Little Country Gentleman's Jeffrey Moll Jr.: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Kaitlin Steinberg profiles Jeffrey Moll Jr. of Little Country Gentleman. Below is a Q&A with Moll and his recipe for a blackberry syrup he uses in his cocktails.

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Kaitlin Steinberg
Walking into Little Country Gentleman (8135 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-0719) is like entering a bar from the past and the future simultaneously. On the one hand, there's the bar itself, which looks like an apothecary out of a Dickens novel, all mismatched glasses and colored bottles. On the other hand, there are the drinks, which are futuristic in their complexity and avant-garde flavors. Bridging the two worlds is Jeffrey Moll Jr., whose bushy beard and ear gauges make him somewhat of a dichotomy himself.

Moll makes a mean cocktail, and he's a big fan of experimentation in bartending, but his career as a mixologist began only a few months ago, when Little Country Gentleman barman Seth Ferguson decided to move on. Ferguson trained Moll in the tricks of the trade, and since then the new barman has been bringing his own flair for innovation and classy cocktails to LCG.

See Also:
- RFT's review of Little Country Gentleman


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Taste's Joel Burton: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Jaime Lees profiles Joel Burton of Taste. Below is a Q&A with Burton, followed by the recipe for the Jack Rose.

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Jaime Lees
Burton poses behind a selection of bitters. The Blood & Sand cocktail is on the left, the Jack Rose is the pink drink near center.
Inspired by a suggestion from last week's featured bartender Laura Therina of Baileys' Chocolate Bar (1915 Park Avenue; 314-241-8100), we decided to pop into Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200) in the Central West End to sample the establishment's insanely creative drinks menu.

The tiny restaurant and bar is situated near the southernmost part of the Central West End proper, on Laclede Avenue at South Euclid Avenue. A small door opens to a curtained entryway, and beyond that there's a tall wood bar and a few small tables for dining. The dark bar is gorgeous and illuminated by delightfully dim, faux vintage multi-filament light bulbs.

See also:
-Baileys' Chocolate Bar's Laura Therina: Featured Bartender of the Week
-Friendly's Renee DePauli: Featured Bartender of the Week

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Baileys' Chocolate Bar's Laura Therina: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Jaime Lees profiles Laura Therina of Baileys' Chocolate Bar. Below is a Q&A with Therina, followed by the recipe for the Mexican Chocolate Martini.

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Jaime Lees
Therina presents the Mexican Chocolate martini.
With the most romantic day of the year coming up soon, we decided to check in at Baileys' Chocolate Bar (1915 Park Avenue; 314-241-8100). With its dark, hushed atmosphere and surprisingly strong martinis, the bar is one of St. Louis' premier Valentine's Day venues. It's the perfect date destination for cozy little table for two. (Or a cozier table for three, if that's your preference. We don't judge.)

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Friendly's Renee DePauli: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Jaime Lees profiles Renee DePauli of Friendly's. Below is a Q&A with DePauli, followed by the recipe for the Blue Steel.

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Jaime Lees
DePauli with her "Blue Steel" cocktail.
Friendly's Restaurant & Pub (3503 Roger Place; 314-771-2040) is a south-city institution. Much more than just a neighborhood sports bar, the business has been at the same address (the corner of Roger Place and Potomac Street) for more than 85 years. Current owner Denny Domachowski has engineered the kind of place that is always welcoming and cheap, making it easy to become an accidental regular.

In anticipation of the Super Bowl this weekend, Gut Check dropped in to Friendly's for a drink and good conversation with bartender Renee DePauli.

See also:
-Sassy Jac's Laura O'Connell: Featured Bartender of the Week
-Horizon Boutique Nightclub's Bradon Parsons: Featured Bartender of the Week
-Pomme Cafe and Wine Bar's Josh Martsolf: Featured Bartender of the Week


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Sassy Jac's Laura O'Connell: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Alice Telios profiles Sassy Jac's Laura O'Connell. Below is a Q&A with O'Connell, followed by the recipe for the Capri Sun.

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Alice Telios
Sassy Jac's bartender Laura O'Connell with a Capri Sun cocktail.
In early May, a Soulard dining and drinking sanctuary rose from an empty storefront. Andrew and Jennifer Ladlie opened their first solo restaurant, Sassy Jac's (1730 South Eighth Street; 314-932-1280), and used their first initials, along with their daughter Claira's, to establish Jac's in the city.

Andrew creates what he calls home-style fare with a Southern flair. He says, "We just kind of do what your mom and grandma did, only better." His wife, Jennifer, is the life of the dining and bar space. After living in New Orleans, the duo picked up some NOLA-inspired cocktails. Jennifer and Sassy Jac's prized bartender, Laura O'Connell, have senses of humor that light up the bright restaurant.

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Horizon Boutique Nightclub's Bradon Parsons: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Rease Kirchner profiles Horizon Boutique Nightclub's Bradon Parsons. Below is a Q&A with Parson's followed by his recipe for the "Let's Get Looped" martini.

