Pizzeoli Expands, Adds Saturday Lunch

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Mabel Suen
Pies at Pizzeoli.
Pizzeoli, the Soulard pizzeria that's earned raves since opening last fall, has been one of the toughest places in town to snag a table -- no small feat considering it's a vegetarian restaurant in a town where meat is king.

But things should be a lot easier going forward: Owner Scott Sandler was able to lease the adjoining space next door, formerly the dining room of a Mexican restaurant. That nearly doubles the restaurant's capacity. "It's going to be a lot more comfortable for folks," Sandler promises. "If people want privacy, they can go into the second room. If they want to be in the room with the bar, they can do that. Choices."

The grand-opening celebration for the new space -- a beer dinner with New Holland Brewing -- is tonight. Patrons can enjoy New Holland drafts paired with Pizzeoli's Neapolitan pies for $35, or order a la carte off the restaurant's usual menu.

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Ices Plain & Fancy Debuts Ices for Dogs and Fresh Strawberry Specials

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"Sticky Charlie Doggie Ices" now available. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Since opening last July, Ices Plain & Fancy (2256 South 39th Street; 314-601-3604) has gradually grown its menu to suit the seasons. Its offerings started out as a simple list of silky, dense ice creams made to order using liquid nitrogen -- the perfect treat for summertime. Through fall and winter, warmth was provided by way of chili bowls and a long list of boozy frozen concoctions.

Spring for the shop means delights for an entirely new audience -- your four-legged friend. There's a new dog-friendly ice cream on offer, as well as Ices' continued commitment to incorporating high-quality fresh fruit in its specials.

See also: I Scream Cake's "I Scream Sammys": Artisan Ice Cream Between Vincent Van Doughnut Treats

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Brunch at Gooseberries: A Smorgasbord of Eats, Treats and Made-To-Order Omelets

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A selection of brunch-buffet options including French toast, a carrot-cake pancake, biscuits and gravy, kale-noodle salad, ham and "Tofish Sticks." | Photos by Mabel Suen

Where: Gooseberries (2754 Chippewa Street; 314-577-6363)

When: Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We Tried: The brunch buffet ($13 per person), complete with a table full of varied items to choose from, as well as made-to-order omelets and your choice of beverage, including ginger-iced coffee, sparkling juice and regular coffee.

See also: Review: Gooseberries Pleases Herbivores and Omnivores Alike

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Review: Walnut Grill Confuses With Over-The-Top Menu

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A selection of dishes from Walnut Grill: fish tacos, "Cedar-Plank Salmon" and "Thai Pork Mac n Cheese." | Mabel Suen

Walnut Grill
1386 Clarkson-Clayton Shopping Center, Ellisville; 636-220-1717
Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m
Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Let us, briefly, consider the description of Walnut Grill's "Thai Pork Mac n Cheese": "pulled pork, four cheese alfredo, asparagus relish, smoked gouda, sweet chili sauce."

Huh? It was hard for me to say whether I felt hungry or horrified. This confusion returned more than once as I paged through Walnut Grill's gargantuan, wide-ranging menu. The owner of the Pittsburgh-based boutique chain once described his restaurant's philosophy this way: "You've got a carload of four people that want to go out to dinner; there's something on our menu that will probably appeal to everyone in that car."

The result, however, is a restaurant without an identity where the kitchen succeeds about as often as it fails. It's a shotgun approach to cooking -- spray the area, and you're bound to hit something eventually.

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

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#77: The Traditional Soft Shell Taco and Enchilada Meal at Fort Taco

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The food at Fort Taco is worth the wait. | Mabel Suen

The line that sometimes stretches around the Fort Taco (8106 Manchester Road, Brentwood; 314-647-2391) drive-through can seem intimidating. Once word of this delicious fast food restaurant spread, its popularity has increased to the point of mayhem (Taco Tuesdays are an especially crowded event). For the uninitiated, it may seem like a hassle for some casual Mexican fare, but Fort Taco is more than worth the wait.

See Also: Review: Fort Taco's Brentwood Drive-Through Is Your Newest Addiction

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True Sites Alaskan Restaurant Launches GoFundMe Page

Categories: Restaurant News

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The high-profile corner at Manchester and Sutton in Maplewood has housed a number of short-lived restaurants. | Google Street View

The embattled corner at Manchester and Sutton in Maplewood may have claimed another victim. After Blind Tiger (a Gut Check favorite) closed in September 2014, Michael True took over the large, multi-use space at 7376 Manchester Road for an upcoming Alaskan-themed restaurant called True Sites. Early reports said the unusual restaurant was slated to open in February 2015, but that has come and gone. Now, True has set up a GoFundMe campaign page to raise money and save his restaurant before it even opens.

See also: Blind Tiger serves great pizza in a space with a split personality

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Peacock Loop Diner Wins Signs of the Times Design Competition

Categories: Restaurant News

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The Peacock Loop Diner's already-famous neon sign. | Mabel Suen

Joe Edwards is no stranger to neon signs. The flashing lights and noteworthy designs at Loop stalwarts such as Blueberry Hill, Pin-Up Bowl, the Pageant and the Moonrise Hotel are familiar to visitors and residents alike, but Edwards' latest, the Peacock Loop Diner (6261 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-721-5555), has bragging rights for now. The 1,800-pound animated peacock sign won Signs of the Times magazine's design competition last week.

See also: Peacock Loop Diner Smooths Its Feathers After Rocky Opening: Review

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7 More Destination Restaurants Near St. Louis

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Firefly Grill | Greg + Hook

Spring has arrived in the Midwest -- the roads are ice-free, the sun is shining and blue skies stretch forever. OK, not counting all that April rain. Still, it's the perfect time for a day trip to some much-touted restaurants guaranteed to make the drive worth your while. Check out our second guide to foodie jaunts just outside the city in Augusta, Clarksville, Hermann and Ste Genevieve in Missouri and Ava, Effingham and Waterloo in Illinois.

See also: The Best Destination Restaurants Within Driving Distance of St. Louis

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Juniper Removes Too-Trendy Fried Chicken From Menu

Categories: Restaurant News

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Relax: You can still get Juniper's chicken and waffles. | Jennifer Silverberg

We may have reached peak fried chicken. St. Louis now has multiple prominent, trendy restaurants dedicated to the simple bird, but one has decided to take the popular item off the menu. At least for now. Juniper (360 North Boyle Avenue; 314-329-7696) announced last week that a mainstay on its Southern-twinged menu, the fried chicken plate, will no longer be available. Why? It's been done to death.

See also: Juniper's Revised Menu From New Head Chef Cassy Vires

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Tastiest-Looking Food Porn From Iron Fork 2015

Categories: Iron Fork

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Three Flags Tavern chef Scott Davis won the chef's competition at Iron Fork 2015. | Micah Usher

We may be a little biased, but Iron Fork 2015 was a smashing success. Dozens of our favorite restaurants brought their A-game to feed the masses. Layla's Tony Saputo got creative and beat out six other bartenders in the mixology competition, while Three Flags Tavern's Scott Davis had the winning plate in the chef's competition. Check out our complete slideshow from the night, and let us know what your favorite dish was in the comments.

See also: Riverfront Times Iron Fork 2015

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