; executive chef Dana Holland will
prepare a multi-course dinner to be served Feb. 12 through 15. For
reservations, call 993-JILLY.
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