Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant will open its first-ever St. Louis location next month in Town & Country. The restaurant, in Town and Country Crossing, will feature award-winning wines in a Napa-style tasting-room setting, as well as contemporary American fare. Opening is set for Dec. 12.
Happily, we have a bevy of openings and coming-soons to report: Heavy Riff Brewing Company has opened its doors on Clayton Avenue in Dogtown. Baida, a new Moroccan eatery, has opened for business at 3191 South Grand Blvd. Blueprint Coffee is now roasting and serving up fine beans in the U-City Loop. Ferraro's Jersey Style Pizza has a new location that recently bowed at 7704 Ivory Ave. in South City. And Element, the latest from Guerrilla Street Food's chef and co-owner BRIAN HARDESTY, is now serving at 1419 Carroll St. Meanwhile, look for a new location of Five Star Burgers to open in Kirkwood by the end of the year at the former Culpepper's spot on South Kirkwood Road. The first St. Louis Five Star opened in Clayton just last year and has been garnering much acclaim from critics and customers alike.
Chef Pierre Chambrin has had a storied culinary career. Trained at Ecole des Metiers de L'Alimentation in Paris, he came up through the ranks the old-school way. He worked in some of the best restaurants in the country, in positions from apprentice to executive chef, ultimately running the kitchen at the White House under two presidents.
We have more national recognition for our local culinary scene to report:
Get out this weekend and take advantage of the last few days of the 4th annual Clayton Restaurant Week, which wraps up Sunday, Jan. 27. The establishments participating this year include: Alexander’s Restaurant; Araka; Bar Napoli; Barcelona; Bocci Bar: Cardwell’s; Coastal Bistro & Bar; The Crossing; Crushed Red; J. Buck’s; Jimmy's On The Park; Mad Tomato; Oceano Bistro; Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar; Roxane; Ruth's Chris Steak House; and Tani Sushi Bistro. Participating restaurants are offering a special three-course dinner promotion for a fixed price of $25 per person, plus tax and tip. Guests also have the option of adding a $5 ‘Extra Helping’ donation to their dining bill to support Operation Food Search. More details are available at claytonrestaurantweek.net.
As you may have heard, the former home of Busch's Grove will finally get a new tenant this year. The folks from EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery will be opening a second location in the space in early summer. The restaurant will offer more than 20 local microbrews on tap, a full cocktail list and an extensive selection of fine wines by the glass, including EdgeWild label wines and non-EdgeWild label wines. The menu will focus on smaller plates, and will also have a selection of entrees similar to those on EdgeWild’s current menu featuring plenty of local purveyors.
The past year has been a busy one for the St. Louis culinary scene. Here are a few of the highlights from 2012:
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.
Big congrats go out to Robust in Webster Groves and Copia Restaurant And Wine Garden downtown. The two vino-centric eateries made Open Table's Diners' Choice 2012 Most Notable Wine List Top 100. Way to represent the Lou!
The eighth annual TomatoFest will be held Sunday, Aug. 12, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Iron Barley. The event will feature a variety of tomato dishes, tomato dodge ball, tomato art and other tomato-related contests and activities, as well as a live auction at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. All proceeds will go to support Lift for Life Gym. For more information, call 351-4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
L'Ecole Culinaire's Le Food Truck
Chef MIKE WARHOVER, late of Terrene and Bailey’s Range, has taken over the kitchen at Modesto, replacing GRACE DINSMOOR, who recently left the restaurant.
Mercy has named SHANNON SOCK (1) as executive VP of organizational effectiveness.
His vision and leadership in the establishment of a clinic for the underserved have garnered BOB FOX the 2011 St. Louis Award. Each year, the award recognizes a St. Louisan who has contributed “the most outstanding service to the community.” Fox, owner of NewSpace Office Interiors, is the founder of Casa de Salud, a midtown health clinic for the city’s underinsured and uninsured Hispanic population.
L�Ecole Culinaire students prepare a three-course lunch at the Brentmoor.
With the smell of gingerbread and Royal Icing permeating the hallways of Plaza Frontenac, Lydia’s House and L’Ecole Culinaire’s Gingerbread House Contest was a popular recent draw for shoppers.
◆ New microbrewery 4 Hands Brewing Company has started brewing its beers on a commercial scale, and will be opening its tasting room to the public in December. Instead of running a kitchen on-site, food will come courtesy of a rotating roster of local food trucks. Co-owner KEVIN LEMP says so far, he’s been talking with the Cha Cha Chow, Pi, Guerilla Street Food and Seoul Taco trucks about bringing their wares to the tasting room. On the brewing side, look for the company’s four core beers—Cast Iron Oatmeal Brown, Divided Sky Rye IPA, Reprise Centennial Red and Single Speed Session—to be available in kegs initially for restaurant and bar use, and 22- ounce bottles shortly thereafter.
Signs of the season… The fifth annual GINGERBREAD HOUSE CONTEST kicks off this weekend at Plaza Frontenac. This year, some of St. Louis’ top chefs will create their edible interpretations of beloved storybook tales. The houses will be on display Nov. 19 through Dec. 4, and shoppers are invited to vote on their favorite house or purchase raffle tickets to win one of their own. Proceeds from the event benefit LYDIA’S HOUSE, which is working in partnership with L’ECOLE CULINAIRE and PLAZA FRONTENAC.
◆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.
◆ The Ritz-Carlton has changed its lunch service, eliminating the longstanding lunch buffet in favor of what it calls the ‘30-Minute Lunch,’ available from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Guests have a choice of one item each from four categories: The Sides, The Dessert, The Sandwich and The Soup/Salad. The goal is to go from order, to food, to check, in half an hour. All of the breads and desserts are made in-house by executive pastry chef SIMONE FAUER, and the greens and other veggies are sourced from Living Water Farms in central Illinois. The restaurant also has a new burger menu and larger sandwich plates are still available, as well, for those who aren’t in a time crunch.
◆L’Ecole Culinaire’s Academy for Culinary Development, which was introduced earlier this year, will soon have its own dedicated space. Construction is underway on a new space at 9200 Olive Blvd. to house the rapidly expanding academy curriculum. The 2,000-square-foot facility will have three main teaching areas and should be open sometime in late fall to house the 140 classes the school hopes to have available by the end of the year. L’Ecole also is hosting a wine dinner on Sept. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in The Presentation Room at the school’s Ladue campus. The dinner will feature wines from Grafton Winery. Call 587-2433 for reservations.