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W A S T E

N O T

the case for eating ugly carrots, beef neck and beetle-bitten crops

turning weeds into fine dining at a rooster and the hen pop-up p. 36

O N

R E V I E W

THE MOVE

OLIVE & OAK

G O L D

RELIEF

P. 19

P. 44

P. 27

M A R K E T P. 50

ST. LOUIS’ INDEPENDENT CULINARY AUTHORITY

April 2016

P U R E

SAUCEMAGAZINE.COM

T A X

FREE, APRIL 2016

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A P R I L 2 016 • VO LUM E 16, ISSU E 4

How do you like your eggs?

PUBLISHER ART DIRECTOR MANAGING EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR, DIGITAL ASSOCIATE EDITOR EDIBLE WEEKEND EDITOR STAFF WRITER PROOFREADER PRODUCTION DESIGNER CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Hard-boiled and cut in half for breakfast with guacamole or hummus

ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES ADVERTISING ACCOUNTS COORDINATOR EVENTS COORDINATOR LISTINGS EDITOR INTERNS

To place advertisements in Sauce Magazine contact the advertising department at 314.772.8004 or sales@saucemagazine.com. To carry Sauce Magazine at your store, restaurant, bar or place of business Contact Allyson Mace at 314.772.8004 or amace@saucemagazine.com. All contents of Sauce Magazine are copyright ©2001-2016 by Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. The Sauce name and logo are both registered to the publisher, Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. Reproduction or other use, in

Chopped up in a tangy egg salad

Allyson Mace Meera Nagarajan Heather Hughes Catherine Klene Scrambled with goat Tiffany Leong cheese and basil, or fried and finished with truffle oil, Catherine Klene or fried on a sandwich. Kristin Schultz I eat a lot of eggs. Emily Lowery Michelle Volansky Jonathan Gayman, Ashley Gieseking, Elizabeth Maxson, Greg Rannells, Carmen Troesser, Michelle Volansky Vidhya Nagarajan Glenn Bardgett, Andrew Barrett, Matt Berkley, Heather Hughes, Kellie Hynes, Jamie Kilgore, Ted Kilgore, Cory King, Karen King, Catherine Klene, Tiffany Leong, Meera Nagarajan, Michael Renner, Dee Ryan, Kristin Schultz Allyson Mace Jill George, Angie Rosenberg Jill George Amy Hyde Amy Hyde Kathleen Adams, Hannah Ballard, Christian Deverger

whole or in part, of the contents without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. While the information has been compiled carefully to ensure maximum accuracy at the time of publication, it is provided for general guidance only and is subject to change. The publisher cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information or be responsible for omissions or errors. Additional copies may be obtained by providing a request at 314.772.8004 or via mail. Postage fee of $2.50 will apply. Sauce Magazine is printed on recycled paper using soy inks.

EDITORIAL POLICIES The Sauce Magazine mission is to provide St. Louis-area residents and visitors with unbiased, complete information on the area’s restaurant, bar and entertainment industry. Our editorial content is not influenced by who advertises with Sauce Magazine or saucemagazine.com. Our reviewers are never provided with complimentary food or drinks from the restaurants in exchange for favorable reviews, nor are their identities as reviewers made known during their visits.

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St. Louis, MO 63103 April 2016


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contents APRIL 2016

editors' picks

29

ELIXIR Conquering the wine list

11

by kristin schultz

EAT THIS Bread basket at Juniper

by catherine klene

30

VEGETIZE IT Vegan risotto

13

by kellie hynes

HIT LIST 3 new places to try this month

by meera nagarajan and kristin schultz

33

MAKE THIS Matzo brittle

by dee ryan

16

TRENDWATCH A look at what’s on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list right now

by catherine klene, tiffany leong, meera nagarajan and kristin schultz

last course 48

STUFF TO DO by kristin schultz

reviews 19

NEW AND NOTABLE Olive & Oak

by michael renner

50

WHAT I DO Jeremy Goss of The St. Louis MetroMarket

by heather hughes

22

Features

Porano Pasta

36

LUNCH RUSH by andrew barrett 25

NIGHTLIFE The Night Owl by Tree House

by matt berkley

WASTE NOT The case for eating ugly carrots, beef neck and beetle-bitten crops

by heather hughes

44

GOLD STANDARD by kristin schultz

dine & drink PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER

27

A SEAT AT THE BAR Five experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake

by glenn bardgett, cory and karen king, and ted and jamie kilgore April 2016

vegan risotto with beets p. 30

Correction: In the March 2015 issue, we incorrectly identified the Reubens on p. 29. Dalie's Smokehouse' Ultimate Reuben was on the left; Blues City Deli's Prez Reuben was in the center. We regret the error.

COVER DETAILS Waste Not Pullet egg with donko shiitake mushroom, weeds and cheddar from a Rooster and the Hen pop-up. Learn more about the no-waste movement on p. 36 PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER

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publisher’s perspective

LINE SINCE THE MAGAZINE WAS FOUNDED IN 1999. LIFE SHOULD BE THIS SIMPLE, RIGHT? But eating well – and therefore living well – is not that simple for a large part of our community. Many lower-income St. Louis residents live in food deserts, where they lack access to quality, affordable groceries. It’s a harsh reality. Even as our magazine lauds the latest new restaurant or culinary trend, we are aware that thousands of our neighbors have difficulty accessing fresh fruits and vegetables and may not know where their next meal is coming from. It’s a stark reminder as you

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snap your latest glory shot for Instagram or gripe about hunger – your easy access to healthy food and drink is a privilege not everyone enjoys. In our April issue, we shed light on those working to solve this complicated problem. An innovative solution has arrived with The St. Louis MetroMarket: a former Metro bus turned into mobile farmers market. Founded by Colin Dowling, Tej Azad and Jeremy Goss, a SLU medical student and social entrepreneur,

MetroMarket will help provide those living in St. Louis food deserts with fresh, nutritious produce many of us take for granted. (See p. 50 to learn more about MetroMarket.) When MetroMarket hits the road this spring, it will join other organizations tackling this issue. Community gardens like Hope Builds, EarthDance Farms, Urban Harvest STL and Seeds of Hope Farm, and nonprofits like Food Outreach, Operation Food Search and the St. Louis Food Bank

From left, St. Louis MetroMarket co-founder Jeremy Goss and Allyson Mace chat aboard the city bus-turned-farmers market.

provide education and assistance to those St. Louisans who need it most. I applaud and support the muchneeded work of initiatives like MetroMarket. Healthy, fresh food is something we should all be entitled to, as we are all entitled to live well. PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

“ D I N E , D R I N K A N D L I V E W E L L” H A S B E E N S A U C E ’ S TA G

Gratefully,

Allyson Mace Founder and publisher

April 2016


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editors' picks

EAT THIS

THE BREADBASKET at JUNIPER always puts us in a quandary. Do we start with the airy popover or the crumbly, buttery wedge of cornbread? In a battle of biscuits, do the delicate layers of the buttermilk variety deserve more attention than the sturdier angel biscuits? And let us not forget the thick slices of slightly sweet, brioche-like Sally Lunn. Only one PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

thing is certain: When faced with such delicious dilemmas, we won’t leave a single crumb behind. JUNIPER, 360 N. BOYLE AVE., ST. LOUIS, 314.329.7696, JUNIPEREATS.COM

April 2016

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hit list

3 new restaurants to try this month

Nashville hot chicken slider at Slider House

SLIDER HOUSE

PHOTO BY MICHELLE VOLANSKY

This Rock Hill spot is more chic than your average burger bar with slick marble tabletops, patterned wallpaper and exposed brick. Go for the eponymous sliders: The Texican has a spicy chorizo-spiced beef patty topped with melted pepper jack, slices of jalapeno and avocado and a smoked tomato remoulade. Or try the Bay of Pigs, a nod to a Cuban with smoked pork, shaved ham, Swiss, pickles and a Guinness-based dijonnaise on a sturdy pretzel bun. Make it a winning trio with The Southern Comfort, featuring a crisp hand-breaded fried chicken breast that’s tossed in a sweet, spicy Sriracha-honey glaze and topped with lettuce and tomato.

