The 2014 Budweiser Taste of St. Louis will be held Sept. 19 to 21. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the popular food-centric event, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Highlights include showcases by celebrity chefs TYLER FLORENCE and DUFF GOLDMAN, as well as plenty of fine food, courtesy of some of St. Louis' best chefs and restaurants. This year also is the first time the event will be held at its new location at the Chesterfield Amphitheater in Central Park and Chesterfield Village. Check out TasteSTL.com for a full listing of all participating eateries and a complete rundown of events for the weekend.
The folks at The Libertine are branching out into the world of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The popular Clayton eatery is now offering subscriptions to its new CSA, which will include a bag of locally produced food each week for pick-up, as well as house-made delights from their kitchen, courtesy of chef JOSH GALLIANO. There are several levels and types of subscriptions to choose from, including omnivorous, paleo, vegetarian and vegan options. For more info, check out the restaurant's website at libertinestl.com, or send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's official—Kakao Chocolate will be opening up location No. 3 in Clayton in the near future. Owner BRIAN PELLETIER has signed on for a space at 7700 Forsyth Blvd., just a few doors away from Pastaria and Niche. If all goes according to plan, look for a May opening.
The sixth annual Festivale to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will be held on Saturday, March 8, at Neo on Locust, 2801 Locust St. VIP admission will be from 7 to 8 p.m. with general admission beginning at 8 p.m. The event concludes at 10:30 p.m. This year's event has a speakeasy theme and features beers from some of the area's best breweries, as well as apps, entertainment, raffles and a silent auction. For more info and to purchase tickets, head online to cff.org.
Look for Seedz Cafe, a new vegetarian eatery, to open for business in early 2014 at 6344 South Rosebury in the DeMun neighborhood. The spot will feature an array of raw items, as well as smoothies and other plant-based specialties.
Little Country Gentlemen, the evening time concept that shared the space at 8135 Maryland Ave. in Clayton occupied in the am hours by Half & Half, has announced that it's closing after service on Dec. 31. Half & Half will remain continue on as-is. Little Country Gentlemen opened in the summer of 2012, taking the place of Medianoche.
Great Harvest Bread Company, which recently moved from Olivette, and La Cosecha Coffee Roasters have teamed up to provide customers with top-notch coffee and bread at 7360 Manchester Road in Maplewood. "We're sort of roommates" jokes La Cosecha co-owner JAMIE JESCHKE, since the two businesses are sharing the space and each one is operating as a separate entity. The idea, according to Jeschke, is for each company to do what it does best and complement the other. In addition to its coffee bar operation, La Cosecha also is roasting its coffee onsite.
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!
Love to report new places opening up: The Sweet Divine's new Soulard location at 1801 S. Ninth St. is now open for business. Likewise, Piccione Pastry at 6197 Delmar Blvd. in the U-City Loop is now up and running.
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.
In a whirlwind of just five short years—and four locations—business partners Maddie Earnest and Patrick Horine have made their mark on the St. Louis food scene with Local Harvest Grocery, Cafe and Catering.
Chef STEVE GONTRAM'S long-awaited burger restaurant, 5 Star Burgers, is now open for business at 8125 Maryland Ave. in Clayton. In addition to beefy burgers, the menu includes some veg-centric sandwiches like the Veggie Burger and The Portabella Stack, plus a bevy of shakes and floats. We've received some reports from the field that the Sweet Potato Fries with Salted Maple Cream are not to be missed.
Roasting S’mores, watching the changing of the leaves, or even a hayride…fall provides a perfect opportunity for changes in our daily routine. With that in mind, we asked some of St. Louis’ cultural leaders about their ideas for the perfect autumn evening.
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 email@example.com.
The fifth annual Top Chef: The Tour returns to St. Louis on Saturday, June 30, at Soulard Farmer’s Market. ‘Chef’testants’ Ed Lee from Top Chef season nine and Kenny Gilbert from season seven will compete in a live interactive cook-off. Three shows are scheduled at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more info, go to bravotv.com/thetour.
Chef GERARD CRAFT’s latest restaurant, Pastaria, is scheduled to open later this summer in Clayton, but it’s already creating a national buzz: Food & Wine magazine lists the eatery in the Where To Go section of its July issue.
The owners of the late Monarch Restaurant in Maplewood have announced the space will be converted into a private event venue. The catering division of Herbie’s Vintage 72, which is owned by the same folks, will supply the bang in the kitchen. The space measures about 10,000 square feet and can be configured for a variety of group sizes.
