Readers' Choice 2015

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From left, Strange Donuts co-owners Corey Smale and Jason Bockman in a sea of sprinkles

READERS'

CHOICE S T. L O U I S ’ I N D E P E N D E N T C U L I N A R Y A U T H O R I T Y

Readers’ Choice 2015

SAUCEMAGAZINE.COM

FREE, READERS’ CHOICE 2015

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FAVORITE NEW RESTAURANT

PEACEMAKER LOBSTER & CRAB CO. “What did I enjoy as a kid? What makes me happy now?” Kevin Nashan, chef-owner of Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. asked himself as he contemplated the restaurant, his second after running Sidney Street Cafe down the street to wild acclaim. “I always gravitated toward po’boys and a good lobster roll.” Your votes make it official: Peacemaker is St. Louis’ favorite new restaurant. Here, Nashan dishes his thoughts on the most popular, quintessentially coastal dishes at Peacemaker. – Spencer Pernikoff 1831 Sidney St., St. Louis, 314.772.8858, peacemakerstl.com

BUFFALO CRAWFISH PO’BOY “Inspired by chef de cuisine John Messbarger’s dad and his love of hot wings”

SMOKED BRISKET PO’BOY “How do you put something on the menu for the non-fish lovers that is going to absolutely make everyone want it? This brisket does it.”

PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

CLAM ROLL “It’s got the sweetness of a scallop, the brininess of an oyster - absolutely delicious.”

LYONNAISE SALAD “Crispy oysters, pickled mustard seeds, beautiful poached egg – it’s a delicious bite.”

Readers’ Choice 2015

BLUEBERRY PIE “It’s just ridiculous, it’s so good. It’s like a Pappy’s rib: It makes me want to hug someone.” saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 5


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Readers’ Choice 2015


CHEF OF THE YEAR

GERARD CRAFT

FOUR MEALS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

ILLUSTRATIONS BY VIDHYA NAGARAJAN

You know a meal is special when you can recall it in vivid detail years, even decades, later. Epicures have traveled from far and near to visit Gerard Craft’s flagship restaurant, Niche, and have departed with memories of exquisitely plated, creative dishes. Craft’s own dining experiences likewise have left an indelible mark on his culinary mind. Here, this year’s Readers’ Choice Chef of the Year – and winner of the 2015 James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Midwest – shares the top meals of his life. – Ligaya Figueras

1. The French Laundry, Yountville, California, 2002 “That meal was mind-blowing on every level, especially because I had experienced a lot at that point but nothing unique. I’d been sleeping with The French Laundry Cookbook pretty much at that point. It was a big deal to see it all. The wine service was Bobby Stuckey (now co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado) as a youngster. My dad still talks about the wine service to this day and how amazingly inspired it was. (We started) with five different soups, each one the essence of whatever that ingredient was. (I had) dishes that are now iconic, like the salmon cornet – the ice cream cone, the oysters and pearls … just mindblowing and fun. Grant Achatz was a sous chef. It was kind of like a dream team in that restaurant.” Readers’ Choice 2015

2. Le Bamboche, Paris, France, 2000 “It was during the mad cow crisis. Lots of vegetables because nobody was cooking meat at that point. La Bamboche was a tiny little spot, maybe 20 seats. The chef was Claude Colliot. It was him in the kitchen with one other guy and his wife ran the front of the house. It was the first time I saw traditional rules broken. There was a dish of glazed Loire Valley vegetables with fromage blanc ice cream, a savory ice cream. I was blown away. Now, everyone sees ice cream on dishes. Back then, no one had ice cream on dishes. On the dessert side, he had a Napoleon with pastry cream on one layer, a kind of candied confit tomato on another layer and then basil simple syrup. Again, this notion of the rules had been broken: savory food being used in dessert. That meal alone shaped my career and the way I would look at food from then on.”

3. L’Arpège, Paris, France, 2000 “This place was – and still is – a three-star Michelin restaurant. My parents took me there and said, ‘Pay attention. This is your Harvard education.’ It was a spectacular meal, tons of vegetables. I don’t know if I was necessarily blown out of the water. It was just vegetables and light flavors and very good. What I did notice later on as I was cooking was: This green bean is not cooked right; this turnip’s texture could be much better. Every vegetable in that place was so perfectly cooked. When it comes to vegetables, that completely changed my life. I am so picky with our cooks about how they cook vegetables. That stems from this restaurant.”

