A Look Inside United Provisions' New Restaurant, the Dining District

Categories: First Look

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Korean-style pulled short rib sandwich. | Photos by Mabel Suen
In early August Gut Check got a sneak peek at United Provisions (6241 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-833-5699), the international-grocery store from the family behind Jay's International Food Company and Global Food Market. A month later the hybrid grocer and prepared-foods vendor has its shelves fully stocked and kitchens running full-steam to serve area-college students and incoming visitors.

Gut Check stopped in to sample the lunch and dinner options available at the in-store restaurant, the Dining District, with a menu developed by chef Ben Poremba of Elaia and Olio. The concept coincides a sushi bar headed up by chef Naomi Hamamura, formerly of Sansui.

See also: Sneak Peek Inside United Provisions, Delmar Loop's New Grocery and Dining Complex

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Element Bests Juniper in Clash of the Cocktails

Categories: Last Night

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Compressed beet carpaccio with house-made goat cheese,and a preserved lemon vinaigrette. | Nancy Stiles

Cielo (999 North Second Street; 314-881-5759) holds many events on its famous outdoor terrace, but this was the first Clash of the Cocktails, in partnership with Randall's Wines & Spirits. The dinner pitted bartenders Meghan French and Joe Duepner, of Element and Juniper, respectively, against each other. In three rounds, the mixologists had to feature a certain ingredient and the crowd cheered for its selection.

See also: Pastries and Cocktails Work Together at Cielo's A Taste of Summer [PHOTOS]

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Walnut Grill Moves Forward in Ellisville for December Opening

Categories: Restaurant News

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After Chevy's vacated a lucrative space near the intersection of Clarkson and Clayton Roads in Ellisville, we have been watching to see what restaurant would snag it. The Crafty Chameleon, a craft beer bar, took over some of it, and as we reported in June, Pittsburgh restaurant Walnut Grill will join the bar. At first, we were dismayed that it was another chain, but it's a little more local than we thought.

See also: Walnut Grill Opening in Ellisville in Former Chevy's Space

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The Best Food Events in St. Louis This Weekend: September 12-14

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Schlafly cofounder Dan Kopman at the brewery's annual Hop in the City. | Nick Schnelle

Ahh, fall. This weather may be an early September fluke, but we can still enjoy it while it lasts. Celebrate beer with the annual Hop in the City event or try some new coffees at the inaugural F&D Prime Culinary Tour. Check out our food-related recommendations after the jump.

See also: F&D Prime Culinary Tours Launches with Comet Coffee Sampling

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#66: Home Wine Kitchen's Shortbread Sea-Salt Biscuits

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Shortbread sea-salt biscuits with watermelon jam at Home Wine Kitchen | Cheryl Baehr

Narrowing down a favorite brunch item at Home Wine Kitchen (7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-802-7676) is like choosing a favorite child. Red wine braised pork belly versus crab-covered poached eggs? It's just not fair.

See Also: Cassy Vires, RFT's Best Chef Winner, on Foam, Fried Chicken and Her Killer Pastry Chef

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F&D Prime Culinary Tours Launches with Comet Coffee Sampling

Categories: Restaurant News

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Explore Comet Coffee with F&D Prime Culinary Tours. | F&D Prime

Dining tours were a big trend last year, and it looks like there's another one on the scene. F&D Prime Culinary tours will launch this weekend with several sessions with Comet Coffee (5708 Oakland Avenue; 314-645-7158).

See also: Dinner Lab Experiments With Underground Dining in St. Louis

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Critic's Notebook: Three Professors and a Pizza

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Two of the three owners: Sherif Nasser and Muhammad Alhawagri. | Jennifer Silverberg

When Lassaad Jeliti opened Spare No Rib last November, the former Washington University mathematician appeared to have cornered the market on academic-turned-restaurant-owner back-stories.

That was until A Pizza Story (7278 Manchester Road; 314-899-0011), the Neapolitan-style pizzeria that opened this July in downtown Maplewood. The restaurant is the brainchild of three Washington university academics: Muhammad Alhawagri, a biologist; Sherif Nasser, a marketing professor; and Nael Saad, a radiologist. Though the three men have successful careers outside of the restaurant business, a shared passion for food brought them together as friends, and ultimately led them to the food and beverage business.

See Also: Review: A Pizza Story Writes the Book on Fantastic Neapolitan Pie

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Whitebox Eatery's New Breakfast, Lunch and Brunch Restaurant in Clayton

Categories: First Look

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"Smoked Salmon Tartine" with house-smoked salmon spread, caramelized onion, fried capers, arugula and herb aioli on English muffin bread. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Brunch lovers have a new go-to spot in Clayton with the opening of Whitebox Eatery (176 Carondelet Plaza; 314-862-2802). As reported by Gut Check in July, the concept comes from Modesto Tapas' co-owner Brendan Marsden along with chef John Hoffman (formerly of Oceano), and Jamie Hardesty of Vincent Van Doughnut.

See also: Whitebox Eatery Nears Opening in Clayton

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How 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar Got Way Ahead of the Whiskey Craze

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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Some of the great whiskeys at 33 Wine Bar | 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.

St. Louis has some great whiskey bars these days, offering impressive selections of bourbon, scotch, rye and Irish whiskey. Within the past year or so, Gamlin Whiskey House, Small Batch and Blind Tiger have all opened their doors and have found loyal followings.

But before these dedicated whiskey bars opened, the refined booze hound had to know where to look to find quality whiskey. As far back as 2006, 33 Wine Shop and Tasting Bar (1913 Park Avenue; 314-231-9463) was quietly assembling a first-rate whiskey list. The program continued to grow and now boasts 75 bottles -- many of which you still can't find at other area whiskey-centric bars.

See also: Tick Tock Tavern Revives the Much Maligned White Wine Spritzer


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Celebrate the Best Restaurants in Town at the 2014 Best of St. Louis Party

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

It's that time of year again: We're going to name the best of the best in St. Louis dining with our annual Best of St. Louis issue. What's even better is the celebration to honor the winners. Join Gut Check at the 2014 Best of St. Louis party on Thursday, October 2, at the Moto Museum (3441 Olive Street; 314-533-3091).

See also: The RFT's 2013 Best of St. Louis Party

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