Tag - Restaurant Reviews

St. Louis Area Restaurants Among 40 Joe’s Crab Shack Closings

St. Louis Area Restaurants Among 40 Joe’s Crab Shack Closings

Shuttered Restaurants Tied to Joe’s Crab Shack’s Likely Return to Original Parent Company

St. Louis, MO/August 19, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) — If you had plans to have lunch or dinner with friends or family at Joe’s Crab Shack in Fairview Heights or St. Peters, you’ll need to make other plans.  If you’ve been saving that Joe’s Crab Shack gift card you found in your stocking last Christmas for a special occasion, then you’ve probably waited too long.  The family seafood favorite at 51 Ludwig Drive in Fairview Heights, Illinois abruptly closed over the weekend.  The Joe’s Crab Shack at 5856 Suemandy Drive in St. Peters was similarly shuttered.  It’s unclear if employees were notified prior to the closing.  Illinois staff members received their final paychecks Tuesday, according to a report in the Belleville News-Democrat.

An email sent to employees Monday and obtained by the BND blamed parent company Ignite Restaurant Group’s June bankruptcy filing and impending sale for the permanent closure of the St. Louis area restaurants.  The company has closed more than 40 Joe’s Crab Shack locations across the country, including all three Illinois locations (Fairview Heights, Gurnee, and Schaumberg), and two in Missouri (St. Peters and Independence).  According to the restaurant’s website, the only remaining Joe’s Crab Shack in Missouri is the Branson location at 717 Branson Landing.  Otherwise, local Crab Shack fans will have to drive to Memphis, Nashville, or Louisville, KY for their favorite steampot.

The closures follow a June 6th announcement that a tentative deal was in place for the sale of Joe’s Crab Shack and a sister brand, Brick House Tavern + Tap, to the San Diego-based private equity firm Kelly Companies.  The announcement also stated that “Pursuant to Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code” Ignite would also file a motion to allow other companies to submit bids for its holdings through a Court-supervised process to purchase the assets being sold.  The original parent company of Joe’s Crab Shack, Landry’s Inc. (Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Morton’s The Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s, etc.) won the bankruptcy auction last week to acquire Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap for $57 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.  A final hearing on the sale is scheduled for this week, but it is expected to be approved.

The restaurant shutdowns are counter to statements made by Ignite Restaurant Group in announcing its bankruptcy sale.  That announcement had indicated there would be no closings as a result of the company’s Chapter 11 filings and impending sale.  It read in part, “Both Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap restaurants will remain open and operating as usual and Ignite customers can expect to continue to enjoy the same great food and service that they have come to expect from our brands.”  Clearly the plans have changed since Landry’s won their bid.

In an interview after last week’s bidding win, Landry’s founder Tilman Fertitta told National Restaurant News that Landry’s plans call for shrinking the Joe’s Crab Shack concept “considerably” and to sell off the Brick House casual-dining brand.  Fertitta had originally bought Joe’s Crab Shack in 1994, when it had one restaurant, and sold the brand to private-equity firm J.H Whitney & Co. in 2006, which went public in 2009, changing its name to Ignite Restaurant Group.

According to the website Consumerist.com, the company began closing restaurants without warning on August 7th, with some employees reporting that they showed up for work and were turned away.  In April 2017, the Joe’s Crab Shack website had listed 112 locations nationwide.  As of this writing, there are just 72—reflecting these recent closures.  It is unclear what will become of the shuttered St. Louis area locations.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Offers North Carolinians a Delicious and Convenient Barbecue Option

Dickey's Barbecue Pit Offers North Carolinians a Delicious and Convenient Barbecue Option

Dickey’s will begin serving the residents of Cary, NC in Fall 2017

CARY, NC/August 17, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Dickey’s Barbecue Pit plans to open their newest North Carolina location this Fall in Cary, NC behind the lead of new Owner/Operator, William DeArmey. A long-time North Carolina resident and former Dickey’s Barbecue Pit employee, DeArmey and his family are looking forward to bringing a delicious barbecue option to their community.

“At Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, we pride ourselves on serving authentic, Texas-style barbecue to our community with a side of southern hospitality,” says Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “We love that in an area that has many amazing barbecue options, Dickey’s is still a fan favorite and is being provided to the community by first-class Owner/Operators like William DeArmey.”