9528 Manchester Road, Rock Hill, 314.942.6445, thesliderhouse.com

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PHOTOS BY MICHELLE VOLANSKY

April 2016

Gaslight GASLIGHT Lounge offers LOUNGE guests a new take on live music. The speakeasy-style bar features a large window peeking into Gaslight’s working recording studio. While you enjoy the impromptu concerts piping through the speakers, sip inventive cocktails like the Pepe a Go Go, a sweeter take on the mojito with rum, agave, lime, basil, mint and a touch of jasmine liqueur for a floral note. Try the Smokey Joe: a mix of Buffalo Trace bourbon, aromatic mezcal, habenero syrup and a slice of baked peach for a subtly spicy sipper. Turn heads with The Beetnik, featuring local Pinckney Bend gin, house-made beet syrup, hibiscus-based Hum liqueur, Cynar artichoke liqueur, lemon juice and celery bitters. Fill your belly next door at newly opened Cha Cha on Shaw, the food truck’s new brick and mortar. Keep an eye out for the addictive Walking Taco on special. Grab your grub and return to Gaslight’s communal tables while you listen to new tracks as they’re being recorded.

4916 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, 314.496.0628, gaslightstl.com

From top: Plate from Local Chef Kitchen; desserts from Local Chef Kitchen; from left, Gaslight co-owners JB Anderson, Billy Holley and Matt Stelzer (not pictured: co-owner Ryan Anderson); Smokey Joe at Gaslight Lounge

A farm-fresh option is ripe for picking in Ballwin. Local Chef Kitchen offers dine-in and carryout for lunch and dinner focused on locally sourced produce and proteins. While the menu changes constantly, the vendors are area mainstays, including Todd Geisert Farms, Buttonwood Farm, Ozark Mountain Creamery and Thies Farm and Greenhouses. If you can catch these items, you should: cornmeal-dusted catfish, fried potatoes, squash mac and cheese, sauteed greens, Missouri beef pastrami and mushroom and spinach soup. Short on groceries? Pick up local meat, eggs and dairy while you’re there.

LOCAL CHEF KITCHEN

15270 Manchester Road, Ballwin, 636.220.3212, Facebook: Local Chef STL

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A look at what’s on the plate, in the glass and atop our wish list right now BY CATHERINE KLENE, TIFFANY LEONG, MEERA NAGARAJAN AND KRISTIN SCHULTZ

Hooked on whole fish

SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN

Forget fillets; St. Louis is looking whole fish square in the eye. Público and Olive & Oak encourage sharing with a rotating whole fish special. Boundary offers whole fried snapper with Vietnamese salad, or you can fuse those Vietnamese flavors with Peruvian notes at Copper Pig when you order the fried red snapper with sofrito rice, maduros and a chile-tamarind sauce. Dig into herb-stuffed and grilled pompano at Lona’s Lil Eats, then dive in at Chaparritos with Mexican mojarra, whole fried tilapia served with rice, beans and tomatoes.

We’ve had our eyes peeled for earthy, peppery turmeric, a rhizome or root-like stem that’s a relative of ginger, often found in Indian food. While we’re used to seeing turmeric in its powdered form, fresh turmeric is where it’s at. We’re seeing this antioxidant powerhouse root at newly opened Source Juicery in Edwardsville, in its Up Beet juice with beets, orange, carrot, apple, ginger and turmeric. It’s also found in Scratch Brewing Co.‘s Turmeric Braggot, a honey ale with a bright finish. Fresh turmeric was also spotted at Boundary, in a roasted leek and butternut squash curry. Local farmers are trying their hand at growing it, too: Gateway Garlic Urban Farm in St. Louis and River to River Farm in southern Illinois are both raising turmeric this year.

TORCHED

CARBONARA CHANGE UP

sweet heat Golden honey infused with chile peppers makes for a fiery topping around town. Hot spiced honey is drizzled over a mountain of rich butternut squash on toast at Cleveland-Heath, while the crew at Pastaria adds the spicy nectar to balance its ’nduja pie. Likewise, chef Cary McDowell was spotted drizzling this sticky treat atop Pi’s Burning Man pizza. Top your DIY creation with Mike’s Hot Honey at Porano Pasta or pick up a bottle at Larder & Cupboard in Maplewood.

Chefs are putting their stamps on this classic Roman dish. Carbonara traveled south of the Mason-Dixon line at Juniper, where country ham stepped in for bacon. Farmhaus has gilded the creamy lily with lobster and a butter-poached farm egg, while Eleven Eleven Mississippi opts for roasted red pepper fettuccine and grilled chicken. The Libertine combines two Italian favorites (cacio e pepe and carbonara) and adds crispy pork belly; Small Batch goes the vegetarian route with baconesque smoked mushrooms, roasted cauliflower and snap peas; and Element chef Josh Charles breaks the carbonara mold completely with celery root-black pepper tortellini, sous vide egg yolk and pancetta.

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ROMESCO RENAISSANCE

Romesco, a classic Spanish sauce made with almonds and red bell peppers, is traditionally served with seafood, but area chefs are slathering veggies with it, too. At Retreat Gastropub, the vibrant sauce adds brightness to Brussels sprouts, and it serves as a bed for bright roasted beets topped with pine nuts and cucumbers at Element. Over at The Preston, romesco sees its familiar fishy counterpoint (roasted bronzino here), but adds ancho chiles to the red bell peppers for a smokier take on the classic.

OK Poke This cold, Hawaiian tuna dish is catching fire on the coasts and popping up here, too. Raw tuna is cut into chunks, then marinated in sauces like soy and ginger and served uncooked. Look for cool poke starters at the newly opened Boundary and both The Tavern Kitchen & Bar locations.

April 2016

HONEY AND FISH PHOTOS BY GREG RANNELLS

From trendy New Orleans watering holes like Compère Lapin to our hometown institutions, charred rosemary is the garnish of the moment. It made an appearance in the tequila-based Who is Dañejo Parseliti? at Randolfi’s, and it’s perched on The Muddled Pig’s namesake cocktail, which features an absinthe rinse and bacon-washed bourbon. You can also catch the torched branch stretched atop the Far and Away with apple-infused gin at Taste.


April 2016

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reviews All Sauce reviews are conducted anonymously.

beef tenderloin at olive & oak

new and notable Olive & Oak BY MICHAEL RENNER PHOTOS BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

I

t’s December, nine months from now, when everything eaten and drunk during the previous year has been reduced and assembled into a flurry of top 10 lists. You read that Olive & Oak is the Best Restaurant of 2016, bolstered by claims that the appetizer of smoked chicken meatballs “impressed more than any mere meatball should, more than any could” and that “the folks at Olive & Oak seem to have a knack for delivering what we want.”

n e w a n d n o t a b l e O L I V E & O A K p . 1 9 / l u n c h r u s h P O R A N O PA S TA p . 2 2 / n i g h t l i f e T H E N I G H T O W L p . 2 5 April 2016

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The century-old, 2,600-square-foot space in Old Webster is nothing short of cool: high tin ceilings, tufted banquettes, cement floor, subway tile bar back and rustic wood tabletops. Two hearts – one a red neon light above the bar, the other carved from oak mounted near the entrance – signify more than a design choice. Hinkle and Ortyl originally met through charitable work for their sons, Oliver Hinkle and Oakes Ortyl, who both died in infancy from congenital heart defects. The restaurant was named in their honor.

reviews NEW AND NOTABLE p. 2 of 2

The long, narrow-ish The interior at room is made Olive & Oak visually wider by five huge mirrors. There’s storefront seating, but try to sit in the back near the open kitchen, where it smells especially good and the hustlebustle of a busy night quickens the pulse. If you don’t make a reservation, you will sit at the bar – which isn’t so bad.

