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Preview the Restaurants at RFT's Best of St. Louis Party

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Getting the party started at last year's Best of St. Louis party. | Jon Gitchoff

The Best of St. Louis 2014 party is finally here, and we couldn't be more excited. Last week brought you the best arts & entertainment, food & drink, people & places and shopping & services, and October 2, we're celebrating. Continue on for the food that will be at the Moto Museum for the party, along with a special discount code.

See also: Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis Issue Offers 101 Reasons to Dine Out


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Happy Hour at Siam: Half-Price Sushi at the Grove's Newest Nightlife Destination

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Siam's happy-hour sushi. | Photos by Mabel Suen
The Place: Siam (4121 Manchester Road; 314-533-7426)

The Hours: Happy hour is available Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Deals: Half-price sushi, $4 wine and $2 domestics.

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801 Chophouse Provides the Area's Most Opulent Restaurant Experience: Review

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The 16 oz. New York strip steak. | Jennifer Silverberg

801 Chophouse
(137 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton; 314-875-9900)
4-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.,
4-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat.,
4-9 p.m. Sun.

"Greed is good," Gordon Gekko famously said in the 1987 movie Wall Street. Immediately afterward, I like to imagine he headed to dinner at a place resembling 801 Chophouse. The Omaha-based chain is a gratuitous display of wealth: $100 steaks, bathroom attendants tasked with endlessly filling the urinals with ice, the massive golden bull statue in the middle of the dining room that looks very much like the famous charging bull statue from the actual Wall Street. If other local steakhouse chains are the 80-foot sailboats in the Caymans, 801 Chophouse is the yacht in Monte Carlo with a helipad.

The restaurant occupies the space across from the Ritz-Carlton that used to house Araka. The former tenant's sleek modern motif has been replaced with an homage to the Roaring Twenties. Dark wood, hunter green leather, bankers lamps and Art Deco accents on the bar set a vintage scene. Even the servers' jackets are money green. It is arguably the most opulent restaurant in town.

See also: Why Are the Urinals at 801 Chophouse Filled with Ice?

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Jason Tilford and His Magic Masa-Making Machine [VIDEO]

Categories: Gut Check Video

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Jason Tilford, left, shows us how these big bags of corn become masa and then tortillas.

The Tilford Restaurant Group -- Milagro Modern Mexican, Mission Taco Joint, Barrister's, Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen -- is known for making its own masa, which is used to make tortillas and tamales. They're the only restaurants in St. Louis currently making masa from scratch, an idea owner Jason Tilford told us results in a true "farm-to-table" tortilla.

Naturally, we were dying to see the process in action -- how kernels of raw corn become uniform tortillas that look like they were bought at the store. Tilford and Richard Schweiss happily obliged. Check out our video digest of the process.

See also: Mission Accomplished: Mission Taco Joint spices things up in the Loop - See photos: Inside Mission Taco in the Delmar Loop

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St. Louis Restaurant Openings & Closings: September 2014

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"Malawi Peaberry" pour-over coffee with a Whisk thumbprint cookie at Kitchen House Coffee. | Mabel Suen

Out of all the openings and closings this month, we are still pretty upset about Blind Tiger (7376 Manchester Road). But there were some pretty exciting openings, too -- Grapeseed (5400 Nottingham Avenue; 314-925-8525) and Kitchen House Coffee (3149 Shenendoah Avenue; 314-732-0009), just to name a few. Continue on for our list of who's in and who's out, and as always, let us know anything we missed in the comments.

See also: A Look Inside Kitchen House Coffee's New South City Neighborhood Cafe

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Women Chefs of St. Louis Talk About Whether Gender Matters in the Kitchen [Q&A]

Categories: Longform

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Corey Woodruff
Veteran restaurateur and pioneering chef Lisa Slay and executive chef at the Whittemore House, Grace Dinsmoor.

Following the release of its "Gods of Food" issue last November, TIME found itself in hot water. Not a single female chef made the list of tastemakers or placed on its lineage chart of culinary influencers. When pressed about it, TIME's former news editor Howard Chua-Eoan explained it to Eater this way: "I think it reflects one very harsh reality of the current chefs' world, which unfortunately has been true for years: It's still a boys' club."

St. Louis is certainly no exception. The chefs who are written about most (including in this publication) and get the most attention nationally are overwhelmingly male. This despite the fact that, according the National Center for Education statistics, enrollment for the 2013 school year at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts' St. Louis campus was split equally between males and females. So, we wondered, what does it mean to be a "female chef" in St. Louis? And is the gender disparity in the kitchen still a problem?

We figured we'd just ask. Riverfront Times extended an invitation to nine outstanding female chefs from the area who work in different parts of the industry, from executive chefs to pastry chefs to front-of-house to culinary education professionals. They graciously agreed to gather on a late-summer evening at the Cellar at Winslow's Home (7213 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-7559) for food, drink and conversation.

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BaiKu Sushi Lounge Open at the Hotel Ignacio

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Google Maps
The future Baiku.

BaiKu Sushi Lounge (3407 Olive Street; 314-977-4411) is opening in the Hotel Ignacio this Monday, October 6, for lunch and opened last Thursday dinner. The building also houses the Moto Museum and Triumph Grill.

As we reported back in July, Soung Min Lee of Miso and Central Table Food Hall is the executive sushi chef with Josh Norris as executive chef.

See also: BaiKu Sushi Lounge Opening in Midtown This Fall

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Olio's New October Cocktail List is a Taste of Autumn in New England

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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"Medford Stone Fence" cocktail at Olio. | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

As we stand at the cusp of the season, we turn from the bright, citrusy, light gin drinks of summer to the deeper and more complex flavors of fall. The October cocktail list at Olio (1634 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-1088) promises some outstanding seasonal treats. John Fausz, bar manager at Olio and Elaia and general manager of Olio, has just finished up the list. "October's a loose theme -- 'harvest' being the best single idea to frame it," Fausz says. He acknowledges that this sounds cliché, but rest assured, Olio's take on the season is wholly unique.

See also: CBGB Mixes the Best Sandinista -- a Shot Made with Sriracha -- in St. Louis

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The Food of the 2014 Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival

Categories: Food Porn

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Theo Welling

For the first time, the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival was held in Soulard this year. That didn't slow anyone down, though -- there was plenty of Mexican, Dominican, Colombian, Panamanian and more activities and food to go around. Plus, a camel! Continue on for all the yummy food.

See also: The Food of the 2014 Taste of St. Louis

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Introducing Gift Horse, the Best Way to Give Juniper's Housemade Goods for the Holidays

Categories: Restaurant News

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Love Juniper's biscuits? Soon you can take them home. | Jennifer Silverberg

Just in time for the holiday season to begin, Juniper (360 North Boyle Avenue; 314-329-7696) is developing a retail element for some of its most popular accouterments. It's called Gift Horse and it will debut online and at the restaurant in several weeks.

See also: #99: Breadbasket at Juniper

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