4. Trattoria del Conte, Orvieto, Italy, 2006 “Our very good friends, Margaret and Carlo Pfeiffer, took me to this place. It

was their favorite local restaurant to eat dinner. It’s pretty much a father and his daughters who run this place. They make really casual pastas, all fresh, handmade. One of my favorite dishes that I still love to make is a ricotta tortelloni with artichokes, lemon and olive oil – an incredibly simple dish, but perfect. The whole thing, the ragus they do, everything made me fall in love with Italian food. That wasn’t my first trip to Italy, but it was a transformative trip for me.”

Niche Food Group Brasserie by Niche, brasseriebyniche.com Niche, nichestlouis.com Pastaria, pastariastl.com Taste, tastebarstl.com

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opened without me having worked for him for a year at Farmstead.

The dining room at Cleveland-Heath, voted favorite restaurant

FAVORITE RESTAURANT

CLEVELAND-HEATH

PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

Jenny Cleveland and Ed Heath culled the inspiration for their 4-year-old Edwardsville restaurant from family recipes, restaurant road trips and tenures in other people’s kitchens. The result: an arsenal of cooking techniques, unexpected dish compositions and core dining philosophies that are the hallmarks of your favorite restaurant of the year. – Ligaya Figueras

Th e p o rk c ho p Heath: The pork chop was the one I’d done at Henry’s Fork Lodge, a little seasonal fishing place in Island Park, Idaho. I knew in Idaho they were meatand-potato people, and I thought I could branch out with some bread pudding. Readers’ Choice 2015

It went over really well. I think I did asparagus or green beans and the pork chop. The egg came later. Cleveland: The egg is us because the only meal we ever cooked at home was breakfast. It was always leftovers and an egg on top. Everyone says the egg on top of things is done, but I don’t see how it will ever be done because it tastes so good. T h e c h i c k en w i n gs Heath: We ate at Redd in Napa a lot. Their chicken wings were the best we ever had … It was a Michelin-starred restaurant, and we would always sit at the bar and eat the stupid chicken wings. It was like a dark soy-caramel glaze. We tried to figure out the sauce. We worked on it at our place for six months before we came up with our chicken wings. T h e B LT Heath: We used to eat BLTs four days a week in Napa. There was a little grocery store a block and a half from our house. Cleveland: We’d walk down and get two cups of coffee, two BLTs with pickles on them and bring them back. Heath: Tom (Grant) at Martine (Cafe, Salt Lake City) used to take cherry tomatoes and cover them in garlic and

olive oil. At the end of the night, he’d throw them in the oven and leave them for 12 hours until he got back the next day. It was like tomato sauce in a bite. At our place, we were going to do it that way, but our volume got too high. We go through 10 cases of Roma tomatoes a week just to keep the BLT on the menu. Ours are roasted; we can’t really call them oven-cured. T h e p u lled p ork sandwich Heath: At Farmstead (St. Helena, California), we did ours on the smoker, which was our original intention (for Cleveland-Heath). But once again, volume hit, and we had to start braising. We have the pretzel bun because Companion came by to do our bread. We wanted our pickles to be different, so we did cider vinegar and coriander seed. And when you get all that together – the bite of the coriander seed with the blue cheese dressing – I will eat that sandwich every day. Cleveland: I think the pickles are because that’s how my mom did them. That’s how I grew up eating pulled pork. Heath: The blue cheese coleslaw – that was (Farmstead’s) Seamus Feeley. Seamus did the blue cheese coleslaw, so we borrowed it. I don’t think we could have

The shav ed r aw b eef and celery kung pao Cleveland: This January, we ate at Mission Chinese in New York. They had this celery dish on the menu that was just the simplest. Heath: Celery, hazelnuts, soy sauce. Cleveland: It looked like sauteed celery with hazelnuts, and it was so good. … When we got back, for two days we did nothing but: “No, this is how it was,” “No, this is how it was.” … It was like this celery competition. We were trying to hit the flavor with that dish. Heath: It’s strange, though. It’s not carpaccio because it’s not super thin. But if you cut it against the grain, it gets that nice chewy element … It was seriously like eating at a regular Chinese restaurant where you get big chunks of celery in a dish. But his was so beautiful and tall and gorgeous, and we’re like, this is the best celery stick I’ve ever eaten. … And what’s everyone saying right now? Celery’s the new thing. I can see that. The v ib e Cleveland: Prune (New York City) was awesome. Heath: It’s tiny and it’s not dirty, it’s – Cleveland: It’s worn. It’s like your favorite teddy bear. The food had a lot of heart. The wait time Heath: What’s that ramen place we went? Cleveland: Ippudo (New York City). The food was amazing. We waited an hour and something for that table. I walked away thinking that’s not a big deal. I would’ve waited longer to eat there. The wait is a sensitive thing for us. I feel so bad – on the weekends, our wait gets so long. So I really appreciated waiting. And I didn’t mind. The pl ating Cleveland: Ad Hoc (Yountville, California) was family style. The plating was designed to look sort of unplanned, but it was incredibly precise. The thing that you walk away with from there is that casual and comfortable is not an accident. It takes just as much work as fine dining.

