There’s no question LN readers are in-the-know, so who better to ask about the things that make St. Louis stand out and stand proud? Here, we present the very best, as selected by our readers, in the 2014 Ladue News Platinum List!
When St. Louis native Erica Willert and husband, Bryan, returned to the States after five years living in Shanghai, they chose University City for their new home because of its diversity and multicultural character. Bryan is executive VP of Willert Home Products and president of the company's Shanghai operations, while Erica is an agent with Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty. Sons Grant and Luke are members of the So iLL Rock Climbing team, avid snow-skiers and are keeping up on their Mandarin at St. Louis Modern Chinese School on the weekends. We asked Erica about what her family enjoys most in the neighborhood.
The culinary scene in St. Louis continues to flourish, and 2013 was an especially exciting year for diners and drinkers and those who serve them. Here are just a few of the notable events in the past 12 months:
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.
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.
The folks who own the local Potbelly Sandwich Shop franchise have announced they'll be opening a second location at 12 S. Bemiston Ave. in Clayton in late October. The space previously housed the long-running The Fatted Calf, which closed earlier this year.
No matter how much you think you know about St. Louis, there are likely hundreds of fascinating places to go and things to do that have escaped your notice. Local author Amanda Doyle offers an insider’s guide to the city’s high-profile attractions and plenty of below-the-radar treasures in her new book, 100 Things to Do in St. Louis Before You Die. Doyle spoke with Ladue News and shared some of her personal favorite backyard adventures.
Mission Taco Joint is the latest from brothers Adam and Jason Tilford. Unlike their other restaurants, Mission concentrates on simpler fare, serving up both classic and unique takes on Mexican street food with impressive results.
Bring on the pageantry… A Ballwin woman is the new Ms. Missouri Senior America: SONJA NELSON-STOUGH impressed the judges with her talent, playing on the hammer dulcimer, as well as with her evening gown presentation and private interview. Nelson-Stough will go on to compete in the Ms. Senior America Pageant in October in Atlantic City.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis is giving young diners a chance to help others in need with a new program, ‘Crafting for Kids.’ All kids 12 and younger are invited for a complimentary Sunday brunch when accompanied by their family. A special crafting area will be set up in The Restaurant at the hotel for the youngsters to make cards and other paper handiwork with positive and inspirational messages for the kids and families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis. In addition, the hotel will donate $2 to the organization for every signature Bloody Mary Cocktail purchased during brunch, which is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The program will run every Sunday through Sept. 15. To learn more about ‘Crafting for Kids’ or to make reservations, call 719-1433.
This month, Operation Food Search is hosting its annual Tomato Explosion fundraiser. A variety of area eateries are offering a tomato dish on their menu, with part of the sales benefiting the organization. One of our faves so far is the Tomato Tagliatelle at Cielo at the Four Seasons Hotel, featuring homemade pasta, sauteed sea scallops, mussels and crudaiola. Three dollars of each one ordered goes to OFS. For a full list of participating restaurants, go to operationfoodsearch.org.
Any city is bound to have a few desirable nooks and crannies, but according to these real estate professionals, St. Louis is jam-packed with ideal neighborhoods. Before you buy, see which areas these agents prefer and why.
Kraftig Light, brewed by St. Louis' William K. Busch Brewing Company, took top honors in the American-style Light Beer category at the North American Beer Awards, held earlier this month in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The brew bested entries from many of the biggest names in beer in the country, including Anheuser-Busch's Michelob Ultra and Budweiser Select, which took second and third places, respectively.
Piccione Pastry has a sweet new deal for area nonprofits. The late-night Italian bakery shop, which opened in the Delmar Loop this April, is serving up Pastries With a Purpose.
You wouldn’t trust a stranger with your money, but how much do you know about the person helping you make the biggest purchase of your life? LN asked six area real estate agents about local favorites and the like so you can see what makes these professionals tick. (Hint: The Cardinals might have been mentioned once or twice…)
In commemoration of its 90th anniversary, the APA has commissioned renowned local sculptor Harry Weber to create a ‘litter’ for its community art project.
Fork & Stix recently opened its doors on the eastern edge of the U. City Loop just off Delmar Boulevard, and local foodies have been talking and blogging about the place ever since. On our recent visit, we learned first-hand what all the hype was about.
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.
With spring weather finally upon us, kids and adults alike are anxious to experience the great outdoors. Lucky for us, St. Louis abounds with family-friendly ways to enjoy natural beauty.
This year is the 20th anniversary of Dining Out For Life, the national fundraiser for AIDS service organizations. This year's event on Thursday, April 25, involves a variety of local eateries that will donate 25 percent or more of your bill to Saint Louis Effort For AIDS (SLEFA). More than 100 area restaurants are participating. For the full list, visit diningoutforlife.com/stlouis/restaurants. Since 1990, Dining Out For Life has raised more than $4.3 million for SLEFA.
A telegraph key and $150 links St. Louisan Derek Cohn to Steven Spielberg’s Oscar front-runner, Lincoln. The movie has received widespread critical acclaim and has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
With tax season almost upon us, Truffles in Ladue has decided to give its customers a break with a unique promotion. The restaurant has announced it'll be ‘Tax Free Till Tax Day,’ and pay all taxes that its customers usually are responsible for from March 1 until April 15. Hey, every little bit helps!
The Crystal Cajun Cook-Off, one of the premier events leading up to the city's Mardi Gras celebration, was held Jan. 26, in the City Hall rotunda downtown. The contest featured 10 amateur and 10 professional chefs slugging it out in the kitchen for the title of best Cajun/Creole Dish. When the dust settled, Lumiere Place/River City executive chef and LN Cooks columnist JOHN JOHNSON top honors in the pro category, while chef GEORGE MACDONALD came out on top in the amateur division. Congrats to both chefs!
After St. Louis native Terry Ross met her future husband, Neal, in San Francisco, the couple moved back to her hometown in 2000. They were looking for the same quality of life they enjoyed in California and found it in University City, where they appreciate the urban setting and walkability of the neighborhood, while still living in a larger home. Their children, Finnegan 9, and Charlotte (better known as ChiChi), 7, are able to walk to school and parks; and Terry, who works in marketing for College Bound, and Neal, who works in merchandising for CCA Global, enjoy the closeness of The Loop for date nights. We spoke with Terry to learn more about her family’s love for University City.
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.