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Oct 22, 2016
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By the Book: Butter & Scotch by Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth

October 21st, 2016




Though not explicitly a breakfast cookbook, Butter & Scotch knows its way around a brunch menu. The owners of the Brooklyn bar and bakery built their shop around two favorite things: cocktails and baked goods. Their Saturday brunch menu focuses on that most delicious of savory breakfast treats: biscuits.

Biscuits and gravy is a Midwest favorite, and the Brooklynites do the dish credit with this simple, comforting recipe. Two sticks of butter and a generous pour of heavy cream create a rich biscuit with a tender crumb, and apple cider vinegar adds a pleasant tang reminiscent of buttermilk without the extra trip to the grocery store.

You’ll be tempted to pour off the pool of fat that renders as you brown the sausage – don’t. Instead, gleefully add a tablespoon of butter or bacon fat and stir in the flour to make a roux for white gravy as thick as warm peanut butter. Dollop this atop the crumbly biscuits and dive in – then head back to bed and sleep it off.

Skill level: Medium. A home baker can tackle most of these recipes, but the home bartender should prepare to work for those cocktails.
Other recipes to try: Smoked trout Benedict, Magic Buns, Watchamacallthat Pie
The Verdict: Though the apple Dutch baby is a showstopper, this no-nonsense biscuits and gravy recipe stole our Midwestern hearts.


Biscuits & Gravy
4 servings

1 lb. (455 g.) loose sweet Italian Sausage
1 Tbsp. bacon fat or butter
¼ cup (30 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups (480 ml.) whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Brooklyn biscuits

• In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the sausage until it’s fully cooked. Add the bacon fat or butter and flour and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula, making sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. After 30 seconds, add the milk. Stir, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the saucepan, then bring the gravy to a boil and let it simmer until the moisture thickens to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Split the biscuits in half and lay them open-faced onto plates. Spoon the gravy on top and serve.

Brooklyn Biscuits
8 to 10 biscuits

2½ cups heavy cream
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, chopped into ½-inch pieces

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• In a small bowl, mix together the cream and vinegar and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda and mix on low. Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed until the butter is broken down to small, pea-size pieces. Turn the mixer back to low and slowly add the cream and vinegar mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix, or the biscuits will be tough.
• Pour the dough onto a floured surface and pat it down until it’s about 2 inches thick. Use a 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out 8 rounds. Arrange the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat together the scraps and cut out more rounds if possible; you should be able to get another biscuit or two. Be gentle so the biscuits don’t get tough. Discard any remaining scraps.
• Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove them to a wire rack, then serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Reprinted with permission from Abrams Publishing

The Scoop: Chef Chris Ladley to depart Quincy Street Bistro after two years

October 21st, 2016



After two years, Chris Ladley is departing Quincy Street Bistro. His final dinner service is today, Oct. 21. Ladley had been executive chef since Chris Tirone departed in November 2015.

Ladley said he plans to take a break from the fast-paced workload of a chef, take a vacation and help some of his friends with restaurant projects. “I just realized that I’m not getting any younger,” he said. “I’ve been at Quincy for two years now, and they’re at a really good place with the menu so I decided to take a little break,” he said. Ladley’s resume includes time as executive chef at Herbie’s Vintage ’72, as well as PastariaBrasserie and The Dubliner.

Ladley said Quincy Street Bistro owners Mike and Sue Enright will continue business as usual this weekend, and he anticipates a smooth transition to a new, yet-to-be-named chef. “A lot of people here have been here for years, and we’ve become this functional family, so I’m kind of bummed to leave, but at the same time I’m looking forward to recharging the batteries,” he said. “I’m stoked about the dining scene that has been evolving in the city, and I want to stay a part of it for sure.”

Co-owner Mike Enright declined to comment on the transition at this time.

The Scoop: New owner discusses vision for Blood & Sand

October 21st, 2016



In December 2015, Blood & Sand co-owners TJ Vytlacil and Adam Frager announced they were putting the downtown restaurant up for sale in order to focus their attention on their software company, Brigade Society. On Thursday, Oct. 20, the duo announced that Tim Murphy, an early member, had purchased the business.

