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david stine

BUILDING THE STL RESTAURANT SCENE the duo behind david stine furniture


NovemberST. 2019LO U I S’ I N D E P E N D E N T C U L I N A RY AUTH O R IT Y // S AU C E MAGA Z I N E .C O M // SAUCE F R E E , N OVEIM B E RMAGAZINE 2019 I 1


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Allyson Mace Meera Nagarajan Heather Hughes Huff Catherine Klene Adam Rothbarth, Matt Sorrell Lauren Healey Lauren Healey, Catherine Klene Michelle Volansky Megan Gilmore Julia Calleo, Virginia Harold, Izaiah Johnson, Jonathan Gayman, David Kovaluk, Adam Rothbarth, Carmen Troesser, Michelle Volansky Vidhya Nagarajan Glenn Bardgett, Matt Berkley, Ryan Griffin, Justin Harris, Lauren Healey, Heather Hughes Huff, Jamie Kilgore, Ted Kilgore, Catherine Klene, Marianne Moore, Meera Nagarajan, Justin Nunn, Michael Renner, Adam Rothbarth, Matt Sorrell, Brenna Sullivan, Stephanie Zeilenga Allyson Mace Matt Bartosz, Bea Doerr, Angie Rosenberg Amy Hyde Amy Hyde Justin Nunn, Brenna Sullivan

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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 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 November 2019

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November 2019

contents N OV E M B E R 2 019

editors' picks 9 EAT THIS Korean fried chicken at Kimchi Guys

by adam rothbarth 11 ELIXIR Heated patios

by matt sorrell 12 TRENDWATCH by catherine klene, adam rothbarth and matt sorrell 15 A SEAT AT THE BAR Five experts tell us what to sip, stir and shake

by glenn bardgett, justin harris, ryan griffin and ted and jamie kilgore

reviews 17 NEW AND NOTABLE Indo

by michael renner 22 LUNCH RUSH Thai Nivas Café

by matt berkley


by stephanie zeilenga

last bite 36 STUFF TO DO by justin nunn and brenna sullivan

Building the STL Restaurant Scene


David Stine probably made the tables at your favorite restaurant. We visited his farm and workshop to get a deeper look into how, alongside his wife and business partner, Stephanie Abbajay, he's cornered the market. Learn more on p. 30.

by adam rothbarth



WINTER’S TABLE by stephanie zeilenga 30



GUIDE TO THE HOLIDAYS Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio at 90.7 FM this month when Rolling Lawns Farm owner Michael Turley joins Sauce Magazine to talk about the future of small farms in the Midwest.

From gift ideas galore to timetested holiday baking recipes, we’ve got your festive needs covered. PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER

38 WHAT I DO Michael Turley

by catherine klene 40 LANDMARK Al’s Restaurant



by matt sorrell

November 2019

issan hamachi at indo, p. 17 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 7


November 2019

Eat This In The Blues Brothers, when the eponymous rockers go to Nate’s Deli, Jake famously orders four whole fried chickens and a Coke. When we go to Kimchi Guys, we’re wont to make the same order – except in our case, we need the Korean fried chicken with the spicy original sauce. It’s spicy, sticky, aromatic and full of sweet-savory umami. There’s a lot of fried chicken out there, but once you bite through this bird’s sublimely crispy skin to arrive at its perfectly cooked, juicy interior, you’ll be glad you chose Kimchi Guys. Served with a vinegary white radish kimchi and a side, this soulful main is worth getting the band back together for.

E D I T O R S ' P I C K S


Kimchi Guys 612 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.766.4456,

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CHILL ON THESE C O Z Y H E AT E D PAT I O S Just because the leaves have fallen and the mercury has dropped doesn’t mean we can’t still drink and dine al fresco. These outdoor options are all open during the chillier months. – Matt Sorrell

cinder house

Schlafly Bottleworks


7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, 314.241.2337,

This Maplewood standby has outdoor dining fans covered – literally. The roofed patio can be fully enclosed with canvas sides when the weather turns blustery. Enjoy the expansive food menu and beer selection with a biergarten feel.

November 2019

The Scottish Arms 8 S. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.535.0551,

Food and drink just taste better when there’s a nip in the air, and there’s no better spot to enjoy the phenomenon than the Arms’ private, fenced-in patio. Take a seat around the fire pit with a pint of stout or a dram of your favorite whisky and dig into the menu of hearty pub fare.

Salt + Smoke St. Charles 501 S. Main St., St. Charles, 314.727.0200,

Barbecue is a picnic staple during the summer months, but Salt + Smoke’s third location in St. Charles can make it one year-round. The massive patio features 225 seats, string lights and plenty of fire pits to fend off the cold.

Bluewood Brewing 1821 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.376.4166,

There’s plenty of room to spread out in the historic confines of Bluewood. The semi open-air dining area is open on two sides with ironwork grills and gates. Rustic brickwork and heaters make it an ideal space to enjoy Bluewood’s brews and Mac’s Local Eats’ famous smash burgers no matter the weather.

Cinder House 999 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.881.5759,

You can still enjoy drinks and dinner (or lunch or brunch, for that matter) from Cinder House with one of the best views of the city on the Four Seasons rooftop oasis, which has heaters placed throughout to keep you toasty in the fall chill. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 11


frozen pizzas

sweet art chef-owner reine bayoc

Frozen pizzas have gone from a low-buck afterthought to a main party attraction around town thanks to a couple key culinary partnerships. Dogtown Pizza has teamed up with James Beard Award-winning Gioia’s Deli for a pie topped with Gioia’s famous hot salami. Meanwhile, local brewery 4 Hands Brewing Co. has collaborated with Mama Lucia’s to create seven pies utilizing spent grain from 4 Hands’ brewing process in the crust and a bevy of St. Louis-centric toppings, including Red Hot Riplets chicken, Mission Taco Joint Mexican chicken and Sugarfire barbecue chicken.

below: from left, grace meat + three’s rick lewis and perennial artisan ales’ phil wymore

fancy french onion dip Chefs are taking your favorite last-minute party snack

Are you trying to take a break from the fast food grind while staying in your comfort zone? A growing number of local eateries will make you feel safe. Utah Station offers not only a vegan Big Mak based on the McDonald’s classic, but also a vegan Roast Beef & Chedda that gestures to local favorite Lion’s Choice. If you missed out on the Popeye’s chicken sandwich hype but still want a taste of the action, SweetArt occasionally runs a Vegan Chickn Sandwich in response to the mania. Byrd & Barrel aims at a beloved Jack in the Box a la carte item with the J.I.T.B. tacos, and Grace Meat + Three steps up the classic McMuffin with the Egg Rick Muffin. During the Cardinals playoffs, Hi-Pointe Drive-In offered Left-Handed Slider Packs, its take on a White Castle Crave Case.

corn beers Corn was commonly used in brewing for centuries, but in recent years it has been panned as a subpar ingredient. Brewers are embracing the grain’s potential once again, using heirloom varieties and different incarnations to add body and new flavors to classic styles. White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery in Sparta, Illinois, made a red corn saison this summer, and Perennial Artisan Ales partnered with Grace Meat + Three to create a Mexican-style lager made with Bloody Red Butcher corn, an heirloom hominy. Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.’s Mexican lager, Castaña Urbana, features blue corn, and Earthbound Beer has used masa harina for a tortilla chip-like flavor note in a Belgian amber and an upcoming Vienna lager.


crab shacks If you’re feeling crabby, there’s a seemingly endless list of places to find catharsis. At The Mad Crab, you create a bake and bathe your crab (Dungeness, king crab, snow crab – you name it) in sauces like Rajun Cajun, lemon pepper, garlic sauce or a mix of all three. Then decide how spicy you like it. At Cluster Busters, a namesake entree includes snow crab leg cluster, red potatoes, corn on the cob, smoked sausage and jumbo shrimp. At Krab Kingz, choose from an assortment of platters with varying amounts of crab clusters, shrimp, sausage or lobster. Crawling Crab mixes it up with stuffed lobster tails, seafood nachos and dangerously buttery crab pasta, and The Kickin’ Crab offers a mix of seafood boils in bags and entrees like scampi and Alfredo pasta. All these crab shacks have opened within the past two years, so you’ll be having a pretty fresh experience. November 2019


fast food riffs

purchase to new levels. Dressel’s Public House has long offered a classic version of French onion dip, served with its house chips. The team at Cinder House has had a charred onion dip with house-made chips since day one. Indo chef-owner Nick Bognar makes delicate lotus chips sturdy enough to stand up to chive aioli on the lunch menu. And Mac’s Local Eats has put its own meaty spin on onion dip, topping the occasional special with a generous handful of crumbled bacon.