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Alexis Hitt
Bradon Parsons of Horizon Boutique Nightclub.
Horizon Boutique Nightclub (2144 Market Street; 314-421-6969) is the newly renovated nightclub attached to Harry's downtown. The bar scene at Harry's has been a roller coaster of changes throughout the years, but the Horizon looks to be a much classier venue in the nightclub scene. Gut Check met up with the bar manager, Bradon Parsons, to get the lowdown on what to expect from the bar at this new chic hot spot.

Parsons started working the bar scene more than twenty years ago; he's been with Harry's through the good and the bad. He noted that a combination of external factors, including the highway 64/40 construction, economic struggles and poor decisions led to Harry's falling off the grid for a while in the past.

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Pomme Cafe and Wine Bar's Josh Martsolf: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Emily Wasserman profiles Pomme Cafe and Wine Bar's Josh Martsolf. Below is a Q&A with Martsolf, followed by his recipe for the Asian Pear Martini.

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Emily Wasserman
Josh Martsolf of Pomme Cafe and Wine Bar.
Amongst the bigwigs of the Clayton restaurant scene, Pomme Café and Wine Bar (44 North Central Avenue; 314-721-8801) could very well go unnoticed. Its quiet ambiance and laid-back approach contrast with other, livelier institutions, and its sister restaurant (just two doors down) offers a larger dining room and special prix-fixe menus.

However, diners who are looking for quality wines at a bargain price visit the café, rather than the restaurant, where bartender Josh Martsolf creates custom cocktails and serves vintage wines by the glass.

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Cleveland-Heath's Elijah Barnes: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Stacy Anderson profiles Cleveland-Heath's Elijah Barnes. Below is a Q&A with Barnes, followed by his recipe for the Sazerac Cocktail.

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Stacy Anderson

Cleveland-Heath (106 North Main Street, Edwardsville, Illinois; 618-307-4830) is fairly new to the restaurant scene, but you wouldn't know it by watching the experienced and knowledgeable bartenders and waitstaff. One bartender in particular, Elijah Barnes, mixes drinks with the ease and finesse of someone who's made this business his passion, a sentiment that comes through in every glass he slides across the bar.

Barnes has been mixing food in the kitchen since he was a child and says that naturally translates to cocktails behind the bar. "I'm good at conceptualizing drinks in my mind," says Barnes. "If someone asks me to make a drink with a new product, I look behind the bar and can usually come up with something good."

Since Cleveland-Heath opened its doors last November, Barnes has been behind that bar almost every night and now oversees inventory and menu creativity. The "Sazerac Cocktail" is a recent edition to the cocktail menu and a personal favorite of Barnes. The drink nods to old New Orleans by combining Sazerac rye, absinthe (Barnes uses Vieux Carré), aromatic bitters, simple syrup and a lemon twist, creating a mixture that will knock you off your toes with the first sniff, yet bring you back to life with the first sip.

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Onesto Pizza & Trattoria's Todd Brutcher: Featured Sangria Master of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Sarah Baraba profiles Onesto Pizza & Trattoria's Todd Brutcher. Below is a Q&A with Brutcher, followed by his recipe for Butternut-Apple Sangria.

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Sarah Baraba
Todd Brutcher has a pretty good gig. He gets to play Mad Sangria Scientist for Onesto Pizza & Trattoria (5401 Finkman Street; 314-802-8883). He started out in the restaurant industry in his teens as a dishwasher. A few years and eateries later, he became floor manager and head server for Onesto. After learning some sangria secrets from a former co-worker, he was hooked. He whips up a handful of sangria (and cocktail) recipes for the Princeton Heights restaurant each month.

"I just kind of fell into it," he says. "Now I won't let anyone else touch it. If I know I'm going to be off, I'll make enough for a few days. I'm getting such a following, I don't want anyone else to make it!"

You may be thinking, what's so great about sangria? Throw some mediocre wine, sugar, a few apple slices in a pitcher and you're set, right? Wrong. At Onesto, Brutcher has reinvented the Spanish wine punch. For Gut Check, he poured a glass of his Butternut-Apple Sangria made from roasted, locally grown butternut squash and apples that he cooked on the stovetop. He then pureed the fall bounty, and painstakingly pushed the mushy mixture through a sieve -- by hand. The result is buttery, bright and beautiful. Oh, and incredibly tasty.

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The Famous Bar's Flynn Snider: Featured Bartender of the Week

Welcome to Girl Walks Into a Bar, a weekly Gut Check feature that spotlights local bars and bartenders. This week, Sarah Baraba profiles the Famous Bar's Flynn Snider. Below is a Q&A with Snider, followed by the recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Martini.

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Sarah Baraba
Flynn Snider's brain might as well be the bible of adult beverages. It has to be, given the catalog of handcrafted cocktails at the Famous Bar (5213 Chippewa Street; 314-832-2211). Snider got his start at Schlafly and says he owes a lot of his knowhow to Bud Jostes, owner of Beale on Broadway.

When he wasn't too busy plying his trade behind the Famous' mahogany 1930s-era bar, the fourteen-year-veteran drink fixer shot the breeze with Gut Check about the nuances of mixing, memorization and method.


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