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  SAUCE MAGAZINE
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Feb 28, 2015
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Drink This Weekend Edition: The Will

February 27th, 2015

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Every year, I struggle with the same concept: the winter cocktail. There are plenty of drinks that feature egg whites and cream, but they can end up with a thin texture or a chalky mouth feel. And what about that pesky leftover yolk? This decadent tipple delivers creaminess and punch, while also using up all those egg yolks I inevitably collect over time.

The Will
1 serving

1½ oz. Blanton’s bourbon
¾ oz. rich Demerara syrup (a 2:1 ratio)
½ oz. lemon juice
1 egg yolk
Cinnamon for garnish

• Combine the bourbon, Demerara syrup, lemon juice and egg yolk in a cocktail shaker and dry shake 15 seconds. Fill the shaker with ice and shake another 30 seconds. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with cinnamon.

 

Ben Bauer is a member of USBG St. Louis and a bartender at The Libertine.

Tweet Beat: The week’s best tweets from #STL foodies

February 27th, 2015

Are you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemag

 

022715_tweetbeat

 

vanbchocolate
Box of chocolates beer ice cream made in a kitchen aid with liquid nitrogen and a blowtorch…… ‪http://instagram.com/p/zYZcIsuJE3/ 

KellieHynes
When bad banana bread happens to good people. AKA “whataya mean you need to bring a treat to school… ‪https://instagram.com/p/zkr8pUF25Z/ 

lambert_mel
I have a serious milk dud problem. ‪#oscars2015

EricedheathEric
There are so many places in STL that make this a great food city, and we are so grateful to be a part of whats happening! Congrats to all!

flickjac01
Cheers to new beginnings!!! ‪@Schlafly ‪@schlaflybrewer ‪#tothefuture ‪#cheers ‪#ineednewshirts

Pivasan
Today I’m competing in the United States Latte Art Championship. I’m grateful to be able to represent… ‪http://instagram.com/p/zVSPfcDMZl/ 

BeerKaren
If you’re going to slice off your fingernail, best to do it while peeling orange peel for your old fashioned so you can drink it afterward.

RtodaizH
My 8-year-old daughter was able to answer this correctly. ‪#ProudPapa
https://twitter.com/RtodaizH/status/568936623070580736

jayeedoubleeff
Not my best art, but oh, gurl. Dat surface tension.
https://twitter.com/jayeedoubleeff/status/569187537622671360/photo/1

 
Think you should be on this list? Follow us and let us know @saucemag

The Scoop: Retreat Gastropub to open this summer in the CWE

February 26th, 2015

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{Retreat Gastropub owner Travis Howard}

 

Retreat Gastropub is coming to 2 N. Sarah St., in the spot previously occupied by 6 North Café. Owner Travis Howard, who signed the lease to the Central West End spot last week, hopes to open the American gastropub in June.

The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner. Its midday menu will focus on flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and soups – quick-service items to facilitate area professionals. Howard envisions a dinner menu of burgers, plus small plates like poutine, chicken wings, crabcakes and other seafood dishes. Although a chef has yet to be tapped for the kitchen, Howard foresees the food prepared from scratch with as much local produce as possible.

The bar at Retreat will pour local and national craft beers. Expect a minimal selection on tap but an expansive number of bottled and canned brews. Retreat’s cocktails will feature house-made infusions, tinctures and syrups, said Howard, who spent the last three years at Baileys’ Range, initially as a bartender and most recently as general manager. This is his last week at the downtown restaurant.

Retreat takes its inspiration from the outdoors. That feel will be reflected in an interior design that Howard called “retro-modern,” outfitted with outdoors-y tables and benches that he is building with his father, a hobby woodworker. Besides 60 seats in the dining area, Retreat also will offer outdoor dining on its covered patio and sidewalk.

“This restaurant has been a project of mine for several years, and my personal experience of nearly 15 years in the industry has me prepared for this opportunity,” Howard said. “I have been able to hone my craft, build my knowledge, and gain invaluable experience while managing Baileys’ Range … I will take that experience with me and build upon it.”

