Restaurants | St. Louis Public Radio

Restaurants

File photo: Customers line up outside Crown Candy Kitchen, which sits across from 2720 N. 14th Street. (June 5, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Contestants in the Fantasy Food Fare competition have been sweating it out in overtime to see who would make the final-three list for a free restaurant space in St. Louis' Old North neighborhood.

The list was set to be released on Tuesday. But Nos. 3 and 4 were too close to call. Finally, Wednesday night, the six judges decided to the only thing to do was expand the list to four finalists for the 2720 N. 14th St. location, across from Crown Candy Kitchen.

Logan Ely is the chef behind Square 1 Project, a pop-up restaurant concept.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Sound Bites is produced in partnership with Sauce Magazine, our monthly installment exploring cuisine in the St. Louis area.

Chef Logan Ely has been around the globe and back a few times since growing up in St. Louis. He spent time at Chicago’s North Pond Restaurant after graduating Forest Park Community College’s culinary program and from there went to Hong Kong and New York.

File photo: Customers line up outside Crown Candy Kitchen, which sits across from 2720 N. 14th Street. (June 5, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Some lucky St. Louisan is one step closer to winning a free restaurant space in the Old North neighborhood, across from Crown Candy Kitchen.

The Fantasy Food Fare Business Competition has announced its top 10 finalists for a package worth $100,000. Lynette Watson of the St. Louis Small Business Development Center said the list represents a wide variety of concepts. (See the full list below.)

“We have everything from French fusion, all the way to desserts and soul food,” Watson said.

The Sloppy Joe Joe, a dish at Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern, on Sauce Magazine's list of new restaurants to try in June.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of June.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Sauce Magazine’s Catherine Klene and Matt Sorrell joined host Don Marsh to discuss the best new restaurants to try during the month of June. They also filled us in on others that shut their doors in May. 

Tae Kim, manager of Oriental Spoon in Edwardsville, and Victor Jang, co-owner of Wudon BBQ Korean Restaurant in Creve Coeur discussed the world of Korean cuisine with St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’re cued into the St. Louis foodie scene at all, you’ve probably heard of David Choi’s Korean fusion favorite Seoul Taco. But have you tried one of the many strictly Korean restaurants in town?

Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, left, and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street, seen in these file photos, are James Beard Award finalists for the second year in row
Provided | Sauce Magazine

For the second year in a row, two St. Louis chefs with the same first name are finalists for an award from the James Beard Foundation. Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café, 2000 Sidney St., and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus, 3257 Ivanhoe Ave., are each nominated in the category of “Best Chef: Midwest.”  

Last year, Minneapolis chef Paul Berglund took home the award but at the time, Nashan said he was “just grateful to be on the bus.”

Lemon Gem owner Beth Styles.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of January.

On Thursday, Catherine Klene and Meera Nagarajan, the magazine’s managing editor and art director, respectively, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know. 

Applicant Yashica McKinney talks with Lynette Watson with the St. Louis Small Business Development Center on Jan. 4, 2017, at the restaurant contest event. The Parks sign is from a former business in the building, according to a competition co-sponsor.
File | Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

A contest offering a free restaurant space catty-cornered from Crown Candy Kitchen on St. Louis Avenue is hitting its stride.

More than 100 people have contacted organizers about the Fantasy Food Fare Business Competition. Today, in the first of two informational meetings, a half-dozen toured the 4,000-square-foot space at 2720 N. 14th Street.

Lynette Watson of the St. Louis Small Business Development Center hopes a new eating establishment will lead to other opportunities in the area.

From left, Nick Blue, Gerard Craft and Chris Kelling at Sardella, one of Sauce Magazine's 'best new restaurants' of 2016.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine

In the Sauce Magazine office, there is a meticulously edited running spreadsheet. On it are the names, dates, and addresses for each of the over 100 restaurants that opened in St. Louis in 2016.

Gianna Ceriotti and Emily Catanzaro pet Paul during a recent visit to Mauhaus Cat Café in Maplewood. (Dec. 7, 2016)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

There’s a new café in St. Louis, where you can get a cappuccino and your cat fix.

Mauhaus Cat Café  in Maplewood offers coffee and pastries, and houses 10 cats from Tenth Life Cat Rescue available for petting, playing and adoption.

The spot opened in November and already is so popular that if you’re interested in going, you’ll need to book your visit early, co-founder Dana Huth said.

“We’ve had some waits as long as an hour to get in just because it’s a limited space and we don’t want to overcrowd it,” Huth said.

Cevin Lee poses with his daughter, Alana, and mother,  Phan Ly, at Hong Kong Express on South Grand Boulevard on Nov. 14, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Cevin Lee of St. Louis never meant to follow in the footsteps of his parents, who’ve run Asian restaurants for most of his life.

But a health crisis led Lee back to the family’s passion for food, and recently, to open his own restaurant, Garden on Grand, 2245 South Grand Blvd. — next door to his parents’ Hong Kong Express. It was something he once swore he’d never do.

Apples and leaves.
NWY69 | Flickr

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of October.

Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes, both managing editors at the magazine, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know. 