“Tim was the best fit and the best person,” said Frager. “We probably could have closed sooner and for more money if we wanted to just cash out, but we were willing to put our eggs in his basket because of the strength of Tim as a buyer and for his character. We’re excited to be able to leave it in such great hands.”

Murphy, who has a business background and managed restaurants in the 1990s, became a member at Blood & Sand only months after it opened in September 2011. While he first joined for the drink and cocktail program, he soon became enamored with its food menu, service and ambience as well.

“It’s one of St. Louis’ great jewels,” said Murphy. “I remember it went up for sale on Dec. 26, and that’s the day I started wanting to buy it. I thought, ‘It’s the only restaurant I’d consider buying. I have to make a run at this.’”

Enthusiastic and committed to Blood & Sand’s staff and concept, Murphy intends to keep the ethos of the fine-dining eatery, as well as its staff. Executive chef Chris Krzysik will helm the kitchen, where he has worked for last four years. Sean Coltrain will head the beverage program, and certified sommelier (and one of the youngest in the country at a mere 21) Zac Adcox will run front of house.

“The staff is amazingly good,” said Murphy. “It’s one of the best we’ve ever had. It’s a great place to come in and celebrate. Or if you come in to process having a bad day, the staff is kind enough to understand and let you do that as well.”

In addition to the atmosphere and people, Murphy intends to keep membership prices and volume consistent. “I want to be as full as we can be and still put out exceptional food and drinks,” he said. “I don’t need to be 100-percent packed. I’m not Applebee’s and don’t want to be.”

Members and guests can expect to see the same menu items with the addition of more adventurous dishes, potentially including wild game entrees and a pawpaw cheesecake. Diners can also expect to see a bit more playfulness and tweaks in plating.

For their part, the former owners report success in their restaurant point-of-sale business, and while they are sad to not be at Blood & Sand on a daily basis, they are pleased with the establishment’s direction.

“Our dream was the person who took over would build on the success and serve the community we created,” said Frager. “Tim’s going to be able to build upon that legacy. It’s exciting. He’s been with us from the beginning, and this couldn’t have worked out better.”

The Scoop: Details emerge as Polite Society plans on late 2016 opening

October 20th, 2016



After nearly seven months of construction, co-owners Brian Schmitz and Jonathan Schoen are finishing up work on Polite Society at 1923 Park Ave. The duo hope to open in late November or early December.

“Polite Society grew out of a conversation about the type of restaurant that should exist but hadn’t,” Schmitz said, adding that the name itself comes from a dedication to their customers and, as employers, to go the extra mile for their staff. This includes things like giving employees a stake in the company or access to employment benefits.

A focus on their staff’s well-being is not surprising; both Schmitz and Schoen got their starts in the restaurant industry as servers at Bar Italia. Individually, they’ve consulted on several area projects, including Lucha, Egg and Spare No Rib.

As reported by the Post-Dispatch in March, the concept of Polite Society had been in the works for years, but it wasn’t until Ricardo’s closed in late 2015 that things started to click. The 3,000-square-foot space will feature a 12-seat bar and cozy interior with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, an extensive wine rack and seating for 60 to 70. “When Ricardo’s auction came up, I saw the space in a new light when it was more emptied out,” Schmitz said.

Executive chef Thomas Futrell, who spent two-and-a-half years as Scape’s executive sous chef, will bring a seasonally focused menu to the table. Schmitz described the cuisine as “vegetable forward and seasonally driven with a fair amount of change” that may include dishes like a pork Wellington or a rotating root vegetable salad.

Beverage director Travis Hebrank, another Scape alum, will helm the bar with an equal focus on classic and house cocktails, a curated wine selection and around 30 bottled beers.

Schmitz said Polite Society will be open daily for dinner service with weekday lunch and weekend brunch.