After working at a local Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location for a short six months, DeArmey decided it was time to open a location of his own. “North Carolina has delicious barbecue options everywhere, but Dickey’s has the best barbecue sandwich, hands down,” says DeArmey. “When it came down to if I should open my own Dickey’s location it was easy; I love the food and I love the brand.”

To find the location nearest you, click here. Find Dickey’s on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the nation’s largest barbecue chain was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey. Today, all meats are still slow smoked on-site in each restaurant. The Dallas-based family-run barbecue franchise offers several slow-smoked meats and home style sides with ‘No B.S. (Bad Stuff)’ included. The fast-casual concept has expanded to nearly 600 locations in 44 states. In 2016, Dickey’s won first place on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list and in 2017 again won a top 10 on the list. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has also been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine, Franchise Times, and Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information, visit www.dickeys.com.

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Source: news provided by Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants – distributed by PR Newswire – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

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STLRestaurant.News notes: There are four Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants located across Missouri, but only one in the St. Louis area located at 1912 S. Brentwood Blvd., Brentwood, MO 63144.

The Writing is on the Wall: The Shack Breakfast & Lunch is a hit!

The Writing is on the Wall: The Shack Breakfast & Lunch is a hit!

The Shack in Frontenac, MO – Breakfast & Lunch

FRONTENAC, MO/August 19, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) The Shack in Frontenac dazzles the pallet with intriguing dishes spiced with humor.  Plan on arriving a little early and before the stomach growling so you can enjoy scanning the menu where you’ll find amusing names such as the Witness Protection™omelet (avocado, mozzarella & tomato); the Gringo Killer™ Skillet (chorizo, onion, bell peppers, green chili salsa & Shack cheese); or the If Tim & Biebs Went to Prison Skillet (fried chicken breast on a biscuit smothered in gravy, sharp cheddar cheese & green onions) and Plates such as Ma…The Meatloaf (bacon-wrapped meatloaf stuffed with onions & peppers served over crispy hash browns & topped with homemade gravy and two sunny side eggs), or the Love Me Now Hate Me Later™ (breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, tater tots, crushed Fritos & cheddar cheese nestled on a bed of chili smothered with Shack cheese and topped with green onion); or the Why The French Hate Us™ (Toasted Croissant stuffed with two sausage links, scrambled eggs, covered in Shack gravy and cheddar cheese); or the Do It Yourself Meg Ryan; or the Up The River Without a Paddle (Smoked salmon, thick cut bacon, lettuce, tomato & peppercorn aioli on a brioche bun); or the Cease & Desist (1/4 seared double stack burger, shredded lettuce, peppercorn aioli, bacon jam, white cheddar, tomato and red onion); or the Ta-Ta Tacos* (beer-battered panko-breaded tilapia, cabbage, salsa fresca, queso blanco, and avocado spread; and many more. * – Note: For each taco order sold, one dollar is donated to the TaTa Sisterhood organization, which provides financial and motivational support for women battling triple negative breast cancer.

There’s plenty of sweet love at the Shack Griddle with a variety of Belgian Waffles, Pancakes such as The King Lives (chocolate chips, bacon, banana & peanut butter drizzle); and French Toast Brioche such as the Merica (strawberries, blueberries, marscapoe honey glaze topped with whipped cream and powered sugar).

If you like your sandwiches hard pressed, you might enjoy a Panini, which they have several such as the Rubin, or Turkey Foccaia, and the Wicked Good Turkey to name a few.  Sides include Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Pot Tots, Fries, Homemade Chips, and more.

The Shack salads are huge and big enough for sharing.  Among their savory dressings, their white balsamic vinaigrette stands out and is absolutely fabulous.  For those sustaining healthier habits there are options such as egg white omelets, skillets, Avocado Focaccia, Granola & Fruit Parfaits, Fresh Fruit and more.

The Shack also specializes in Gluten Free cuisine with dedicated skillets and fryers when preparing all gluten free meals. The GF Menu includes omelets, skillets, pancakes (YES pancakes), chicken Strips & Buffalo chicken (breaded in-house with wheat free flour); a variety of Sammies served on gluten-free buns such as the S.O.B (chicken, bacon, tomato, jalapenos, avocado spread and pepper jack cheese), a Philly, and the Caprese to name a few. And don’t forget the yummy smoothies (which are non-fat and gluten free) such as “UR My Boy Blue (blueberry), Billy Bob’s Straw (strawberry) and Gone ‘Biebs” (banana).