Rewind to the present. Olive & Oak is 3 months old, and the throng of diners continues unabated. Owner Mark Hinkle and business partner Greg Ortyl, along with executive chef Jesse Mendica, have found that elusive sweet spot: a neighborhood eatery (a place people want to go to, not just because it’s close) and a destination restaurant (where people drive to Webster Groves to dine).

Potpie and roasted chicken brought simple comfort. I punctured the potpie and puffs of fragrant steam escaped from its buttery, flakey robe, revealing a treasure of mushrooms, kale, butternut squash and cauliflower bubbling in an earthy roasted leek gravy. The roasted chicken was just the right size: a crispy, juicy airline cut on a bed of braised tiny, creamy flageolet beans. If the dish sounds monochromatic, the preserved lemon salsa verde on top added not only a verdant splash but also an herby piquancy.

Both Hinkle and Mendica came from the celebrated Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield, where he was general manager, she the executive sous chef. It’s one reason why there’s a bit of Annie Gunn’s wafting about Olive & Oak, like the emphasis on ingredient-driven and straightforward cooking, thoughtful wine selections, informed service and an atmosphere that’s on the upper side of casual. It’s a place where, hyperbole aside, there is something for everyone; where you can spend a lot – or not.

AT A GLANCE Olive & Oak

Mendica knows her way around beef and fish. Thankfully, both are always featured on the constantly changing menu. A tenderloin, beautifully tender and fork-ready, came atop a cushion of cracked-pepper grits with a simple arugula salad for a bit of contrast. Fish selections change depending on what the restaurant’s purveyors catch and fly in. Order whatever

Where Olive & Oak, 102 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.736.1370, oliveandoakstl.com

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Don’t Miss Dishes Smoked chicken meatballs, potpie, beef tenderloin

it is. One night it was fluke, pan-seared to a golden crust, zapped with a bit of piercing pickled jalapeno-cucumber salad on top and black bean puree underneath, a seemingly incongruous combination until I had a little of everything on my fork. Sometimes taste makes sense of the visually unexpected. There were oysters, crab, shrimp and a stuffed clam so fattened with lardo and casino butter that it encapsulated the perfect bite of sea and earth. And those chicken meatballs? Four walnutsized orbs of ground smoked chicken, simultaneously firm and fluffy, rested in a cloud base of whipped ricotta, all doused with an agro dulce (sour-sweet) sauce spiked with golden raisins, currants and apricot that surprisingly didn’t smother the chicken’s smokiness.

Vibe Upscale casual with a cheerful buzz, but when packed it’s as loud as a Republican debate.

Entree Prices $16 to $34

The beverage program is both broad and familiar. Hinkle parlayed his wine knowledge into a well-designed selection of wines by the glass and an extensive bottle list, including half-bottles. Same goes for beer: All eight drafts pour craft brews with eight times that available in bottles. I like that Olive & Oak labels its cocktails by numbers, eschewing cutesy names and tiresome plays on words. Want a boozy whiskey drink laced with Big O ginger liqueur and hints of lemon, lime and torched rosemary? Order the No. 69 (actually, that is kind of funny). Like something with herbally Yellow Chartreuse? Get the No. 71, mixed with Amaro Nonino, lemon and cardamom. Among the changing edible desserts, I hope the carrot cake cheesecake – two layers separated by tangy cheesecake filling – makes future appearances. At present, Olive & Oak is on my 2016 top 10 list; if it keeps it up, there’s no telling what the future holds.

When Sun. and Mon. – 4 to 10 p.m.; Tue. to Thu. – 4 to midnight; Fri. and Sat. – 4 to 1 a.m.

April 2016


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reviews LUNCH RUSH

Lunch Rush

PORANO PASTA BY ANDREW BARRETT | PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH MAXSON

New to the MX and to the world, Porano brings big, unique flavors to a tried and true lunch formula. Think Chipotle but Italian with chef-owner Gerard Craft’s touch: Select a base, choose a sauce, pick a protein or vegetable and finish with two toppings. The upscale feel of the bright, clean space translates directly to the quality of ingredients that let you make heavy to light meals, all at a price point that’s easy to stomach.

sugo onto your romaine. The garlic and chile oil gives a salad a spicy kick. Each will taste great on a meatball, but the pomodoro really pops.

PROTEINS

the line at porano pasta

BASES Selecting the sturdy organic semolina pasta can take you in a traditional Italian direction, while choosing the romaine and kale mix might start off a hearty salad. If you’re on the hungrier side, combine the filling organic farro with Italian rice to soak up your sauce of choice.

SAUCES This isn’t a basic, hotmedium-or-mild affair: Three unique red sauces, three lighter dressings, an Alfredo, and a pumpkin seed and lime pesto can all adorn your base of choice. You can’t go wrong here, unless you’re dumping the smoky Sunday

For carnivores, there’s fallapart slow-roasted pork, plump juicy beef meatballs and well-seasoned marinated grilled chicken. For those who prefer non-animal parts, there’s spicy tofu and seasonal vegetables. Can’t decide? Get half and half of anything. Combining the vegetables with any protein makes a meal worthy of twice the price. Throwing the chicken on top of your romaine and kale makes one of the best lunch salads available downtown. I like the Sunday sugo sauce with the pork over rice; combined, they give a bento-like texture while maintaining the Italian flavor.

TOPPINGS Pasta and sauce need a little crunch? Add crispy garlic or breadcrumbs. Salad feeling too healthy? Choose from Grana Padano, mozzarella or

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Porano Pasta 634 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.6414, poranopasta.com farro and salad bowl with grilled chicken

frozen negroni

pecorino cheeses. Giardiniera? Add it to everything! Hot honey sounds weird, but it makes a great complement to the spicy tofu.

EXTRAS

THE DOWNSIDE

If your lunch needs an add-on, go for the fried risotto balls or the focaccia. And save room for a treat. The rotating selection of house-made gelato pops are dreamy, especially the Castaway with subtle papaya and coconut. A Negroni slushy is one of the better reasons to be an adult: It’s got all the bite of the classic cocktail with some sweetness. If only they served them in 32-ounce to-go cups.