Cleveland-Heath 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 9


I N S I D E T H E S E RV E R ' S

STOMACH

Sure, you have your favorites. That’s why you voted these restaurants among St. Louis’ finest. Ever wonder, though, what servers order for themselves? Here’s the insider intel on what to eat at the restaurants you can’t get enough of. – Compiled by Sara Graham

“I REALLY LIKE THE SEVEN-VEGGIE NOODLES WITH UDON NOODLES. THE FLAVORING IS PERFECT, AND THE NOODLES ARE THICK, HEARTY AND SATISFYING.”

“The Vietnamese-style roast duck is such a great preparation. We render off a lot of the fat so the skin is crispy. The spice is great, too. We use a five-spice blend and include an amazing ginger-soy sauce on the side for dipping.” – Jay Nguyen, Mai Lee

– Meghan Dodson, Oriental Spoon

“DURING THE WARMER WEATHER I TEND TO FAVOR BRASSERIE’S TROUT. IT IS PAN-SEARED WITH BROWN BUTTER AND CURED LEMON. IT’S BRIGHT, FRESH, SALTY AND SWEET.” – Cory Prahl, Brasserie by Niche

“The jackfruit banh mi is a must-have. Marinated jackfruit with fresh veggies and a tangy banh mi sauce makes for the perfect sandwich.” – Mike Murano, Lulu’s Local Eatery

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“THE SARMA. OUR BALKANSTYLE CABBAGE ROLLS STUFFED WITH PERFECTLY SEASONED GROUND BEEF AND RICE SMOTHERED IN A MOUTHWATERING PAPRIKA SAUCE WILL MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR VERY OWN BOSNIAN MAMA.” – Mersad Besic, Grbic Restaurant

“I LOVE THE LAMB CHOPS. I’M A HUGE LAMB EATER AND FIND THESE PERFECT – JUICY AND DELICIOUS.”

– Chris Eveland, Olympia Kebob House and Taverna

“The khao soi – a yellow curry soup with lo mein noodles, pickled mustard greens and whatever meat you like topped with crispy noodles. It is flavorful and filling, but not too heavy. And you can have it as spicy as you like it.” – Morgan Hopkins, King & I Thai Restaurant

“THE HOUSE PLANK – A SELECTION OF OLD WORLD CHEESES, ARTISANAL CHARCUTERIE, PICKLED VEGGIES, TOASTED NUTS, IN-HOUSE TERRINES AND OTHER ACCOUTREMENTS SERVED ON A HEFTY ROUGH HEWN PIECE OF OAK. RUSTIC BUT REFINED.” – Adam McDaniel, The Scottish Arms

“THE CEVICHE MIXTO – A COMBINATION OF MARKETFRESH FISH, OCTOPUS, SHRIMP AND MUSSELS COLD-CURED WITH FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON AND LIME JUICES, CILANTRO, GARLIC AND AJI AMARILLO, A NATIVE PERUVIAN PEPPER. CEVICHE JUST SCREAMS SUMMERTIME.” – Kelsie Rae Boldt, Mango Peruvian Cuisine

“Baingan bharta is my favorite because it’s full of flavor and made in the traditional way. I love to eat it with garlic naan.” – Pragnesh Sandhe, House of India

“I’m addicted to the gambas al ajillo, sauteed shrimp in garlic oil with chiles and red pepper flakes. When the shrimp are gone, dip the bread in the amazing garlic oil.” – Dana Stiebel, Modesto Tapas

“My perfect meal is a self-created combo: one Guadalajara flashfried seasoned ground beef taco, one El Mireko flash-fried ranchero chicken burrito smothered in queso, and one poblano pepper stuffed with seasoned ground beef and rice, and topped with salsa guajillo and white cheese.” – Marcie Corwin, Chava’s Mexican Restaurant Readers’ Choice 2015