The Scoop: The Sweet Divine catches fire, owners intend to rebuild

October 18th, 2016



Cupcake bakery The Sweet Divine caught fire in Soulard at 11 a.m. on yesterday, Oct. 17. Despite fire damage to the decorating room and smoke damage throughout the building, co-owners Jason and Jenna Siebert are determined to get back to work as soon as possible. An official cause for the fire has not been named yet.

“We’re meeting with the insurance adjuster and looking at a couple of commissary spaces today,” Jason Siebert said. “The community has been very supportive, and our biggest priority is getting back to work and maintaining a client base.”

The Sieberts purchased the building in 2013, and The Sweet Divine has been open at 1801 S. Ninth St. for the last three-and-a-half years. Since the shop is usually closed on Mondays, the Sieberts found out about the blaze from afar, and one of the bakery’s neighbors called in the fire. By the time the Sieberts arrived on the scene, Jason reported that the fire was out. “Thank God for the fire department,” he said.

The Sieberts aim to fulfill their contractual obligations, retain walk-up business (perhaps by way of their food truck) and reopen in the same location as soon as possible.

“We have every intention of rebuilding the bakery and keeping it in that location,” he said. “The Soulard neighborhood has been a great support.”

The Scoop: The Little Dipper to reopen inside The Fortune Teller Bar

October 17th, 2016



{The Little Dipper chef-owner Tanya Brown}


The Little Dipper, which closed in August, has found a new home inside The Fortune Teller Bar on Cherokee Street. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, Fortune Teller’s kitchen is closed and will reopen as The Little Dipper under chef-owner Tanya Brown on Nov. 5.

“Tanya became a friend of ours as mutual customers – her shop was just a block away from ours,” said Fortune Teller co-owner Matt Thenhaus. “It just seemed like everything we needed, the other business could provide.”

Little Dipper will have a counter inside the bar with separate food and drink tabs. Thenhaus said they were inspired by The Fifth Wheel setup inside 4 Hands Brewing‘s tasting room.

A handful of items from Fortune Teller’s old food menu – like pickled eggs, soft pretzels and occasional barbecue specials – will be available from the new counter, but the menu will primarily be The Little Dipper’s dominated by sandwiches, like its Italian beef namesake.

The Fortune Teller will maintain regular evening hours until The Little Dipper opens, and Thenhaus said they should have snacks and some simple daily specials until then. Brown did not return request for comment.

Sneak Peek: Eat Sandwiches in Tower Grove South

October 17th, 2016



Eat Sandwiches will soon open doors at 3148 Morgan Ford Road. Co-owner Byron Smith hope to start slinging sandwiches at his Tower Grove South spot as soon as this Friday, Oct. 21. As The Scoop reported in September, the 24-seat counter-service deli will open in the original Local Harvest Grocery location.

Eat Sandwiches will offer (what else?) sandwiches piled with meat prepared and sliced in-house, fresh veggies and cheeses, paired with house-made sides like a mustard-based potato salad, potato chips and Asian slaw. Customers can wash down those sandwiches with bottled Excel sodas and local beer from favorites like Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands and Old Bakery Beer.

Eat Sandwiches will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek of Tower Grove South’s newest eatery:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 


The Scoop: Baileys’ Range to open second location in the Shaw neighborhood

October 14th, 2016



Owner Dave Bailey announced today, Oct. 14, that he will open a second, smaller Baileys’ Range at 4175 Shaw Blvd. Construction will take nearly a full year, so Bailey is eyeing a late 2017 opening date.

“I wanted to be in the neighborhood. I wanted to try a different model of Range and the property itself just came available,” Bailey said. The building is a 1,700-square-foot former gas station and car repair shop, and the location will also feature an outdoor garden space as well as walk-up windows for placing carryout orders.

While the menu will largely remain the same as that of the original downtown location, Bailey and his team will also add several Shaw-specific items tailored to the feel of the neighborhood. “Downtown we do plenty of to-go business, but it’s not a main focus of what we do,” he said. “But over here, with proximity to the [Botanical] Gardens and the fact that it’s a very densely populated residential neighborhood instead of a business district, we’re going to have a greater emphasis on to-go.”