The North City Farmer’s Market, located across from Crown Candy Kitchen, is offering cooking demonstrations in conjunction with Operation Food Search on the second Saturday of each month through October. OFS provides recipes and mans the stoves for the demos, and we’re told that local chefs may be stopping by throughout the season to help out. The market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon, and the demos take place starting at 10:30 a.m.
EarthDance has purchased the Mueller Farm in Ferguson, the 14-acre spread the organization has been leasing since its inception in 2008. EarthDance not only grows food but educates new farmers through its nationally recognized Organic Farming Apprenticeship Program.
We told you a while back about the expansion of Local Harvest Cafe & Catering into new spaces downtown and in Kirkwood. Well, Phase One is complete, with the downtown location in the Old Post Office building officially open. We also mentioned recently that Urban Chestnut Brewing Company was in the process of constructing an outdoor beer garden. We’re pleased to report that space debuted earlier this month.
Anheuser-Busch is adding two new refill options and some new accessories to its Draftmark refillable home draught system. A-B fans can now get Michelob AmberBock and Shock Top Wheat IPA brews for the system, as well as a new cold gel wrap to keep the suds cold outside the fridge. A new tap stand is expected to hit stores in July.
Sub Zero Vodka Bar not only has the largest selection of vodka in the country; it now serves lunch daily. The CWE favorite also boasts a new private event space and a remodeled sushi bar.
The Cheese Shack is the latest food truck to hit the St. Louis scene. The bright yellow mobile eatery serves up custom grilled cheese creations. Keep track of them on Facebook to see where they’ll be offering up their cheesy wares next. Also, LuLus Local Eatery, which sports a rooftop garden on its truck, has been named one of the World’s Coolest Food Trucks Ever by The Daily Meal.
Big news from the CWE. WES JOHNSON, co-owner and executive chef at Salt, has left the restaurant he helped lead to a James Beard nomination. Johnson is now working at Cafe Pintxos, the eatery in the Hotel Ignacio in midtown, as executive chef and soon he’ll be debuting a new project, Fixe. Johnson says the restaurant will be only open on weekends and will provide a smaller and more intimate dining experience. Johnson says he’s scouting some potential locations in the U. City area and hopes to open the doors sometime this fall. Johnson is partnering up with fellow chef BRENDAN NOONAN, who currently works at Harvest, in the endeavor. The two have worked together in the past at such popular culinary destinations as Eclipse, The Scottish Arms and The Shaved Duck. We can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Chez Leon has closed its doors. The high-end French eatery, which moved to Clayton from its original CWE location in early 2010, was apparently a victim of the continuing sluggish economy.
Chef CHRIS DIMECURIO, most recently at Taste by Niche, is now chef de cuisine at Vino Nadoz in Richmond Heights.
Curbside Cookery is the latest food truck to hit the St. Louis scene. The truck will be serving up comfort food favorites like grilled cheese and burritos, and is expected to be on the road later this month, according to owner DAVID JOHNSON. In other mobile food news, L’Ecole Culinaire’s Le Food Truck, which debuted a couple of months ago, and has been focusing on stops in the county, is now venturing into the city to sell its wares.
Pi at the MX, the latest eatery in the Pi Pizzeria empire, has opened its doors at the Mercantile Exchange Building (hence the name) at 610 Washington Ave.
The Saint Louis Brewers Heritage Festival will be held from Friday, June 15, through Sunday, June 17, at Ballpark Village downtown, across from Busch Stadium. Guests will get to sample 80 beers from more than 15 local breweries, eat fine fare courtesy of Vin de Set, Harvest, Companion, LoRusso’s, and Sqwires, as well as enjoying live music and a variety of other activities. Go online for more details at stlbrewfest.com
Chef CLARA MOORE of Local Harvest Cafe made her television debut last week as a contestant on Bravo’s latest culinary competition show, Around the World in 80 Plates, which takes 12 chefs through a variety of countries where they complete food-based challenges. Unfortunately, she was the victim of a treacherous co-competitor and was voted off the show. She made a good effort and represented the Lou well. Good job chef!
Diners in West County have a new option for Mexican fare. Fiesta! Modern Mexican Cuisine debuted May 3 at 185 Hilltown Village Center in Chesterfield, near Highway 40 and Olive Blvd. The menu features south-of-the-border faves like fajitas, quesadillas and empanadas, among others.
Brunch fans will be pleased to hear that long-time favorite Atlas Restaurant has started brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays between 8 am and 2 pm. The new menu features omelets, French toast, buttermilk pancakes and quiche, among other tempting dishes.