As you’ll note during your visit, The Shack’s witty theme is tied into every aspect of the dining experience. The hipster barn vibe with re-purposed wood throughout, most of which are sharpie decorated with colorful autographs by happy patrons enhances the fun mood for enjoying breakfast or lunch with family, friends, colleagues, a date or perhaps a morning cocktail with a quick bite at the bar. Will that be a mimosa with your breakfast? Or how about one of these clever concoctions: Good Mooning (Blue moon, Amsterdam Peach, St. Germain, cranberry & orange juice) or a Meaty Mary (Zing Zang Tomato juice, Cucumber Vodka, Shack-seasoned rim bacon, cheese, that comes with a Beef Jerky Straw), or perhaps one of the Shack’s Cereal Killer Boozie Shakes such as: I Do What I Want (Coco puffs, Yogurt, Bailey’s & Frangelico), or Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That (Yogurt, Loopy Vodka, Froot Loops, strawberries & blueberries), and others to kick up the party.

The Shack is managed by the OG Hospitality Group (which also manages The Corner Pub and Grill, and the award wining 2011 Restaurant of the year, The Tavern Kitchen and Bar)

The Shack additional locations are in Valley Park and Chesterfield.

The Shack – Frontenac:
731 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: (314) 736-5900

Hours:
Breakfast: (7 days) 6:30am – 2pm
Lunch: (Mon-Sat) 11am – 2pm

The Shack – Valley Park:
13645 Big Bend Rd. Ste.105
St. Louis, MO 63122
(636) 529-1600

Hours:
Breakfast: (7 days) 7am – 2pm
Lunch: (Mon-Fri) 11am – 2pm

The Shack – Chesterfield:
14810 Clayton Rd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
(636) 220-9367

Hours:
Breakfast: (7 days) 6:30am – 2pm
Lunch: (Mon-Sat) 11am – 2pm

www.shackstl.com

The Top 10 Iced Coffee Spots in St. Louis

The Top 10 Iced Coffee Spots in St. Louis

Where to Beat St. Louis Heat with Chilled Java – Top 10 Iced Coffee Spots in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO/August 12, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – When I first tried iced coffee, I’ll admit that I was skeptical.  The dark, rich mug of black coffee I had been drinking since high school was perfect just they way it was.  It was reliably delicious and invigorating, fortifying me for the day ahead and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up—except when it’s really hot out, like July or August in St. Louis.  How would I get an afternoon caffeine hit that’s cold and effective?  Enter iced coffee.  Whether cold brewed with a splash of milk, double-strong hot brewed over ice, or a creamy, espresso-based frappe, a chilled cuppa joe is the perfect warm weather refresher.

This summer has been a warm one in St. Louis and many of us have reached for an iced coffee for relief.  This cold elixir has become so popular in recent years, it’s available in every coffee shop, many restaurants—including fast food joints, and even bottled on grocery store shelves.  So who makes the best iced coffee in St. Louis?  We turned to customer reviews to find out where to go for the best iced coffee in town.  Topping the list is Coma Coffee Roasters in Richmond Heights.  The cafe inside the University Club Tower opened just about a year ago (August 2016). In a relatively short time, this office-building coffee shop has drawn in caffeine-craving customers who rave about all of the coffee and espresso drinks, but most especially, their cold brews.  Coma Coffee is serious about cold brew and they’re out to prove it’s top tier.  They took second place in this year’s Cold Brew Competition at Coffee Fest Chicago.  This is seriously good iced coffee.

