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Last Food Trucks of the Season in Frontier Park

Last Food Trucks of the Season in Frontier Park

Last Night of Music, Food Trucks, and Friends at Frontier Park

St. Louis, MO/October 15, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – What could be more fun than a beautiful fall day in the park? How about a beautiful fall evening in the park with friends, neighbors, live music, and more than a dozen food trucks offering everything from tacos and beer to barbecue and cake?  The series of summer events known simply as Food Trucks in Frontier Park is winding down with one final evening of frivolity and great food along the Missouri Riverfront.  The last event of the year is set for Tuesday, October 17th from 5–8:00 p.m.

Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. Sit back, and enjoy live entertainment as you indulge in a variety of delicious food and beverage options.  Please note that some trucks may be cash only.  The food trucks participating in this final event of the season include:

Angie Burger – premium burgers and tots
Cheese Shack Food Truck – gourmet grilled cheese and deep-fried macaroni & cheese balls
Chris’ Smokehouse – slow-smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and ribs
Guerrilla Streetfood – Filipino classics featuring Midwest influences
Doughboy’s Wood Fired Pizza – traditional pizza, some made with ranch-based sauce
Lion’s Choice – roast beef sandwiches, natural-cut fries, and frozen custard
Sarah’s Cake Stop – luscious cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and gooey butter cake
STL BLT – creative BLTs (bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches) and fresh chips
The Sweet Divine – imaginative cupcakes and fresh whoopie pies
Thai Jasmine – pad thai, glass noodles, fried rice, and more
Twisted Tacos – gourmet fusion tacos and sides
Wayno’s Mobile International Cuisine – global cuisine, sandwiches,and sides
Wing Nut – jumbo split party wings, chicken tenders, loaded fries, and apps
Zia’s – toasted ravioli, house salad, and Italian favorites
Trailhead Brewing Co. – beer and American fare

Enjoy a live musical performance by Short Term Memory.  The six-member band is popular for their wide range of classic rock and pop hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s.  Their song list includes the Beatles, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Tom Petty, Maroon 5, Green Day, Van Halen, Nirvana, the Beastie Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Ramones, Billy Joel, U2, Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller and more.  You can learn more about Short Term Memory, including upcoming play dates on their Facebook page.

This last Food Truck event of the year at Frontier Park promises to be an evening of family fun in one of St. Charles’ most scenic parks along the Missouri River.  Keep in mind that outside alcoholic beverages and glass containers are prohibited, and coolers may be checked at the entrance.  Also, local laws prohibit bringing pets, other than service animals, to this event.  For more information about Food Trucks in Frontier Park visit the St. Charles Parks & Recreation website.

Event Information:

Food Trucks in Frontier Park
500 South Riverside Drive,
St. Charles, MO 63301
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
5–8:00 p.m.

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

New Concept in the Works for Old Randolfi’s Space in U. City

New Concept in the Works for Old Randolfi’s Space in U. City

Privado Will Bring Weekend Fine Dining & Pop-Up Venue to the Loop

University City, MO/October 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Privado is Spanish for private.  That’s the name acclaimed chef Mike Randolph has chosen for the new concept eatery he’s opening in the footprint of Randolfi’s, which closed in September after two years in The Loop.  Privado is a fitting moniker for the place, given the concept which combines intimate fine dining experiences with private events and guest chef pop-up dinners.  A two-time James Beard semifinalist, Randolph says he envisions Privado as “a culinary idea house” where adventurous diners and chefs can explore food-centric experiences together.

Randolph plans to offer dinner service Friday and Saturday evenings.  The chef calls it fine dining, but it won’t be your typical candlelit dinner.  Instead, Randolph says it will feel much more private.  There will be just one sitting, at 7:00 p.m.  And it will be intimate.  Just 16 diners will be seated in front of the open exhibition kitchen.  Like his Diversion Dinners series at Half and Half, Randolph says the front of the restaurant will be dark, with chairs on the tables to evoke the appearance that the place is closed and that the meal is a private, after-hours affair.  Ticketed diners will enjoy a 12-15 course tasting experience from a menu that won’t be fully disclosed in advance.  In a statement, Randolph called the dinners “an evolution of [the chef’s] past tasting menu experiences of Little Country Gentleman to Diversion Dinners.”  The first dinner is set for Friday, October 20th.  Tickets for this unique culinary experience are $100 each, exclusive of tax and tip, and can be purchased online.