 

 

The Scoop: First area Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken to open in Maplewood

February 26th, 2015

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More fried chicken is flying to Missouri this summer. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is set to open a franchise at 7434 Manchester Road in Maplewood. St. Louis will be one of nine places where the Tennessee-based restaurant plans to open this year.

Franchise owners Jim and Jane Zimmermann said Gus’s will offer dine-in, carryout and catering options at the 68-seat restaurant. Menu items incude fried chicken meals, fried green tomatoes, baked beans, greens, mac-n-cheese, fried pickles and various pies. Both draft and local beers will be offered as well.

“(Gus’s owner) Wendy McRory is very involved in choosing locations. We’ve been working on bringing Gus’s to St. Louis for quite some time, and Maplewood fit a lot of the criteria we’ve been looking for. It’s a thriving area,” Jane Zimmermann said. “We’re very, very excited to bring the brand to St. Louis.”

 

 

Baked: Vanilla Bean Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits

February 26th, 2015

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We’re eating snickerdoodles for days here on Baked. Last time I showed you berry potpie with a snickerdoodle crust, and today, I have another way to use up that leftover cookie dough (with instructions on how to make more, in case yours disappeared somehow).

This is the simplest from-scratch vanilla pudding in the world, and its flavor is to die for – especially when spiked with a bit of rum. Snickerdoodle crumbs hidden at the bottom add surprise spice and crunch. Make them well in advance of your next dinner party and garnish each with a cookie on top just before serving. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Very Vanilla Pudding with Snickerdoodle Bits
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe
4 servings

½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
2 2/3 cup almond milk, divided
1 vanilla bean, split
A splash of rum
4 Snickerdoodle Cookies, plus crumbs (Recipe follows)

• In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, salt and egg until combined. Whisk in 2/3 cup almond milk. Set aside.
• In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the 2 cups almond milk and the vanilla bean to a rolling boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and slowly whisk into the sugar mixture until it is thoroughly combined.
• Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, remove and discard the vanilla bean, and stir in the rum. Set aside.
• Add a layer of snickerdoodle cookie crumbs to the bottom of 4 dessert cups. Divide the pudding evenly between the cups. If you don’t like pudding skin, lightly press plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding. Refrigerate at least 1 to 2 hours, until set. Garnish each with a snickerdoodle cookie and serve.

Snickerdoodle Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1½ cup sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2¾ cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
⅛ tsp. ground cloves
⅛ tsp. ground cardamom

● In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate.
● Use a spatula to fold in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom until just combined. Mold the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
● Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
● Roll pieces of dough into 2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes, until golden around the edges. Let cool completely.

 

 

The Scoop: Phat Boys BBQ opens in Florissant

February 26th, 2015

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With the cut of a ribbon, Mayor Thomas P. Schneider helped Florissant welcome Phat Boys BBQ to Florissant earlier this month. Though the barbecue concept, located at 300 St. Ferdinand, has served customers since September 2014, the official opening ceremony took place Feb. 12.

“This started as a hobby. We had a food trailer for about a year, mostly during the summer, for family, friends and people passing by,” said co-owner Tracie Smith, who opened the brick-and-mortar location with husband Derek Smith and friend Torin Henderson. “Torin Henderson lives in Florissant, and he’s been looking around the area. This building was vacant, but it has good traffic, and we’re next to (Helfer’s Pastries).”

Phat Boys BBQ is mainly a carryout concept, although about four seats are available inside the 850-square-foot building. Delivery within a five-mile radius is also an option for customers who place orders of $30 or more.

The menu offers smoked barbecue classics like pulled pork, pulled chicken and beef brisket, along with side items such as mac-n-cheese, cole slaw and baked beans. Dessert options include peach cobbler, banana pudding and caramel cupcakes. Smith also mentioned pork steak, rib slabs and rib tips were frequent sell-out items.

“Florissant is awesome,” Smith said. “We have lots of repeat customers and lots of word-of-mouth business.”