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HOLIDAY SPIR ITS Gateway180 provides case management, career counseling, child care services and three meals a day in their ongoing effort to keep families together and healthy amid trying times. Working with housing partners, they find affordable housing for permanent placements and provide people with basic necessities to get them into their new homes. Gateway180 also provides an additional year of case management to ensure a solid future for these individuals. Their effort allows them to provide safe spaces for many groups that have trouble finding a bed for the night, including veterans, those who identify as


LGBTQ, single dads and young boys over the age of 13. The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky has always been about true craftsmanship maintained through 130 years of caring for its people. With this in mind, they have partnered with Gateway180 to support the mission: putting people on the path to independence and finding their own craft. This November, this charity initiative is popping up in drinking establishments around St. Louis to help give back to this worthy cause during the holiday season. Be sure to find a restaurant you like on Gateway180’s website and enjoy some great whisky with a good cause. Participants include Sqwires, Hotel Saint Louis, Stone Turtle, Planter’s House, Blood & Sand, Brennan’s, Seven Gables Inn, Blue Ocean Bistro and more. A full list of participating venues is available at

The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky has partnered with Gateway180 to support the mission of putting nearly 1,000 St. Louisans in need on the path to independence.


’Tis the season for both giving and enjoying handcrafted whisky. Every year, the Gateway180 charity takes on the enormous task of feeding, sheltering and finding a path to permanent independence for almost 1,000 people here in St. Louis. Since 1977, they have found homes with an 83% success rate, acting as the largest homeless shelter in the state of Missouri.

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E D I T O R S ' P I C K S

TED AND JAMIE KILGORE USBG, B.A.R. Ready, BarSmart and co-owners/bartenders at Planter’s House

Swedish-style Svol aquavit is a great introduction to the botanical-infused spirit. Caraway and dill leap out of the glass before giving way to citrus and rye bread notes on the palate, leading to a beautiful finish of bright, lightly spiced coriander. Try it alone or in a gin cocktail. $43. The Wine & Cheese Place. 7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.727.8788,

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

RYAN GRIFFIN AND JUSTIN HARRIS Co-owners at Saint Louis Hop Shop

2nd Shift Brewing’s Chico’s Revenge is a full-bodied Imperial milk stout with notes of chocolate and a rich, creamy mouthfeel perfect for cool nights around a campfire. The inspiration for this 7.1% brew came when a herd of cattle (one named Chico) escaped a slaughterhouse in St. Louis in 2017. A few of the cows were taken to sanctuary in Tennessee to graze hillsides in peace. This one’s for you, Chico. Four-pack: $10. 2nd Shift Brewing, 1601 Sublette Ave., St. Louis, 314.669.9013,


stouts like chico’s revenge are perfect for cool nights around a campfire

November 2019

GLENN BARDGETT Member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board and wine director at Annie Gunn’s

The distinctly American 2016 Carol Shelton Wild Thing Old Vine Zinfandel from Mendocino County will make everything groovy at Thanksgiving dinner. Amazingly complex and nuanced with notes of raspberries and black cherries, this powerhouse pairs perfectly with turkey and Thanksgiving sides – even cranberries. $20. The Wine Barrel, 3828 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Suite 111, Sunset Hills, 314.842.9463, I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 15


November 2019

reviews All Sauce reviews are conducted anonymously.

dishes at indo




You’ve been here before. The matchbook-sized space, brick walls and cozy counter feel familiar. You recognize the vibrant, Botanical Heights dining destination. Indo isn’t as cheeky as the short-lived previous occupant, Good Fortune, but the vibe and aesthetic are no less appealing. Hues of blue, gray and green play against exposed brick walls and a pressed tin ceiling, basket-covered pendants cast an

new and notable INDO p. 17

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l u n ch r u s h THAI N IVA S CAF E p . 2 2 // n ig ht l ife U P - DOW N p . 2 4 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 17


intimate glow, and local artist Jessica Bremehr’s bold, otherworldly murals enliven the restrooms.

chef-owner nick bognar

Rooted, as its name suggests, in the traditional flavors of mainland Southeast Asia and incorporating Japanese ingredients and techniques, Indo is the first outing from Nick Bognar. The 27-year-old chef-owner comes steeped in a family business operating successful Asian restaurants in Missouri. His mother, the Thai restaurateur Ann Bognar, featured Thai and Japanese cuisines under the same roof when she founded Nippon Tei in Ballwin. It’s where Bognar grew up, learning to make crab Rangoon and egg rolls while absorbing the art and science of sushi. He later managed the family’s second restaurant, the fast-causal Tei Too in Webster Groves, before leaving St. Louis to further his culinary journey, including high-end Japanese restaurants like Austin’s renowned Uchiko. Since Bognar returned home to help revamp Nippon Tei in 2017, his distinctly modern, creative cooking and penchant for bucking the pesky constraints of authenticity have caught widespread attention, including a spot on this year’s James Beard Rising Star Chef semifinalist list. His omakase (chef ’s choice) dinners and mad sushi skills at Nippon Tei redefined our expectations, earning praise from diners and every food-related publication in town. At Indo, Bognar expands on many of the concepts that helped make Nippon Tei the top-tier sushi restaurant it is today. Partial to black T-shirts, his unruly shock of shaggy hair always tamed by a bandana, the young chef comes off as an approachable buddy with a ready-made smile. He has billed Indo as a fun, casual place where diners don’t have to feel serious about eating seriously prepared food. “We basically drop a party at your table,” he told Sauce in June.


issan hamachi

shima-aji sashimi

The party begins with a rotating a la carte menu of hot and cold tastings for building a meal and large dishes for sharing. Indo also offers a reservationonly, multicourse omakase at the chef ’s counter on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for $150 per person. Reservations can be made on Indo’s website.

I overheard a server explain the circles, arrows, asterisks and lines drawn on the menu don’t connote house specialties – they’re “just a design element.” After a few bites of shrimp toast, one of the circled hot tastings, I wasn’t so sure. Bognar’s take on the classic Asian snack combines shrimp, fish trimmings and cellophane noodles into a delicate croquette atop potato

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bread from neighbor Union Loafers. A topping of fried garlic and shallots and a drizzle of sweet-and-sour sauce made each vaguely shrimpy bite the perfect mix of savory sweetness.

lamb curry

I don’t think gyoza existed for me until I had Indo’s paper-thin, crispyedged dumplings filled with minced pork and chicken. I certainly never had them topped with a beautiful, lacy sheet of fried tempura batter, crowned with red and green onions and fried shallots that, if it served no other purpose, was fun to crack through. Another exceptional offering indicative of Bognar’s style was the tender lamb ribs, pan-fried to a crispy chew and slathered with a palm-sugar glaze punctuated by just enough funky fish sauce to balance the sweetness. chef-owner nick bognar and sushi chef darren mclemore


Bognar’s reputation for pushing sushi beyond the standard issue (no maki rolls here) is on full display, including his in-house process for dry-aging fish. Nigiri masu, or cherry ocean trout, is a type of salmon named for its beautiful cherry blossom pink color. Bognar loves to play with flavor and texture. He ages the fish five days to bring out wonderful umami flavors and seasons his sushi rice with salt, red vinegar and kombu. Flecks of lemon zest brighten the glistening, luscious slices. A plate of silvery shima-aji (striped amberjack) sashimi, normally mild, was also aged five days to coax deeper flavor. It came garnished with puffed buckwheat and trout roe for two different types of crunch, along with dabs of negidare, a mild Japanese green onion sauce, for the subtlest vegetal flavor.


