Georg Riedel during the vignoles event at Mount Pleasant Winery
Get your appetites ready, because next week is the ninth annual Downtown Restaurant Week in the Lou. From Monday, Aug. 19, through Sunday, Aug. 25, enjoy a special three-course menu for $25 at 27 different eating and drinking establishments in the heart of the city. Get the whole rundown of participating venues at downtownrestaurantweek.net.
Chef BRADLEY HOFFMANN, who most recently ran the kitchen at Salt in the CWE, will be assuming executive chef duties at Planter's House, the new eatery from TED and JAMIE KILGORE and TED CHARAK located in Lafayette Square. The restaurant is scheduled to open later this summer.
Missouri wines continue to gain respect among oenophiles, and some of the best are made by wineries in and around St. Charles County. Cheers to that!
Spring has sprung, and that means that area wineries are--or soon will be--pouring their latest bounty for everyone to enjoy. We touched base with five of the most popular wineries around to see what they have in store for fans of the grape this season.
The past year has been a busy one for the St. Louis culinary scene. Here are a few of the highlights from 2012:
It's been announced that Clayton-based Wasabi Management Company, which owns the popular Japanese restaurants bearing the Wasabi Sushi Bar name, has purchased the three St. Louis SanSai locations. "With different menus and dining experiences, SanSai complements the Japanese cuisine offerings that our Wasabi Sushi Bars have been providing diners in the St. Louis area since 2003,” according to Wasabi CEO John Kim in a press release regarding the purchase.
St. Vincent Home for Children is sponsoring a benefit wine tasting on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 facility at 2319 Choteau Ave.There will be a wide variety of wines available, courtesy of Show Me Vino, in conjunction with Missouri Beverage Company. Also on tap: live music from Jazz St. Louis All Stars, hors d'oeuvres from Russo's Catering and a silent auction. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door, and can be purchased at saintvincenthome.org.
Yet another food truck is opening a permanent location. We’ve been told Seoul Taco has signed a lease for a space at 571 Mehlville Ave. in the U. City Loop, the former home of Gyros In The Loop. While some truck operations are speeding up, others are pulling over and parking. Pi Pizzeria has announced it will no longer be operating its food trucks in St. Louis and Washington, D.C. The mobile eateries still will be making limited appearances at events and still will be part of Pi’s catering operations. According to a statement, the restaurant wants to focus on its brick-and-mortar operations.
With temperatures soaring to all-time highs this summer, keeping cool is imperative, and nothing helps keep the heat at bay like a glass of fine Missouri wine.
The Chase Park Plaza has announced KYLE LIPETZKY as its new executive chef. He’ll oversee all of the hotel’s restaurants (Eau Bistro and Café Eau), the catering division and outlets. Lipetzky previously held leadership positions at The Phoenician and Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort and Spa, both in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Once again, Ladue News readers have proven that they’re in the know about our town’s most exciting hot spots! This year’s Platinum List features iconic St. Louis institutions, as well as some new spots you’ll be wanting to check out.
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.
> Chef BILL OSLOOND, executive chef at 1904 Steak House at River City Casino, is putting on a special grilling class exclusively for Ladue News readers Saturday, July 23, at the restaurant. The class will cover all of the fine points of cooking on a grill, and participants will get to try their hand at grilling a steak, two sides and dessert. Osloond knows a thing or two about cooking with fire: Before landing at 1904 in January, he worked in the kitchen at Kevin Costner’s Jake’s Fine Dining in South Dakota, served as the executive sous chef at Elway’s Steak House in Denver, and was executive chef at the Boulder Chophouse and Tavern in Boulder, Colo. For details, call 1904 manager Derrick Colquitt at 388-7630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. LN also is giving away two sets of four admissions to the class on our Facebook page, facebook.com/laduenews, so go online and ‘like’ us for your chance to win!