On weeknights, Chef Randolph plans to invite guest chefs to create pop-up dinners in the space.  Privado has a wood-burning fire, and the chef has expressed interest in using it to create some unique dining experiences, possibly including some special pizza nights.  In a release, Randolph said, “Privado will be a playground for the culinary adventurers in an approachable setting without the pretense of fine dining.”

The rest of the time, Privado will serve as a private events venue.  The space can be booked for private parties and corporate meetings.  Randolph says they plan to tailor the experience to suit the group.  That includes the catering menu, which can be comprised of anything and everything the Randolph family of restaurants has to offer.  According to the Privado website, Chef Randolph can also create interactive experiences, like pizza making demonstrations.

The bar at Privado will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, offering innovative cocktail service.  Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows, but reservations are strongly recommended to ensure your chance to participate in what promises to be a unique, private dining experience.

Contact Information:

Privado
6665 Delmar Blvd.
The Loop
University City, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 899-9221

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

New Local Craft Brewer 1st in US to Focus on NA Beer

Wellbeing Brewing Co. is Crafting Non-Alcoholic Beer

St. Louis, MO/October 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Beer making has a long history in St. Louis.  Some of the biggest labels in the world originated in the Gateway City.  Maybe it’s our largely German heritage; maybe it’s because it goes so well with barbecue and baseball, but beer is a quintessentially St. Louis beverage.  We drink it by the glass, can, bottle, and growler.  There are about 40 craft breweries in operation in the St. Louis region, with new ones opening every year.  Each craft brewer offers a unique spin on this classic beverage.  Now, one up-and-coming brewery plans to focus their efforts on making beer that offers a great craft brew taste, sans the alcohol.

Wellbeing Brewing Company is the first brewer in the United States wholly dedicated to brewing Non-Alcoholic craft beers.  NA beers generally contain less than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Compare that to a few popular beers on the market like Budweiser (5% ABV), Schlafly Pale Ale (4.4% ABV), Urban Chestnut Zwickel (5.2% ABV), and O’Fallon Brewing’s 5 Day IPA (6.1% ABV), and the difference in alcohol content is obvious. But what about the flavor?

Longtime beer and spirits adman, Jeff Stevens wanted to bring the flavorful craft beer movement to people like himself, people who don’t drink alcohol.  To Stevens, St. Louis—with its rich brewing history and robust craft beer industry—was the perfect place to launch this new kind of craft brewery.  So, he and wife Genevieve Barlow founded Wellbeing Brewing Company.

In order to get this craft brewing startup started, Stevens reached out to others in St. Louis’ tight-knit craft brewing industry for help.  First, he enlisted help from Jim Gorczyca’s O’Fallon Brewery.  Their new Maryland Heights production facility has enough brewing capacity to keep up with demands for its own labels, and brew beer for smaller craft brewers and startups like Wellbeing.  They also have the space for the German-made Centec machine and it’s nearly 30-foot high stacks that recovers vapors created in the beer-making process, allowing brewers to make a more flavorful NA product.  Unlike the stop-fermentation method used in many NA beers, Wellbeing’s process gently removes the alcohol from fully brewed, finished craft beer, retaining more flavor, and thus, allowing the production of more NA varieties.

Wellbeing will be debuting their Heavenly Body NA Golden Wheat and Hellraiser NA Dark Amber at several local events this October.  Heavenly Body is an American-Style Wheat Beer that Stevens describes as “light and refreshing, with fewer calories and more flavor than its light lager cousins.” Hellraiser is a British Brown Ale.  Stevens says it has “soft chocolate, caramel, and toasted nut flavors and just enough earthy hops to offset the sweetness of the malt.”  The brewers will be looking for feedback this fall as they continue to tweak the recipes.  The finished beers should be available for sale (both bottles and kegs) by January 2018.  The distribution is still a work in progress, but initially the beer will be available at O’Fallon Brewery (45 Progress Pkwy, Maryland Heights) and Lafayette Square’s Fields Foods (1500 Lafayette Ave, St. Louis).  Wellbeing’s NA craft brews will eventually be available for sale online as well.  Interested beer lovers can sign up for NA craft brew updates on Wellbeing’s website: https://wellbeingbrewing.com/.