No other dish exemplified Bognar’s Thai heritage and Japanese culinary influences better than the Isaan hamachi (yellowtail). Named for the Isaan region of Thailand, the gorgeous dish consists of two small blocks of the firm fish in a pool of Thai coconut naam pla laced with chili oil and topped with Thai kosho, Bognar’s version of the Japanese condiment in which he replaces mild shishito peppers and the citrus fruit yuzu with fiery Thai chilies and Thai makrut limes. There may be a long moment of silence before recognizing the lamb tartare as a revamped version of larb (or laab), a core dish in Isaan food. Bognar uses a brilliant combination of ingredients to retool his grandmother’s recipe – swapping out beef for lamb, adding candied pine nuts, fried shallots and minty herbs. Spicy enough to induce capsaicin-fueled head sweats, but addictive enough to keep eating, it was my favorite dish of the night.

From the large-dish sharing menu came braised short ribs in a bowl of richly layered red curry sauce that warmed without overwhelming. A side of flaky house-made roti and creamy, garliccucumber labneh laced with olive oil provided a cooling counterpoint. Indo’s beverage program by sommelier and general manager Zac Adcox (previously at Reeds American Table) includes a creative lineup of cleverly named cocktails, including (on my visit) a fun, floral, slightly sweet gin and tonic served with a tea strainer filled with rock candy and hibiscus. It was called A Plastic Chair in the Rose Garden, a name seemingly right out of The New Yorker school of cartoon captioning. It’s that kind of whimsy that threads throughout Indo, helping defy easy categorizations. Is it panAsian? Asian fusion? I’m sure it doesn’t matter to Bognar. He’s cooking food he loves, not what others think Asian food should be.

Where 1641 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.899.9333, Don’t-Miss Dishes Gyoza, short rib curry, shima-aji sashimi Vibe Enough style for the ambienceconscious with enough adventure for serious eaters Entree Prices $38 to $70 When Tue. to Thu. – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 11 p.m.; Sun. – 5 to 10 p.m.

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Tom Yum Soup Lemongrass mingled with a healthy dose of fish sauce sets the tone for this hot and sour soup. I added the chicken (tofu and shrimp are also available), which made a nice combination with the generous bowl of bright red broth teeming with thick-cut mushrooms, green onion slivers and chopped cilantro. Combo Maki Lunch Special Made to order in front of you, the sushi at Thai Nivas is killer. The combo maki lunch special includes a warm, crispy, creamy shrimp tempura roll. Better still was the bigger spicy yellowtail roll, which came with avocado and cucumber laced with bright orange smelt eggs and drizzled with a rich, spicy aioli. Along with the sushi, the special came with a bowl of satisfying miso soup bobbing with hunks of tofu and a side salad bathed in ginger dressing. LUNCH RUSH


A steady stream of regulars pours into Thai Nivas Café every day. The warm, wood-paneled dining room is abuzz with a business lunch crowd, busy servers, a phone ringing with carryout orders and, like a maestro with eyes locked on the score, a sushi chef meticulously slicing rolls in his open prep area. The side-by-side Thai and Japanese menus provide unique options along with all the standards, which are executed exceptionally.


Pad Peanut Sauce Noodles If you can polish off an entire order of these noodles, you’ll likely hate yourself, but the journey there will be absolutely fantastic. An enormous mound of soft, thin rice noodles is coated with decadent peanut sauce. The chicken option went

the sushi bar at thai nivas café

basil stir-fry

ma-sa-man curry

the dining room at thai nivas café

Thai Nivas Cafe 11054 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.567.8989, thainivas

exceptionally well with this one, combined with stir-fried carrot, sweet bell pepper, onion and little bits of scrambled egg that cling to each bite. Ma-Sa-Man Curry This blissful dish delivers tender bits of chicken in a rich red curry sauce with a sweet coconut milk base. Hunks of potato add heft along with softened white onion and a heavy addition of crushed peanuts, which bring a satisfying crunch to the sauce. It’s served with a heap of white rice to soak up the curry. Basil Stir-Fry This was a loveable take on standard Thai stirfry. Flavors of fresh basil permeate the dish, and the medium heat option offers just enough spice not to overwhelm the senses. I chose to add pork, succulent and generously portioned, to the thick cuts of white onion and red and green bell pepper. The Downside I expected a lot more from the bamee moo dang, a hearty noodle soup dish off of the Thai special menu. There was nothing special at all about the dull mass of yellow egg noodles and the bland slices of “barbecue” pork, which failed to be rescued by the broth.

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the beer list features local breweries like 2nd shift, heavy riff and perennial.

get pizza by the slice or a whole pie.

chatting is hardly the point here. The wall of windows along Euclid Avenue in the former Herbie’s space lets in some muchneeded fresh air. If Up-Down feels a tad claustrophobic and overwhelming, the large pet-friendly patio also provides an escape and a chance to play lower-tech games such as giant Jenga, Connect Four and shuffleboard. Unlike the arcade games, these are free, as is the Nintendo 64 projecting Mario Kart on a large screen in the bar area.

the outdoor bar



Up-Down in the Central West End is a fun assault on your senses. The fifth location of the Iowa-based concept, this arcade bar goes big on everything that matters – the games, the beer list and the size of its pizza slices. The 21-plus bar is insanely popular on weekends. Crowds flock to the spot to play pinball, skee-ball and dozens of other arcade games, from Dance Dance Revolution to Paper Boy. Games, stuffed into every corner

on Up-Down’s main floor and in the divierfeeling basement, cost a quarter to play; you can also get tokens via credit card from the bar, while token machines are cash only. Along with drink specials, Up-Down offers a lot of great game deals. On Fridays, the first 100 people get 20 free tokens. On Saturdays, tokens are two for one until 9 p.m. You also can get 40 free tokens on your birthday. It’s a noisy party with energetic music pumping loud above the games’ many dings,


pows, splats and revving engines. The decor packs a nostalgic punch too. A Mario Bros.esque, black-and-white graphic pattern adorns the walls, TVs screen ’80s and ’90s movies such as Ghostbusters and The Blues Brothers, and quotes from cult classics (“Be excellent to each other.” and “Show me the money!”) glow in neon. A few small tables are scattered throughout the bar. It can be difficult to snag one during peak weekend hours, but sitting and

the interior at up-down

Up-Down 405 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.449.1742, updownarcadebar. com/st-louis

Separate bars have been thoughtfully included to service the patio and basement, cutting way down on the time you have to wait in line and jostle for a drink. The beer list is a little different for each one, with the biggest selection at the main bar, where you can choose from an impressive 60 taps (the patio has about half that). A large number of local brews are offered, including 2nd Shift, Heavy Riff, Modern and Perennial. If you have trouble choosing, the bartenders know what

they’re talking about and will happily make a recommendation. If beer’s not your thing, you can also have them mix you a cocktail.