The three they highlighted as 'must-try'? Narwhal's Crafted Urban Ice, Snow Factory and The Garden on Grand. Read more about them here

The Fantasy Food Fare Business Competition winner will be open a restaurant at this location at St. Louis Avenue and North 14th Street in St. Louis' Old North area, seen in this file photo.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis contest is offering an unusual prize: a nearly fully-equipped restaurant.

Three local organizations are holding a competition in which the winner gets two years of free rent at a restaurant space catty-cornered from Crown Candy Kitchen, on St. Louis Avenue in the Old North area. The prize is a nearly finished 4,464-square-foot space equipped with walk-in freezers, food-prep areas, a ventilation system and even the kitchen sink. The package is worth up to $100,000.

Clockwise from bottom, Gerard Craft, Dave Bailey, Kevin Nashan, Nick Luedde
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

What makes us choose favorite restaurants?

On the latest edition of Sound Bites, Sauce Magazine’s art director Meera Nagarajan explained that diners look for consistency. In other words, we want to know that when we go to a restaurant, we’re going to have a positive, delicious experience.

In Sauce Magazine’s annual Reader’s Choice Poll, St. Louisans identified the top four restaurateurs in the area:

sirmichael | Flickr | http://bit.ly/21qhnIM

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of May.

Meera Nagarajan and Heather Hughes, the magazine’s art director and managing editor, respectively, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

On their list? (Read the full post here)

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Michael and Tara Gallina are the proprietors of Rooster and the Hen, a culinary concept — they say — that seeks to delight eaters through thoughtfulness; for the way our food is grown and raised, to the care and warmth in which it's served.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of April.

Meera Nagarajan and Kristen Schultz, the magazine’s art director and staff writer, respectively, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

The three restaurants they highlighted?

Some St. Louisans enjoy a full breakfast; others get by on coffee alone. Then there's everything in between, from rum cake to Gogurts.
Susannah Lohr / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is known for toasted Ravioli and Ted Drewes. But what do we eat for the most important meal of the day?

We at St. Louis Public Radio have become sorta-experts on what St. Louisans wake up to. That’s because when we interview people (including each other), we often begin with the question, “What did you have for breakfast?” to check our microphone levels.

Multicolored peppers
mgstanton | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1QRJCip

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of March.

Meera Nagarajan and Heather Hughes, the magazine’s art director and managing editor, respectively, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

On their list? Olive & Oak, Boundary, The Muddled Pig Gastropub, and more.

Thomas Hawk, Flickr, Creative Commons

In the second installment of the weekly ‘Behind the Headlines’ segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed three top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them. 

Here’s what we talked about:

Downtown restaurant closures

Flickr, Damian Gadal, creative commons

St. Louis native Danny Meyer recently rocked the restaurant world, making national news with his decision to eliminate tipping from his family of New York City restaurants.

Some have lauded Meyer’s decision as the first true step towards a more equal restaurant; others question its feasibility, predicting a mass exodus of servers and a reduction in service quality.

Vince Valenza, owner of Blues City Deli
Sauce Magazine

The restaurant business is known for having small profit margins. It’s competitive and sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference between a successful restaurant and one that’s not.

Gerard Craft throws a pizza crust at Pastaria
Greg Rannells

Local restaurateur Gerard Craft has long been a bridesmaid in the pursuit of a coveted James Beard Award. Now he’s the bride. After six years as a nominee, Craft won the "Best Chef: Midwest" award in a Monday night gala in Chicago.

Mamacitas Ancho Fried Chicken & Waffles from Atomic Cowboy
(Courtesy: Sauce Magazine)

There’s new interest in an old favorite: fried chicken. It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods, and has become a popular dish at St. Louis’ old and new restaurants.

Old Standard Fried Chicken is one of those new restaurants, opening in October. As its name indicates, the restaurant specializes in fried chicken.

The original Yacovelli's opened in 1919, but the restaurant has been in its current Florissant location since 1965.
Stephanie Lecci

After 95 years in business, thousands of customers, and hundreds of employees, the well-known Yacovelli's Restaurant in Florissant will close its doors Jan. 1.

The Italian restaurant and banquet center has been in the Yacovelli family since 1919. But owners Jack and Jan Yacovelli decided in September that it was time to close the iconic eatery.

"We’re tired, we want to have more time," Jan said. "We both have our health. It’s time to enjoy life. We’ve worked really hard our whole life."

Sauce Magazine

While the turmoil in Ferguson has switched from the death of Michael Brown to the police presence and now back to Brown, the area's residents are trying to return to a sense of normalcy.

Among them are several locally owned restaurants and businesses, which are "vital to communities," said Ligaya Figueras, executive editor of Sauce Magazine, for our monthly SoundBites segment.

Many of the restaurants along Florissant Avenue in Ferguson decided together to close on Monday.

Karen Duffy, left, and Margaret Kelly, a Duff's waiter since 1978.
Harper Barnes | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: "Welcome to our tavern, a fine and public place

to rest and talk, in momentary stay,

where food loves drink, and life and art embrace."

-- Jon Dressel, founder of Dressel's pub, in a poem read at Duff's