So. Many. Choices. The only risk of a bad meal at Porano is by user error. Luckily, the excessively friendly staff has come up with predetermined bowls and is happy to help you choose your own combinations. It’s easy to fall into a rut ordering an old favorite, but it’s a challenge to make a bowl that doesn’t taste great, so order outside your comfort zone. Parking is the one thing that will prevent daily trips to Porano. Unless you work downtown and can walk, leave extra time to find a metered spot or be ready to pay for the MX garage, since Porano only validates on nights and weekends. April 2016


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nightlife

reviews

The Night Owl by Tree House

NIGHTLIFE

BY MATT BERKLEY | PHOTOS BY CARMEN TROESSER

nightly specials, colorfully scribbled on a chalkboard, listed adventurous fusion drinks when I was there. Like the Manhazarec: the best of both worlds, featuring spicy Old Overhold Rye paired with The Night Owl Camus Cognac and by Tree House Cocchi Americano. 3177 S. Grand Blvd., Whiskey forward St. Louis, 314.696.2100, and not too sweet, Facebook: The Night this was a potent Owl by Tree House and enjoyable sipper. Gin lovers would be pleased by the Thyme After Thyme – a colorful, refreshing and bittersweet mix of gin, Aperol, St. Germain, tonic and fresh thyme sprigs. The beer list was likewise eclectic and fun. It’s no shock that bigname domestics were cast aside (with the exception of Pabst Blue Ribbon of course), but an impressive amount of care clearly went into the local and regional tap and bottle choices. Offerings ranged from Excel East Side IPA to Perennial Abraxas – a thick, complex Imperial stout with a new place in my heart for slow, after-dinner sipping.

P

erched one flight up from Tree House Restaurant on South Grand Boulevard is The Night Owl by Tree House, a dim and cozy cocktail and craft beer joint tailor-made for the neighborhood. Eclectic and laidback to the point of being a little grungy, on my visit before a recent remodel it was a great nest for relaxing with friends on a beat-up old couch, Manhattan in hand. No bright signage drew me upstairs to this word-of-mouth bar, which looked like it spent a previous life as someone’s apartment. A reclaimed lumber bar lorded over two rooms, which afforded nice views of bustling South Grand through large windows. The walls were

April 2016

decorated with wooden and cardboard art playfully fashioned to resemble tree branches. In the back, a dark lounge area was littered with a handful of wellworn chairs and a cozy couch that may well have been snatched from someone’s basement. A DJ stationed in a corner of the front room enhanced the cool, clandestine loft party feel. It was the kind of place where you wouldn’t be surprised to find a keg of Miller High Life being tapped in the bathroom. Cocktails are the thing here. The bar’s creative and lighthearted concoctions were seriously flavor-focused. Nothing seemed done by mistake. Though the drinks menu has now changed,

ORDER IT: The Night Owl by Tree House

A classic Manhattan from The Night Owl bar.

The Night Owl utterly lacked pretention – an admirable feat, considering the meticulous drinks and the fact that it’s attached to a primarily vegan restaurant. But the hip atmosphere and serious bartenders were thankfully unaccompanied by ego. Not so much a roost for power drinkers or bar flies, The Night Owl caters to casual young professionals who appreciate a good drink and eccentric surroundings. Decibel levels tick up a few notches with guest DJs and occasional live jazz acts that play to a small crowd in the tight upstairs space on weekend nights. Young bar-goers are a notoriously fickle crowd, so it wouldn’t be earth-shattering news if The Night Owl someday goes back to being someone’s apartment. But this is a party worth checking out before it gets broken up. The hidden gem could work as a date spot, as well as a gathering place for old friends who prefer a house party vibe to the regular pub/club scene.

Enjoy an Excel East Side IPA overlooking South Grand Boulevard.

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April 2016


dine

& drink Income tax cocktails all around

ILLUSTRATIONS BY VIDHYA NAGARAJAN; PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER

A SEAT AT THE BAR / Five experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake The wine-guzzling circus elephants gracing the label of the 2013 Michael David Petite Petit make it clear that this 85-percent petite GLENN BARDGETT sirah, 15-percent petit Member of the Missouri Wine verdot blend delivers and Grape Board and wine on the fun. Next time director at Annie Gunn’s you’re dropping a few rib-eyes on the grill, grab a bottle of this oaky, juicy red, and you’ll go cray-cray for Petite Petit. $17. Grapevine Wines and Spirits, grapevinewinesandspirits.com

April 2016

Benjamin Franklin said the only things certain in life are death and taxes, but we’ll certainly be drinking an Income Tax Cocktail this month. Combine 1½ ounces gin, ½ ounce sweet vermouth, TED AND JAMIE ½ ounce dry vermouth, KILGORE ½ ounce orange juice USBG, B.A.R. Ready, BarSmart and a dash of Angostura and co-owners/bartenders at Planter’s House bitters. Shake vigorously with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a flamed orange peel. It’s a great way to soften the blow of tax season.

Many beer lovers are coffee lovers too, and coffee stouts combine the best of both worlds. Coffee can range from light, fruity and tea-like to robust, CORY AND roasty and full of KAREN KING chocolate and caramel Co-owners at Side Project notes, perfect for a Brewing and The Side wide variety of beer Project Cellar styles. One of our favorite coffee stouts is 4 Hands The Devil’s Invention, brewed with Goshen coffee. $7. Craft Beer Cellar, craftbeercellar.com

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WINE

CONQUER THE WINE LIST

ILLUSTRATION BY VIDHYA NAGARAJAN

B Y K R I S T I N S C H U LT Z

You’ve conquered the beer list and become a connoisseur of cocktails. You know IBU from ABV and have deep respect for the right ice in the right drink. It’s time to round out your libation education and become the Sir Edmund Hillary of Mount Vino. Some sommeliers organize large lists by region and grape varietal, while others break down their offerings by flavor profile or price. Don’t be daunted by French, Italian or wine snob-ese. Let the pros be your sherpa as you seek to conquer the list.

April 2016

M a tch wine to your cuisine.

Give blended wines a try.

Going all out?

“If you’re eating tapas, order a Spanish wine. If you’re eating Italian food, order an Italian wine,” said Famhaus wine director Myles Cameron. For cuisines not traditionally paired with wine, choose complementary flavors. “For Asian food with a spicier flavor with ginger and soy, I tend toward a German reisling or an Alsatian white – which can also stand up to Indian food.”

“They are specifically blended to enhance the flavors of the wine, as well as its region,” said Andrey Ivanov, Reeds American Table advanced sommelier and beverage director.

Buying by the glass can be the way to go if there is an experienced sommelier invovled. If you’re having a multi course meal, Annie Gunn’s wine director Glenn Bardgett prefers to order wine by the glass so he can pair different wines with each course. “I like wines by the glass for people who want to dance around. That’s half the fun!”

Feel free to go with your mood. Most people think about the dish or cuisine they’re hungry for, and Cameron said wine selections can follow this same thinking. If you’re craving a bold red, don’t order a vinho verde. Flavor notes can be helpful here.

Swap out the standards. “If you like chardonnay, try a grenache blanc or godello. They have the same body weight, but aren’t as oaky,” Cameron said. “Or try a grenache from Paso Robles, California instead of a syrah or shiraz.”

Buy the bottle, but not just any bottle. “Bottles can be less expensive per glass. You should get five glasses of wine per bottle, so take the bottle price and divide by five,” Ivanov said. “Avoid labels you can find in the grocery store but feel free to opt for an inexpensive bottle.”

Don’t get stuck with stale wine. Not all restaurants use proper wine storing procedures. If you only want a glass but you’re unsure how a place keeps their open bottles, go with sparkling. You don’t have to be a somm to tell when sparkling wine isn’t fresh. “If I order a wine by the glass, it’s always a sparkling wine,” said Aleksander Jovanovic, Truffles general manager and wine director.