Pizza is served by the slice or the whole pie through a small window in a corner. At only $3.50 per massive slice ($4 for specialty pizzas), it’s a great deal. It’s not artisan by any means, but it’s fantastic – the kind of pizza you crave late at night. The mac and cheese pizza seems especially designed for boozy nights. Overkill? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely. Aside from that, the options are pretty standard – cheese, pepperoni, the Meat, and the Mona Lisa, a veggie creation with spinach, green peppers, artichokes and tomatoes. The slices come out quick and hot and are sturdy enough to eat standing up. The games will bring you back to simpler times, the beer list will make any drinker happy, and who could complain about pizza topped with mac and cheese? UpDown is a boisterous, crazy fun addition to the local nightlife scene. November 2019

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e’ve bid farewell to #tomatoseason until next year, but just because the delights of summer have disappeared from farmers markets doesn’t mean you should take a hiatus from enjoying local produce. Think of it like swapping out your closet at the end of the summer, trading breezy sundresses for warm sweaters. Farmers continue to produce through a good chunk of the fall and winter, harvesting a whole new set of ingredients to play with in the kitchen. You’ve got your brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and winter squashes (acorn, butternut, pumpkin). You’ve got cooking greens (collards, chard, mustard and turnip greens) and Asian greens (bok choys, Chinese cabbage). You’ve got root vegetables in every hue (carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, radishes, rutabagas, sunchokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes), as well as alliums (garlic, onion, leeks and shallots) and mushrooms. Arugula and spinach make an appearance early in the season. Apples, harvested in late summer, can be cellared and enjoyed for months. “Many people don’t know the seasonality of the food they eat because you can get almost anything at the grocery store at any time,” said Sara Hale, who cofounded Fair Shares CCSA in 2007. “Most people are surprised to learn broccoli is a fall and spring vegetable.” When you incorporate more local ingredients into your cooking repertoire, your kitchen naturally falls into a seasonal rhythm that keeps things fresh and can be a major source of inspiration. Cat Dunsford, a farm systems coordinator at EarthDance Organic Farm School in Ferguson, said she’s learned numerous new ways to use produce in her two years with the farm. “Trying out different ways to prepare things is key – I didn’t like kale until I learned to prepare it with lemon juice, olive oil and salt,” she said. Local ingredients are also fresher than those transported a long way before landing in the grocery store – a benefit no matter the weather (not to mention the difference in greenhouse gas emissions). “The more miles your produce travels, the more nutrients it loses,” said Schlafly Farmers Market manager Ally Conner. At Local Harvest Grocery in Tower Grove, for


instance, produce is often delivered to the store the very same day it’s harvested, said manager Becca Widzer, who also manages Local Harvest’s weekly CSA program. Plus, local small farmers tend to be good stewards of the land as opposed to big ag farms, said Hale, who became active in the local food movement in 2004 after attending a Slow Food event in Torino, Italy. EarthDance, for example, practices organic and regenerative food production and is focused on keeping the soil nutritionally rich. This translates to more nutrient-dense food. “We do minimal tilling and try not to mess with the soil because when you dig, you kill the fungi, bacteria and insects that contribute to the health of the soil,” Dunsford said. In addition to growing food for local markets, EarthDance also offers classes on growing and preserving food at home. There are a few different ways to get your hands on winter produce. You can join a year-round CSA, which will do the work of sourcing local ingredients for you. All you have to do is pick up your share. Fair Shares and Local Harvest are both combined CSAs, meaning they source from many different farmers and producers. You can also check out Local Harvest’s grocery store, which works with as many as 20 farmers throughout the year to source produce. And don’t forget the farmers markets. From November through April, the Ferguson Farmers Market offers indoor markets from 9 a.m. to noon on the third Sunday of each month at St.

Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Another option is the Schlafly Winter Market, held one Saturday a month and twice in December. In addition to produce, shoppers can find local meat, eggs, bread, preserves and more. Schlafly’s market is outdoors but always includes a bonfire, hot cocoa and s’mores. SCHLAFLY FARMERS MARKET 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, 314.241.2337, LOCAL HARVEST GROCERY 3108 Morgan Ford Road, St. Louis, 314.865.5260, EARTHDANCE ORGANIC FARM SCHOOL FAIR SHARES CCSA 5021 Northrup Ave., St. Louis, 314.852.5743, FERGUSON INDOOR WINTER MARKET St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 33 N. Clay Ave., Ferguson, November 2019


LO O K F O R N E W WAYS TO U S E I N G R E DI E N T S . Sure, winter squash is delicious roasted and sprinkled with brown sugar. But it’s also a natural fit for a pureed coconut curry soup or stuffed with lamb gyro meat and greens, said Hale. “Try adding or substituting the winter produce into your favorite recipes,” she said. For example, Dunsford loves burritos stuffed with kale, sweet potatoes and black beans – not exactly your typical burrito ingredients but delicious, nonetheless.

FA K E A S A L A D. If you miss lighter dishes during the cold months and find raw winter greens too tough and fibrous, learn to fake it by shredding collards, kale and similar greens. Toss them with salad dressing and let them sit while you prepare the rest of your meal, and you’ll be able to eat it like a tender greens summer salad, Hale suggested.

A D D B R IG H T N E S S . If you miss the freshness of summer, season ingredients with vinegars or citrus juices. Dunsford likes to saute root vegetables and season them with sherry, rice vinegar or soy sauce.

W H E N I N D O U BT, R OA S T. “I love spaghetti squash roasted with butter, salt and pepper,” Dunsford said. “Whenever our members are less than excited about a vegetable, I tell them to chop it up, combine it with other veggies, add lots of garlic and toss it with olive oil and salt, then roast it to within an inch of its life – for at least an hour at 400 or 450 degrees, stirring every 20 or 30 minutes. The result is rich, caramelized amazingness,” said Hale.

November 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 29

I N TO T H E WO O D S by adam rothbarth // photos by carmen troesser


November 2019

woodworker david stine surveys slabs at his barn in dow, illinois. November 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 31

from left, david stine and stephanie abbajay on their farm with their cat, steve 32 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I

November 2019

going and he’ll talk with ease – while operating a forklift – about the tables of George Nakashima and Brian Boggs, about how blight destroyed most of the existing population of American chestnut in the 1920s and about why blue-stain, beetle-kill pine has become so popular over the past few years.

Stine’s bread and butter appears to b e r e s t a u r a n t w o r k – he’s provided tables

for Louie, Balkan Treat Box, Elmwood, Gioia’s Deli, The Midwestern, even Shake Shack – but about half his commissions are residential, where he does everything from dining room and coffee tables to beds. Watching him work on a humid September morning, I ask what his favorite project has been, bringing up a headboard/ nightstand combo I recently saw on Instagram. “Probably that one,” he responds, laughing. “My favorite thing is usually whatever I’m working on at the time.”


is measuring enormous, rough slabs of wood and taking photos of them for his archives. Someday these will be smooth, live edge tables where people will eat or work, but for now, they just rest on the ground of his new 12,000-squarefoot workshop in Dow, Illinois, keeping form as a massive cross-sectioned tree. Stine pulls a flat piece of metal out of the middle of one of the slabs. “Here’s a bullet,” he says. “Probably 50 or 60 years old.” He finds a lot of old bullets in these trees. He’s also found nails, horseshoes and a full ax head. The trees grow around them over time, like a river flowing around rocks. The wood comes from Stine’s 1,000-acre family farm, half of which holds timber: red and white oak, walnut, maple, sycamore, cherry and ash. As the link between the nature his trees come from and the homes and businesses where they end up, Stine harbors an incredible knowledge of the intertwining histories of wood and style. Get him

November 2019

“I think my favorite restaurant, in the way it looks as a whole, is probably Sardella,” he says. “It’s just really pretty and well put together. I did the bar and the tables in there – it’s legit oldschool straight edge. I think my favorite live edge is the giant communal table in Balkan Treat Box. That’s actually the sister table to the Dia’s Room table in Cinder House. They’re from the same log.” As he talks, I’m struck by how many pides and doners, how much foie gras and feijoada has been served on that single tree.

Tall, muscular and somewhat grizzled, Stine is the Midwestern version of a mountain man. Often clad in a dark purple David Stine Furniture shirt and jeans regardless of where he is, he dresses the part well. He’s disarmingly friendly. If you meet him in person, his large hand will swallow yours in a satisfying but aggressive handshake. Stine grew up on a fourth-generation dairy farm in rural Illinois, learning about woodworking and carpentry from his grandfather. But he wanted to get out. “Milking cows fucking sucks,” he says. “It’s every day, twice a day, till you die. So going to school sounded like an awesome plan to me.”