Everyplace on our Top 10 Iced Coffee list offers a selection tasty, frosty, delicious iced coffee drinks in a unique environment.  No wonder customers love them! Just in time to help you breeze through the dog days of summer, here are St. Louis’ Top 10 Iced Coffee Makers:

1. Coma Coffee Roasters (4.70 stars/56 reviews) Richmond Heights, 1034 South Brentwood Blvd, Richmond Heights, MO 63117, (314) 250-1042.
2. Comet Coffee & Microbakery (4.65 stars/259 reviews) Cheltenham, 5708 Oakland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 932-7770.
3. Kitchen House Coffee (4.63 stars/60 reviews) Compton Heights, 3149 Shenandoah Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 732-0009.
4. Gelato Di Riso (4.60 stars/153 reviews) The Hill, 5204 Wilson Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 664-8488.
5. Washington Avenue Post (4.55 stars/65 reviews) Downtown, 1312 Washington Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 588-0545.
6. Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery (4.55 stars/174 reviews) McRee Town, 1629 Tower Grove Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 833-6111.
7. Park Avenue Coffee – The Hill (4.52 stars/130 reviews) Southwest Garden, 5105 Columbia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 717-1900.
8. Pint Size Bakery & Coffee (4.52 stars/176 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3133 Watson Road, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 645-7142.
9. 2Schae Cafe (4.41 stars/193 reviews) DeBaliviere Place, 275 Union Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63108, (314) 361-5333.
10. RISE Coffee House (4.41 stars/149 reviews) Forest Park Southeast, 4180 Manchester Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 405-8171.

Some of St. Louis’ newer establishments are quickly becoming favorites.  These spots each offer a unique environment in which to sip really excellent iced coffee.  Their high marks translate into enthusiastic recommendations from customers, but they don’t yet have enough reviews (minimum 50) to make the top 10 list.  So, to these iced coffee purveyors, we offer Honorable mentions:

La Cosecha Coffee Roasters (4.57 stars/28 reviews) Maplewood, 7360 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO 63143, (314) 440-0337. One of Maplewood’s many synergistic businesses, La Cosecha shares space with Great Harvest Bread Co.  They offer their own roasted Fair Trade beans, and beverages made with them.  Their Flash Brewed iced coffee is rich, yet well balanced, making it the perfect summertime pick-me-up.
Cursed Bikes & Coffee (4.65 stars/17 reviews) University City, 7401 Pershing Ave, University City, MO 63130, (314) 601-3136.  This full-service bike and coffee shop opened in May.  The little coffee bar offers big flavor using locally roasted Dubuque Coffee beans.  Bike over for a caramel frappe or one of their exquisite cold brews.
Comet Croissanterie and Creamery (4.55 stars/22 reviews) Kirkwood, 640 West Woodbine Ave, Kirkwood, MO 63122, (314) 394-1033.  This is Comet Coffee’s morning-operated bakery, specializing in croissants and espresso-based drinks—all of which can be made iced.  A fresh croissant and iced cappuccino with a shot of their homemade Tahitian vanilla syrup is a great way to start a summer day.

St. Louis’ Vicia, Nixta Among Bon Appétit Best New Restaurant Finalists

St. Louis’ Vicia, Nixta Among Bon Appétit Best New Restaurant Finalists

Bon Appétit Best New Restaurant Finalists Includes Vicia and Nixta

St. Louis, MO/August 7, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – St. Louis diners already know how delicious two of our favorite local restaurants are, and now the rest of the country is getting a hint.  Long time food publication Bon Appétit has named both Nixta and Vicia as finalists for its annual “Best New Restaurants in America” list.  Both are listed among the 50 best new restaurants in America, according to the magazine.  The list will be whittled down to 10 winners.  Both St. Louis contenders offer chef-driven cuisine that pairs locally sourced ingredients with on-trend cooking techniques.

Nixta is part of chef-restaurateur Ben Poremba portfolio which includes Elaia, Olio, and Parigi.  The kitchen is led by executive chef Tello Carreon, who combines a Guanajuato, Mexico upbringing and culinary skills with fresh ingredients to create upscale, contemporary Mexican dishes.  The Bon Appétit editors call Carreon genius for his “ambitious cooking that combines bold flavors from various regions of Mexico with stellar ingredients.”  The dishes they recommended include the cheesy, deep-fried flautas; the ceviche with its “plump, pristine shrimp”; the pulpo which they call “the crispiest pulpo (octopus) known to humankind”; and the chicken mole with its “deeply complex mole negro de Abuelita Concepcion” which is based on Chef Carreon’s grandmother’s recipe.  They also extol Nixta’s intimate space as both lively and modern, but they also warn (as St. Louis diners already know) you’d be wise to make reservations, because the small restaurant fills up fast.  They also advise diners to stick around past 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, when Nixta becomes Bar Limón: “Think live salsa, merengue, and cumbia, plus plenty of mezcal and tequila.”

