Gerard Craft and the Melange Space

What a busy day for St. Louis restaurant gossip…

The buzz on this one is unfortunately not true.  Via email Gerard Craft said “we looked at it but that is definitely a no go and was more than a month a ago.”

Lots of hopeful fingers can uncross for now.

Other Restaurant Stuff

From the same source as the Andy White news I’d also heard that Brian Hale was parting ways with Monarch on less than savory terms. As I didn’t think that was the case, I just got off the phone with Hale who confirmed that the parting of ways is cordial between all parties. He will be moving on to take over all three kitchens at the Chase Park Plaza.

Of course no sooner than getting of the phone with him did I notice Joe Bonwich’s post out-scooping me to the same information just minutes ago. He also mentioned another oft-heard rumor about Gerard Craft spreading his wings a little further by picking up the old Melange space in the Central West End.

Edit: Actually Sauce Magazine seems to have out-scooped everyone including more information about who will be taking over the Monarch Kitchen to what they’re doing with the old Balaban’s space.

Edit 2: See where all this gossip gets us?  Ian Froeb has the whole story from Monarch co-owner Jeff Orbin over on Gut Check.

2009 Readers’ Choice Best New Restaurant

From an undisclosed industry source Andy White has left Off the Vine and will be taking helm of the Schlafly Tap Room kitchen.

Which I guess means that unless something else spectacular opens up in the second half of the year, Revival has more than likely edged its way one step closer to Best New Restaurant glory.  It also means that the post Slow Food meeting dinners should be a lot better this winter.

Organic vs. Conventional

Preparing for pesticide application.

As I catch back up on my life post Art of Food I’ve been sifting through RSS feeds and, in reading a post from the Supermarket News blog Refresh about two nutritional studies pitting Organic against Conventional produce, something occurred to me: Why is it that conventional produce is the pimped-out kind?

I’m fully aware that if I look up the word conventional it probably says something about conforming to standards, but still,

Read the rest of this entry »


Top Chef

I’m assuming three women* run the blog Blogging Top Chef, and they’ve got some posts about the Top Chef tour that rolled into Whole Foods the other day.  If that’s the kind of thing you’re interested in, you can read about it.

* I’m assuming it’s three women because their profile lists three people: Chef Biatch, Chef Back Burner and Sous Chef Humor.  Plus they have the following About Me on their profile: In our kitchen breasts, buns, and brains aren’t just ingredients! So stop staring at our boobs and go read the blog.

Slow Food Art of Food Menu

This is why you want to buy tickets for Art of Food

222 Artisan Bakery / Goshen Coffee – Debbie Sultan / Matt Herren

  • 222 Artisan breads in roll form: bacon, brioche, and sun dried tomato olive and feta
  • Goshen-roasted Costa Rican pour-over drip coffee

Bailey’s Chocolate Bar / Rooster – Robin Murphy

  • Fruitland roast beef sandwich with red onion marmalade and herbed Heartland Creamery goat cheese on a housemade roll
  • Bailey’s buttercream chocolate bar cake

An American Place – Joshua Galliano

  • Prairie Grass Farms lamb and foie gras ballotine, apple mustard, chickpea salad, saba

Annie Gunn’s – Lou Rook III

  • Duroc pork belly confit on Companion brioche roll with Atomic horseradish mustard and house made local peach chutney

Araka – Mark Curran

  • Prairie Grass Farms housemade sausages
  • Local heirloom tomato salad

Erato on Main – Kevin Willmann

  • House smoked Guthrie Farms chicken with local vegetable chow chow

Local Harvest Grocery – Clara Moore

  • Housemade hummus served on local cucumber circles and local tomatoes tossed with fresh pesto and served on Companion crostinis

Moxy Bistro – Eric Brenner

  • Duck breast with grilled peaches

Niche – Gerard Craft

  • Slow-roasted Greenwood Farms pork butt sandwiches with brussel sprout slaw on Companion bread

Schlafly Bottleworks – Matt Bessler

  • Schlafy “Gardenworks” beet and Arugula salad
  • Troutdale Farms smoked Trout Mousse with English cucumber cups
  • Bacon-wrapped Hinkebein Hills Farm smoked pork tenderloin with Schlafy pale ale raspberry BBQ sauce

Sidney Street Café – Kevin Nashan

  • Hinkebein Hills Farm smoked pork butt with cornmeal “toast”, Eilerman Brothers peach bbq glaze, Claverach Farm greens and pickled peaches
  • On the Wind Farms watermelon gazpacho with jumbo lump crab

Veruca – Mathew Rice

  • Local peach and lavender trifles

If you were cool…

you would be at Mad Art Gallery this Saturday for Slow Food St. Louis’s annual fund raiser, The Art of Food.

Art of Food

Full event details are at though what you’ll really want to know is who the chefs are:

Debbie Sultan & Matt Herren – 222 Artisan Bakery and Goshen Coffee
Joshua Galliano – An American Place
Lou Rook – Annie Gunn’s
Mark Curran – Araka
David Bailey – Bailey’s Chocolate Bar and Rooster
Kevin Willmann – Erato on Main
Eric Brenner – Moxy Bistro
Gerard Craft – Niche
Matt Bessler – Schlafly Bottleworks
Kevin Nashan – Sidney Street Cafe
Mathew Rice – Veruca

and possibly more to come…

Interesting News

This doesn’t look like much, but that doesn’t make it any less unusual.

Mount Pleasant Winery’s farmers plant the final rows of Pinot Noir at Campo de los Vientos.

Mount Pleasant Winery’s farmers plant the final rows of Pinot Noir at Campo de los Vientos.

And here’s the full press release:

Read the rest of this entry »

Dewey’s Conquest Continues

Dewey’s Pizza

Cincinnati based chain, Dewey’s Pizza, continues their St. Louis expansion in Webster Groves.

AED Enterprises, doing business as Dewey’s Pizza, has applied for a conditional use permit to operate a 3,524-square-foot, 102-seat restaurant at 122 E. Lockwood Ave. …open in the first quarter of 2009.

Justus Drugstore

As strong supporters of local sourcing, for a while now I’ve been meaning to get to Justus Drugstore Restaurant just North of Kansas City in Smithville, MO.  Now, it would seem, I might not get that chance.

Earlier this month, Justus and Eklof received a letter on Board of Pharmacy stationery ordering them “to immediately CEASE AND DESIST the unlawful use of the word drugstore” (capitals in the original) in the restaurant’s name.

“I told her [Board of Pharmacy rep] that the intent of the law is clear,” Justus recalled, referring to the inspector. “She jumped all over me and said that someone could come to us thinking they were getting medical advice from a professional.”