E n c o u r a g e d b y h i s g r a n d f a t h e r to go out into the world and learn how to keep the farm together, Stine left Illinois to attend undergrad at Penn State University. In 1993, he moved further east to enter law school at George

Washington University in Washington, D.C. He finished school, passed the bar and began practicing law, doing woodworking on the side to keep up his skills and stay connected to his roots. After a year as a lawyer, Stine found he didn’t enjoy working in an office. He decided to make the kind of major life shift most people only dream about. But the decision wasn’t made alone. Around the same time, Stine’s roommate came home from Toledo Lounge, a bar in their D.C. neighborhood, with a surprising announcement. “I just met your future wife,” she said, referring to one of the bar’s co-owners. The roommates immediately doubled back to the bar, and Stine met Stephanie Abbajay, who did, in fact, become his wife and business partner.

A b b a j a y g r e w u p i n To l e d o , O h i o , where her father ran Country Palace – previously known as the Peppermint Club – a bar and country music establishment that saw performances from musicians like Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Like Stine, she wanted to forge her own path. She went to school at Kenyon College, then moved to D.C., where she contributed to numerous professional publications, ghostwrote books, developed programming for the United States Information Agency as an appointee of the George H.W. Bush administration and, eventually, opened Toledo Lounge in 1994. She continued her freelance career until fairly recently, when David Stine Furniture began taking off. “The business has gotten so big that that’s what I do 100% of the time now,” she says. She seems happy with how things have turned out. Stine and Abbajay moved to Illinois to continue David Stine Furniture in 2002. They bought the 40-acre farm in Dow, not too far from Stine’s family farm, and set up shop in a 3,000-square-foot barn right outside the main house, using the two buildings as their respective offices. Their big break came with an order from James Beard Award-winner Gerard Craft; the chef and restaurateur needed tables for the second iteration of his lauded Niche in Clayton. Niche closed in 2016, but Stine’s work became a foundation of Craft’s restaurants going forward. “I’m in the bag for Gerard,” Stine says, digressing to dote on his favorite menu items at Pastaria and Cinder House. “Whatever he does, I just love it.” I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 33

the tools of david stine’s trade


November 2019

To d a y , S t i n e a n d A b b a j a y m a k e a f o r c e f u l d u o . Abbajay describes their

relationship as front of house and back of house. “I’m the business person; he’s the craftsperson. It seems to work pretty well that way,” she says. “I do all sales and marketing. I do all invoicing and receipts, accounts receivable. I do all the social media. I’m the first interaction with all the clients. When people send an inquiry for a piece of furniture, they meet with Dave personally.” This is where the photos come in – Stine works closely with his clients to pick the right cuts of wood and to develop them to precisely fit the client’s tastes and environment. His immersion in the process is what sets him apart.

I talk to Stine and watch him work until noon, when he tells his employees to take an hour and ushers me to a Mercedes-Benz delivery van, where the conversation shifts toward the personal. As we head to lunch, he talks about going out in St. Louis the previous night with a client/friend. They wound up at Louie, drinking an undisclosed amount of tequila. Suffice it to say that within the restaurant industry, the lines between business and socializing can blur. We drive the few miles through rural Illinois that separate the new workshop and showroom from their farm, where Abbajay is working in the office.

When we arrive, it’s clear that she’s been doing more than work. A wonderful spread of homemade sauerkraut, pickled eggs, sweet pickles, sauerkraut pancakes, slow-cooked pork and tomatoes from Stine’s mother’s garden await. Chatting for the next hour about restaurants, favorite dishes and events, it barely seems like a workday anymore. Their hospitality is astonishing – the more time I spend with Stine and Abbajay, the more I understand why they have been embraced by the St. Louis restaurant industry. Our conversation continues as Stine opens some mail, skeptically reads over a bill and gets up from lunch to start doing the dishes. Eventually, though, he checks his watch and, surprised by how the time has passed, packs up to head back to the workshop. I stay at the house to chat with Abbajay, who is, unsurprisingly, incredibly well read. Our conversation ambles from Madame Bovary and Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series back to the business.

Though they work out of the farm, their job often takes them right into the heart of St. Louis’ dining scene. “Our work isn’t mostly restaurants but, in St. Louis, much of it really revolves around the restaurant community,” Abbajay says. “So when we’re working, we’re at Elmwood, Louie, The Midwestern, Gioia’s, Strange Donuts. It’s really fun – it never feels like work. It’s pretty great to have a job where you can take clients to some of the best restaurants in the world.”

Abbajay is at the farm about three days a week, spending the rest of her time at their home in Clayton, where their daughter goes to school. They also have a son who lives in Chicago. Work and life can separate her and Stine, but they both feel it’s important to stay connected. “We try to see each other every day,” Abbajay says. “When our daughter graduates from high school, we’ll probably be out here full-time.” Regardless, they’ll continue spending plenty of time in St. Louis. While discussing the pros and cons of working for yourself, she notes that it can be lonely. “I like to be in a social setting,” she says. “I like to be where other people are.” Together, Stine and Abbajay have a bond that’s strong enough for all of these tons and acres of wood to rest on. It’s what makes David Stine Furniture possible, and it can be seen at nights out in the city, the parties they throw on the farm and in their working relationships with others. Abbajay describes their typical date night as she finishes cleaning up from lunch. “We’ll get our daughter a sleepover, we’ll turn down invitations. Our schedule is so busy with clients, events, shows, travel, deliveries, that we have to schedule our alone time,” she explains. “Our date night is literally just us here at the farm with a giant steak, some great bottle of wine that Gerard [Craft] or somebody gave us. And we’ll work until 7, and then we’ll sous vide the steak, split the bottle of wine and watch Better Call Saul or Barry or something.” We should all be so lucky.

stephanie abbajay and david stine enjoy lunch on the farm.

November 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 35

L A S T B I T E // S T U F F T O D O



Sans Bar: Refilled

Science Uncorked

Nov. 2 – 8 p.m. to midnight, Vue 17, 1034 S. Brentwood Blvd., 17th Floor, St. Louis, 314.399.8779, Enjoy a night of fun sans booze at this second pop-up event hosted by The Wellness Council. Drink unlimited handcrafted, alcohol-free beverages from vendors like Komblu Kombucha, Dry Soda Co. and more while dancing to music from DJ vThom. Tickets available online.

Nov. 9 – 7 to 10 p.m., Saint Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, 314.289.4400, Sample over 80 different types of wine and spirits from vendors like Still 630 Distillery, Augusta Wine Co., Copper Run Distillery and St. James Winery while learning about the science behind the booze. Watch science demonstrations and listen to live music while snacking on smoked brisket, lemon-rosemary chicken, Bavarian pretzels, desserts and more. Tickets available online.

International Party Nov. 15 – 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., 612North Event Space + Catering, 612 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314.899.0612, Facebook: International Party at 612North Experience food from around the world while celebrating diversity and culture. Try cuisine from restaurants like Drunken Fish, Kimchi Guys, Poke Doke, Bar Italia and more. There’s also a full bar for purchase and live music. Tickets available online.

International Cooking Classes

Jewish Food Fest

Lamb Ramen Pop-Up

Nov. 5 and 12 – 6 to 8 p.m., International Institute of St. Louis, 3401 Arsenal St., St. Louis, 314.773.9090, Learn how to prepare meals from around the world in this event series hosted by the International Institute of St. Louis. On Nov. 5, create Laotian papaya salad with chef Spompit Vasey. On Nov. 12, make Syrian hummus and baba ghanoush with chefs Khaldoun Hreedeen and Falafel Saha. Tickets available online.

Nov. 12 – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Maryville University Gander Dining Hall, 650 Maryville University Drive, Town & Country, 314.529.9437, Enjoy an afternoon of learning about the history of Jewish dishes at this free celebration of Jewish food and culture. Items on offer include matzo ball soup, brisket, knishes, challah bread, latkes, hummus and more.