Readers’ Choice 2015

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your favorite places to eat

Favorite Restaurant CLEVELAND-HEATH 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com 2nd: Pastaria

3rd: Mai Lee Honorable Mention: Sidney Street Cafe Chef of the Year GERARD CRAFT, NICHE FOOD GROUP 2nd: Ed Heath, Cleveland-Heath 3rd: Kevin Nashan, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. and Sidney Street Cafe Honorable Mention: Nate Hereford, Niche Favorite Wait Staff CLEVELAND-HEATH 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com 2nd: Sidney Street Cafe 3rd: The Libertine Honorable Mention: Taste

Favorite Barbecue PAPPY’S SMOKEHOUSE 3106 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.535.4340, pappyssmokehouse.com 2nd: Sugarfire Smoke House 3rd: Bogart’s Smokehouse Honorable Mention: Salt & Smoke Favorite Brunch BRASSERIE 4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.454.0600, brasseriebyniche.com 2nd: Rooster 3rd: Half & Half Honorable Mention: Café Osage Favorite Burger 5 STAR BURGERS 8125 Maryland Ave., Clayton, 314.720.4350; 312 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.394,2250, 5starburgersstl.com 2nd: O’Connell’s Pub 3rd: Blueberry Hill Honorable Mention: The Dam

The Maplewood from Pi Pizzeria, your favorite place to get pizza

Favorite Cheap Eats FAST EDDIE’S BONAIR 1530 E. Fourth St., Alton, 618.462.5532, fasteddiesbonair.com 2nd: Lona’s Lil Eats 3rd: Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Honorable Mention: Seoul Taco Favorite Cupcakes THE CUP Various locations, cravethecup.com 2nd: Jilly’s Cupcake Bar 3rd: Sweet Art Honorable Mention: The Sweet Divine Favorite Deli/Sandwiches BLUES CITY DELI 2438 McNair Ave., St. Louis, 314.773.8225, bluescitydeli.com 2nd: Mom’s Deli and Nora’s (tie) 3rd: Pickles Deli Honorable Mention: Gioia’s Deli Favorite Desserts CYRANO’S CAFE 603 E. Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves, 314.963.3232, cyranos.com 2nd: Brevan’s Patisserie 3rd: Baileys’ Chocolate Bar Honorable Mention: The Fountain on Locust Favorite Food Truck SEOUL TACO 314.863.1148, seoultaco.com 2nd: Guerrilla Street Food 3rd: Cha Cha Chow Honorable Mention: Lulu’s Local Eatery Favorite Frozen Desserts TED DREWES FROZEN CUSTARD 6726 Chippewa St., St. Louis, 314.481.2652; 4224 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.352.7376, teddrewes.com

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2nd: Ices Plain & Fancy 3rd: Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream Honorable Mention: Bobby’s Frozen Custard Favorite Late-Night Eats COURTESY DINER Various locations, courtesydiner.com 2nd: Uncle Bill’s Pancake & Dinner House 3rd: Mission Taco Joint Honorable Mention: City Diner Favorite Pizza PI PIZZERIA Various locations, 314.367.4300, pi-pizza.com 2nd: Peel Wood Fired Pizza 3rd: Dewey’s Pizza and Pastaria (tie) Honorable Mention: The Good Pie Favorite Patio JOHN D. MCGURK’S IRISH PUB & GARDEN 1200 Russell Blvd., St. Louis, 314.776.8309, mcgurks.com 2nd: Vin de Set 3rd: Cielo Honorable Mention: Billy G’s and Molly’s in Soulard (tie) Favorite Restaurant to Impress Out-of-Towners NICHE 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.773.7755, nichestlouis.com 2nd: Broadway Oyster Bar and Pappy’s Smokehouse (tie) 3rd: Blueberry Hill Honorable Mention: Tony’s Restaurant Favorite Seafood BROADWAY OYSTER BAR 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314.621.8811, broadwayoysterbar.com 2nd: Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. 3rd: Farmhaus and Oceano Bistro (tie) Honorable Mention: Bristol Seafood Grill

Readers’ Choice 2015

PHOTO BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

Favorite New Restaurant PEACEMAKER LOBSTER & CRAB CO. 1831 Sidney St., St. Louis, 314.772.8858, peacemakerstl.com 2nd: Lona’s Lil Eats 3rd: Grapeseed Honorable Mention: Público and Three Flags Tavern (tie)


