Happy Hour at the King & I: Asian-Inspired Appetizers and More on South Grand

"Fresh rolls" at the King & I. | Photos by Mabel Suen
The Place: The King & I (3157 South Grand Boulevard; 314-771-1777)

The Hours: Happy hour is offered Tuesday through Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Deals: Pick-two $5 or $8 appetizer combinations. "Happy hour for two" dinner packages are also available that include two drinks and two dinner items for $30-$35. Daily drink specials vary by day including $6 martinis, $5 signature cocktails, $2.50-$3.75 beer specials and $5-$8 sake specials.

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The Living Room Opens December 16 in Maplewood

The former Black Cat space. | Google Street View

The Living Room (2808 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-306-7626), a small-batch coffee roaster, opens its doors in the former Black Cat Theatre today. Art House Coffees started roasting out of yes, an art studio, about four years ago, but this time the focus will be on the coffee.

See also: The Living Room and Art House Coffees to Take Over Black Cat Theatre

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Walnut Grill Now Open in Ellisville

Walnut Grill is now open in the right side of the former Chevy's space. | Google Street View

Walnut Grill (1386 Clarkson/Clayton Center, Ellisville; 636-220-1717) is now open. The Pittsburgh-based restaurant filled the other half of the former Chevy's space; the other side is the Crafty Chameleon. Though it's technically a chain with four Pittsburgh-area locations, owner Eric Vogel has expanded his brother Kirk's original restaurant to St. Louis.

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Banter and Cocktails at the Gin Room

Categories: Booze

Travis Garner and Natasha Bahrami. | Courtesy of the Gin Room

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.

Cocktail-mixing competitions have been popping up lately. They bring talented mixologists from some of St. Louis' best bars together to see who can come up with the best new drinks. Natasha Bahrami has started an event at the Gin Room at Café Natasha (3200 South Grand Boulevard; 314-771-3411) to highlight St. Louis cocktail talent in a playful context. It's called Bartender Banter. "The concept behind the Bartender Banter series is to highlight the amazing talent in St. Louis, not from the bar they are working at, but independently to showcase the art and personality of each of these talented and rising bartenders and giving them a platform to creatively showcase their skills without restrictions," Bahrami explains.

See also: Learn to Make Tonic Water at Home at Natasha Bahrami's Gin Room

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Pie Oh My's Pumpkin-Maple Pecan Pie: A Slice of the Holiday Season

Categories: Sugar High

Welcome to Sugar High, a series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.

Pie Oh My's pumpkin-maple pecan pie. | Photos by Mabel Suen
It's no surprise that the holidays are the busiest time of the year for shops like Pie Oh My (2719 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-704-4416). For Thanksgiving, owner Jane Callahan and her hardworking staff baked a total of 600 pies for special orders. For Christmas, Callahan came up with even more seasonal twists on her specialty pastries for folks to take home. In addition to traditional options -- including apple and chocolate-bourbon pecan -- pie lovers can find eggnog cream, cranberry cream cheese, and perhaps the most quintessential flavor combination of all: pumpkin-maple pecan pie.

See also: First Look: Pie Oh My

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The Best Food Events in St. Louis This Week: December 15 to 18

Categories: Events

All the cookies, please. | Matthias Rhomberg

Red alert: you've only got one more week to get your Christmas shopping done. But if you're looking to take a break and relax, there are several opportunities. There are many cooking classes going on this week, too, if you're looking to hone your skills before the relatives come to town. Continue on for our weekly recommendations.

See also: 5 More Local Holiday Gifts for the St. Louis Foodie

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Where Are St. Louis' Most Underrated Cocktails?

Categories: Booze

The Manhattan at Planter's House. | Jennifer Silverberg

Craft cocktails have come back in a big way in St. Louis. Talented bartenders are taking drinks to the next level at places like Planter's House and Taste. But there are bartenders in town who have been creating reliable, creative and interesting drinks for years. What bar or restaurant do you think has the most underrated cocktails in St. Louis, whether it be a great cocktail list, an old standard or a talented bartender?

See also: The Life, Death and Resurrection of the Craft Cocktail in St. Louis

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Guess Where I'm Eating This Chocolate Hazelnut Torte and Win $20 to Frida's Deli

A chocolate-hazelnut torte. | Nancy Stiles

It's hard for us to save room for dessert, but when we do, we're always glad. Forget cake -- this dense, rich chocolate hazelnut torte is the kind of dessert you'll be patting your belling after eating. If you think you know where we got it, we'll give you some free food.

See also: Guess Where I'm Eating This Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup and Win $30 to Ices Plain & Fancy

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Chef Chat: Barry Kinder on Playing the Washboard and His Shameless SweeTart Habit

Categories: Chef Chat

Barry Kinder of Grove East Provisions. | Jennifer Silverberg

Barry Kinder was more likely to be a performer at one of Grove East Provisions' (3101 Arsenal Street; 314-802-7090) music nights rather than its owner. An accomplished drummer, Kinder spent several years living in London and touring Europe with various bands. No matter what city he was in, he relied on the neighborhood markets daily, whether to simply grab some beer and a snack, or to gather the fixings for a home-cooked meal.

See Also: Review: A Drummer Finds a New Calling with a Charming Neighborhood Bodega at Grove East Provisions

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Home Wine Kitchen to Close December 31

Home Wine Kitchen's famous cheeseburger. | Jennifer Silverberg

In some very surprising and sad news this weekend, chef Cassy Vires has announced that Home Wine Kitchen (7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-802-7676) will close at the end of the year. The restaurant gained a loyal following since opening in 2011, thanks to a menu that changed weekly and the experimental No-Menu Mondays.

See also: Home Wine Kitchen, Cassy Vires' new Maplewood restaurant, isn't afraid to shake things up

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