This Week's Dish: New Chefs To Note, Seasonal Additions For Cocktails And Busy Brewer Updates

By Molly Rippinger
In Food
Image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis announced that a new executive chef, Gian Nicola Colucci, would be taking the reins at Cielo Restaurant and Bar. Colucci is a native Italian with previous experience including stints as the executive sous chef at Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf in London and as executive chef at Resort Daniel in Venice, Italy. Executive chef Fabrizio Schenardi made the decision to leave St. Louis in order to accept a role at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. The leap between the two chefs won’t be too great considering both have similar culinary backgrounds and also grew up in the same Italian town.

The Central West End mainstay, Scape American Bistro, also announced that Eric Kelly has stepped down from his role as executive chef, which he has held since the restaurant’s opening more than six years ago. Kelly has left to pursue an opportunity in Seattle with Restaurants Unlimited, where he will spearhead the group operations for all 49 restaurants. The new executive chef will be Joe Everett, who was previously Kelly’s right-hand man as sous chef at Scape, making it a smooth transition for both the current kitchen staff and devoted diners.

Another executive chef swap to note is that at Molly’s in Soulard, where David Timney has been replaced Bryan Johnson. Sauce Magazine announced the news last week, stating that prior to accepting the role at Molly’s, Johnson was on the line at Brasserie and sous chef at Central Table. Taste the French culinary flare that Johnson intends to bring to Molly’s when his first full menu, including items like oysters Rockefeller and oyster po’ boys, is launched on May 1.

With the arrival of spring, restaurants around the area are sprouting their new seasonal menus, which include updates for behind the bar as well as in the kitchen. The Libertine’s bar staff just released a line of libations that turn more to refreshing tequilas, fresh-squeezed citrus and house-made ingredients. One of their great springtime sippers is the “Skatalite in Jalisco,” which mixes El Tesoro Platinum Tequila and crème de cassis along with their house-made pink peppercorn-strawberry tincture and ginger beer. Another new addition is The Libertine’s bottled cocktail program that serves up a double dose drink that’s large enough for two to share. Check out their “Libertine Smash,” which is anchored by muddled strawberries, Opal Basil Aqua Fresca and Dark Horse ‘Rider’ Vodka. If you’re feeling creative, ask a bartender about special modifications that can be added into the mix, like key lime confit. 7927 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.2999.

Civil Life Brewing Company is also making a springtime switch to their menu, in that chef Brendan Kirby now offers barbecue on Sundays. As reported by Feast Magazine, the new ‘cue menu replaces the popular Soup Sundays with a wide range of offerings from Kirby’s Backwoods Smoker. Look for both the classics, like brisket and pulled pork, along with less expected crowd-pleasers like smoked tofu. For something to sip on while enjoying the barbecue, Civil Life is working on a cream ale that will debut mid-May. 3714 Holt Ave., Tower Grove South.

In other brew-related news, the most recent addition to the building at 2017 Chouteau Ave., 21st Amendment: The Brewer’s Bar, has been busy juggling numerous events and an extensive beer list. On Wednesday, April 23 at 6pm the bar will tap a cask-conditioned ale, called a “firkin,” made specifically by Lagunitas Brewing Company for 21st Amendment. The unfiltered, unpasteurized ale is unique because it’s naturally carbonated from the secondary cask fermentation. Also, right next door to 21st Amendment inside the building at 2017 Chouteau Ave. is PW Pizza where on Wednesday, May 28 there will be a brew master beer dinner with Boulevard Brew Co. The brewers will walk guests through the four-course meal, explaining how each of the craft brews pair with the elements of the dish. Reservations are required and the dinner begins at 6pm. $25.99 per person. 2017 Chouteau Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.241.7799. 

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