Favorite American Nouveau NICHE 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.773.7755, nichestlouis.com 2nd: Farmhaus 3rd: Sidney Street Cafe Honorable Mention: The Libertine Favorite American Traditional CLEVELAND-HEATH 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com 2nd: Annie Gunn’s 3rd: Quincy Street Bistro Honorable Mention: Big Bear Grill and The Restaurant at The Cheshire (tie) Favorite Cajun/Creole BROADWAY OYSTER BAR 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314.621.8811, broadwayoysterbar.com 2nd: Riverbend 3rd: Evangeline’s Honorable Mention: The Kitchen Sink Favorite Chinese LU LU SEAFOOD & DIM SUM 8224 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.997.3108, luluseafoodrestaurant.com 2nd: Wang Gang Asian Eats 3rd: Yen Ching Honorable Mention: Mandarin House Favorite Eastern European/ Bosnian GRBIC RESTAURANT & BANQUET HALL 4071 Keokuk St., St. Louis, 314.772.3100, grbicrestaurant.com 2nd: Aya Sofia and Berix Coffee Restaurant (tie) 3rd: Bosna Gold Honorable Mention: Taft Street Restaurant & Bar Favorite English/Irish/Scottish THE SCOTTISH ARMS 8 S. Sarah St., St. Louis, 314.535.0551, thescottisharms.com 2nd: John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub & Garden 3rd: Llywelyn’s Pub Honorable Mention: Dressel’s Public House

Readers’ Choice 2015

Favorite French BRASSERIE 4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.454.0600, brasseriebyniche.com 2nd: Franco 3rd: Vin de Set Honorable Mention: Bar Les Freres Favorite German SCHNEITHORST’S RESTAURANT & BAR 1600 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 314.993.4100, schneithorst.com 2nd: Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. 3rd: Dreamland Palace Honorable Mention: Feasting Fox Favorite Greek OLYMPIA KEBOB HOUSE & TAVERNA 1543 McCausland Ave., Richmond Heights, 314.781.1299, olympiakebobandtaverna.com 2nd: Momos 3rd: Michael’s and Spiro’s Restaurant (tie) Honorable Mention: Ari’s Favorite Indian HOUSE OF INDIA 8501 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.567.6850, hoistl.com 2nd: Rasoi 3rd: Taj Palace Cuisine of India Honorable Mention: India Palace Favorite Italian PASTARIA 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.6603, pastariastl.com 2nd: Trattoria Marcella 3rd: Zia’s Honorable Mention: Cunetto House of Pasta

2nd: Seoul Taco 3rd: Seoul Garden Korean Restaurant Honorable Mention: Kim Cheese Favorite Mexican CHAVA’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT 925 Geyer Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.5503, chavasmexican.com and Mi Ranchito, 887 Kingsland Ave., University City, 314.863.1880, mi-ranchito-stl.com (tie) 2nd: Mission Taco Joint 3rd: Pueblo Solis Honorable Mention: Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen Favorite Middle Eastern RANOUSH 6501 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.726.6874, ranoush.com 2nd: Café Natasha’s 3rd: The Vine Café Honorable Mention: Aya Sofia

Favorite Spanish MODESTO 5257 Shaw Ave., St. Louis, 314.772.8272, modestotapas.com 2nd: Barcelona Tapas Restaurant 3rd: Guido’s Pizzeria & Tapas Honorable Mention: Público Favorite Steak CITIZEN KANE’S 133 W. Clinton Place, Kirkwood, 314.965.9005, citizenkanes.com 2nd: Tucker’s Place 3rd: Annie Gunn’s Honorable Mention: 1818 Chophouse Favorite Thai KING & I RESTAURANT 3155 S. Grand Ave., St. Louis, 314.771.1777, kingandistl.com 2nd: Fork & Stix 3rd: Sen Thai Asian Bistro Honorable Mention: Pearl Café

Favorite Vegetarian/Vegan LULU’S LOCAL EATERY 3201 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.300.8215, luluslocaleatery. com 2nd: Tree House 3rd: Small Batch Honorable Mention: Frida’s Favorite Vietnamese MAI LEE 8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood, 314.645.2835, maileestl.com 2nd: Pho Grand 3rd: Banh Mi So Honorable Mention: LemonGrass

Favorite Soul Food/Southern SWEETIE PIE’S 4270 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.371.0304, sweetiepieskitchen.com 2nd: Juniper 3rd: Old Standard Honorable Mention: Mama Josephine’s Favorite South American/PanLatin MANGO PERUVIAN CUISINE 1101 Lucas Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9993, mangoperu.com 2nd: Fritanga Nicaraguan Cuisine 3rd: Yemanja Brasil Restaurante Honorable Mention: Maya Cafe