The new location will be led by Bailey’s core team of executive chefs and sous chefs, which will be the plan at each of Bailey’s new properties going forward.

-photo by Jonathan Pollack

Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 GABF-worthy beers

October 14th, 2016



Last weekend, I attended the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, a three-day national beer festival and competition attended by thousands each year. Though the festival itself can be over-stimulating at times, Denver is full of fantastic beer, beer people and beer events throughout the week.

Several St. Louis-area breweries poured at GABF, and even more entered the competition in hopes of procuring more medals for this wonderful beer town. While listening to the results, I realized just how rapidly breweries and beer culture are expanding – there were many I’d never heard of before. More beer for the people! Three St. Louis-area breweries medaled this year; head to Perennial or across the Mississippi this weekend to check out these nationally notable beers:

Perennial Artisan Ales Meriwether took silver for classic saison
Excel Brewing Flash Bang took bronze for American-style wheat beer
Scratch Brewing Oyster Weiss* took bronze for experimental beer

Some of my favorite nonlocal beers also medaled last weekend and are available in St. Louis throughout the year. Keep your eyes open for Bells Expedition Stout (silver in aged beer), Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale (gold in ordinary or special bitter) and Left Hand Fade to Black, Volume 1 (silver in export stout).


*Editor’s note: Oyster Weiss is not currently available. 

Katie Herrera is tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar and co-founder of Femme Ferment.

By the Book: America’s Best Breakfasts by Lee Brian Schrager and Adeena Sussman

October 13th, 2016



Authors Lee Brian Schrager and Adeena Sussman tapped into their network of culinary friends and chefs across the U.S. to discover some of the country’s best breakfasts. Each region gets its due (shoutouts to Prasino and Half & Half, who represented St. Louis), and I headed to Miami to make chef Ingrid Hoffmann’s Colombian pan de yuca.

Tapioca flour comes from the starchy roots of the yuca plant (also known as cassava), which is found in South and Central America. This superfine powder is easy to find in the specialty aisle of most grocery stores. The instructions were simple; mix everything together and knead to combine. The rich yuca buns came out soft, golden and very cheesy. Unfortunately upon cooling, they deflated into flat discs and the cheese and tapioca flour created a gelatinous core, the texture of which some people found off-putting. Next time, I’ll add more baking powder so they puff up more.

The accompanying oatmeal “smoothie” was a bit of a misnomer. A smoothie implies that fruit comes to the party, but with just oatmeal, milk, cinnamon and vanilla, this “smoothie” was akin to a oatmeal cookie batter milkshake. After that soupy mess, I doubt I’ll eat oatmeal any time soon.

Skill level: Easy – there’s nothing too crazy here, and the book goes well beyond the traditional bacon and eggs.
Other recipes to try: Kimchi pancakes, tortilla de papas
The verdict: The smoothie dampened the experience, so Big Bad Breakfast takes the win this week.




Yuca Buns
10 buns

1 cup tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour), plus extra for kneading
1 tsp. baking powder
1¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup heavy cream, plus more as needed
2 cups finely grated Oaxaca cheese or other fresh white cheese, such as mozzarella
2 large egg yolks

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cheese, egg yolks and cream. Once the dough forms a ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, knead the dough until smooth and not sticky. Add extra cream a tablespoon at a time if necessary to make the dough supple.
• Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces and shape them into balls. Arrange them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake until pale golden, tender, and soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal (Avena) Breakfast Smoothies
4 servings

6 cups milk, plus more if needed
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp. sugar, or more to taste
Pinch of cinnamon, or more to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

• In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and oats to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to prevent the oatmeal from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the oatmeal is thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and cinnamon to taste, and cool slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
• Refrigerate the oatmeal in a sealed container for at least 2 hours or overnight. Transfer the oatmeal to a blender, add the vanilla (if using), and puree until smooth, adding more milk for a thinner shake or ice cubes to chill further. Serve cold.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter Publishers

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