Information:

Wellbeing Brewing Company
Owners: Jeff Stevens and Genevieve Barlow
at
O’Fallon Brewery
45 Progress Pkwy
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

Fresh, House-made Goodness at Molldeli’s Delicatessen

Fresh, House-made Goodness at Molldeli’s Delicatessen

South County’s Chef-Led Sandwich & Pizza Destination is Molldeli’s

St. Louis, MO/October 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Sandwiches are part of the food fabric of America. We love eating our meal between two slices of bread.  The sandwich is a convenient and tasty option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  According to Smithsonian Magazine, on any given day, about half of all Americans will eat at least one sandwich.  About the only thing we eat nearly as often as sandwiches is pizza—about 46-slices a year each!  So, a chef driven sandwich shop that also makes great pizza might be the ideal quick service restaurant.  In South St. Louis County that combination of made-to-order pizza and fresh sandwiches is served up daily at Molldeli’s Delicatessen, 11836 Tesson Ferry Road in Concord.

Molldeli’s is a family owned and operated restaurant that opened just about 6 years ago, in 2011, specializing in handmade sandwiches and pizza crafted using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.  But then General Manager Brad Brockmeier is a classically trained Chef.  His approach to creating Molldeli’s signature sandwiches, salads, pizza, and other creative dishes (Poutine, anyone?) is to combine the freshest, high quality ingredients with a passion for good food.

At Molldeli’s they make almost everything from scratch. From fresh aioli, dressings and soups like roasted carrot and fennel, to house-made pastrami and meats roasted in house daily, the quality of the ingredients elevates every dish.  One of their specialties is their meatball sandwich.  They make the meatballs by hand using a combination of pork and beef, and their house-made marinara.  Then pile them on fresh, locally baked bread.  These sandwiches are so popular that when they have them, they frequently sell out.  The local favorite from the daily menu is the French dip roast beef, made with house-roasted beef piled on French bread with your choice of cheese (Provel, Swiss, pepper jack, provolone, cheddar, or American) and served with au jus.  Another popular Molldeli’s pick is the Cubano Sandwich, a classic pressed Cuban made with their slow roasted pork shoulder, genoa salami, ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and dill pickle.

If you’re looking for something a little leafier, Molldeli’s does great salads too.  There are the classic choices: Caesar, Greek, chef’s salad, and a nice house salad with romaine, red peppers and Provel cheese.  They also do a killer BLT salad and a Buffalo chicken salad that comes with your choice of grilled or fried chicken tossed in hot sauce.  Both are topped with their house-made blue cheese dressing.  Molldeli’s also offers a nice selection of appetizers, including handmade toasted ravioli and delicious macaroni bites.

One of the things they’re best known for is their authentic St. Louis-style pizza.  Their thin-crust pies are so popular, they took the #5 spot on our customer review-based list of St. Louis’ Top 10 Pizza Restaurants for August 2017.  The crust at Molldeli’s is thin and crispy.  The sauce is sweet and slightly spicy, and the toppings are generously portioned.  Diners can choose to create their own favorites from a list of classic toppings, or choose one of their specialty pizzas, including the Molldeli’s Deluxe (sausage, mushrooms, bacon, onions, green pepper, and Provel) and the Buffalo chicken pizza with hot sauce, provolone, and a drizzle of Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing.

The beverage selection at Molldeli’s isn’t your run of the mill variety.  After upgrading their license this spring they began selling St. Louis-made KomBlu bottled kombucha.  The fermented teas come in a variety of fruit flavors and are lighter and slightly sweeter than many other traditional kombuchas.  You’ll also find some locally produced soft drinks in the case, like Lucky Club Cola and Ski, both from Excel Bottling Company in Breese, Illinois.