Favorite Japanese WASABI SUSHI BAR Various locations, wasabisushibars.com 2nd: Tani Sushi Bistro 3rd: Baiku Sushi Lounge Honorable Mention: Nobu’s Favorite Korean ORIENTAL SPOON 229 Harvard Drive, Edwardsville, 618.655.9633, orientalspoon.net

BLT salad from Pi Pizzeria

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Readers’ Choice 2015


BARTENDER OF THE YEAR

TED KILGORE Whether it’s serving up seasonal cocktails, perfecting the classics or putting new twists on old favorites, this year’s top bartenders won you over with their creativity and craftsmanship. Here’s what they want to mix most when you see them behind the stick this summer. – Kristin Schultz

Bartender of the Year: Ted Kilgore, Planter’s House The Drink Gin Soaked Boy What’s in it Citadelle gin, Ransom Old Tom gin, Nolet’s gin, sloe gin, fino sherry, cinnamon syrup and lemon juice Why it’s great “It’s super refreshing, beautiful and quite boozy. Our bartender Mandi Kowalski actually came up with it, and I love the whole package. The name is also the name of a Tom Waits song, and I love Tom Waits. It also includes my favorite gins and looks phenomenal when you’re drinking it. It’s aromatic, beautiful and nostalgic.”

2nd: Kyle Mathis, Taste The Drink Walla Walla Bing Bang What’s in it El Dorado spiced rum, North Shore Mighty gin, Smith & Cross Jamaica rum, passion fruit, cinnamon syrup, grapefruit and lime juices Why it’s great “It’s sweet and fruit-forward from passion fruit and house-made cinnamon syrup. I loved the challenge of putting gin and rum together – the botanical nature of gin and sweetness of rum are polar opposites.”

3rd: Bess Kretsinger, Olio The Drink Ramos Gin Fizz What’s in it Boodles gin, fresh squeezed lemon and lime juices, orange blossom water, egg whites, cream and sugar Why it’s great “This drink is in honor of Tennessee Williams. He was fond of the (Ramos) Gin Fizz. It’s not a super esoteric drink, but it’s based on his roots. It’s a simple but obscure cocktail.”

PHOTO BY EMILY SUZANNE

Honorable Mention: Seth Wahlman, Eclipse Restaurant

From left, Kyle Mathis, Seth Wahlman and Bess Kretsinger with Bartender of the Year Ted Kilgore

Readers’ Choice 2015

Planter’s House 1000 Mississippi Ave., St. Louis, 314.696.2603, plantershousestl.com

The Drink Year Old Manhattan What’s in it Rittenhouse rye, Cocchi vermouth di Torino, Pierre Ferrand Dry curaçao and Angostura bitters Why it’s great “I started this project about four years ago. I batch a full glass bottle of Manhattans and rest them in our storage cellar for at least a year. The cocktail begins to take on sherry- and Madeira-like qualities. … I’m always surprised by flavors I hadn’t picked up in previous tastings.” saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 17


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Readers’ Choice 2015


BEST PATIO SEAT

JOHN D. MCGURK’S IRISH PUB AND GARDEN

FAVORITE BEER LIST

INTERNATIONAL TAP HOUSE

PATIO PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER

This Soulard staple has an outdoor patio with room enough for multiple Irish family reunions (yep, it’s a big ’un). Featuring a mix of canopied bar seating and more intimate tables surrounded by a lush romantic garden, the Old World-inspired courtyard can get raucous in the summer, yet there are plenty of nooks and crannies to steal a quiet moment. We suggest parking yourself out back around the tinkling fountain under the dappled shade of trees as you start Leopold Bloom-ing your way through the selection of Irish and craft beer and pub-style nibbles that will take you straight to the Emerald Isle. – Maggie Pearson

John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub and Garden 1200 Russell Blvd., St. Louis, 314.776.8309, mcgurks.com

Readers’ Choice 2015

A bar that serves more than 500 beers can be overwhelming, but that doesn’t stop St. Louis beer lovers. You voted International Tap House’s beer list tops in town. Still deciding on your next glass of suds? Here, the 10 best brews at iTap right now. – Kristen Chalfant

hoppiness of a traditional IPA and the drinkability of a light lager, this is it. Jam-packed with flavor but weighing in at only 4.9 percent, you can enjoy this beer all day long.

4. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale Centennial hops are the superstar of this well-balanced, easily accessible IPA.

light enough to be consumed glass after glass.

