Tag - U City

Another Restaurant in The Delmar Loop Closing

Another Restaurant in The Delmar Loop Closing

Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen Will Close in September

University City, MO/September 2, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – In some places, the only constant is change. The Delmar Loop is one such place.  The pseudo-residential entertainment district is an eclectic collection of quirky shops, unique restaurants, and one of the best people-watching venues in the metro area.  Just as it is always busy, it seems to also be a place always in flux—dynamic and ever-changing.

Sometimes the changes are good, like when the Delmar Loop was designated a Green Dining District, with LED lighting and cigarette butt recycling containers added to the street.  Sometimes the news is bad, when someone or something is lost.  This week’s news is the latter kind.  In a Facebook announcement this week, we learned that Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen at 6665 Delmar Blvd. will close at the end of service Saturday, Sept. 9.

Open just two years, the restaurant was the brainchild of James Beard-nominated chef Mike Randolph and his wife/partner Liz Randolph.  It had been chef Randolph’s homage to his Italian roots, but with his uniquely playful take on classic fare. Randolph’s culinary philosophy calls for him to challenge expectations of the norm.  Menu items at Randolfi’s cover the traditional Italian restaurant range from antipasti, salads, and starters to house made, shareable pasta courses, oven-roasted entrees, and chef’s famous Neapolitan-style pizza, but at Randolfi’s there’s generally a touch of the unexpected, like making a classic Caesar Salad with kale.

As seems to be a trend in the modern business era, the Randolph’s took to Facebook Monday to announced their plans to close the restaurant.  They wrote:

“It is with heavy hearts that we are announcing the closure of Randolfi’s.  Our last day of service will be Saturday, September 9th.  We’ve thrown everything that we have into this restaurant.  There have been a lot of tears, but it’s time to close the chapter.  We are so proud of what we’ve accomplished at Randolfi’s.  We appreciate every kind word and every satisfied diner who’s supported us.  Randolfi’s was called the ‘most soulful restaurant in St. Louis’ last year, and that’s exactly how we feel about the food and the experience.”

The restaurant was a tribute to Chef Randolph’s family heritage, especially to his late father.  The name Randolfi was his family’s name before they moved to the United States from Italy.  In announcing their plans, the Randolphs called the decision to close “deeply personal.”  Chef Randolph also lauded praise on his chef de cuisine Tommy Andrew, calling Chef Andrew “one of the most talented chefs that I’ve ever had the pleasure of standing shoulder to shoulder with in the kitchen.”  Chef Randolph went on to say, “Liz and I will be the first to dine wherever he lands.”

Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen was chef Randolph’s second restaurant in the space—sort of.  In 2014, he moved the Good Pie, his Neapolitan pizzeria, from Midtown.  It morphed into Randolfi’s the next year.  It’s unclear if the Randolphs are calling it quits at the Delmar location, or if they’ll open a new concept in the space.  For now, we can still enjoy chef Randolph’s critically acclaimed Central American-inspired gastropub, Público (6679 Delmar Blvd, University City), and the breakfast and brunch spot Liz Randolph runs in Clayton, Half & Half (8133 Maryland Ave).  Only time will tell what the couple cooks up next.


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

Now Open: The Mad Crab in University City

Now Open: The Mad Crab in University City - STLRestaurant.News

BYOB (Build Your Own Boil) at the Mad Crab

University City, MO/August 9, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – No plates!  Who ever heard of a restaurant with no plates?  At the Mad Crab at 8080 Olive Blvd. in University City, they line the tables with paper and serve your boil or fried basket right on the table—they just dump it out and you dig in.  This is fresh, casual dining at its best.

The concept may be new to St. Louis, but it’s old hat in Texas and California.  First time restaurateurs and brothers Nam and Victor Ho modeled their restaurant after similar concepts Victor Ho had discovered while living in Dallas.  Victor Ho had moved to Texas after selling his successful nail supply business (Max Beauty Source) on Olive to other family members a few years ago.  He’s partnered with his brother Nam Ho in the new venture.  Nam Ho, who lives here, manages the Mad Crab’s day-to-day operations, including leading the restaurant’s culinary team.

The Mad Crab opened July 17th at 8080 Olive Blvd., where Kim Son Vietnamese Bistro had been before it closed in May.  The Ho brothers gave the restaurant a nautical facelift, with wood planking on some walls, lots of netting, and rustic wooden posts that give the interior a seaside vibe.  Victor gives University City officials credit for moving things along swiftly so that he and Nam could get the restaurant up and running in such a short time.