Molldeli’s is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Molldeli’s Delicatessen is one of South County’s favorite fresh sandwich and authentic St. Louis-style pizza destinations. Hint: When you stop in, don’t leave without one of their delectable brownies or gooey butter squares.  Like everything else they make, the freshness shines through in these sweet delights.  The fresh ingredients, scratch made soups and sauces, and creative daily specials are proof positive that the Molldeli’s crew is passionate about creating a memorable meal between two slices of bread.

Contact Information:

Molldeli’s Delicatessen
Owner: Dana and Glen Henson
General Manager: Chef Brad Brockmeier
11836 Tesson Ferry Road
St. Louis, MO 63128
Phone: (314) 729-1800

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

End of an Era as Lubeley’s Bakery & Deli Closes

End of an Era as Lubeley’s Bakery & Deli Closes

Retirement Brings End to Local Bakery After 80 Years – Lubeley’s Bakery

St. Louis, MO/October 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Another iconic last-generation St. Louis business is gone. Lubeley’s Bakery & Deli at 7815 Watson Road in Marlborough closed at the end of September.  The family-owned business had served St. Louis for 80 years.  The owners, brother and sister, Helen Lubeley-Murray and Bob Lubeley, both in their mid-60s, said it was time to retire.  The closing of Lubeley’s marked the end of an era.

Helen and Bob grew up working in the bakery and had run the business since 1980.  It was their parents, Helen and Ed Lubeley who opened the family’s original bakery in 1937 at Kingshighway and Neosho in South St. Louis.  The bakery moved to Webster Groves in the mid-1940s.  Their father Ed died in 1992.  Their mother Helen passed in 2014 at age 101.  She had been active in running the business well into her 90s.  There is no third generation to take over the bakery, so Lubeley’s has closed for good.

The bakery’s specialty had been German-style cakes, stollens, breads, pastries and cookies, as well as wedding cakes.  They served local customers and shipped baked goods nationwide too.  The most recent Lubeley’s incarnation offered fresh donuts daily and a full-service deli, with soups, salads, party trays, and sandwiches made on their fresh-baked bread and rolls.  They were widely known for their gooey butter cake, which was available in assorted varieties including cinnamon, pumpkin, and a cherry-chocolate chip variety dubbed “Cardinal Sin.”  In recent years, they had added a line of specialty baked goods for dogs.

When customers learned the neighborhood German bakery was closing, there was a run on fresh donuts and stollen.  Business had been so brisk that several days during their last full week in business, Lubeley’s sold out and had to close early.  Demand had been so strong that they were also closed Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 25–26, “so that the bakers can restock.”  The Lubeleys wanted to make sure there was enough in their final days to make sure everyone who wanted could have one last sweet memory to take home.

On Saturday, September 30, 2017, Lubeley’s Bakery closed for the last time.  On Facebook, the owners wrote: “Thank you for over 80 years of business.”  They went on to thank their loyal customers and staff, adding, “We will miss all our friends but looking forward to retirement.”

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

Growth at St. Louis Hop Shop Means Bigger Digs

Growth at St. Louis Hop Shop Means Bigger Digs

Craft Beer Seller, St. Louis Hop Shop Now Open in New Store

St. Louis, MO/October 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – The southwest corner of Cherokee Street and Jefferson Avenue in South St. Louis has been many things over the years.  Several shops and businesses have occupied the corner space, including, at different times, a record store and a furniture shop.  It was even used for storage, with the windows covered in brown paper.  Now, it’s the new home of the St. Louis Hop Shop.  The craft beer purveyors just moved into the new digs at 2600 Cherokee Street, giving them a lot more room for a lot more beer.

Brothers Justin Harris and Ryan Griffin had opened the original St. Louis Hop Shop in 2015 in a smaller space up the block (2606 Cherokee).  As craft beer lovers, they say they were inspired to open their shop when they became aware that there was no place in the City of St. Louis to sample a large selection of the region’s many craft brews, as well as artisan beers from across the country.  So, they decided the best way to solve that dilemma for themselves, as well as other craft beer lovers, was to open a shop where they could bring the beer to the people.

