Taking the Edge off E-Ville

It’s not my style to alert you to all deals because some deals are at places I wouldn’t want you to eat at in the first place.  With a definite amount of bias, however, I’d like to point out that although Kevin Willmann has moved on to great new things at Farmhaus, Edwardsville’s Erato on Main is still chugging along.  With the same great wine and beer list they’ve always had (and really that was part of the reason many of you drove to E-Ville anyway), the restaurant is still worth the trek.  Doubly so because you’ll get to sample  Jonathan Olson’s evolving menus as he finds his personal cooking style. Triply so because if you’re on the fence about the visit, today only you can turn $10 into $22 with the new Hot Sauce Deals of the Day website.

As an added bonus, 10% of all Hot Sauce proceeds will be donated to help fund important programs and services at Children’s Hospital.

For a taste of what’s in store, check out the new Erato on Main website.  Menus are updated each Friday so you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re in store for.

Full disclosure: As always, please keep in mind that while I believe my opinion to be correct, there are some establishments where my opinion is personally biased. This is one. Jonny “Style” Olson and other members of the Erato staff have become friends of mine because of my regularity in the restaurant.  Heck, Jon even guest-blogged once.

Slow Food St. Louis 4th Annual Art of Food + Menu!

Art of Food

While there’s more to the event than food, I am damn proud of the lineup of chefs I’ve assembled for the 4th Annual Art of Food. While I am completely biased, you would be hard-pressed to find an event in St. Louis with a more star-powered line up of chefs. Whether you like me and the things I have to say or not, please consider coming out this Saturday to not only support this stellar line up of chefs that are sure to dazzle, but to support Slow Food St. Louis. With the money raised from events like this, Slow Food is supporting biodiversity in our region by offering small grants to farmers growing heritage animals and heirloom vegetables. And to ensure that future generations of eaters crave these delicious foods, the funds raised will also support our current school garden projects as well as fund additional gardens in the future.

Menu and more information about the event after the jump…

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Goshen Coffee @ Foundation Grounds


And in still more local coffee news, Ian Froeb and Melody Meiners of toastedrav.com reported that Foundation Grounds is now open in Maplewood. Between the two of them they covered most of the W’s (like it’s being Green) except for one: Foundation Grounds is another Missouri notch for Edwardsville’s Goshen Coffee.

Continuing to increase their West-Side presence, their drip and espresso coffees are becoming increasingly easy to find around town as prominent spots like Pi, Winslow’s Home, Local Harvest Cafe, The Good Pie and Niche turn to them for service.

Fond 411

Fond Website

Yet more info on recently opened Fond

For those of you looking for pertinent details, Fond is located at 106 N. Main Street, Edwardsville, IL 62025 and their number is 618.656.9001. Thought out extremely well their website is www.fondfinedining.com.  It is well done both visually and informationally and contains everything a new restaurant’s should upon opening. This includes, of course, a sample fall menu complete with a tasting menu (which they call a Market Menu).

Willing to put my foot somewhat in my mouth, it all sounds pretty damn tasty in a comforting sort of way.  Here are just a few items I hope taste every bit as as good as they sound…

  • Pumpkin Soup with cumin-coriander creme
  • Veal Terrine with mustard, pickles and grilled toast
  • Parmesan Ravioli with lemon, mint and black pepper
  • Free-Form Lasagna with mild mushrooms, smoked celery root puree, goat cheese fondue
  • Brown-butter cake with spiced pecans and bourbon buttercream

 See, I can be nice too.

Fond Opens

Word on the Edwardsville streets last Friday was that the butcher paper is down and Fond is currently having a soft opening.

If you check it out, let us know how it is over on the forum.



With the clothing store long gone and the butcher paper in the windows, Fond, Amy Zupanci’s soon to be opened restaurant in Edwardsville, grows nearer each week.

Some of you may recall that Zupanci tipped off a bit of an Edwardsville uproar earlier this year when she was quoted as saying that she’d be opening her restaurant because she wanted to “…bring back Main Street because our standards have raised.”

It would seem now, that if the RFT can be used as an any kind of barometer, (and I think it can), that the line should have read, “continuing the Main Street standards set by soon to be neighbors Erato on Main and 222 Artisan Bakery.” Both businesses received nods in the RFT’s 2008 Best Of (222 / Erato)

So while we’ll still have to wait a few more weeks to see Fond’s first crack at simulating Savoy’s style, here are a couple things to mull over:

  1. We’re going to get a flurry of cutesy headlines once the reviewing begins. Things like:
    • There’s something to be Fond about in Edwardsville
    • Fond of Fond
    • Fondness is found in Edwardsville
  2. If you were opening a restaurant that the Edwardsville Journal said “will feature local fruits and vegetables, herbs, meats and chicken, with a seasonal menu,” would it not be best to open when these things are going to be in season for a while? Like, I don’t know, at the beginning of the growing season?

En Papiawesome

Not to be confused with the famous version, at Erato on Main last night, while Kevin Willmann was away at the STL Mag A-List awards claiming his Reason to Take a Drive victory, sous chef Jon Olson was serving up Gulf Pompano en Papillote with shaved fennel, local baby onions, Oregon white truffle & farm butter.

I’m sure the majority of you are familiar with en papillote, but for those that are not, it is a French method for cooking delicate foods inside parchment paper. These days you will see some people cheat by using foil instead, but traditionally you cut a heart shape out of parchment, place the contents on one side (generally fish; vegetables; and some sort of oil, butter or sauce to keep it moist), fold it in half, fold over the seams to seal it, and bake it in the oven. The gist is that the food actually steams which results in an extremely moist outcome.

I have had three en papillotes

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Going Fishing at Erato on Main

Kona Kamppachi

This weekend at Erato on Main Kevin Willmann is trying to win some sort of Kona Kampachi contest and will be serving what he once called “assuming fish with unassuming fish.” At least he called it that to me.

Not a fan of the duo overall “because one always upstages the other” he’s all for doing it when it works and the two items truly make something greater together than they would on their own.

The assuming fish is

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Last Week at the Market – Tons of Stuff!!!

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This week at Maplewood Farmers’ Market I made it in time to be one of those people that swept the Our Garden strawberries out from everyone. As I approached the booth there were ten pints and by the time I left the booth there was one. Two were mine! They were rather small and a bit tart but still better than any others I’d had to this point.

A bunch of new lettuces cropped up this week from Centennial Farms including magenta, butter crunch, and Nevada summer crisp.

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Claverach added turnips, spring onions and cucumbers.

Root Cellar also had arugula which I don’t recall seeing last week. It was amazingly clean too. Generally Claverach takes the prize for cleanest vegetables which is a huge bonus when buying from them. They are outright obsessive about cleaning their lettuces especially which I’m sure goes a long way towards restaurants fighting over them.

Ken Muno (Goatsbeard) had his Camembert wheels which I can never remember what he calls after the fact. (Prairie Bloom maybe?)


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Last Week at the Market – Sheep!

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With the sun shining last week,the Maplewood Farmers’ Market migrated over to their usual spot and with it a few more vendors arrived.

Though The Root Cellar was still slinging the most in the way of lettuces, herbs, and the new addition of radishes, Claverach made their first appearance and stole the thunder with their freakishly immaculate micro greens and icicle radishes of their own.

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Saturday, at Tower Grove, things were scaled back a bit from the opening week as the additional vendors selling crafts were no longer winding around the walking path on the Northwest edge of the market. The one vendor remaining on that far side was Greenwood Farms who incidentally has “lunch meat” ham that while a bit thick for what you might generally consider to be lunch meat, is some of the greatest breakfast ham I’ve ever had

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