8. Leaky Roof High Dry & Dusty A great alternative to beer, this sessionable mead is light, crisp and palate-cleansing.

1. New Belgium La Folie After one to three years aging in wood foeders (large, oak barrels), this highly sought after sour brown ale at iTap’s Soulard location provides mouthpuckering notes of green apple and a thirst-quenching, satisfying experience.

5. Petrus Oud Bruin Red as wine, sour-sweet and earthy on the nose, this Oud Bruin is a winning specimen of the complex, dark brown Flemish style.

2. Boulevard The Calling IPA One of Boulevard’s newest IPAs, The Calling is heavily hopped, bursting with tropical flavors and punches heavy at 8.5 percent.

6. Urban Chestnut Ku’damm At only 4.2 percent, the flavors of citrus shine brightly in this refreshing, locally brewed Berliner Weisse.

10. Root Sellers’ Row Hard Root Beer Bring on the vanilla ice cream with this perfectly brewed hard root beer. At 6.7 percent, this would make a dangerously delicious float.

3. Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA If you’re looking for a beer with the

7. 2nd Shift Katy One of the most satisfying American Brett saisons on the market, Katy is

International Tap House Various locations, internationaltaphouse.com

9. Chimay Red Cap (Première) Flavors of apricot abound in this delightfully refreshing, monk-made Belgian dubbel, the recipe for which dates to 1862.

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Readers’ Choice 2015


your favorite places to drink Bartender of the Year Ted Kilgore, Planter’s House 1000 Mississippi Ave., St. Louis, 314.696.2603, plantershousestl.com 2nd: Kyle Mathis, Taste 3rd: Bess Kretsinger, Olio Honorable Mention: Seth Wahlman, Eclipse Favorite Bar Taste 4584 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.361.1200, tastebarstl.com 2nd: Planter’s House 3rd: The Royale and Three Sixty (tie) Honorable Mention: The Fortune Teller Bar

Favorite Beer List International Tap House Various locations, internationaltaphouse.com 2nd: Global Brew Tap House & Lounge 3rd: 21st Street Brewers Bar Honorable Mention: Bridge Favorite Brewery Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. 3229 Washington Ave., St. Louis; 4465 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.222.0143, urbanchestnut.com 2nd: Schlafly 3rd: 4 Hands Brewing Co. Honorable Mention: The Civil Life Brewing Co. Favorite Cocktails Planter’s House 1000 Mississippi Ave., St. Louis, 314.696.2603, plantershousestl.com 2nd: Taste 3rd: Sanctuaria Honorable Mention: Blood & Sand

Favorite Coffee Shop Kaldi’s Coffee Various locations, kaldiscoffee.com 2nd: Sump Coffee 3rd: Foundation Grounds and The Mud House (tie) Honorable Mention: Comet Coffee Favorite Happy Hour 5 Star Burgers 8125 Maryland Ave., Clayton, 314.720.4350; 312 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.394,2250, 5starburgersstl.com 2nd: Flamingo Bowl and Bar 3rd: Molly’s in Soulard Honorable Mention: Café Mochi Favorite Sports Bar The Post Sports Bar & Grill 7372 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.645.1109; 763 Old Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, 314.736.1205, thepostsportsbar.com 2nd: Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood

3rd: Lester’s Honorable Mention: The Wheelhouse Favorite Wine Bar Robust Various locations, robustwinebar.com 2nd: Sasha’s on Shaw 3rd: Ernesto’s Wine Bar and Olio (tie) Honorable Mention: 33 Wine Shop & Tasting Bar Favorite Winery Chaumette Vineyards and Winery 24345 State Route WW, Ste. Genevieve, 573.747.1000, chaumette.com 2nd: Chandler Hill Vineyards 3rd: Montelle Winery Honorable Mention: Noboleis Vineyards

PHOTO BY ELIZABETH MAXSON

Beers from your favorite brewery, Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

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Readers’ Choice 2015


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FAVORITE FROZEN DESSERTS

TED DREWES FROZEN CUSTARD A trip to Ted Drewes is a St. Louis tradition. Your favorite place for frozen desserts has been inverting bright yellow cups filled with thick, rich custard before handing them over to your greedy little fingers for decades. Single-topping concretes – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, anyone? – are tried-and-true, and when you want to pile on the calories, Ted’s custard crew comes through with specialties like Hawaiian (pineapple, banana, coconut and macadamia nuts) and Cardinal Sin (cherries and hot fudge). With dozens of toppings and add-ons, the mixing and matching possibilities are endless. Here, six of our favorite concrete creations from this town’s beloved custard stand.