Vicia may have an edge over much of the competition, since Bon Appétit editors are already well familiar with Chef Michael Gallina’s work at the internationally renowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Tarrytown, NY).  They come right out and say, “go here for a taste of the finest vegetables, grains, and meats known to Missouri.”  Gallina is praised for giving “the utmost attention to oft-overlooked vegetables” and for “turning out thoughtful, precise shared plates.”  The editors laud praise on the wood-fired, vegetable-forward cuisine with its “impressive char and deep flavor.”  They especially recommend trying the Goose Egg, which they call “gorgeously soft-scrambled eggs presented in what looks like a bird’s nest”; the “very clever” rutabaga carbonara; and the beef fat–basted carrots which the editors called “incomparable” and “a main course unto themselves.”  The Central West End eatery was just named to Eater’s 12 Best New Restaurants in America.

Only one other restaurant in Missouri, the Antler Room in Kansas City made the final 50 cut.  No St. Louis restaurant has made the Hot 10 Best New Restaurants in America list since Bon Appétit restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton introduced this list in 2009.  Nixta creator chef Poremba’s Elaia and Olio were named as finalists in 2013, as was James Beard winning chef Gerard Craft’s Niche.  The ten winners for 2017 will be announced on August 15th.

Frankly Sausages Going Brick-and-Mortar

Frankly Sausages Going Brick-and-Mortar

Cherokee Street Restaurant in the Works for Frankly Sausages

St. Louis, MO/July 23, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – There are some really great food trucks dishing out amazing food around town. One of the best is the chef-driven Frankly (Artisan) Sausages.  Chef Bill Cawthon and wife Jamie Cawthon have been feeding us from their commissary truck for nearly two years.  Now, they’re ready for the next step—the Cawthon’s are opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Cherokee Street.  On the Frankly Sausages Facebook page they wrote:

“Cat is officially out of the bag…

It has been an incredible year and a half introducing Bill’s food to the community through our food truck.  We have spent a lot of time considering where the best, permanent home for Frankly Sausages would be.  We are thrilled to be joining a thriving community of business owners and neighbors on Cherokee St. and look forward to bringing something unique to the table.
We have much more to share in the coming weeks but first wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who has enjoyed our food.  You are the fuel to the fire to keep us growing, expanding and bringing you more.  Thank you for your support, thank you for your critiques, thank you for keeping us so busy that we outgrew our commissary.  Looking forward to serving you on Cherokee Street soon.”

They haven’t given an exact address, but have said they hope to open this fall. St. Louis’ Local Development Co. approved a loan for the project last week.  The Cawthons have begun teasing the new restaurant site on Facebook, even posting picture of the inside with the comment, “The new Frankly Sausages restaurant is looking #whitebox #longwaytogo #comingsoon.”

Frankly Sausages serves made-from-scratch sausages and what may be the best food truck fries anywhere.  These are chef-created, hand-made, artisan sausages.  All of the meats are antibiotic free, hormone free and humanely raised, featuring local products whenever the best is available.  All their pork is sourced locally.  They source produce from area farmers and even grow a lot of their own produce.  But then Chef Bill has a background in fine dining, having served as chef de cuisine at Gerard Craft’s Pastaria, and at Cardwell’s.  High quality ingredients are key to his approach to sausage making.  And it shows.  If you’ve never had fresh, premium sausages, you are missing out.  Seriously.  Each style of sausage is made up of unique ingredients.  There are familiar offerings like beer brats and all-beef hot dogs, along with a rotating menu of specials varieties using ingredients like lamb, alligator, wild boar, and local rabbit or duck.  Unlike a lot of other sandwich purveyors, the fries at Frankly Sausage are not an afterthought.  These are hand cut, brined overnight, fried at a low temperature for creaminess, then fried again on the truck, making them perfectly crispy.

The new Frankly Sausages restaurant on Cherokee Street will expand on the simple, straightforward food truck menu.  We anticipate more special menu items and sides that go beyond the truck’s legendary fries.  We don’t yet know where along Cherokee Street the new place will be, how far Chef Bill’s new menu will push the culinary sausage envelope, or when exactly it will open this fall, but we, and other Frankly Sausages fans are excited, nonetheless.  In the meantime, you can find out where the Frankly Sausages food truck will be by checking the schedule on their website: http://franklysausages.com/.