Try a trendy, can’t-miss pick. Ivanov likes Greek and Portuguese wines. “They’re a good introduction to Old World wines because they’re grown in warm weather like California wines, so the flavors are familiar,” he said. “(Plus) they have a very accessible price point.” Jovanovic favors Macedonian wines. “They’re different, but familiar – similar in flavor to a zinfandel blend or petit syrah. It’s good for those who feel adventurous, and it’s a great value for the quality of wine.” saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 29


VEGETIZE IT

Vegan spring risotto BY KELLIE HYNES | PHOTOS BY CARMEN TROESSER

R

isotto without Parmesan is just rice,� retorted a foodie friend of mine as we talked shop in a meeting (aka, texted about dinner in the carpool line). And just like that, the veggie gauntlet was thrown. Yes, a handful of aged cheese usually finishes the dish. But risotto’s silky texture comes from the starch on the arborio rice, not milk. If ever there was a dish I could veganize without losing taste or texture, risotto was it.

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I sauteed onions in oil and vegan butter, then stirred in the rice. Toasting the rice in oil is the first secret to making al dente risotto. It helps the grains retain their firm bite, even after soaking up six cups of warm broth. The second and most important secret is to add that broth one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, allowing each addition to absorb before you pour in the next one. All that stirring literally knocks the starch from the rice to create a rich, dairy-free sauce. You’re stirring constantly about 20 minutes, so it really helps if you’re working through a disagreement with a pal. Using good broth is the third secret. I used Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base because it delivers more umami than anything I can make from scratch. The result was a salty, savory, Parmesan-free risotto. You can stop here and happily enjoy your vegan risotto (or, if you’re Carnivore Bob, you can throw a pork chop next to it). However, at the moment I’m obsessed with beets, a root vegetable that gives a nod to winter but looks as colorful as spring. They’re the perfect bridge to take my hearty risotto into warmer temperatures. Shredding and sauteing the raw beets made a risotto that was doubly disappointing; the beets remained crunchy while the rice devolved into mush, but roasting and pureeing the beets released their natural sweetness. The puree blended smoothly into the risotto, giving it a glorious fuchsia color. To peel without dyeing your hands,

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hold a beet in one hand with a paper towel and rub to wipe away the skin. Golden beets can work in this recipe, too, but their flavor is milder. Consider using one sliced on top of your beet-red risotto as a color-contrasting garnish. Just be sure to roast it separately so the colors don’t bleed. And because beets and vinegar go together like friendship and competition, I finished the dish with a balsamic reduction. This vibrant vegan risotto is as rich and flavorful as the Parmesan-packed version, particularly when it’s enjoyed with a side dish of smug.

VEGAN BEET RISOTTO

4 TO 6 SERVINGS 3 medium red beets, scrubbed and trimmed 1 medium golden beet, scrubbed and trimmed 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided 4 Tbsp. water, divided 1 cup balsamic vinegar 6 cups vegetable stock 2 Tbsp. vegan buttery spread, such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cups arborio rice 2 tsp. minced garlic ½ cup dry white wine or dry sherry 2 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. • In a large bowl, toss the beets

with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt. Place the red beets in a roasting pan with 2 tablespoons water. Place the yellow beet in a separate roasting pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons water. Cover both pans with aluminum foil and roast 40 to 50 minutes, until the beets are soft when pierced with a fork. Let the beets rest at room temperature until cool enough to touch. Meanwhile, pour the vinegar into a small pot and bring it to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced to ¹∕³ cup. Remove from heat and set aside. Use a paper towel to hold the beets and wipe off the skins. Discard paper towels and skins, and set the golden beet aside. Quarter the red beets and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until no lumps remain, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Set aside. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring the vegetable stock to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. In a large saucepan over mediumhigh heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the buttery spread. Saute the onion 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the rice and stir 3 minutes to toast. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any browned bits, and cook 1 minute, until the rice absorbs the liquid.

• Reduce heat to medium. Add the stock to the rice mixture 1 ladleful at a time, stirring until the broth is absorbed before adding more. Cook 20 to 25 minutes, until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender but toothsome. • Stir in the red beet puree and cook 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings. • Remove from heat and serve immediately. Thinly slice the golden beet and garnish each plate with a couple slices, along with a drizzle of the balsamic reduction.

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MAKE THIS MATZO BRITTLE ACTIVE TIME: 6 MINUTES

MAKE THIS When the Passover dishes are put away and all that’s left is a lonely half box of matzo, whip up this simple treat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with parchment paper. Break 4 matzo crackers into chunks and spread evenly on the baking sheet. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together 1 stick unsalted butter and 1 cup dark brown sugar until the mixture begins to boil. Stir constantly 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Quickly cover the matzo with the mixture. Bake 10 minutes, then immediately scatter 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips on top. Let stand 1 minute. Spread the melted chocolate across the surface and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and ¹∕³ cup toasted coconut or chopped nuts. Let cool, then break into pieces. It’s a mitzveh! – Dee Ryan

PHOTO BY GREG RANNELLS

To boost the flavor in your caramel, try almond or orange extract in place of the vanilla. This recipe can also be made with saltine crackers; just omit the extra pinch of salt.

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W A S T E

N O T

t h e c a s e f o r e a t i n g u g l y c a r r o t s , b e e f n e c k a n d b e e t l e - b i t te n c r o p s BY H E AT H E R H U G H E S \\ P H O T O S BY C A R M E N T R O E S S E R

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of sustainably raised meat from the whole animal is meant to go far beyond a foodie trend – it’s meant to be a revolution. However you feel about giving up frequent steak dinners, the Gallinas are right – there is a problem. A system is broken when Americans threw away 133 billion pounds of food in just one year, according to the Department of Agriculture. If that’s going to change, then the way food is grown and distributed, the way we cook and the way we eat needs to change.

CHE F ACTIVISTS

GETTING A TICKET TO ONE OF MICHAEL A N D TA R A G A L L I N A’ S ROOSTER AND THE HEN POP-UP DINNERS I S N O T E A S Y. I T ’ S N O T O F T E N T H AT S T. LO U I S WELCOMES HOME THE FORMER CHEF DE CUISINE AND SERVICE C A P TA I N , R E S P E C T I V E LY, OF ONE OF THE WORLD’S TO P 5 0 R E STA U R A N T S . C R O W DS H AV E T U R N E D O U T TO S E E W H AT T H E Y WILL BRING TO THE S T. LO U I S F O O D S C E N E FROM THEIR FORMER H O M E AT DA N B A R B E R’S B LU E H I L L AT STO N E BARNS IN NEW YORK. April 2016

“Our philosophy is really flipping meat and potatoes – making the vegetables and the off-cuts more of the star of the show, a little bit more prized,” Michael explained. Simple enough, and their pop-up menus have reflected that goal, featuring plantbased dishes notably devoid of prime cuts: beef fat-aged beets, charred cabbage with lonza, and so on. But there’s a bit more to it than that. One dish from the Gallinas’ pop-up at Schlafly Bottleworks in February stands out as herald of deeper implications. For their third course, the Gallinas served a beef fat-basted carrot, a dot of carrot top pesto and a small pile of braised beef neck with Missouri wheat berries. A shot across the bow may be an aggressive analogy for a carrot, but we have been warned: The Gallinas intend to change our expectations of fine dining and, in the small ways that they can, the American diet. In this case a carrot is more than a carrot because the Gallinas served it in a dish almost straight from their former boss’ best-selling book The

By reining in protein consumption and utilizing off-cuts, by focusing on vegetables grown sustainably (with methods that maintain or improve the soil) and utilizing aesthetically undesirable produce, and by reducing the egregious waste of the American food industry from farm to kitchen, the Gallinas believe that Americans could have a healthier, tastier and sustainable diet. Left: Pullet egg with donko shiitake mushroom, weeds and cheddar from Rooster and the Hen. Top: Michael and Tara Gallina prepare for a Rooster and the Hen pop-up dinner.

Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food. Barber’s third plate represents his vision for the future of American cuisine: “I imagined a carrot steak dominating the plate, with a sauce of braised second cuts of beef,” Barber wrote as a sketch of what he hoped Americans would be eating in 35 years. You may recognize Barber’s name from his food-focused TED talks or opinion pieces in the New York Times. The Third Plate is often lumped with Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma as required reading for those concerned by the problems facing American agriculture and food culture. The move from protein-heavy, prime-cut meals to a vegetable-based diet incorporating small amounts

That’s a lot to get from a carrot and some beef neck, but the Gallinas naturally come at these issues from the perspective of a restaurant – they let the food speak. At Blue Hill at Stone Barns Michael couldn’t simply choose the best ingredients and focus on making a great dish. “There’s got to be a lot more thought to it,” he said. “We wouldn’t just put something on because it tastes delicious. We wanted it to mean something.” Don’t let the Portlandia sentiment distract you. Awareness of the meaning behind each element of each dish is not an artificial hipness on the Gallinas’ part. Everything meant something at Blue Hill because within the small, enmeshed ecosystem of that restaurant on a farm, it had to. Michael never knew what the farmers would bring in each day, but he knew he needed to use it. “It really pushes you to be creative – whether it’s preserving something or figuring out how to use 16 different varieties of lettuce in different ways on the menu,” he said. “That’s how crazy it would be.” saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 37


Chris Bolyard prepares to break down a hog.

If such an interdependent system is going to succeed, then the parts have to work together: If anything is wasted at the farm, then it’s lost to the restaurant. If anything is wasted in the restaurant, then it costs the farm. As idyllic as Blue Hill can sound, it’s not just a Candide-ish effort to tend a personal garden (or farm-to-table restaurant) with due diligence. Blue Hill is meant to serve as a microcosm of what the relationship between restaurants and farmers could be at a macro level – showing that when farms and kitchens work closely together, waste is almost eliminated. It’s also critically acclaimed proof that a flipped meat-and-potato diet can taste amazing. Chefs can’t alter USDA policy to change what we eat, but they can set trends that influence the American diet. The Gallinas have brought their brand of activism-by-doing to St. Louis and have joined the conversation about reducing systemic waste in our corner of the American food industry.  

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NO-WASTE KITCHENS For most restaurants, conserving and creatively utilizing as much of every ingredient as possible is an assumed effort within the bounds of a set menu. Don’t order more than you’ll use; don’t throw away anything that can be incorporated in a dish. This isn’t activism; it’s good business – no one wants to throw away money with their stale bread or cauliflower stems. Examples of simple conservation abound in local restaurants. The bar at Olive & Oak saves the yolks discarded from egg-white cocktails for the kitchen, which uses them in dishes like the steak tartare. Day-old bread at Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery is dried and pulverized into breadcrumbs for added texture in its little gem salad. Reeds American Table chef-owner Matt Daughaday designed dishes that incorporate whole vegetables instead of discarding the less desirable parts, like roasted cauliflower florets served over a creamy puree of cauliflower stems.

Some strategies require a little more thought and effort, like the tamales at Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions. “We started doing it because we had an abundance of lard – we had buckets of it,” said owner Chris Bolyard. He made tamales while chef de cuisine at Sidney Street Cafe before opening the butcher shop, and he decided to perfect his recipe and sell them there. “The good thing about those tamales is that the filling can be anything,” Bolyard said. “It’s another way to utilize waste. Not only are we using the excess lard to make the tamales, but let’s say we have a bunch of smoked chicken legs that didn’t sell at a Thursday smoke out – pick all the meat off, chop it up and turn it into a filling.” It seems like half of what the shop’s known for originated as creative efforts to reduce waste, like weekly smoke outs and sandwiches. “When we first opened that wasn’t part of the plan,” he said. “But we had some slow weeks and we were like, ‘What are we gonna do with all this meat?’”

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W H E N FA R M S A N D K I TC H E N S W O R K C LO S E LY TO G E T H E R , WA ST E I S A L M O ST E L I M I N AT E D.

Tamales at Bolyard's Meat & Provisions

April 2016

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The compost at Five Bistro

There’s a lot more that comes from whole-animal butchery than just the meat, but Bolyard said less than 10 percent of his animals end up in the trash. The shop doesn’t throw away a single bone. Some are sold; some go into bone stocks and broths. He smokes rolled up pigskins and sells them as dog chews. And it only gets weirder from there. “We’ve had so many odd requests since we’ve been here.” Bolyard said. “We’ve had tattoo artists buy pigskins to practice on. We’ve had medical students buy pig trotters to practice suturing.” As strange as it is to make pig feet available to med students, the radical

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element occurs when reducing waste starts to conflict with profit. Bolyard said it would be easier and make more money to sell big cuts of pork shoulder than to process some of that meat into their sausages, but then everything else that goes into the sausages would go in the trash. Smallbusiness owners do not make that kind of choice lightly. Of course Bolyard is aware of his bottom line. When he started making bone broths, he realized they were taking a loss due to the cost of the flavoring ingredients. He adjusted the recipe and retail price to make

that product tenable long term. But Bolyard also has priorities other than profit. His business is shaped by his commitments to the humane treatment of his animals and the health of his customers, and these commitments are taken into account even when they demand sacrificing greater profits for better practices.

U G LY CA RR OTS

Bolyard’s isn’t the only place in St. Louis with these kinds of commitments. “If we had (cut more corners) over the years, we would have a nice bit of money. That’s not why April 2016


“There are some chefs who have the perception they’re more into it than they actually are,” said Claverach Farms owner Sam Hilmer. “I’ve seen more than a few farmers get disenchanted working with chefs.” Hilmer stopped dealing with restaurants completely after transitioning to agricultural tourism and farm dinners in recent years. “It was hard to depend on those deals,” he said. “If the (restaurants) got slow they’d just cancel their order and the farmers would get screwed over.”

NO ONE IS GOING TO BUY CARROTS THAT LOOK LIKE A BUNDLE OF ARTHRITIC FINGERS Anthony Devoti in the Five Bistro garden

we’re doing it,” said Five Bistro chefowner Anthony Devoti. “You’re in it to make money – don’t kid yourself – but within certain rules and guidelines.” If chefs are concerned about reducing waste, they can’t limit themselves to their own kitchens. Food waste starts as early as harvest. Consider the strangely persistent example of ugly carrots, mentioned by several chefs. Most carrots grow with some knots and twists, but farmers know that no one is going to buy carrots that look like a bundle of arthritic fingers. Ugly carrots often become what Devoti called “second veg”: healthy, nutritious produce that gets fed to animals, composted or trashed instead of being sold to humans. “Pick up a bunch of organic carrots and they’re all sexy – perfect, straight lines,” Devoti said. “How many shitty carrots did you have to go through to get those perfect ones?” Devoti and the Gallinas aren’t opposed to ugly carrots, and they want their farmers to know it. This gets to the lynchpin of farm-totable dining: the relationship chefs and restaurateurs have with farmers. April 2016

At this point “farm-to-table” sounds like a cute, meaningless buzzword, about the same as seeing “fresh” printed all over menus. But for chefs committed to working closely with farmers to source their food responsibly and reduce waste, it’s not as easy as ordering week-to-week from a big supplier while printing trendy farm names on your menu.  

Chefs who want to influence how farmers grow their food have to build some trust first. And how do they do that? “You pay on time,” Devoti said. If ugly carrots sell, then they’ll be saved from the compost. The most powerful way chefs can influence farming practices, then, is through reliable business for the kinds of produce they value.