St. Louis Hop Shop is a special place, part craft beer tasting room and part packaged liquor store.  It quickly became one of the best places in the city to try a wide variety of brews all in one trip.  That’s because the shop allows customers to sample what’s on tap and to purchase single packaged beers, meaning you can try just enough to get a good impression of the brew, without the cost of buying an entire six-pack.  The original 880-square foot shop offered hundreds of labels—from familiar brands to rare brews.  They had a lot stuffed into that space, including a seven-foot bar with four rotating taps.

And that was the problem.  The brothers say they simply outgrew the space.  With the need for more shelf, storage, and tap space, they moved the shop three doors east, to the much larger corner spot.  The new, 1500-square foot shop features an even bigger packaged beer selection and a new, 10-foot bar with seven rotating taps.  Just as at the original location, customers can sip a beer from the bar as they browse the shelves.  Harris and Griffin say the new space will make it easier to give people access to even more of everything.  The new digs mean they have the room to add an assortment of local spirits to the stock.  They also plan to offer some chilled growlers for customers to enjoy in the shop.  And the future will likely include tap takeovers, special events, and more of the best the world of craft beer has to offer.

Contact Information:

Saint Louis Hop Shop
Owners: Justin Harris and Ryan Griffin
2600 Cherokee Street
Cherokee Street Business District/Gravois Park
Saint Louis, MO 63118
Phone: (314) 261-4011

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

Ghoulish Goodies with Olivino Tasting Bar

Ghoulish Goodies with Olivino Tasting Bar - STLRestaurant.News

Olivino is Bringing Halloween Fun to St. Charles

St. Charles, MO/October 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Halloween is a time of ghosts and goblins, scary stories, and trick-or-treat.  For some, this candy-laden holiday is their favorite.  It’s certainly a great excuse to have a party, and the terrific staff at Olivino Tasting Bar at 1650 Beale Street, Suite 167 in St. Charles is inviting you to join them for a special Halloween treat.

Ghoulish Goodies with Olivino Tasting Bar

Ghoulish Goodies with Olivino Tasting Bar

Ghoulish Goodies with Olivino is the Halloween party for anyone who’s planning to host their own Halloween fete.  That’s because it’s a special cooking demonstration where you will learn to make spooky and ghoulish goodies for your own upcoming Halloween party!  Tickets for the event Tuesday, October 17th at 6:00 p.m. are $5 each and they’re on sale now.

This event is a great chance to enjoy demonstrations and sample these unique treats that will wow your ghosts and guests!  The healthy and unique treats you’ll learn to make are suitable for all ages, and there will be some “gruesome” Sangria for adults!  Ticket includes plenty of samples of the ghoulish goodies, and you’ll go home with a recipe for each!

Olivino Tasting Bar specializes in bringing Ultra Premium extra virgin olive oils from around the world and balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy to customers in the St. Charles/St. Louis area.  At Olivino, you are always invited to come, taste, and learn about these exquisite culinary essentials from a knowledgeable and helpful staff.  Complimentary tastings give Olivino customers the chance to explore their excellent selection of fine culinary ingredients, as well as a chance to learn more about these special oils and balsamics.

Beside the Ultra Premium extra virgin olive oils and fine balsamics, Olivino also carries gourmet food items and specialty items like seasoning rubs, salts, olives, and pastas.  There are also gifts from local vendors and artists, along with a variety of unique serving dishes.

Tickets for Ghoulish Goodies with Olivino are on sale now at olivinotastingbar.myshopify.com.