Schlafly has added another offering to its stellar roster of beer festivals. On Saturday, May 26, from 10 am until 6 pm, the parking lot of the Schlafly Tap Room will be the site of Pork Shop: A Downtown BBQ & Garage Sale. Those interested in cleaning out their garages and basements can sign up to be vendors and bring their wares down for sale. Chef ANDY WHITE will be roasting six whole hogs, and there will be live music, as well as plenty of Schlafly beer on tap. Goodwill will have a donation site set up for any items that don’t sell. More details are available at schlafly.com.
Looking for something to do in the early evening downtown? The Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District is hosting Wednesday Night Out, a downtown happy hour, every Wednesday from May through August from 4 to 7 p.m. Enjoy drink and food specials at some of the best bars and restaurants in the city. For details and a full roster of participating venues, go online at downtownstl.org/wednesdaynightout.
Parents searching for something to keep the kids occupied after school lets out, check out L’Ecole Academy’s Young Chefs Summer Camp. L’Ecole chefs will be teaching children (ages 8 to 14) how to make a variety of food, from pizza to scones. The classes will be held at the L’Ecole Culinaire Academy for Culinary Development, 9200 Olive Blvd., Suite 108, in Olivette. Classes will be held daily from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. during the three one-week sessions available: June 25 through 29, July 9 through 13. and July 23 through 27. For more info, go to lecoleacademy.com.
More Kudos for chef GERARD CRAFT and crew. The Eater has listed Craft’s upcoming Pastaria restaurant as one of the 25 most anticipated restaurant openings in the country for 2012. The new eatery is slated to open late this summer in the Centenne Plaza in Clayton.
Mathew’s Kitchen will be open for lunch starting on Monday, April 16. The lunch schedule will be Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The restaurant also is instituting a take-out box lunch program at the same time, with delivery available.
Loop favorite Blueberry Hill has debuted the first major redesign of its menu in 23 years. Not only is it the first full-color bill of fare for the eatery, but it introduces several new dishes, including the wagyu burger, wagyu sliders, chicken sliders and the turkey burger.
The folks who own Local Harvest Grocery, Cafe & Catering have announced some big expansion plans. They’re looking to open a new location in Kirkwood in the space that used to house McDonnell’s Market, as well as a location downtown in the Old Post Office, where Pasta House Pronto once resided. The goal is for an August opening for the Kirkwood space and July 1 for the downtown location.
The second Tour D’Onut will be happening this Sunday, April 15. The non-competitive bicycle tour of area donut spots will begin at 8:30 a.m. at World’s Fair Donuts, 1904 S. Vandeventer Ave. Info at tourdonut.tumblr.com.
Russell’s Cafe and Bakery in Fenton will be moving a few doors down from its current location this June. The new space at 942 Brookwood Center is about twice as big and will seat approximately 55. It’ll also house the bakery’s commissary kitchen.
We told you a little while ago that the owners of Trattoria Marcella were going to be opening up another eatery in West County on Clayton Road. It was recently announced that the new restaurant will be called Marcela’s Mia Sorella, or ‘my sister.’
St. Louis is one of the first markets selected to have access to a new service from Living Social called Takeout & Delivery. Customers can browse participating restaurants and place their orders online at livingsocial. com/menus, or click on the Takeout & Delivery tab on their Living Social app for a directory of restaurants.
The latest MICHAEL DEL PIETRO restaurant, Tavolo, has officially opened in the Loop at 618 Delmar Blvd.
◆Following up on the recent release of their new cookbook, Stone
Soup Cottage: A Vignette of Seasonal Recipes, CARL and NANCY
MCCONNELL will be hosting a series of cooking classes at their
Cottleville, Mo., eatery of the same name. The classes will be held
weekly during November and December, and focus on demonstrating a
three-course tasting menu and wine pairing. The cost is $45 per
person and class size is limited to 20, and like the cookbook, some
of the proceeds from the classes will go to the Boys and Girls
Clubs of St. Charles County. View the full class schedule at
◆ This month, Saint Louis Bread Co. is celebrating the 10th
anniversary of its Pink Ribbon Bagel, the sale of which supports
local breast cancer charities. More than 7 million of the bagels
have been sold since 2001, raising more than $1 million. This year,
each Bread Co. cafe is donating $1 from each baker’s dozen of
bagels sold to the Komen Foundation. And until the end of the
month, folks can go to the Panera Bread Facebook page and click the
‘Like’ button for the Panera Bread Virtual Pink Ribbon Bagel, and
10 cents (up to a total of $25,000) will be donated to the Dr.
Susan Love Research Foundation.