Coconut, chocolate chips and almonds Michelle Volansky, production designer

Heath Bar, banana and hot fudge Allyson Mace, publisher

Oreos and cookie dough Meera Nagarajan, art director

Pretzels and chocolate chips Catherine Klene, managing editor, digital

Hot fudge and raspberries Rebecca Biundo, intern

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard | 6726 Chippewa St., St. Louis, 314.481.2652; 4224 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.352.7376, teddrewes.com 24 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com

PHOTOS BY JONATHAN GAYMAN

Banana, marshmallow and hot fudge Angie Rosenberg, account executive

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Readers’ Choice 2015

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your favorite places to shop Favorite Bread Bakery Companion Various locations, companionstl.com 2nd: Saint Louis Bread Co. 3rd: Great Harvest and Red Fox Baking (tie) Honorable Mention: 222 Artisan Bakery Favorite Butcher Shop Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions 2810 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.647.2567, bolyardsmeat.com 2nd: Kenrick’s Meats & Catering 3rd: Edwardsville Frozen Foods Honorable Mention: Baumann’s Fine Meats Favorite Cakes/Pastries Brevan’s Patisserie 1009 Century Drive, Edwardsville, 618.307.5772, brevanspatisserie.com 2nd: Pint Size Bakery & Coffee 3rd: La Patisserie Chouquette Honorable Mention: Piccione Pastry Favorite Candy Shop Crown Candy Kitchen 1401 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9650, crowncandykitchen.com 2nd: Kakao Chocolate 3rd: Rocket Fizz Honorable Mention: Miss M’s Candy

Favorite Coffee Roaster Kaldi’s Coffee 700 DeMun Ave., Clayton, 314.727.9955, kaldiscoffee.com 2nd: Sump Coffee 3rd: Chauvin Coffee and Goshen Coffee Co. (tie) Honorable Mention: Blueprint Coffee Favorite Cooking Classes Dierbergs Various locations, dierbergs.com/ school 2nd: Kitchen Conservatory 3rd: Schnucks Honorable Mention: L’Ecole Culinaire Favorite Doughnut Shop Strange Donuts 2709 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.932.5851, strangedonuts.tumblr. com 2nd: World’s Fair Donuts 3rd: Vincent Van Doughnut Honorable Mention: Donut Drive-In

Favorite Farmers Market Historic Soulard Farmers Market 730 Carroll St., St. Louis, 314.622.4180, soulardmarket.com 2nd: Tower Grove Farmers Market 3rd: The Land of Goshen Community Market Honorable Mention: Kirkwood Farmers Market Favorite Grocery Store Dierbergs Various locations, dierbergs.com 2nd: Trader Joe’s 3rd: Straub’s and Whole Foods Market (tie) Honorable Mention: Local Harvest Grocery Favorite Kitchenware Store Sur La Table 295 Plaza Frontenac, St. Louis, 314.993.0566, surlatable.com 2nd: Chef’s Shoppe 3rd: Kitchen Conservatory Honorable Mention: Cornucopia

Favorite Liquor Shop Randall’s Wines and Spirits Various locations, shoprandalls.com 2nd: The Wine and Cheese Place 3rd: Friar Tuck Honorable Mention: Lukas Wine and Spirits Favorite Specialty Food Shop Larder & Cupboard 7310 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.300.8995, larderandcupboard.com 2nd: Extra Virgin, An Olive Ovation 3rd: Global Foods Market Honorable Mention: Green Earth Grocery Favorite Wine Shop The Wine and Cheese Place Various locations, wineandcheeseplace.com 2nd: Bin 51 and The Wine Merchant (tie) 3rd: Parker’s Table Honorable Mention: Starrs

Banner Road Baking Co. Kickstart Granola and other pantry perks from Larder & Cupboard, voted favorite specialty food shop

PHOTO BY MICHELLE VOLANSKY

Favorite Caterer Hollyberry 10037 Manchester Road, Warson Woods, 314.835.9977, hollyberrycatering.com 2nd: Butler’s Pantry 3rd: Catering St. Louis Honorable Mention: Hanneke’s Westwood Catering

Favorite Chocolate Shop Kakao Chocolate Various locations, kakaochocolate.com 2nd: Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier 3rd: Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Co. Honorable Mention: Rick Jordan Chocolatier

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Readers’ Choice 2015

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