Chefs who work closely with farmers have to hold plans lightly, wait to see what has been harvested and be willing to change their menus to accommodate that. This is why the seared scallop dish at J. McArthur’s An American Kitchen rotates accompanying vegetables and sauces depending on the season; it’s why you never know what you’ll see on the menu at Kevin Willmann’s Farmhaus night to night.

“Chefs are requesting things in certain ways,” Tara said. “So if you’re getting something already fabricated, what happened to the rest of it?” And she doesn’t just mean trimmed beets or even ugly carrots – she means whole fields lost, thrown away, composted or fed to animals, because they were attacked by flea beetles and look ugly, despite being perfectly edible.

Working with farmers is as unpredictable as farming – which can sound charming until it’s time to turn the compost or pay for the organic onions. Those things take commitment. “It’s not easy or consistent. Some people get really freaked out by that,” Michael said.

“Sometimes (farmers) lose things,” Michael said. “But they don’t always have to. The relationship we want to build with farmers is that they could call us if they’re having an issue with something. … I think it’s the chef ’s obligation to try to help. It’s a hard life to be a farmer in the sense of making money – (more so if they’re) losing crops that could

really be utilized instead of thrown in compost or in the garbage.” Not every restaurant concept can accommodate that degree of flexibility, and not every kitchen has the right kind of talent to make it possible. That’s not a knock to cooks, either – some spectacular actors and comedians can’t do improv. Restaurants that do have the flexibility and talent require a lot of trust on the part of diners – trust that even if they don’t know what to expect from a chef, that’s it’s going to be good. “It’s hard to keep it, too,” Devoti said. “You have to stay creative.” These circles of trust between farmer, chef and diner are what the Gallinas want to help build in St. Louis. And the challenge and creativity demanded? That’s the whole point. Give them your ugly carrots, your flea beetle-bitten harvest, your field radish cover crop that no one wants to eat. “It’s not avantgarde to bring in seafood from both coasts or to top everything with foie gras,” Michael said. Everybody knows those things taste good, he said, and they don’t exactly improve the industry. For a worthy challenge, try making ugly carrots worthy of a fine dining bill.

 Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions,

bolyardsmeat.com; Claverach Farm,

claverachfarm.com; Five Bistro,

fivebistro.com; Rooster and the Hen, roosterandthehenfood.com

This month on Sound Bites, managing editor Heather Hughes talks with Michael and Tara Gallina of Rooster and the Hen about how they want to change the way St. Louis eats. And tune in to St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU Friday, April 1, when the Sauce team discusses Hit List at noon on St. Louis on the Air.

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old N D A R D Once maligned as evil cholesterol grenades, we’ve taken a new shine to eggs these days. They can be found crowning everything from pizza to bulgogi on local menus. But who really wants the white? We’re after the rich, luxurious golden treasure hidden inside. Harnessing the versatility and intense flavor of yolks, chefs have switched off the griddle and are going straight for the gold. by KRISTIN SCHULTZ // photos by GREG RANNELLS

egg yolks

April 2016

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cured egg yolks

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carbonara with sous vide egg yolks at element

Veritas Gateway to Food and Wine recently featured hard, cured yolks shaved over burnt mushroom soup.

the deep freeze

Learn more about creative carbonaras popping up all over St. Louis in Trendwatch on p. 16.

low and slow

Olive & Oak’s executive chef Jesse Mendica slow cooks yolks sous vide style to achieve a thicker texture to pair with her steak tartare. The yolks are vacuum-sealed in a bag, and then cooked for an hour at the perfect (and secret) temperature, delivering more than a mere soak of yolk. “We were trying to create a buttery, smooth texture,” Mendica said. “The yolk spreads right on the toast and is a base layer for the tartare. It has the perfect mouthfeel.” Element’s executive chef Josh Charles also opts for the sous vide method in his take on April 2016

carbonara. Classic carbonara sees raw eggs and extra yolks whisked with cheese and added to pasta. Charles instead whips slow-cooked yolks and adds them to the plate as both garnish and sauce. “I sous vide the yolks until they’re set like custard, then I puree them with some sugar, rice wine vinegar and salt to brighten the flavor,” Charles said. “I like to break down the elements of the dish and put them back together.”

cure-all

There are no-heat-required techniques that achieve the same viscous effect. The

chefs at Randolfi’s cure yolks to a barely set consistency. “We drop egg yolks into a room-temperature salt water solution,” said chef de cuisine Tommy Andrew. “They stay in there for about an hour, then they can be plated. It’s pretty simple.” Simple in preparation but not in result, the semi-cured yolks bring a custardy texture and a hint of saltiness to both beef tartare and pappardelle with white Bolognese. Longer curing times make for a drier, concentrated yolk that can actually be grated over a dish for a salty, melty seasoning. Chef Mathis Stitt at

“I was looking for something fun and unique,” said Rooster and the Hen chef Michael Gallina. “I wanted something a little more firm – not just an egg yolk that runs.” Taking an unconventional U-turn away from heat, Gallina found that two days in his freezer gave the bright yellow orb the tender but springy, putty-like consistency he was after. At a recent Rooster and the Hen pop-up dinner, the frozen yolk was brought up to room temperature and nestled alongside a tender broccoli stem and cheddar foam atop a savory bowl of Missouri wheat berry risotto. The sunny shade and luxurious texture of egg yolks can inspire culinary creativity at home, too. Next time you whip up a meringue, bury the unused yolks in a mixture of equal parts salt and sugar and stash in the fridge. After a few days, the yolks will firm up. Then, gently rinse them off and grate over anything from fried tofu to soup. It’s a golden age for egg yolks.

Element, elementstl.com; Olive & Oak, oliveandoakstl.com; Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen, randolfis.com; Rooster and the Hen, roosterandthehenfood.com

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stuff to do:

APRIL BY KRISTIN SCHULTZ

Dumpling Making and Dim Sum Beer Brunch April 2 – 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Lu Lu Seafood & Dim Sum, 8224 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.606.9048, luluseafoodrestaurant.com Watch the master dumpling and dim sum chefs at Lu Lu’s craft their intricate jiaozhi, then try your hand at filling and folding the perfect dumpling. Afterward, feast on an unlimited dim sum brunch of dumplings, pot stickers, salad and more. Alton brewery Old Bakery Beer will bring its brews over the river to pair with the traditional Chinese brunch. Register online for this monthly series at dabble.co.

Cigar and Wine Dinner April 16 – 7 p.m., Chandler Hill Vineyards, 596 Defiance Road, Defiance, 636.798.2675, chandlerhillvineyards.com Pack your Zippo and head for the hills as Chandler Hill Vineyards hosts a cigar dinner. Wine pairings accompany the four-course affair that features a charcuterie and cheese board paired with a merlot; a prime rib main course with a twice-baked potato, au jus and horseradish with a cabernet sauvignon; and a decadent ending of cognac, gooey butter cake and cheesecake. The featured cigars will be AJ Fernandez New World and Nub Cameroon 358. Reservations available by phone or online.

Vegetable Gardening 101 April 21 – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Sugar Creek Gardens, 1011 N. Woodlawn Ave., Kirkwood, 314.965.3070, sugarcreekgardens.com Be your own farm-to-table kitchen and grow your veggies at home. Learn how

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to put that green thumb to use at Sugar Creek Gardens’ free class discussing what and when to plant. Get the lowdown on sun exposure, soil health, watering, pest control and more. No yard? Apartment and condo dwellers can get in on the action with container gardening. Fresh salsa and salad, here you come.