The Scoop: The U Bar to open in old Sir’s BBQ space in U. City

February 26th, 2015

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The space at 6714 Olive Blvd., in University City will see new life next month as The U Bar, opening March 6. The U Bar is a venture by husband and wife team Jason and April Spain. Though the Spains have experience in the nightlife biz (He was the owner of now defunct J. Spain’s Waffles & Wings at 1901 Washington Ave.) , they aren’t going for a late-night club scene this time. Instead, The U Bar will lean toward neighborhood bar and grill.

The Spains hope to attract lunch-goers from offices on Olive Street and to keep the traffic flowing with a happy hour and as an evening hangout. “We want to create a neighborhood vibe that is comfortable, approachable, safe,” said Jason Spain, a University City resident.

The abbreviated menu includes just six or seven items. Spain ticked off hand-battered wings, a burger, fries, hand-battered shrimp, a chicken sandwich and a salad, plus periodic specials. “Everything hand-made. We’re not freezing anything,” Spain said. “We’re a bar with a great kitchen.”

The full-service bar will not be “fancy-dancy,” said Spain, but that doesn’t mean cocktails won’t be made with care. Expect fresh juice in that mixed drink “to get the flavor and taste of what great cocktails are,” he said. The U Bar will have six beers on tap and a small selection of wine.

The Spains made minimal changes to the 50-seat interior since its days as Sir’s BBQ, which closed in late 2012. Spain said the tweaks they have made emphasize the history and architecture of the building, whose art deco glass block windows are a prominent feature at the entrance.

The U Bar initially will be open Monday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. After a few weeks, it will open for lunch at 11 a.m.

 

 

Sneak Peek: Público

February 26th, 2015

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Nearly one year ago, restaurateur Mike Randolph announced his plans to open South American gastropub Público at 6679 Delmar Blvd., just doors from his Neopolitan pizzeria The Good Pie in The Loop. The wait for the wood-fired cantina is nearly over; Público opens doors for dinner March 3.

The menu is divided into crudo (raw), botanas (snacks), tacos, arepas (corn pancakes), parrilla (grill items) and desserts. In the raw section, look for appetizers like oysters and tiradito, a Peruvian dish of raw fish similar to sashimi served with a spicy aji pepper sauce. Botanas range from El Tri, a trio of house-made dips and salsas served with corn flatbread, to jalapeno soup with smoked trout. Diners can expect tacos with fillings such as seared shrimp, smoked chorizo, carnitas and carne asada on stone-ground corn tortillas made in-house. A custom-built open-wood hearth that also has smoking capabilities will turn out everything from Argentinian-style steak to whole grilled snapper. Although menu items cap at $15, expect an elevated presentation reminiscent of Randolph’s former restaurants-within-a-restaurant, Little Country Gentleman and Medianoche.

On the beverage side, bar manager Nick Diogiovanni will put rum, tequila and mezcal center stage. A frozen drink machine will also churn out a rotation of boosy slushes like Fernet and Coke. The wine list will focus on South American and Spanish wines, along with cellar wines (that include an extensive riesling selection from Little Country Gentleman days).

SPACE Architects + Design renovated the former hair salon, which now offers seating for 60 guests at a bar, a wall of booths, a 10-seat community table and a few stools along the counter next to the open kitchen.

Here’s what to expect when Público unlocks doors March 3:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

-photos by Michelle Volansky

Extra Sauce: A chat with Lidia Bastianich

February 25th, 2015

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Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich has made a career preparing, exploring and educating others through Italian-American cuisine. Now she returns to St. Louis for Falling in Love … In Five Courses, an annual five-course dinner to benefit students at St. Louis Community College. Bastianich will oversee the dinner, which takes place this Saturday, Feb. 28 at Four Seasons Hotel, with help from area chefs Gianni Colucci of Cielo, Casey Shiller of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar and STLCC culinary students.

Here, Bastianich shares her thoughts on the St. Louis culinary scene, the importance of culinary education, and who she turns to when she needs a little help in the kitchen.

This event supports the students at St. Louis Community College. Why is this something you wanted to be involved in?
What appeals to me is the education of young people that don’t have the opportunity to make a jump to a four-year college right away. This is such a great stepping stone.