Vicia to Introduce Chef’s Choice Tasting Menu

Vicia to Introduce Chef’s Choice Tasting Menu

Optional Chef’s Choice Dinner Menu Coming to Vicia

St. Louis, MO/July 13, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – One of the hottest, new restaurant projects in St. Louis is offering something special for customers.  Vicia, the hit restaurant in the Central West End’s Cortex Innovation Community (4260 Forest Park Ave.), is now offering a special chef’s choice tasting menu as an optional experience on their dinner menu.  Co-owned by Blue Hill at Stone Barns alums Michael and Tara Gallina, Vicia opened to great fanfare back in March after much anticipation and business has been booming ever since.

With vegetable-focused cuisine that does not exclude meat, but rather uses it as a complementary flavor for the veggie-based dishes on the menu, Vicia has already brought a unique experience to the St. Louis dining scene.  But the restaurant’s new tasting menu will add a new variety of innovative, fun, and fresh flavors to the mix.  In a similar fashion to the restaurant’s a la carte menu, the chef’s choice tasting menu will not be a set menu.  The options will vary as available ingredients in the kitchen change.  That dynamic and seasonal approach will ensure diners will experience the best meal the chef can create at any given moment.  In some instances, patrons who choose to partake in the tasting menu will get a special sneak peek of new ingredients and menu items, as some dishes might eventually appear on the restaurant’s a la carte menu.

Chef Michael says he’s excited about the creative nature of the new concept.  “I liken the tasting menu to people just letting us cook for them,” said Michael.  “It really is ‘chef’s choice’ and each meal will be different depending what we have available at the very moment, what guests are excited to experience, and of course, what we, in the kitchen, think would make for an amazing feast.”

The tasting menu will consist of six to seven courses and costs $85 per person.  Diners can choose between two wine pairing experiences as a part of the meal.  At $45, diners can enjoy wines made with less familiar varietals.  At $65, their dinners will be paired with organic and sustainable wines made with familiar grape varieties.  According to Vicia, guest food allergies and dietary needs will be taken into account when chef’s choice tasting menu meals are being prepared.  In order to provide a unique experience for each table, the tasting menu will be available for the entire party only.  Guests are encouraged to indicate they wish to enjoy the chef’s choice tasting menu when making their reservations.

Vicia is probably not the restaurant you frequent on a weekly basis—because they are a bit pricy in this writer’s humble opinion—but this new chef’s choice tasting menu excites me nonetheless.  And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll keep Vicia’s Chef’s Choice Tasting Menu in mind when the next special occasion comes around.  It’s a chance to experience a completely fresh culinary opportunity.

Contact Information:

Vicia Restaurant
Owners: Tara and Michael Gallina
Cortex – Central West End
4260 Forest Park Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: (314) 533-9239

TripAdvisor to Audiocast Second Quarter 2017 Conference Call on August 9, 2017

TripAdvisor to Audiocast Second Quarter 2017 Conference Call on August 9, 2017

NEEDHAM, MA/July 7, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) announced today that it will audiocast a conference call on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time to answer questions regarding its second quarter financial results and management’s published remarks.  After the close of market trading on Tuesday, August 8, TRIP will issue a press release reporting results and will simultaneously publish management’s prepared remarks, which may include certain forward-looking information, at http://ir.tripadvisor.com/events.cfm.

The details of the live conference call audiocast and replay are as follows:

What: TRIP Second Quarter 2017 Conference Call
When: Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. ET
Live Call: (877) 224-9081, domestic – (224) 357-2223, international
Replay: (855) 859-2056, passcode 48349233, domestic – (404) 537-3406, passcode 48349233, international
Webcasthttp://ir.tripadvisor.com/events.cfm (live and replay)

About TripAdvisor

TRIP, the world’s largest travel site*, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip.  With more than 500 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide — over 7 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants — TRIP provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat.  TRIP also compares prices from more than 200 hotel booking sites so travelers can find the lowest price on the hotel that’s right for them.  TripAdvisor-branded sites are available in 49 markets, and are home to the world’s largest travel community of 390 million average unique monthly visitors,** all looking to get the most out of every trip.  TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better.  Go better.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 22 other travel media brands:
www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.citymaps.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com.

