Matt Sorrell | St. Louis Public Radio

Matt Sorrell

The Parlor's Cup at Parlor, a bar located in the Grove neighborhood, is just one offering among a growing trend of low-to-no-ABV cocktails.
Carmen Troesser | Sauce Magazine

An evening of merriment, fun and flavor doesn’t have to involve alcohol – that’s an oft-repeated and frequently doubted notion. But it’s a growing mantra even among some bartenders and drink-industry enthusiasts, and it needn’t be a buzz kill.

Plus, for people trying to drink less – or not at all – it’s a welcome trend that can make the idea of going out socially much more appealing.

“It’s so valuable to remove that social element of not drinking,” said Heather Hughes, managing editor of Sauce Magazine. “If you’re trying not to drink for whatever reason – if you think you may have a problem or if you are pregnant – it’s a huge issue of concern to go out with people.”

Sauce recommends the the seared scallop dish on a bed of chopped summer squash, corn, tomato and lemon verbena from Bakers & Hale in Godfrey, Illinois.
Photo courtesy of Sauce Magazine

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with Sauce Magazine’s Heather Hughes and Matt Sorrell about new restaurants to try during the month of September.

On their list are these six restaurants:

Left, Matt Sorrell, David Sandusky and Otis Walker ignite a conversation about barbecue with host Don Marsh on Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis on the Air

For the backyard barbecuer ready to light up the grill for the Fourth of July, there’s no need to stress about which method or recipe is best.

“You can have a guy driving a Corvette, and another guy out here driving a Mustang, but if you can’t drive, it doesn’t make no difference,” Otis Walker said making an analogy for various barbecuing methods on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

The Boathouse in Forest Park is one new restaurant featured on this month's Hit List.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, two staff members from Sauce Magazine joined host Don Marsh to talk about new restaurants in and around Forest Park, as well as their favorite patios.

Lona Luo, originally from rural China, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh and Sauce Magazine’s Matt Sorrell for a conversation about the success of her restaurant, Lona’s Lil Eats.
Virginia Harold | Sauce Magazine

Two key ingredients make up Lona Luo’s philosophy at her popular Chinese eatery in St. Louis’ Fox Park neighborhood: great food and excellent service.

The Lona’s Lil Eats chef suspects that both had something to do with her being named a James Beard Award semifinalist earlier this year.

“That’s what they are looking for all the time, no matter what, no matter where,” Luo said of the recent recognition during a conversation this week on St. Louis on the Air.

Cider flights are among the offerings on tap at Brick River Cider Co., one of four must-try places on Sauce Magazine's latest Hit List.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The first question that St. Louis on the Air’s Don Marsh asked the Sauce Magazine team during Friday’s Hit List segment had to do with the word “cidery.”

The term was new to Marsh and understandably so, with St. Louis’ first such cider-focused brewery opening just about a week ago. Located in a former firehouse on Washington Avenue, Brick River Cider Co. was the first of four new, must-try restaurants that Catherine Klene and Matt Sorrell plugged during the discussion.