You’ll be speaking with some of these culinary students before the event. What lessons are most important for them to learn?
You have to leave the door open. Culinary school is not just hands-on training … It is the possibility of opening a business, a restaurant, a store. It is the possibility of becoming a culinary teacher, of being a journalist on food, of writing cookbooks … teaching children.

You’ve been to St. Louis many times over the years. What are some of your favorite things about our city?
I connect because of the deeply-rooted Italian immigrant history that it has, from The Hill to the different restaurants, bocce playing, Yogi Berra comes from there … There are a lot of Italian-isms, if you will … I had a great time at Rigazzi’s, Trattoria Marcella, Cunetto House of Pasta, Giovanni’s on the Hill, Charlie Gitto’s.

What are your thoughts on the St. Louis food scene?
I think that it’s a vibrant city as far as food. They enjoy their wine … they’re into food, the markets… I think it has joie de vivre.

People seem to be more into food now than ever before, not just dining out but cooking, too. To what do you attribute that?
Many things: the press, the writing on food, all the exposure: television, Internet, social media. Food is all over, and the understanding and importance of food for our health … And beyond that, the pleasure that food gives us. Food is a venue for nurturing somebody, for loving, for expressing a kind of affection. So it has become a social medium. I remember I had the first restaurant in ’71, it was “OK, a quick dinner and then let’s go to a show.” Now, dinner is the show.

What new projects are you working on?
My third children’s book just came out (Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidias Egg-citing Farm Adventure). … I’m working on a master cookbook that’s going to be out in the fall. It is a compilation of over 400 recipes, a glossary, traditions, instructions and all of that.

What are you cooking right now?
Soups. My 94-year-old mother lives with me. I make soups and freeze them so when I’m traveling she has her meals ready. … In this weather, it is all about soup and braised meats. Before I left, did a big pot of braised ribs. So there you have the ribs are falling off the bone, but also the sauce, and then I package it for Grandma and she has a meal.

You’re an authority on Italian-American cooking, but when you branch out, whom do you look to for advice?
I can call up Jacques (Pepin) and say “Hey, Jacques…” But when I kind of venture a bit out, certainly Rick Bayless for Mexico … Ming Tsai if I’m going to have Chinese problems, or Indian… Madhur Jaffrey is my friend also. So I’m covered.

Editor’s Note: Sauce is a sponsor of Falling in Love … In Five Courses.

The Scoop: Area distilleries win big at American Craft Spirits Association awards

February 25th, 2015

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{Wood Hat Spirits owner Gary Hinegardner}

 

St. Louis and Missouri were well represented this month among the winners of the American Craft Spirits Association awards, held Feb. 15 in Austin. Area distilleries Still 630 and Wood Hat Spirits won a gold medal each for their RallyPoint Maple Sunset Whiskey and Blue Corn Whiskey, respectively. The Blue Corn Whiskey also took best in category for corn spirits.

“The craft distilleries in Missouri, and in particular St. Louis, are growing,” said Gary Hinegardner, owner of Wood Hat Spirits in New Florence. “We’re getting national attention. We’re doing good stuff. We can stand up in the world and be counted.”

These are the first awards from the ACSA for Still 630’s spirits, according to David Weglarz, owner and distiller of Still 630. Weglarz stated he was thrilled. “Two years ago, I taught myself how to distill,” he said. “It has been so validating to see others enjoy what I make.”

Ste. Genevieve upstart Defiant Spirits brought home a silver medal for its Defiance Whiskey. Missouri liqueurs, too, had a good showing: In addition to its top honors, Wood Hat won a bronze medal for its black walnut liqueur. Still 630 took bronze for its SS Sorghum Whiskey and Soulard Island Rum, as did Maryland Heights distiller Stilljoy Spirits for its Movados cinnamon, ginger and vanilla liqueurs.

The American Craft Spirits Association Awards was judged by industry professionals and featured more than 200 distillers from around the country. This is not the first year area liquor-makers have earned nods from the judges – last year, Wood Hat clinched a gold and bronze and Square One Distilling took two bronzes.

Sauce intern Rima Parikh contributed to this report.

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