Nov. 18 – 6 to 9 p.m., Cafe Natasha, 3200 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.771.3411, Facebook: Lamb Ramen Popup Taste a mashup of lamb-centric Persian and Asian cuisine at this event hosted by chefs Hamishe Bahrami of Café Natasha and Bernie Lee of Akar. Try Lee’s ramen noodles served in Bahrami’s lamb broth, among other dishes, in this presentation of both chefs’ signature cuisines. Tickets available online.


Nov. 14 – 6 to 9 p.m., St. Louis ArtWorks, 5959 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.282.7533, Join Earthday365 and the Green Dining Alliance at this annual fundraising event celebrating 30 years since St. Louis’ first Earth Day festival. Try food and drinks from about 20 local GDA restaurants, including Salt + Smoke, Bailey’s Chocolate Bar and Mission Taco Joint while grooving to ’80s mixtape tunes. Proceeds benefit GDA’s yearround sustainability programs of Earthday365, including Recycling on the Go. Tickets available online.

November 2019

November 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 37

L A S T B I T E // W H AT I D O

MICHAEL TURLEY In another life, Michael Turley spent his days in boardrooms as CEO of Osborn Barr, a booming marketing and communications agency in downtown St. Louis. Today, he spends his days in pastures with 120 Holstein cows on his family’s dairy farm in Greenville, Illinois. Turley had no misguided notions about an idyllic retirement in the country when he took over Rolling Lawns Farm in 2015. Larger dairy operations regularly swallow smaller ones, and milk’s profit margins continue to dwindle. He couldn’t stick to business as usual, so Turley pivoted from retail-focused co-ops to supplying area restaurants like Vicia and Grace Meat + Three and building a social media presence. Here’s why this ad man returned to the family farm and how he plans to help it thrive for the next 100 years. – Catherine Klene

“I can’t tell you how good it feels to walk out of a kitchen.

on that farm for 109 years. If nothing else, we know how to persevere. My greatgrandfather founded the farm, and I’m fourth-generation. This is an era where there’s a lot of those family operations that do have well over 100 years of history, and there’s a lot of us having to consider whether we can keep it going or not.”

… When I deliver to Vicia on a Tuesday and everybody in there treats me like some kind of hero guy, like they do all the farmers they’re working with. … They walk the walk. They’ve been out there. They’ve had a crew of 30 people visit our farm on their day off. We were literally milking a cow by hand, putting it in a little glass pint jar, and then we passed it around and drank it. That was fun for them and fun for me.”

“I had some stuff to prove,

and it felt like we were in a good position to do it. I had the marketing expertise – I use that term loosely – but I knew what was going on and felt like I needed to do it.”

“Farmers are a humble lot,

typically. They just want to keep their heads down and work and produce food, and hope people appreciate that, but our social scene today has people wanting to know who the people are behind the food, so there are new interests. There’s a concern for animal care.” “We have 15 animals of this one cow family on the farm now, and we can trace the family back to 1882. … We know more about this cow family than I do my own. We’ve got a 12-by-20-foot long wall [at the farm]. I’m going to put this cow family tree on there,

and I’m going to take it back all the way to when she came over from the Netherlands, which is where [Holsteins] came from. There are 32 generations, and we’ve got lots of pictures. It really is for cows.” “In terms of creating a destination where people can

come out to find serenity, there is nothing like walking through a pasture with a bunch of cows. It’s just quiet and they’re happy.” “I am on the field. I am in the game. My ass is on the line. I want that. I want people to expect a lot from us. I want the moment of truth every time they open [a bottle], whether it’s a James Beard-nominated chef or a food lover at home. I want it to be a high expectation. When I was in the agency business, we were just cheerleaders. We were on the sidelines. … Not to discredit it, it was a great career for me, and there’s so much creativity that comes from great agencies, but I needed to be in the game.”


Rolling Lawns Farm, 438 Falcon Road, Greenville, Illinois, 314.308.1005,

“Every morning and every night, we’ve milked cows


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November 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 39

L A S T B I T E // L A N D M A R K


The St. Louis riverfront was a different world in the 1920s, but not everything has changed. Located next to the railroad tracks, in the shadow of the crumbling remnants of the area’s industrial past, is a low brick building. A crisp, white facade and black awning are the only indicators of the magic that resides inside. Founded by Italian immigrants Louise and Albert Barroni in 1925, Al’s Restaurant has weathered innumerable culinary trends, changes in taste and myriad construction projects and economic fluctuations, all while providing an elegant respite from the daily grind. Owner Pam Neal, Louise and Al’s granddaughter, said Al’s was originally more of a saloon serving lunch to railway workers. In the late 1960s, a neighboring building caught fire and collapsed onto the restaurant. After the rebuild, the family switched gears and delved into fine dining.

“I think it’s the unity of the family and the hands-on love and attention we give it,” Neal said. She also gave much credit to the staff, many of whom have worked there for decades. Some families have worked at the restaurant for generations, with parents bringing their children into the fold to continue the legacy.

1200 N. First St., St. Louis, 314.421.6399,


November 2019


Al’s is one of the few places in the area to experience time-honored delicacies like beef romano, chateaubriand or a true Caesar salad prepared tableside by tuxedoed servers. Classic service and cuisine aren’t retro throwbacks – they never left. The menu rarely changes, and many of the dishes are made from Louise Barroni’s original recipes.

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holiday recipes, p. 23




Guide to the Holidays 2019

Guide to the Holidays 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 3

when you want to spend


Schlafly Oatmeal Stout Beer Lotion Beer lovers with winter-weary hands can pop this on the kitchen sink to keep dry skin at bay and smell great doing it. $17. Maven, 7328 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.600.0939,

Let’s Get Toasted on The Hill Shirt Whether you’re thinking toasted ravs or temporarily toasted sobriety, we’re here for it. $20. Benton Park Prints,

DottieQ Beer Mitten Part koozie, part glove, this locally made knitwear ensures drinks stay cold while hands stay warm. $25. Mac’s Local Buys, 1821 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.479.8155,

Ten Thousand Villages Salt and Pepper Shakers These palewa stone salt and pepper shakers are hand-carved in India and feature beautiful painted copper accents. $19. Plowsharing Crafts, 6271 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.863.3723,

Soup Bone This nifty gadget made of foodgrade silicone is ideal to infuse soups, stews and more with whole spices and fresh herbs without losing those pesky pieces in the mix. $10. Urban Matter, 3179 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.769.9349,


Guide to the Holidays 2019


by lauren healey

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Guide to the Holidays 2019

when you want to spend

$ 2 5 - $ 5 0 by lauren healey

MoonSpoon Martini Picks Fancy up your favorite cocktailloving friends’ next night in with these hand-carved, cherry wood martini picks. $40. Craft Alliance, 6640 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.725.1177,

Tie-dye produce bags This set of three reusable produce bags helps eradicate unnecessary plastic waste while lending an air of whimsy to any shopping trip. $29. Garden District STL, 3203 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.261.4577,


Al Westcott Pottery These beautiful, locally made plates, bowls and mugs are a great gift for anyone on your list. $16 to $28. Union Studio, 1605 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.771.5398,

Guide to the Holidays 2019

Spice grinder A porcelain spice grinder is not only great for the freshest spices possible, its sleek and modern design also make it ideal for countertop display. $32. Urban Matter, 3179 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.769.9349,

Small Circle Recipes Subscription Featuring home recipes from celebrated local chefs like James Beard semifinalist Ben Grupe, this cookbook series is perfect for anyone interested in the local dining scene. One-year subscription: $50. Small Circle Recipes, I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 7

when you want to spend

$50-$100 by lauren healey

Phillip Finder pot Perfect for odds and ends, this locally made ceramic pot can store almost anything inside. $90. Urban Matter, 3179 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.769.9349,

Handmade Teapot For the tea lover who already has everything, this handmade pot will make teatime a little more charming. $85. Garden District STL, 3203 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.261.4577,