2016 Pizza Prowl & More April 23 – 9 a.m. to noon, Edwardsville High School, 6161 Center Grove Road, Edwardsville, 618.514.5588, pizzaprowl.net You be the judge at this year’s Pizza Prowl & More. Pick up your ballot at Edwardsville High School and visit 20 Edwardsville and Glen Carbon restaurants like Peel Wood Fired Pizza, Andria’s Countryside Restaurant, Wang Gang, Catrina’s, Gulf Shores, Mike Shannon’s Grill and more. Sample the fare, then rate visual appeal, ingredients and overall taste. Turn in your ballots at Edwardsville High School, then stick around and bid in the live auction. Proceeds benefit the Glen-Ed Pantry and the Edwardsville High School marching band.

Annual Herb Sale April 30 – 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., First Congregational Church, 10 W. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, wgherbs.org Ready, set, grow at the Webster Groves Herb Society’s annual sale. Browse locally grown thyme, basil, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, lavender, rosemary and more. With more than 12,000 plants to choose from, there’s bound to be something perfect for any vegetable, herb or flower garden. Pick up native Missouri flora like black elderberry or wild passion flower. All purchases are tax-free and a portion of the sales benefit scholarships to students studying plant sciences. April 2016


Progressive Pavilion Party April 30 – 6 to 10 p.m., Tower Grove Park, 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, 314.771.4424, Facebook: Tower Grove Park Hop from one historic pavilion in Tower Grove Park to the next and sample beer and food from some of the city’s most iconic restaurants. Starting at the Turkish Pavilion and ending at the Music Stand, stroll through the park and enjoy live music and food from The Dam, The Fountain on Locust, SweetArt and more. Thirst-quenching suds from Earthbound Beer, The Civil Life Brewing Co., Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. and more are featured, along with coffee from Park Avenue Coffee and Gelateria Del Leone. Tickets available online.

sponsored events Lupulin Carnival April 2 – 2 to 6 p.m., 4 Hands Brewing Co., 1220 S. Eighth St., St. Louis, 314.436.1559, lupulincarnival.com The big top returns to 4 Hands when the Lupulin Carnival comes to town. The fifth annual festival celebrates the release of its Warhammer Imperial IPA. Nearly 50 breweries will join the festivities, and local food trucks will serve up grub while you enjoy circus acts and take a spin on the Ferris wheel. Get a jump on the celebrations at the Lupulin Eve Beer Dinner at City Museum April 1 featuring four courses with beer pairings. Tickets available online.

A Tasteful Affair April 17 – 2 to 5:30 p.m., Four Seasons Hotel, 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.652.3663 x122, foodoutreach.org/ata28 Prepare your palate for A Tasteful Affair, an annual tasting event to benefit Food Outreach. Nearly 40 St. Louis favorites from restaurants including Juniper, SqWires, Mai Lee and Southern, and April 2016

breweries like 4 Hands provide a sample of the city. In addition to delicious fare, guests can also enjoy live entertainment, including a performance by Kim Massie. Tickets available online.

St. Louis Earth Day Festival April 24 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Muny Grounds, Forest Park, St. Louis, 314.282.7533, stlouisearthday.org Head to Forest Park for fresh air and fresh food at the Earth Day Festival. More than 20 local food and drink vendors certified by the Green Dining Alliance serve up tasty treats; look for Salt & Smoke, Baileys’ Range, Small Batch, Ices Plain & Fancy and others while you sip on Companion Kombucha and Schlafly Organic IPA.

Maplewood Street Food Tour May 6 – 6 to 9 p.m., participating locations, Maplewood, cityofmaplewood.com/street-food Check out the savory food scene in Maplewood. Take a self-guided tour of 15 different restaurants as they serve dishes that best represent their offerings. Enjoy food and beverage samples from Schlafly Bottleworks, Vom Fass, The Crow’s Nest, Boogaloo and more. Tickets are $25 and available at participating locations.

Laumeier Art Fair May 6 to 8 – Laumeier Sculpture Park, 12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills, 314.615.5278, laumeier.org Spend Mother’s Day exploring the arts at the 29th annual Laumeier Art Fair. The sculpture park hosts 150 artists, as well as participating restaurants like Capitalist Pig, Mission Taco and Pyro Pizza. Local beer and wine will also be served. Tickets available online or at the park.

Urbanaire 2016 May 7 – 6 p.m., St. Louis Union Station Hotel, 1820 Market St., St. Louis, promoonline.org Promote equality for all at Promo’s Urbanaire 2016. The annual fundraiser for the LGBT advocacy organization features appetizers from more than 20 St. Louis restaurants including Eleven Eleven Mississippi, Steve’s Hot Dogs and more, as well as desserts, cocktails, live entertainment and silent auction events. Tickets available online. saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 49


WHAT I DO Jeremy Goss

A year before graduating from med school, Jeremy Goss took a year off to renovate a city bus. Along with Colin Dowling and Tej Azad, Goss founded The St. Louis MetroMarket, a nonprofit mobile farmers market serving St. Louisans living in food deserts. Goss recently turned over executive directorship to the first fulltime employee, and he’ll graduate as Dr. Goss when MetroMarket hits the road in May. Here, his plan for tackling barriers to nutritious food in St. Louis. – Heather Hughes

in first. The first invitation came from JeffVanderLou.

You’re a doctor, not an entrepreneur or social worker. How was this your problem? There’s a great deal of preventable illness caused or made worse by unhealthy eating and inactive living. … If you live in a food desert, you don’t have a grocery store. It’s like I’m giving you a prescription, but you don’t have a pharmacy. So I can’t expect you to be able to eat fruits and vegetables and follow my plate recommendations when the only options available to you are fast foods.

What farms do you work with? There are a number: Double Star Farms and Good Life Growing. … Then there’s cool community gardens that we source from, (including) Urban Harvest STL … and Tillie’s Corner at JeffVanderLou, so some of the food that’s grown in these communities can end up on the bus and on the tables of the families who live there.

JeffVanderLou in north St. Louis is the first neighborhood MetroMarket will serve. Why this area? When we came together we realized that there have been a lot of other initiatives … that haven’t been as successful because they didn’t include the communities. We don’t bring the MetroMarket into a community unless we’ve been invited

Is any produce donated or sold to MetroMarket at reduced price? I wish! (No) in order for us to grow and be sustainable, we have to make sure that the organizations that we work with are also growing and sustainable,

and the best way to ensure that is to make sure that we offer the best price we can for those fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets can be pricey. How can people in a food desert afford to shop at MetroMarket? We use a sliding-scale membership model. To be able to offer the best prices to the people who desperately need them, we ask those in a position to pay a little more to do so. We sell local produce at cost in low-income communities because we know that in addition to providing access, we also have to provide affordability. What has been the most difficult part of this project? Of all the business negotiations and corporate deals that we’ve had to do in the past three or so years, the hardest one had to be convincing my mom and dad to let me take a year off of medical school. They’d worked so hard to get me to this point. You came to St. Louis temporarily as a student. Why get so involved? That you’re here, in my case for five years, that’s an opportunity to do something. Maybe not as drastic as starting a nonprofit, but maybe volunteering for one. … Even though these problems seem big and daunting, that shouldn’t be an excuse not to do something.

PHOTO BY ASHLEY GIESEKING

What is a food desert? The USDA defines food deserts as communities where there are no grocery stores (within) at least a mile, if you’re in the city. A majority of the people who live in these communities are either at or below the poverty line. Coinciding

with that, many don’t have reliable access to transportation.

St. Louis MetroMarket

50 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com stlmetromarket.com

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April 2016

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