Openings, Closings and Relocations: The Hot News in STL Dining This Week
Tue., July 23: After years of pleasing our palates with his culinary creations at Monarch, The Chase Park Plaza, BARcelona and Coastal, Brian Hale has finally opened his own restaurant. Enter Jax Cafe in Benton Park. Housed in the former Pointer’s Market location, Jax Cafe serves dressed-up classics like burgers and dogs, shrimp and grits, and red velvet cake. But with an emphasis on “dressed-up.” Your burger comes with a smear of boursin cheese, housemade steak sauce, onion straws, bacon and pickle relish. The hot dog is topped with pepperoni, sauerkraut, tomato jam, onion marmalade and bourbon mustard. Those shrimp and grits—as if that dish needed any help—is spiced up with tasso, creole sauce and crispy onions. And decadent red velvet cake is given a spin with toasted coconut, amaretto and cream cheese. And Hale is just getting started. We can’t wait to see what else he serves up at Jax.
2901 Salena St., Benton Park, 314.449.1995.
Thu., July 25: If, like us, you’ve missed Veritas Gateway to Food and Wine since it closed its doors earlier this year, rejoice! It’s now open in its new location, at the corner of Clarkson and Clayton roads in Ellisville—a corner that’s shaping up to be a culinary destination these days with the additional introductions of Windowsills Cafe and Crafty Chameleon taphouse. Veritas is the newest kid on the block, but it’s an old fave for many. With a renewed focus on its menu offerings, you can still find your favorite lunch items—like their local grass-fed burger, salmon BLT or triple-pork sandwich with shoulder, belly and bacon aioli—or make new friends with their expanded Mustard Bar menu, featuring dinner and drink items. Check out the Devils on Horseback—cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped prunes served with peanuts and balsamic gastrique—or the corn-fried ribs with sorgum aioli and molasses-soy barbecue sauce. And wash it all down with a concoction from their new cocktail menu, such as the Smoke in Your Ice, made with chipotle tequila, Thatcher’s blood orange, sour and agave nectar with a smoked salt rim.
15860 Fountain Plaza, Ellisville, 636.530.9505.
Fri., July 26: From former copy editor at The Post-Dispatch to independent bakery owner, Amy Verkamp-McArthy turned an unexpected layoff into a sweet career opportunity. A life-long baker, Verkamp-McArthy traded in her red pens for oven mitts and opened Amy’s Corner Bakeshop in The Grove. And oh boy, are we glad she did. Her tasty treats include scones, muffins, cookies, brownies, cheesecake and more in daily flavor offerings, served up with hot or cold coffee drinks. We look forward to the fall, when Verkamp-McArthy plans to add a lunch menu.
4476 Chouteau, The Grove, 314.371.2253.
Sat., July 27: The Good Pie served its last pizza in Midtown on Saturday…for now! Don’t worry. The beloved Neapolitan-style pizzeria will reopen in September inside Ginger Bistro in The Loop. And stop freaking out, Ginger Bistro isn’t closing either. The current space will be divided into two restaurants; one for The Good Pie and one for Ginger Bistro. Now everyone’s happy.
Thu., Aug. 1: Corner 17 opened in The Loop, offering Chinese cuisine and bubble tea. What sets Corner 17 apart from its like-minded restaurants is the abundance of fresh ingredients and juices used in their menu items, as well handmade noodles made fresh before your eyes. Check out their Chinese barbecue menu, including the barbecue skewers, available only after 4 pm.
6623 Delmar Blvd., The Loop.
Wed., July 31: Syberg’s opened the doors of their newest restaurant and bar on Central Park Road in O’Fallon, Ill. Known for their wings, which are often included on many of St. Louis’ Best Of lists, the restaurant also serves mouth-watering burgers, fresh salads, St. Louis-style pizzas and more.
1310 Central Park Drive, O’Fallon, Ill., 618.622.0801.
Fri., Aug. 2: Lil’ Willies’ Backyard BBQ, located on the lower patio of Hendricks BBQ in St. Charles, opened as a weekends-only backyard eatery. It will serve canned beer, bottled cocktails and barbecue—including pork steaks, beer-braise brats and barbecue chicken—at its picnic tables on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And on Sundays you can catch their brunch menu, which features $5 all-you-can-eat pancakes, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, house cured and smoked black pepper maple bacon, housemade garden sage pork sausage and an extensive Bloody Mary bar.
1200 S. Main St., St. Charles, 636.724.8600.
Tue., Aug 6: The Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch opens its doors to the public today. The new outdoor beer tasting venue serves a variety of Anheuser-Busch beers, including 17 on draught, in a traditional German biergarten environment. Located at the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery and Tour Center, guests to The Biergarten are invited to participate in an exclusive 3 pm tasting, the same time Anheuser-Busch brewmasters from around the country taste beer each day.
1200 Lynch St., Soulard, 314.577.2626.
Fall 2013: This just in from the rumor mill… Lassaad Jeliti of Bar Italia and his partner are opening a barbecue joint in the Polar Wave Ice & Fuel Building at 2200 Gravois Ave in Benton Park. The proposed eatery will be called Spare No Ribs and will serve traditional American barbecue in addition to Central American-style barbecue, salads and beer on draught. We’re keeping our ear to the ground (literally; it will live downstairs from the ALIVE office) and will catch you up with more details as we hear them.
Spring 2014: Bar Louie—with its popular eateries in Kirkwood and the Central West End—is planning its third area location in the forthcoming town center development in St. Charles. Fans of their unique ‘tinis and extensive burger list served up in urban environs will no doubt flock to its newest location, which will be part of a luxury living and nightlife community opening at I-70 and South Fifth Street in the fall.