Timber-Echo Picnic Set This upcycled walnut set made by Kurt Miller can hold two bottles of wine, and the lower portion pops out to serve as a cutting board. $65. Craft Alliance, 6640 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.725.1177,

ModHome Ceramics serving tray Perfect for a charcuterie spread, this ceramic serving tray made by Nicole Pepper upgrades any dinner party. $75. Urban Matter, 3179 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.769.9349,

Guide to the Holidays 2019


LoKey Designs Succulent Bring the great outdoors inside with some living art. Any kitchen window will benefit from one of these artfully designed succulents. Prices vary. Seta, 2207 S. 39th St., St. Louis, 314.960.2706,

Guide to the Holidays 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 9


Guide to the Holidays 2019

when you want to spend

A LOT by lauren healey

Wine & Dine with Sauce Magazine Class For the ultimate Sauce lover, recipients of this gift will enjoy a meal prepared by art director Meera Nagarajan and managing editor Heather Hughes Huff while learning new recipes. Prices vary. Dierbergs School of Cooking, 1080 Lindemann Road, Des Peres, 314.238.0400,

Sir|Madam Elemental Cocktail Set The mixologist-in-training on your list will be set up for success with a beautiful mixing glass, beechwood muddler, bar spoon, strainer and jigger. $120. AO&Co. Market, 1641 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.899.0991,

The Kudu Grill Blaze Package The Big Green Egg is so 2018. This open-fire cooking system and its many attachments are perfect for grilling, searing, smoking, steaming and even frying and sauteing. $599. Kudu Grills,

Punch Bowl Know a hostess with the mostest? They’ll love this elegantly lavish Williamsburg by Tiffin Franciscan set. $160. Intoxicology, 4321 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.3088,

Custom Foodscaping With experience in everything from herb gardens to vegetable farms, Matt Lebon will create your dream garden so you can “have your landscape and eat it too.” Prices vary. Custom Foodscaping,

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Guide to the Holidays 2019

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Guide to the Holidays 2019






Holiday wine purchases can be a challenge. Any bottle needs wide-audience appeal at parties and family gatherings. They’re often half gift, half something you’re hoping to enjoy yourself. You want a bottle to impress – but also be affordable. Let us help you navigate the holiday winescape. Guide to the Holidays 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 15

CHARDONNAYS YOU AND YOUR MOM CAN AGREE ON Estate De Wetshof Limestone Hill $18. Chateau Maplewood Alois Lageder $14. The Wine Merchant Wagner Vineyards Unoaked $12. Parker’s Table 2016 Domaine Drouhin RoseRock $28. The Wine and Cheese Place


Guide to the Holidays 2019



Nothing feels better than walking into a party with a large-format wine – except maybe watching someone else walk in with one. Magnums (1.5 liter bottles) are a great place to start, but when you go bigger, so does the party. Champagne has the best names for these options – they’re biblical kings and patriarchs: Jeroboam (3 liters), Methuselah (6 liters), Salmanazar (9 liters), Balthazar (12 liters), Nebuchadnezzar (15 liters) and, the largest, Melchior (18 liters). That’s 24 standard bottles of wine.

Jones of Washington $18. Chateau Maplewood Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards $23. The Wine Merchant Star Lane Vineyard $45. The Wine and Cheese Place

The Wine and Cheese Place coowner Aaron Zwicker recommends a Leviathan magnum for a party. The crowd-pleasing red blend is appropriately large and festive, but will definitely be drained even if not everyone is drinking wine. “I like it in a magnum because you get out under $75,” he said. Everyone’s happy. If price is no problem, The Wine Merchant does some serious large-format business. Owner Jason Main said most are private orders, but the shop does carry some kingsize bottles you can pick up for royal prices.



We’ve all met them (or been them): people who will only drink chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon. Wine can be confusing and expensive. If someone has a good experience with a bottle, it’s hard to blame them for sticking with what they know. But if you don’t like the stereotypical, inexpensive cab or chardonnay grabbed from the grocery by holiday hosts, you don’t have to just smile and sip it. We’ve given up trying to make our mom’s friends try a grüner vetliner or albariño, but that doesn’t mean we’re showing up with a buttery oak bomb.

Guide to the Holidays 2019

“Oregon’s a nice source of good chardonnay that is West Coast, but not the overdone California style,” said Zwicker. Try the 2016 Domaine Drouhin RoseRock for round floral and peach notes and solid minerality. Parker’s Table’s Simon Lehrer recommended butter haters look to the Finger Lakes region in New York for “light, crisp, clean” wines – like Wagner Vinyards’ unoaked version. Both Main and Chateau Maplewood owner Brian Hobbs suggested South African bottles like Estate De Wetshof Limestone Hill. “You’d almost think you’re drinking a more expensive Chablis,” Main said. He also called out the

northern Italian Alois Lageder as a unique bottle combining Italian winemaking creativity with a lively Germanic style reflective of the region’s close neighbors. If you can’t fool your guests with a cabernet franc, look for cabernet sauvignons from Washington. Lehrer said they’re a little more balanced and earthy than a classic Napa Valley bottle. “[They] have dark fruit and spice, but it’s not a massive fruit bomb that’s crushing your palate,” Hobbs said, recommending Jones of Washington. For a little elegance, Main suggests Australian cabernet sauvignons, calling out Leeuwin Estate Prelude

Vineyards from the Margaret River region. “They don’t just rest on the fruitiness of the grape,” he said. “They have a minty, eucalyptus note and an earthiness that pairs well with food.” If you got the uncle who will only drink cabs from California for the gift exchange this year, Zwicker said to go for a Star Lane Vineyard bottle. “It’s a cool juxtaposition to a Napa cab,” he said. Better known for pinot noir, the Santa Barbara winery owned by St. Louis’ Dierberg family grows in a cooler climate than Napa. “To me, their wines have more of that Old World, leathery element – more acid, not big fruit.” I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 17

WINES NATURAL ENOUGH FOR THE COOLEST FRIEND ON YOUR GIFT LIST Delinquente Wine Co. Tuff Nutt $20. The Wine and Cheese Place Sablonnettes Menard le Rouge $19. Parker’s Table 2Naturkinder Black Betty $48. Parker’s Table Yetti and the Kokonut Savagnin $43. Parker’s Table


Guide to the Holidays 2019


Whether it’s for a gift or a dinner party, trying to pick out a bottle for someone who’s into wine is terrifying. If you have a trendy drinker in your life, you probably already know they want a natural wine, but might get a little lost in the details. Along with organic or biodynamic growing methods and little intervention in processing, the natural wine trend is characterized by young, iconoclastic growers with wild branding and small-name varietals. These four bottles will please even the hippiest wino. Delinquente Wine Co. Tuff Nutt Pét-nats are the darling of the natural wine world. This naturally sparkling bottle is fresh and drinkable, made with a regional Italian grape (bianco d’alessano) surprisingly grown in an organic Australian vineyard. Sablonnettes Menard le Rouge A plummy, earthy, unfiltered red made from hand-harvested grapes, this is a weird one. Lehrer described it as “intensely funky,” which would make it ideal for natural wine lovers who enjoy a challenge.

GO GET IT Chateau Maplewood

7326 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.899.0105,

2Naturkinder Black Betty Lehrer described this red as funky, fruity, light and bright. It’s made in Bavaria from foot-crushed grapes and is named after the first lamb born and raised in its biodynamic vineyard.

Parker’s Table

7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, 314.645.2050,

The Wine and Cheese Place

The Wine Merchant

7817 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.863.6282,

Guide to the Holidays 2019


7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.727.8788,

Yetti and the Kokonut Savagnin Made by a couple friends also growing crazy varietals in Australia, this 100% savagnin comes with wild tropical fruit notes to match its pineapple color.