Event Information

Ghoulish Goodies with Olivino
Tuesday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Olivino Tasting Bar
1650 Beale Street, Suite 167
Streets of St. Charles
Saint Charles, Missouri 63303
Phone: (636) 757-5455

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By Kara Savio – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in St. Louis

The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in St. Louis

The Top 10 Places to Dine with Fido this Fall

St. Louis, MO/October 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Fall is an amazing time to be outdoors in St. Louis.  It’s the time of turning leaves and cooler temperatures.  It’s also a great time to get outside with family and friends—especially your four-legged friends!  As you enjoy the activities of autumn, you and your dog will surely work up an appetite.  But where do you go for a bite when Fido’s in tow?  You head for one of St. Louis many dog-friendly restaurants, of course!  And there are hundreds of eateries with terrific patios that welcome your pooch to dine with you.

For the second year in a row, we checked the customer reviews to find out where St. Louis dog lovers go to enjoy the fabulous fall weather and grab a bite with their BFF (best furry friend).  Last year’s number one choice, Edibles & Essentials (5815 Hampton Ave. in Saint Louis Hills) has slipped to number two.   It’s still a terrific choice, as are all of the restaurants and cafes that made the 2017 top 10 list.

This year’s number one pick is a Ballwin restaurant that takes farm-to-table cuisine to a whole new level.  Chef Rob Uyemura opened his Local Chef Kitchen in February 2016 on the principle that locally sourced, high quality food should be delicious, accessible, and affordable.  Chef Uyemura is committed to making farm-to-table a mainstay for his customers.  He uses seasonal, local ingredients to create an ever-changing menu of quick-service American classics.

Chef Uyemura has said the goal at Local Chef Kitchen is to make locally-produced foods easily available to the St. Louis area community through delicious, imaginative cuisine.  According to customers, he’s hitting the mark.  They rave about the creative menu, the heritage pork and Waygu beef dishes, as well as the friendly staff.  Locally sourced, pasture-raised meats, free range poultry, cage-free eggs, hormone-free milk, cheese, and ice cream, as well as locally made Kombucha are all available for purchase too.  Local Chef Kitchen also offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program (available June through October) and Farm to School lunch program.

The outdoor dining space at Local Chef Kitchen isn’t large, just a few tables.  But whether you’re grabbing a great lunch or weekend breakfast, customers say this is their favorite dog-friendly place to eat it.  If you and your pup aren’t in the Ballwin area, never fear!  There are some terrific restaurants that also welcome dogs across the metro area.  Here are the top 10 dog-friendly restaurants in St. Louis this fall, according to customer reviews:

1. Local Chef Kitchen (4.77 stars/60 reviews) Ballwin, 15270 Manchester Road #130, Ballwin, MO 63011, (636) 220-3212.
2. Edibles & Essentials (4.73 stars/116 reviews) Saint Louis Hills, 5815 Hampton Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 328-2300.
3. Kitchen House Coffee (4.62 stars/60 reviews) Tower Grove East, 3149 Shenandoah Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 732-0009.
4. Pizzeoli – Wood Fired Neapolitan Pizza (4.59 stars/184 reviews) Soulard, 1928 South 12th Street, Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 449-1111.
5. Bella Vino Wine Bar & Tapas (4.49 stars/303 reviews) St. Charles Historic District, 325 South Main Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301, (636) 724-3434.
6. Brasilia (4.45 stars/98 reviews) Tower Grove East, 3212 South Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63118, (314) 932-1034.
7. Milque Toast Bar (4.39 stars/85 reviews) McKinley Heights, 2212 South Jefferson Ave, St. Louis, MO 63104, (314) 833-0085.
8. Southwest Diner (4.38 stars/527 reviews) Ellendale, 6803 Southwest Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63143, (314) 260-7244.
9. Kalbi Taco Shack (4.35 stars/71 reviews) Benton Park, 2301 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, MO 63118, (314) 240-5544.
10. Salt + Smoke (4.23 stars/1173 reviews) The Loop, 6525 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO 63130, (314) 727-0200.

There are always a few places that are well loved, but don’t quite make the Top 10 list.  We want you to know about these other terrific options, so to them we offer Honorable Mentions:

Nixta (4.22 stars/98 reviews) Botanical Heights/McRee Town, 1621 Tower Grove Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 899-9000.  This cozy restaurant was just named one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the U.S.A. by Bon Appetit magazine.  Nixta specializes in contemporary chef-driven cuisine with nods to Mexico and the Caribbean.  And they have a terrific, dog-friendly patio.

