A Look Inside Larder & Cupboard, a New Specialty Food Shop in Maplewood

Categories: First Look

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Best-selling bitters kits at Larder & Cupboard. | Photos by Mabel Suen
As reported by Gut Check, Larder & Cupboard (7310 Manchester Road; 314-300-8995) opened its doors at the corner of Manchester and Marshall avenues in early November. The specialty food shop in downtown Maplewood comes from Kakao's Brian Pelletier and co-owner Cindy Higgerson, and it stocks small-batch purveyors from locally and abroad. Hand-picked items include the likes of Salume Beddu, Marcoot Jersey Creamery, Baetje Farms and more.

See also: Brian Pelletier's Larder & Cupboard Coming to Maplewood

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A Look Inside Bolyard's Meat & Provisions, A New Butcher Shop in Maplewood

Categories: First Look

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Chef Chris Bolyard. | Photos by Mabel Suen
On a typical day at Bolyard's Meat & Provisions (2810 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-647-2567), chef Chris Bolyard wields a sharp boning knife from a trusty chain-link utility belt armed with additional tools of the trade. He skillfully breaks down a cut of grass-fed beef from Double B Ranch out of Perryville, one of the many local farms he sources for pasture-raised animals. Meanwhile, elsewhere in his new full-service butcher shop his staff preps sausage, braunschweiger and stocks from scratch. Bolyard's busy storefront opened on November 28 and offers all that and more in Maplewood.

See also: Bolyard's Meat & Provisions Opens Friday, November 28

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Fort Taco, A New Traditional Mexican-American Food Drive-Through in Brentwood

Categories: First Look

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Fort Taco's "traditional soft tacos." | Photos by Mabel Suen
Fort Taco (8106 Manchester Road) opened on November 21, filling a drive-thru restaurant space formerly occupied by a Rally's location in Brentwood. The concept features two traditional Mexican-American dishes: tacos and enchiladas, with more items including chicken tacos and a family recipe for tamales slated to debut over time.

"We wanted to bring the taste of our hometown, Fort Madison, Iowa, to St. Louis," says vice president of operations Gabriel Patino, explaining that the city's flourishing Mexican community cultivated their own take on the popular dishes when his ancestors settled there decades ago to work on railroads. "Our version of the hamburger and fries is the taco and enchilada."

See also: Fort Taco Approved for Former Rally's Space in Brentwood

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A Look Inside Pizzeoli, a New Neapolitan-Style Pizza Spot in Soulard

Categories: First Look

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Pizzeoli's "Baba" with fresh tomato sauce, house cashew ricotta, fresh basil, garlic, vegan Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and vegan ground beef. | Photos by Mabel Suen
As reported by Gut Check in August, Pizzeoli (1928 South 12th Street; 314-449-1111) would fill the space formerly housed by Arcelia's in Soulard, serving up Neapolitan-style pizza in a custom-built Naples oven. The concept comes from owner and chef Scott Sandler, who has studied breads and pizza for several years, including completing a training session with the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana -- the U.S. arm of Naples' pizza-governing body -- in Los Angeles. At Pizzeoli, Sandler strives to perfect the art of the authentic pie, with his own twist: All the options on the menu are vegetarian or vegan.

"I've been a vegetarian for twenty years," he says. "This is an extension of my home. I don't have any meat in my home, so I don't have any meat here."

See also: Pizzeoli to Add Neapolitan-Style Pizza to Soulard

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Gooseberries: A New "Eats and Treats Emporium" in Dutchtown South

Categories: First Look

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Gooseberries' everything bagel. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Kim Bond and Ross Lessor have a special tradition of cooking up big spreads together for friends and guests. The hospitable couple often hosts parties featuring live music and an elaborate buffet of baked goods at their south-city home, so when the opportunity arose to set up shop in Dutchtown South just a few blocks away from Cherokee Street's main drag, they decided to give it a go. Gooseberries (2754 Chippewa Avenue; 314-577-6363) opened in mid-October and serves affordable home-style breakfast and lunch plates and snacks for everyone from vegans and vegetarians to meat-loving food enthusiasts.

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A Look Inside Racanelli's New York Pizzeria in the Delmar Loop

Categories: First Look

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A slice of Racanelli's veggie pizza. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Racanelli's New York Pizzeria (6314 Delmar Boulevard; 314-727-7227) recently made a return to its roots in the Delmar Loop, opening a location of the local pizza chain that originated in the area twenty years ago. As reported by Gut Check last month, this is the fifth location of the New York-style pizzeria. The Racanelli family also owns Market Pub House (6655 Delmar Boulevard) -- in the space which once housed Racanelli's Cucina -- down the street.

See also: Racanelli's Pizza to Open in the Loop

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A Look Inside Riverbend Restaurant and Bar's New Expanded Space in Richmond Heights

Categories: First Look

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Riverbend's "Cochon de Lait," or house-roasted pork po-boy. | Photos by Mabel Suen
As reported by Gut Check in August, restaurant owner Sam Kogos would move his popular New Orleans-style restaurant to the space recently vacated by Harvest. Riverbend Restaurant and Bar (1059 South Big Bend Boulevard; 314-664-8443) opened in Richmond Heights in early November with an expanded menu and much bigger digs.

See also: Riverbend Restaurant & Bar to Take Over Former Harvest Space

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A Look Inside Las Palmas' New Location on Washington Avenue

Categories: First Look

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"Carnita Pork" at Las Palmas. | Photos by Mabel Suen
The last time we took an in-depth look at Las Palmas, former RFT food critic Ian Froeb reviewed its second location in Maplewood, an outpost that followed the model of original flagships in north county. In late September the local Mexican restaurant expanded to include a third location: Las Palmas (1901 Washington Avenue; 314-241-1557), and it's all set to serve up the best margarita in town.

See also: Las Palmas Opening Third Location on Washington Avenue

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A Look Inside Insomnia Cookies' New Central West End Storefront

Categories: First Look

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Options at Insomnia Cookies. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Last month East-Coast chain, Insomnia Cookies (226 North Euclid Avenue), opened its first Missouri location in the Central West End, offering up its classic American sweet treats all day every day into late night hours. As recently reported by Gut Check, a similar concept called Hot Box Cookies will soon join the cookie craze in the neighborhood this January. Meanwhile a second location of Insomnia Cookies is due to open in the Delmar Loop soon.

See also: Hot Box Cookies Heads to St. Louis As Insomnia Cookies Adds a Second Location

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A Look Inside Lucha's New Mexican Soul Food Restaurant in Midtown

Categories: First Look

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"Asada" taco with beef brisket, onion and seasonal salsa. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Grand Center visitors have a new dining destination to hit up in midtown: Lucha (522 North Grand Boulevard; 314-833-9993) opened on October 24, serving a full menu of self-proclaimed Mexican soul food, now available for lunch and dinner. As reported by Gut Check last month, Lucha mixes contemporary culinary methods with traditional Mexican flavors including chile de árbol, guajillo and more.

See also: Lucha Mexican Soul Food Opens at Grand Center

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