BEST ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES
> Mark your calendars, because the second annual Clayton Restaurant Week is coming up fast. From Monday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 30, 19 of Clayton’s finest restaurants are offering a special three-course dinner for a fixed price of $25 per person. Diners also have the option of adding ‘extra credit’ donations to their bills to support KidSmart, which provides area students in need with school supplies. More info at claytonrestaurantweek.net.
> It’s been a little more than a month since STEVEN CARAVELLI took over as executive chef at Araka, and he has wasted no time in putting his touch on the bill of fare. In addition to a four-course veggie tasting menu, Caravelli has also developed a five-course chef tasting menu, among other tweaks and changes. Check out the complete new menu at araka.com.
> Lafayette Fire Co. No. 1: A Firehouse Grill is opening in the space formerly occupied by Soda Fountain Square. The restaurant will feature firehouse cuisine with recipes—deluxe rolled meatloaf and deep-fried banana bread, anyone?—from firemen in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and Illinois. The name is a nod to local firefighting history: “Lafayette Fire Co. No. 1 existed before the St. Louis Fire Department was founded in 1857,” notes Shawn Bittle, one of 28 firemen partnering in the venture. Look for lots of firefighter memorabilia and photos when it opens for three squares a day starting Nov. 27.
Not every child is sunny and cherubic, like the ones you see in commercials; not every parent can make it all better with a time-out, a cookie and a hug. In real life, some children have problems so disruptive that they can tear a family apart. These kids need help far beyond what most families are equipped to offer. For 175 years, Edgewood Children’s Center has provided them with a safe, healing haven.
> Where did food author and James Beard Award winner Michael Pollan dine after his May 22 appearance at the St. Louis County Library in Frontenac? The Crossing in Clayton! Chef Jim Fiala served the food activist a salad with local asparagus and homemade ricotta, homemade ravioli with farm fresh eggs and porcini sauce, local mixed greens, and grass-fed beef with young collard greens…locally grown, of course. Pollan was in town to launch the paperback version of his latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.
• A new type of fusion cuisine can be found at Cafe Lazeez in Ballwin. Pizza with chicken tikka topping and spicy ground beef curry on penne are two items on their dine-in or carry-out menu. Owners IRFAN KHALID and MOHAMMAD FAROOQ have just opened St. Louis’ first, and finest, Pakistani-American fast food cafe. Urdu is the main language spoken in the kitchen (and by the customers in its few booths), but the counter service staff can guide you through the differences between chicken tikka, karanhi and tandoori in plain English. They’ll even substitute a samosa for the fries that go with a hamburger. You’ll find only ‘halal’ (humanely slaughtered) meat at Lazeez, seven days a week. Check it out at 14248 Manchester Road, just east of Woodsmill. Lazeez means yummy!
• MILAN MANJENCICH just unveiled his Gourmet FoodWorks Deli at 8135 Clayton Road, the natural extension of Milan’s three-year-old corporate catering business, also called FoodWorks. Many will know Milan from the late Mike n Mins in Soulard, or from his social catering company, First Impressions. His favorite item on the lengthy breakfast and lunch menu is the Twisted BLT Deluxe, served on pretzel bread. The doors open at 7 a.m. every weekday, when cinnamon rolls and turnovers come hot out of the oven. Lunch and afternoon sweets service ends at 3 p.m. In a month or so, Milan plans to set up an omelet bar on the weekends as part of a la carte brunch.
11/28 ST. LOUIS BLUES REVUE Vocalists Marty Abdullah, Roland Johnson and Robbie Montgomery join the Soulard Blues Band for a night of blues and soul beginning at 8 p.m. at the Sheldon Ballroom. $15 general admission, $25 reserved table seating; www.metrotix.com or 534-1111.
11/21 THIRD FRIDAY OPEN HOUSE Watch glassblowing demonstrations, shop for glass gifts and make a glass tile keepsake from 6 to 10 p.m. at Third Degree Glass Factory, 5200 Delmar Blvd. Free.