The ultra-simple concept puts the focus on the fresh seafood itself.  Customers choose which seafood to include in their boil: blue crab, crab legs (Snow, Dungeness or King crab), crawfish, lobster, shrimp (heads on or off), oysters, clams, or mussels.  Seafood is priced by the pound, and varies based on market prices because it’s fresh.  Frozen crawfish can be had for $6/pound.  Clams will run you $11/pound, mussels $10/pound. Mix and match the seafood options any way you like.  Diners can order steamed rice to go with their BYOB or add the traditional corn, potatoes, or sausage to their boil, then pick from three flavor options that can be combined any way you want.  The choices include: Cajun, lemon pepper, and garlic sauce, or “The Whole Sha-Bang!” which combines all three.  Spice levels can be adjusted too.  The menu explains the range this way: non spicy (plain n simple), mild (just a kick), medium (it’s getting HOT in here!) and XXX (I can’t feel my mouth).  The seafood is boiled, seasoned, and literally dumped on your paper-lined table—no plates or utensils.  It really is a fun way to eat, especially if you’re sharing.

The fried baskets work on the same principle.  They offer breaded, fried catfish, fried shrimp or fried chicken tenders.  Each is served with an order of French fries or Cajun fries.  There are also apps including raw Gulf oysters, hot wings (seasoned with the same Cajun, lemon-pepper, or garlic sauce), and fried shrimp baskets.  Like the boils, they cook it up and dump it on your table so you can dig in with your fingers.  If you’re really not into finger food, you can order a plate from a menu that includes gumbo, fried rice, and noodles with crawfish or shrimp.

The Mad Crab is open Monday – Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday from noon to 11:00 p.m.  The Ho brothers plan to add canned and bottled beer, along with wine to their offerings, as soon as their liquor license is approved.  In the meantime, customers can wash down that scrumptious, fresh seafood with a soft drink.

Contact Information:

The Mad Crab
Owners: Victor and Nam Ho (brothers)
8080 Olive Boulevard
University City, MO

Piccione Pastry Shop Celebrates Birthday With Festivities

Piccione Pastry Shop Celebrates Birthday With Festivities

ST. LOUIS, MO/April 19, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Piccione Pastry is celebrating its fourth birthday this week.

To mark the occasion, St. Louis’ premier Italian pastry shop in the Delmar Loop is offering special treats, discounts and drawings, and an epic showdown as participants take on the shop’s All-You-Can-Eat- Cannoli Contest.

“We are grateful for our loyal customers and dedicated staff that have already made Piccione Pastry a local favorite. It’s important for us to share this celebration with them, said Piccione Pastry Chef, Colleen McBryan.

“St. Louisans have requested a second all-you-can-eat cannoli showdown, and we are more than happy to oblige!”  McBryan added.

The shop’s All-You-Can-Eat- Cannoli Contest will take place on April 22nd, which marks the shop’s actual anniversary.  Cannoli lovers will battle to win free pastries for a year.  The contest is free and participants sign up in-store at the pastry counter for the 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. time slots.

All-You-Can-Eat- Cannoli Contest Rules:

  • Eat as many cannolis as you can in 2 minutes! 8 participants per time slot.
  • 1st place winners receive free pastries for a year*!
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your start time to get briefed on rules.
  • Otherwise your seat will be given to another participant on the wait-list.
  • Head to the table marked “CANNOLI EATING CONTEST”.
  • Cannolis counted towards final total: -Entire cannoli must be consumed (half eaten cannolis don’t count).
  • Can be crushed/crumbled to eat, but if left uneaten, it will NOT count towards total.

Guests who prefer to purchase pastries and lunch items in-store on April 22 will receive a mystery party favor.  In addition, patrons who spend $10 or more in-store can pull their own party favor from Piccione’s Mystery Grab-Bag to include free items, discounts and more.

Piccione Pastry first opened its doors on April 22, 2013. It’s the only late-night Italian pastry shop of its kind in St. Louis.  The shop features single-serve Italian desserts, rich Italian coffees, locally handcrafted gelato and sorbet and seasonal breakfast and lunch choices, including vegan, vegetarian, sugar-free and gluten-free options.

More information about this week’s festivities are available online at www.piccionepastry.com