No shade on cava and prosecco (where you can typically find more bang for your buck when it comes to quality), but it feels so good to gift someone a bottle from the French region for which all sparkling wines are nicknamed. Collet is a solid, realdeal Champagne for under $30. Lehrer said it’s light, soft, has mild toastiness and the tiny bubbles you want from Champagne. “It’s not over-the-top in any direction,” he said – not super yeasty or acidic – which makes it a great crowdpleaser. $30. Parker’s Table I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 19


Guide to the Holidays 2019

Guide to the Holidays 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 21


Guide to the Holidays 2019

H O L I D A Y B A K I N G by marianne moore // photos by carmen troesser

Guide to the Holidays 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 23

Growing up, I’d anxiously wait for the tin of goodies to arrive from my Aunt Sarah every year. She treated holiday baking as part sport, part opera, pushing herself, her oven and her girls to the limit every December. My cousins keep her tradition alive with their own bake-apalooza, and I still wait for that tin filled with spritz cookies, Italian wedding cookies and thumbprints every year. When it’s time to plan your holiday platter or tin, select recipes that are different from each other with regards to shape, flavor, texture and color. I have two nonnegotiables: The treats need to be easy enough to make in big batches and sturdy enough to travel to many a party because, as my Aunt Sarah taught us, giving them to friends and family is the best part.


PEPPERMINT-KISSED SANDWICH COOKIES Peppermint is a staple flavor of the season. These crisp, bittersweet chocolate cookies are stuffed with a fluffy peppermint buttercream and coated in crunchy candy cane pieces. ABOUT 24 COOKIES 1 cup sugar ½ cup room-temperature salted butter ½ cup room-temperature whole milk 1 room-temperature large egg 1½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup dark cocoa powder 1¼ tsp. baking powder Peppermint frosting, for filling (recipe follows) 12 mini candy canes, crushed • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. • In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the milk and egg and mix until well combined. • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, then add to the wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until combined. • Drop level tablespoons of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, then bake until the edges are set and centers look mostly done, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. • Assemble the cookie sandwiches by spreading or piping the frosting to the edges of the bottom of a cookie, then sandwiching with another cookie. • Place crushed candy canes on a plate and roll cookie sandwiches so candy canes stick to frosting. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

PEPPERMINT FROSTING ABOUT 3 CUPS 1 cup room-temperature butter 1 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme 2 cups powdered sugar, plus 1 cup more if piping 2 to 3 Tbsp. whole milk 1¼ tsp. vanilla extract 1¼ tsp. peppermint extract • Beat the butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until lighter in color, about 1 minute. Add the marshmallow creme and continue to beat 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat 2 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla and peppermint extracts and beat 1 additional minute. Add additional powdered sugar, if desired.


Chewy, soft, melty and a perfect balance of spicy and sweet, this Jewish cookie typically served during Hanukkah is an absolute must when it comes to holiday baking. ABOUT 30 COOKIES

the butter, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt until combined. Add the flour and pulse until dough forms. Divide the dough in half, flatten into discs and tightly wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Set aside. In a small pot, bring the apricots, water, brandy and cinnamon to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a clean food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Stir in the walnuts and remaining ²∕³ cup sugar. Let cool, then fold in the chocolate chips. Working with 1 disc at a time on a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Spread with half the filling, leaving a 1-inch border. Cut into 16 wedges. Starting from the outside edge, tightly roll each wedge; place on the baking sheets, seam side down. Lightly brush with the egg. Freeze 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with the racks in upper and lower thirds. Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway through. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed 8 oz. room-temperature cream cheese ²∕³ cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided ¼ tsp. fine salt 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1 cup dried apricots ½ cup water ¼ cup brandy ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 1 cup finely chopped walnuts ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips 1 large egg, lightly beaten • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside. • In a food processor, blend

Guide to the Holidays 2019


C H O C O L A T E - A P R I C O T

Guide to the Holidays 2019 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 25

GINGERBREAD-WHITE CHOCOLATE BLONDIES ABOUT 4 DOZEN 2-INCH SQUARES 2¾ cups plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 1¼ tsp. baking soda 1¼ tsp. kosher salt 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. ground ginger ¼ tsp. ground cloves 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) room-temperature butter 1¼ cups light brown sugar, packed ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk ¹∕³ cup mild molasses 1¼ tsp. vanilla extract 10 oz. white chocolate, coarsely chopped • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 17-by-12-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment and coat the parchment. • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Set aside. • Beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and yolk 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the molasses and vanilla, then gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in the white chocolate. • Spread the batter into the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges are golden, about 25 minutes. • Let cool completely on the sheet on a wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares or use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes.


Guide to the Holidays 2019


These golden, buttery numbers are a Bosnian favorite. A cross between a biscuit and a little cake, they can come in various shapes, sizes and flavor styles. This version is fairly simple and incorporates orange zest for a citrus kick and semolina for extra texture. ABOUT 30 BISCUITS 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 4 cups granulated sugar 4 cups water 8 whole cloves 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste Juice of 1 lemon ¾ cup caster sugar ½ cup plus 2¾ tsp. roomtemperature butter Zest of 1 orange, finely grated 2 eggs 1½ cup all-purpose flour ½ tsp. baking powder ¼ cup fine semolina • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets lightly with the vegetable oil. • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar, water, cloves, vanilla bean paste and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat as low as possible while maintaining a simmer, and simmer gently until the syrup thickens and reduces to about 3 cups, about 35 minutes. Keep warm. • Meanwhile, beat the caster sugar, butter and orange zest with a mixer on medium-high until pale and creamy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined and smooth. • In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, then stir in the semolina. • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix into a soft, but not sticky, dough. • Roll about 1 tablespoon dough into a log about 1 inch wide and 2½ inches long. Press the log lightly onto the small hole side of a box

Guide to the Holidays 2019

grater to flatten slightly, forming a shape about 1½ inches wide by 3 inches long and about ¾-inch thick, or use a fork to create a pattern on the surface and press into the same shape. • Gently peel the dough away from the grater, and use your hands to round the ends to form an oval, if needed. Place on the greased baking tray. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. • Pour the hot syrup over the hot biscuits and let rest until the biscuits soak up most of the syrup, about 30 minutes.


Consisting mostly of ground almonds, these delicate, crumbly cookies were a staple in my Aunt Sarah’s cookie tin. A healthy dusting of powdered sugar adds just enough sweetness without overwhelming the neutral nutty flavor. ABOUT 30 COOKIES 1½ cups room-temperature butter ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting ¾ tsp. kosher salt 1½ cups finely ground almonds 4 tsp. vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour Powdered sugar, for dusting • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium-high until light and fluffy. Decrease the speed to medium or medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt and mix until combined. Add the almonds and vanilla extract, mixing until combined. Then slowly add the flour and mix until combined. (Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom, if needed.) • Using a cookie scoop, shape the

batter into balls and place on the baking sheet. Space them close together, but don’t let them touch. • Bake until just lightly browned (not golden brown), 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool and evenly dust with the powdered sugar.


Marcona almonds are the game changer in this toffee. They are tender and toasty, never hard and dry like most almonds. ABOUT 1 POUND 1¼ cup (2½ sticks) butter 1¼ cup sugar 2 Tbsp. bourbon ½ tsp. vanilla extract Kosher salt, to taste 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips ½ cup toasted, chopped marcona almonds ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans Maldon or another flaky sea salt, for garnish • Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, bourbon, vanilla and kosher salt. Let the butter melt and sugar dissolve, then increase the heat to mediumhigh and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture turns a dark amber and is thick, 12 to 15 minutes. (To use a candy thermometer for this step, attach it to the saucepan and cook until the temperature reaches 285 degrees.) • Pour the toffee mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top. Let sit 2 minutes so the chocolate begins to melt, then spread the chocolate with an offset spatula to create a layer on top of the toffee. Sprinkle the almonds, pecans and flaky sea salt evenly over the top. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour, then cut or break into pieces. I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 27

Profile for Sauce Magazine

Sauce Magazine // November 2019  

Sauce Magazine // November 2019  

Profile for saucemag