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The diversity found in St. Louis neighborhoods brings a variety of holiday traditions to the table. Here, area families share recipes, music and festivities that have been preserved through the generations.
All nonprofits planning events next year, take note: Butler's Pantry has announced it will donate $2,013 to each non-profit organization that hosts an event at its Palladium Saint Louis event space in 2013.
Nine local organizations—which help St. Louisans facing disease, homelessness, hunger and other life challenges—have been recognized as finalists for our 2012 Charity Awards. The three winners will be announced in our June 15 issue.
November marks National Bread Month, so what better way to celebrate than to learn more about some of our local bakeries’ bread-making traditions?
◆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.
Saint Louis Bread Co. asked sandwich enthusiasts from all over town to come up with a delectable recipe for the title of Best Sandwich in St. Louis. The winning sandwich will become a featured item at all 48 Bread Co. locations. Check out the top five finalists below and wait for the announcement of the winner on Oct. 26.
◆ 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.
◆JIM FIALA is in the process of shuttering The Terrace View restaurant at City Garden downtown. The restaurant will go to lunch-only service in October from Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fiala says he won’t renew the lease once it expires at the end of the year, indicating that the main reason for the closure is that he just wasn’t able to attract enough folks downtown for dinner.
A fond adieu to Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) director PAUL HA, who will soon depart for Cambridge, Mass. Ha has been selected as the new director of Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) List Center for the Visual Arts. Ha arrived in St. Louis in 2002 to oversee the construction and opening of CAM’s new facility. He has since successfully positioned the museum as a national and international leader in contemporary art, as well as secured more than $40 million in funding and a $5 million endowment. A search committee has been formed to name a replacement for Ha, who begins his new post in December.
◆Mosaic Market Bistro in Clayton is now Coastal Bistro & Bar. The revamped restaurant is still owned by the Schmitz family but now features a raw bar with oysters, crab legs, seafood towers and shrimp cocktails, among other items. The eatery also offers some local country menu items and has both large- and small-plate options. Co-owner FRANK SCHMITZ tells us the changes were made to differentiate the restaurant from the other Mosaics, including the upcoming Des Peres location.
◆ In an effort to give back to the community, Monarch Restaurant will be donating 10 percent of its food and beverage sales every Tuesday night to a local charity. Owners JEFF ORBIN and AARON TEITELBAUM hope the initiative gets folks out to support the local economy, as well as help out a worthy cause. You can find a list of dates and charities at monarchrestaurant.com.
BEST COFFEE HOUSE
Come autumn, our town literally turns into ‘our fair city,’ with a plethora of festivals and other crowd-pleasing events that have become a tradition for families over the years.
> Gerard Craft owner of Niche Restaurant, is expanding into the Central West End with Brasserie by Niche, a casual restaurant that is set to serve traditional French bistro fare. The Brasserie will open this month at 4580 Laclede Ave., where the venerable Chez Léon once stood. “I love the storefront facade that opens up in spring and summer,” Craft enthuses. As the place where Craft proposed to wife Suzie (and where they held their rehearsal dinner), the spot has some important personal history. Expect French desserts by Niche pastry chef Mathew Rice.
• Sugo’s Spaghetteria, a very family-friendly Italian restaurant, just opened in Frontenac at 10417 Clayton Road. Owner MICHAEL DEL PIETRO and his mother Mary Rose are cooking in the open kitchen. The small menu (on a painted chalkboard of enormous proportions) features housemade pastas and pizzas, as well as Plates del Giorno and a daily risotto preparation. Sugo’s walls are ochre and umber, the chandelier wrought iron, and in the center of the dining room there is a very rustic wine table laden with bottles and glasses. The wine list is, as you would expect of a Del Pietro, all Italian. Michael’s favorite dish is the Pizza con Fungi, a thin Neopolitan style crust with mushrooms, garlic, gorgonzola and truffle oil, but thick Sicilian style is also available.
Robert and Mary Ciapciak hosted the seventh annual Old Newsboys Day Golden Plate Award Banquet at the Edward Jones atrium. A nonprofit project of Suburban Journals, Old Newsboys Day supports hundreds of children’s charities in the bi-state area. President Bob Williams and Amanda Bradham assisted chair Bob Ciapciak in presenting the 2007 Hall of Fame inductees: Jane Mitchellette Hanneken, Laura Herring, Scott Niekamp and Saint Louis Bread Co., represented by Don Hutcheson. Marilyn Fox received the 2007 Wetterau Award.
The Wright stuff…Joanne Kohn, chairman of the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park, has been elected to the board of the Chicago-based Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an international historic preservation organization.
• A bucolic Mardi Gras brunch? Not a bad way to celebrate away from the big city crowds. Chaumette Winery is hosting a Cajun Brunch Feb. 2 in historic French Colonial Ste. Genevieve wine country. Feast on blackened catfish, gumbo, Cajun sausage, red beans and rice, okra, shrimp and scallion grits, bourbon bread pudding and breakfast fare. There will, of course, be beads, music, dancing and a special prize for the guest who finds the ‘baby’ (plastic charm) in their slice of King Cake. The cost: $29.95 per reveler; go to www.chaumette.com for reservations.
Youthful as he may look, Josh Allen is no newcomer to the food industry. The owner of Companion, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year, grew up learning about food around the dinner table. His family owned Allen Foods, a regional food distributor that services hotels, restaurants, educational institutions and long-term care facilities in St. Louis, Kansas City and Southern Illinois. But as steeped in local food history as he is, Allen’s ideas about food, its place in the economy and in the community, are as fresh and exciting as his organic Parisien artisanal bread.