Righteous Pig BBQ (3.845 stars/116 reviews) Belleville, 124 East Main Street, Belleville, IL 62220, (618) 520-8817.  This laid-back restaurant in the heart of downtown Belleville serves charcoal and wood-smoked meats plus classic sides and unique sauces.  A large sidewalk seating area makes for great people and dog-watching.

Good Luck Bar and Grill (4.00 stars/25 reviews) Soulard, 2501 South 9th Street, Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 833-5825.  Owner Patrick Lowery describes his place as a classic corner spot with simple food that’s good and affordable.  It’s an American bar with an Irish twist and a great side yard seating area for outdoor fun.

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

James Beard Nominee to Create Grab & Go Breakfast/Lunch Café

James Beard Nominee to Create Grab & Go Breakfast/Lunch Café

Rob Connoley’s Squatter’s Café Coming to Grand Center

St. Louis, MO/October 7, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – What does a James Beard Foundation nominated chef do to fill his time while working on plans for his foraged-food based dinner restaurant?  If he’s acclaimed Chef Rob Connoley, he opens a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch joint in Grand Center.  Connoley announced his plans for Squatters Café in a press release this week.  The café will be located in the footprint of the shuttered Magnolia Café inside the KDHX building (3524 Washington Ave, St. Louis).

Connoley’s new counter-service restaurant will offer “familiar breakfast and lunch items that only use exceptional ingredients.”  The chef says anything they can make themselves will be made onsite.  “We’re all geared up to mill our own grains,” Connoley said.  “Expect unforgettable yogurt bowls, seasonal meaty grits plates and amazing baked goods,” he added.  Squatters Café should open in the first week of November.

The scratch-prepped café menu shouldn’t surprise anyone, given Connoley’s background.  He could be called the American authority on foraged food.  The Bridgeton native made a name for himself in New Mexico with his restaurant the Curious Kumquat.  There he integrated unfamiliar foraged foods with quality locally-grown produce in a modern context.  Connoley says he began foraging out of necessity.  Since he was cooking in a rather remote community, he says he didn’t have access to local farmers and suppliers for seasonal ingredients.  Being in New Mexico, he didn’t follow the foraging trends of Danish superstar Chef René Redzepi, but instead looked to the native Apache culture to learn about foraging.  For his effort, Connoley received a James Beard Foundation Best Chef nomination in 2014.  His cookbook, Acorns and Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm and Field, was published in 2016.

After 30-years away, the acclaimed chef says he came home last year so he can be closer to his family.  Since returning, he’s been presenting a series of pop-up dinners.  Earlier this year Connoley had announced plans to open a new restaurant in St. Louis called Bulrush.  The chef has said he envisions Bulrush as a small-venue restaurant, most likely a ticketed affair, where he can showcase his foraged cuisine, drawing on ingredients available in the St. Louis area—allowing him to flex his culinary muscle and expand his repertoire.  He says he is still formulating plans for Bulrush, and hopes to open it sometime next year.  Connoley says this new venture is in addition to those plans.

In the meantime, you can catch up with Chef Rob Connoley later this month at EarthDance’s 10th Annual Farmers Formal at Union Station October 13th.  The event brings together top local chefs and their favorite farmers to create exquisite food and features local libations, live entertainment, as well as silent and live auctions.  Ticket prices for individuals and groups of 10 range from $150 – $521 each.  All proceeds will benefit EarthDance, St. Louis’ own nationally recognized Organic Farm School.

Event Information:

Farmers Formal 2017
Friday, October 13, 2017
6–10:30pm
St. Louis Union Station
1820 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63103

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By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

Brew in the Lou

Brew in the Lou

It began as a simple fundraiser for the Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA), but Brew in the Lou has grown into an annual festival celebrating locally produced beer, wine, and spirits. Now in its fifth year, the festival is returning to Francis Park on Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 1–5:00 p.m. It will be the second year the LESA fundraiser brings beer, wine, spirits, food, and fun to the Lily Pond.