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Source: News provided by TripAdvisor – distributed by PR Newswire

The Best Tapas & Small Plates in St. Louis

The Best Tapas & Small Plates in St. Louis

St. Louis’ Top 10 Tapas & Small Plate Restaurants

St. Louis, MO/July 2, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Tapas began as appetizers or snacks served in select bars in Spain. Simple offerings of spiced olives, or a few sautéed shrimp were served both hot and cold. But tapas have evolved into an entire, sophisticated cuisine. Today’s small plates offer more than the traditional Spanish flavors, spanning the globe.  In the hands of American chefs, these simple nibbles have grown into elaborate and eclectic sharable dishes.  Today’s small plates present an opportunity to sample several of the most flavorful dishes on the menu and to build a meal that satisfies your individual tastes.

We wanted to know where St. Louis diners go for their favorite small plate meals.  So, we checked the customer reviews, crunched the numbers, and found the top 10 tapas bars and small plate restaurants in the metro area.  Not surprisingly, many of them are also known as terrific wine bars or craft cocktail bars—meaning tapas in St. Louis is still tied to its beginnings as simple, delicious eats designed to accompany a well-made alcoholic beverage.

Topping the list is the appropriately named, Taste.  This Central West End hangout offers New American tapas and highly acclaimed signature cocktails.  It opened in the summer of 2009 on Sidney Street as Taste by Niche, and was quickly popular for its hand crafted cocktails, intimate setting, and thoughtful nibbles.  After outgrowing its first home, the cozy cocktail lounge moved to the Central West End, offering three times the space, a menu of “sharable” fare, and a new name, now simply Taste.

Today, Taste offers a seasonal menu of New American tapas, as well as a concise list of entrees.  Snacks like their bacon fat fried cornbread, deviled eggs, cheese and charcuterie boards are the perfect accompaniments to the acclaimed cocktails created at the Taste bar.  The small plates at Taste are full flavored bites that blend local produce with global flavors.  The menu includes delectable selections like the Union Loafer’s bruschetta—currently available with arugula/almond pesto, local tomatoes, and sherry gastrique; mussels with white wine, curry, fennel, ginger, lime, and cilantro; a flavorful take on gnudi, the pillowy gnocchi-like dumplings are prepared with corn, cotija cheese, chorizo butter, pineapple, fried onions, and cilantro.  Everything on the menu is thoughtfully prepared and served with care, making Taste St. Louis’ favorite place for small plates.

The rest of the top 10 tapas/small plate restaurants offer a variety of settings and cuisines, ranging from classic tapas bars and market cafes to wine bars and craft cocktail lounges.  Here is the full top 10 list:

1. Taste Bar (4.76 stars/469 reviews) Central West End, 4584 Laclede Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63108, (314) 361-1200.
2. Edibles & Essentials (4.71 stars/101 Reviews) St. Louis Hills, 5815 Hampton Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 328-2300.
3. Bella Vino Wine Bar & Tapas (4.49 stars/287 reviews) St Charles, 325 South Main Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301, (636) 724-3434.
4. Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar (4.31 stars/754 Reviews) Downtown, 1004 Locust Street, Saint Louis, MO 63101, (314) 241-8141.
5. Nixta (4.29 stars/62 Reviews) Botanical Heights, 1621 Tower Grove, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 932-1088.
6. Mango Peruvian Cuisine (4.28 stars/1215 Reviews) Downtown, 1001 Washington Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63101, (314) 621-9993.
7. Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar (4.26 stars/337 Reviews) Clayton, 222 South Bemiston Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63105, (314) 726-5757.
8. Farmhaus (4.26 stars/392 Reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3257 Ivanhoe Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 647-3800.
9. Robust at The MX (4.16 stars/260 reviews) Downtown, 635 Washington Ave., Saint Louis, MO, 63101, (314) 287-6300.
10. Público (4.15 stars/177 reviews) University City Loop, 6679 Delmar Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63130, (314) 833-5780.

