Local mobile donut purveyor Vincent Van Doughnut won big on the recent season premiere of Cooking Channel's Donut Wars earlier this month. Owner BRIAN MARSDEN and his pastry chef assistant, JAMIE HARDESTY, took home first-place honors and a cool $10,000. Their winning confections over three rounds were The Bellagio, featuring a caramel pastry creme filling with chocolate ganache glaze and hazelnut caramel crunch; The Venetian, with a ricotta pastry cream filling and a lemon glaze with pistachios and tarragon; and The Flamingo, a maraschino cherry cake donut with a maraschino cherry glaze and silver nonpareils. Congrats!
Congratulations to the folks at Morgan Street Brewery. The local craft-beer maker took home multiple medals at the recent Los Angeles International Beer Competition, including a Gold for When Helles Freezes Over; a Silver for its Honey Wheat; and Bronze medals for its Winter, Golden Pilsner and Black Bear brews. In other beer news, the William K. Busch Brewing Company won a passel of awards at the U.S. Open Beer Championships, held earlier this month in Atlanta. Kraftig Light was awarded its third consecutive Gold Medal in the American Light category, while the company's Kraftig Lager also took home Gold in the American Premium Lager category. More than 3,000 beers and ciders competed in 81 categories at the competition. Well done!
The Central West End has no shortage of restaurants—so many that it's hard to keep up with all of them. One of the more recent entries on the scene is Thai 202. Located on Euclid Avenue between Lindell Boulevard and Maryland Avenue, it's easy to miss this eatery with all of the hustle and bustle in that area, but definitely well worth looking for.
To help celebrate the Missouri History Museum's American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition exhibit, the folks at Bixby's are offering a series of happy hours this summer inspired by the exhibition. On Tuesday, July 22, and Tuesday, August 12, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., guests at the restaurant (located on the second floor of the museum) can enjoy locally inspired hors d'oeuvres and desserts, paired with a Pinckney Bend or Anheuser-Busch tasting. Each happy hour ticket also includes admission to the exhibit. Cost is $30 per person ($25 for museum members). For tickets and information, call 454-3151 or visit bixbys-mohistory.com.
The first-ever summer edition of Clayton Restaurant Week (CRW) takes place Monday, July 14, through Sunday, July 20. The participating establishments include Bar Napoli, Bocci Wine Bar, Cardwell’s, C.J. Muggs, Coastal Bistro & Bar, Crushed Red, Jimmy's On The Park, Oceano Bistro, Pomme Café & Wine Bar, Pomme Restaurant, Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar, Roxane, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. Each restaurant will offer a special three-course dinner promotion for a fixed price of $25 per person, plus tax and tip. CRW patrons also have the option of adding a $5 ‘Extra Helping’ donation to their dining bill to benefit Operation Food Search. More info is available at claytonrestaurantweek.com.
Crushed Red Urban Bake & Chop Shop is partnering with Emmis Communications for the ‘Crushed Red Urban Crafted Throwdown.’ Four radio personalities have picked four new menu items, with each one given a two-week window to get as many people as possible to give their menu item a try. Fifteen percent of the sales from the item goes to a designated charity. The winning menu item wins a permanent place on Crushed Red’s menu, and the corresponding organization will continue to receive 15 percent of sales from that item for a full year from both Crushed Red locations (Clayton and Kirkwood). Visit crushed-red.com and click on the ‘community’ tab for more details.
The Kirkwood Farmer's Market Advisory Committee is putting on A Tasteful Evening at Kirkwood Farmer's Market on Friday, June 27, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The event will feature a variety of farm-to-table selections from local chefs like EDDIE NEILL, STEVE GONTRAM and more, utilizing ingredients from the best local purveyors. Tickets are $45 per person, with proceeds benefiting improvements to the market. Call 822-0084 or go to downtownkirkwood.com for more info.
The King & I has been a South Grand landmark in South City for years, establishing itself as the place to go for authentic Thai food. Always bustling, the restaurant clientele is a melting pot of urbanites, suburbanites, hipsters and the decidedly un-hip, all coming together for a taste of Thailand. We stopped in recently for a long overdue meal.
The Lobby Lounge of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis has expanded its bar menu: In addition to some 200 martinis and signature beverages, there are six new summer libations and a decadent Cake Martini inspired by the hotel's recently-launched Ritz-Carlton Cake, that includes vodka, chocolate and orange liqueurs, and a fresh orange twist. The seasonal drink offerings coincide with the debut of the hotel’s new Martini Club. Members of the club can enjoy their journey through the hotel’s impressive menu and qualify for complimentary hotel experiences—from drinks or dinner for two at The Grill, to engraved martini glasses and overnight stays at the property. Members also receive exclusive invitations to club events, tastings and cocktail-crafting parties. Membership is complimentary, and is open to the public and hotel guests.
Fans of fine food and the works of The Bard will be pleased to find out that Bixby’s, located on the second floor of the Missouri History Museum, is partnering with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis for this year’s productions of Henry IV and Henry V. Bixby’s will host an intimate and elegant communal dining experience for five nights throughout the run of the show. Guests can make reservations to dine at a community table, under the stars, and enjoy a lavish full-course meal, focused on dining with local influence. This experience is limited to 40 guests per night. Tickets are $50 and include a reserved seat for the show; dinners begin at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at sfstl.com.
Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis will be kicking off its Unsung Heroes Dinner Series on Monday, June 23, at 6 p.m. The dinner will feature six of St. Louis’ finest sous chefs, underutilized parts of a hog and products from local farmers. Participating sous chefs include SHIMON DIAMOND of Cielo Restaurant & Bar, JUSTIN MCMILLEN of Sidney Street Café, RYAN MCDONALD of Juniper, JOSH POLETTI of The Libertine, ALEX FELDMEIER of Brasserie, and SUMMER WRIGHT of Floreat Bakery. The opening cocktail reception will feature Cielo’s Four Roses Bourbon and a variety of local brews, and the dinner will incorporate plenty of fresh products from Jones Heritage and Such and Such Farm. Cost is $65 a person. To make a reservation, call 881-5759.
Bixby’s, located on the second floor of the Missouri History Museum, has made this year’s Open Table 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America list, the only local restaurant in town to garner the honor. The list is generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners for 15,000-plus restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Congrats!
Chef Vito Racanelli, Jr., has brought Chef Christopher Lee into the fold at Mad Tomato in Clayton.
After a bit of a search, Central Table Food Hall in the CWE finally has a new executive chef: Darnell Devine. A CIA grad, Devine most recently was at the Everglades Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. He replaces chef Nick Martinkovic, who left earlier this year to become exec chef at Blood & Sand.
Unbeknownst to many, there's a small stretch of Cherokee Street west of Jefferson Avenue that's home to some of the best authentic Mexican eateries in town. This May 5, why not actually experience the rich culinary traditions of Mexico?
Hot on the heels of his latest venture, restaurateur DAVID BAILEY has announced he'll be opening yet another concept this year. The as-yet-unnamed barbecue eatery will be located at 1011 Olive St. in Midtown, and will feature a 200-seat restaurant and an additional 150-seat event space. The rooftop will house a separate bar that will operate independently. Look for an opening this winter.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis will be hosting a Spring Coffee Dinner on Saturday, May 17. The event will feature Kaldi’s Coffees in all menu courses created by the culinary team of The Ritz, led by executive chef MELISSA LEE. There also will be a special appearance by Kaldi's own FRANK MCGINTY, along with paired coffee cocktails and Urban Chestnut Beers. The dinner begins at 6 p.m, with tickets priced at $150 per guest. The dinner is the first in an ongoing new series of seasonal dining events to be presented by the hotel. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Space is limited, and early reservations are recommended (call 719-1433 or email email@example.com)
Oceano Bistro in Chesterfield is going through some more changes. It's been announced that the restaurant has been purchased by an investor group and will be reopening on Friday, May 9, as Bishop's Post. The moniker is a combo of the names of managing partner BEN BISHOP and Chesterfield pioneer Justus Post, who once owned the land the eatery sits on. Chef DAVE ROOK, who recently took over the Oceano kitchen, will remain in the post of executive chef. The new menu is described as being classic, traditional fare. The Clayton Oceano Bistro was not affected by the sale and will remain as-is.
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 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!
Huge congratulations to chefs GERARD CRAFT and KEVIN NASHAN, who have both been chosen as finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef: Midwest. Craft and Nashan, along with KEVIN WILLMANN of Farmhaus, BEN POREMBA of Elaia & Olio and JOSH GALLIANO of The Libertine were all named semifinalists for the award last month. Winners will be revealed at a gala in NYC in May. We'd like to thank all of the folks who represented St. Louis this year--well done!
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.
St. Louis-area chefs and restaurateurs are once again banding together to support the next wave of restoration and maintenance of Forest Park through Restaurants for Restoration. Starting Tuesday, April 1, select area restaurants will offer their patrons the opportunity to support Forest Park by purchasing designated wine selections on their wine lists. A portion of these sales will be donated to Forest Park Forever. The Restaurants for Restoration initiative was first launched in 2001 as a joint effort by Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors and its supplier partners to build community awareness and raise funds for the major renovations the park has undergone in the past decade. A full list of participating restaurants can be found on Major Brands’ Facebook page, facebook.com/MajorBrandsMO.
When the popular Arcelia's left Lafayette Square a while back, it left a vacuum in the neighborhood for those with a taste for Mexican fare. So when Laredo opened up in the same space a couple of years ago, there was much anticipation for this new kid on the block, and we were eager to finally give the place a try.
It's time once again for the James Beard Foundation Awards. The annual ‘Oscars’ of the culinary world recently announced its list of semi-finalists, and St. Louis is represented in a big way. Chefs GERARD CRAFT (Niche); KEVIN WILLMANN (Farmhaus); KEVIN NASHAN (Sidney Street Cafe); JOSH GALLIANO (The Libertine); and BEN POREMBA (Elaia) all are in the running for the title of Best Chef: Midwest. Chef RICK LEWIS of Quincy Street Bistro has been tapped as a contender for Rising Star Chef of the Year, and Taste in the CWE has been nominated for Outstanding Bar Program. Finalists for the awards will be announced on March 18, in Chicago, and the winners will be revealed in NYC in May. Congrats to all, good luck and thanks for representing St. Louis' culinary scene so well!