Monte Bello Pizzeria Reopens After Kitchen Renovations

The St. Louis-style pie at Monte Bello. | Mabel Suen

Monte Bello Pizzeria (3662 Weber Road; 314-638-8861) is the little restaurant that could. Owner Tom Nix took over the 64-year-old family business last year, only to be thwarted by plumbing issues in June. The needed kitchen renovations were so extensive that Nix wasn't sure Monte Bello would stay open. Luckily, it opened on Thursday to a warm welcome.

See also: Monte Bello Pizza Closed Due to Plumbing Issues

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Chef Chat: Chris Bolyard Is a Butcher with a Soft Side

Categories: Chef Chat

Chris Bolyard | Cheryl Baehr

Chris Bolyard is a busy man these days. Technically still the chef de cuisine at Sidney Street Cafe, Bolyard has been hard at work getting ready for the fall opening of his much-anticipated Bolyard's Meat & Provisions. It's the realization of a dream for the Culinary Institute of America grad, who is looking forward to parlaying his passion for butchering into a shop of his own in downtown Maplewood. There, this self-described "meat geek" will offer St. Louisans locally and humanely raised beef, chicken, lamb and pork and educate his patrons on whole-animal cooking.

See Also: Chris Bolyard Says Goodbye to Sidney Street Cafe; Plans to Open Maplewood Butcher Shop

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Guess Where I'm Eating This Po' Boy and Win $25 to Morgan Street Brewery

A fried oyster po'boy sandwich with fries. | Nancy Stiles

We hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend. A bit of rain marred Labor Day, but there was still plenty of time to get out and enjoy St. Louis, and most importantly, eat. We had a yummy po' boy sandwich, and if you can guess where we got it, we'll hook you up.

See also: Guess Where I'm Eating This Pork Sausage and Win $25 to Hokkaido [UPDATED]

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Nick Miller Talks the Future of Bissinger's and the Caramel Room

Treats from Bissinger's. | Laura Miller

Nick Miller, formerly of Harvest (1059 South Big Bend Boulevard Richmond Heights), was recently announced as the new chef at the Caramel Room (1600 North Broadway), Bissinger's new event space. We talked to Miller about the Bissinger's legacy and moving on after Harvest.

See also: Harvest Closes June 15 After 18 Years

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#68: The Brisket Burger at Three Flags Tavern

The brisket burger at Three Flags Tavern. | Corey Woodruff

"You know," the bartender said as she leaned in a little closer. "The servers from O'Connell's [Pub] come in here for our burger."

It's no wonder she had such a hushed tone. O'Connell's Pub has legendary burgers. That some of the employees have been spotted bellying up to the bar at Three Flags Tavern (4940 Southwest Avenue; 314-669-9222) for the brisket burger is akin to catching a Schlafly employee with a bottle of Busch. But who can blame them? Three Flags Tavern's brisket burger is, without question, the town's reigning burger champ.

See Also: High-Flying Three Flags Tavern: Is this the best restaurant opening of 2014?

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A Look Inside Sauce on the Side's New Second Location in Clayton

Categories: First Look

"Five-O" with pancetta, pineapple, red peppers, smoked cheddar, mozzarella, mascarpone, ricotta, smoked chile oil and barbecue sauce. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Sauce on the Side (7810 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-833-5426), the homegrown fast-casual calzone shop that former RFT food critic Ian Froeb predicted would someday expand into a chain, opened its second location in Clayton last month. Since establishing its original location downtown two years ago, the restaurant has received favorable reviews and was also named best fast-casual restaurant in RFT's 2013 Best of St. Louis.

See also: Sauce on the Side Announces Second Location

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The Best Food Events in St. Louis This Weekend: August 29 to 31

Kabobs at St. Nicholas Greek Fest 2013. | Steve Truesdell

Technically, this is the final pool weekend of the year, which makes it basically the worst weekend ever. In between all that watersliding, hit up St. Louis' huge Greek festival or celebrate John D. McGurk's birthday in Soulard. Check out our food-related recommendations after the jump.

See also: Kevin Nashan Talks Battling New York Chef Harold Moore on Knife Fight

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Critic's Notebook: An Olive Branch to the Residents of New Town

New Town's town hall.

Editor's note: This week, we published food critic Cheryl Baehr's review of the Crossing at New Town. After hearing from readers and residents, we've decided collectively to use our weekly "Critic's Notebook" column to respond directly to some negative feedback to the article. Here it is.

When I took this job, I learned quickly to take online comments with a grain of salt. So often, they are no more than mean-spirited rants. However, when the comments and emails began rolling in regarding my recent review of the Crossing at New Town (3331 Rue Royale, St. Charles; 314-606-3262), I took notice. It wasn't simply the sheer volume of the feedback -- there was a lot -- but the common theme also gave me pause. After reading through every each one and discussing this matter with my editors, I have come to the following conclusion: I was out of line.

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10 Weird Foods for the Adventurous St. Louis Eater, Including Pig Tails, Brains and Bugs

Crispy pig tails at the Libertine. | Jennifer Silverberg

Sometimes we just want to try something new. And when we do, St. Louis chefs are more than happy to rise to the challenge. We've compiled of some of the stranger local offerings that just might tempt you away from your comfort zone and into an extraordinary taste adventure you're sure to remember.

See also: The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in St. Louis

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Carondelet Diner: A Greasy Spoon with Old-Fashioned Favorites

Categories: Hidden Gem

Welcome to Hidden Gem, Gut Check's short love letter to restaurants, coffee shops and bars that lie off the beaten path. These places soldier on in relative anonymity, beloved by their regulars, but largely overlooked by the greater populace. Hidden Gem will attempt to rectify these terrible oversights. Have a Hidden Gem of your own to share? Tell us in the comments.

Never pretty, but always prominent: the "Slinger." | Photos by Mabel Suen
When Patch neighborhood resident Sue Stewart saw the short-lived original Carondelet Diner (321 East Davis Street) go vacant in 2012, she knew she could make it into a good, old-fashioned greasy spoon of her own. She kept the name, the corresponding signage and even the theme of home-cooked specialties -- albeit using her own recipes. The resulting menu weighs delicately on the wallet and heavily on the gut.

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