As often happens when we publish a top 10 list, we found several places that offer great tapas or small plates, but didn’t quite fit into the top 10.  Either they had really high marks, but not enough customer reviews (minimum 50), or they’re already well loved, and better known for something else.  These notable establishments earn Honorable Mentions:

Cellar House (4.58 stars/26 reviews) Oakville, 6039 Telegraph Road, St Louis, MO 63129, (314) 846-5100.  This cozy wine bar and scratch restaurant offers a nice selection of small plates that pair well with wine.  Everything is fresh, and made with locally sourced, organic ingredients whenever possible.  Plus they offer 20 wines by the glass, more than 200 wines by the bottle, a nice selection of craft beers, and craft cocktails.

Polite Society (4.53 stars/47 reviews) Lafayette Square, 1923 Park Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 325-2553.  This contemporary, sophisticated bar and restaurant opened in 2016.  They feature a menu of seasonal small plates that change throughout the year.  From apps like shrimp and grits, to creamy cheese spatzle, and a nice selection of salumi and farmhouse cheese, there are plenty of small plates to keep your interest.  There’s also a great wine-by-the-glass selection, plus several signature cocktails.

Small Batch (4.21 stars/241 reviews) Midtown, 3001 Locust Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 380-2040.  Although not strictly a tapas restaurant, Small Batch offers a very nice selection of small plates to accompany their excellent small batch whiskey offerings.  Customers rave about dishes like cauliflower with bourbon buffalo sauce and bleu cheese, vegetarian rangoon with pineapple cream cheese; and perfectly crispy poutine with chihuahua cheese and peppered white gravy.

Frank Romano Joins BaiKu Sushi Lounge, Triumph Grill Restaurant as General Manager

Frank Romano Joins BaiKu Sushi Lounge, Triumph Grill Restaurant as General Manager

Romano brings with him a vast knowledge of food and wine and an inherent sense of creating a vibrant atmosphere – BaiKu Sushi Lounge & Triumph Grill Restaurant

ST. LOUIS, MO/June 24, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – BaiKu Sushi Lounge and Triumph Grill, two esteemed restaurants located in Midtown, are proud to announce the addition of Frank Romano as their new general manager.

Romano brings with him a vast knowledge of food and wine and an inherent sense of creating a vibrant atmosphere.  His background as the general manager for Robust Wine Bar is an asset for BaiKu Sushi Lounge while his experience in food and beverage combinations will make him instrumental in Triumph Grill’s evolution.  “He’s a seasoned veteran in the business who has a strong wine and beverage background, as well as a management style that works well with the Triumph Grill and BaiKu Sushi Lounge culture,” said Brad Beracha, President of REV Hospitality Group, which owns Triumph Grill and BaiKu Sushi Lounge.  “We work great together on menu engineering, and we plan on rolling out a new menu in August.”

The addition of Romano will enhance the restaurants’ atmospheres, create a new set of service standards, and help the businesses grow in new directions.

Romano is looking forward to working at both restaurants.

“It will be a pleasure working once more with Chef Eliott Harris,” said Romano, who worked with both Harris and Beracha while serving as general manager of Miso on Meramec.  “BaiKu itself is unlike any other sushi restaurant in town.  It’s a truly unique experience for our guests, and the sushi is delicious.  As for Triumph Grill, it has so much to offer from breakfast and lunch to dinner, and it features a private party space.  The design and vibe are unique – I don’t know of anyone who gets to work every day in a place that has a motorcycle museum and dealership attached to their restaurant!”

BaiKu Sushi Lounge is a high-end sushi lounge in St. Louis, located in the boutique Hotel Ignacio on Olive Street.  BaiKu Sushi Lounge serves authentic sushi and sashimi, using the freshest fish.  The restaurant features a lunch and dinner menu, as well as a happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  For more information about BaiKu Sushi Lounge, visit http://www.baikustl.com or call (314) 896-2500.

Triumph Grill is the sister restaurant of BaiKu Sushi Lounge and is known for its delicious American cuisine and unique atmosphere. Located in Grand Center next to the Moto Museum and Moto Europa, Triumph Grill offers multiple private dining areas that can accommodate up to 35 people for sit-down meals and up to 50 people for standing cocktail parties.  For information about Triumph Grill, visit http://www.triumphgrill.com or call (314) 446-1801.

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Source: 24-7 Press Release

Published on STLRestaurant.News by M.S.