The 10 Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: October 15-21

Categories: Food Porn

Farm-to-table at Five Bistro. | Instagram/obiwandevoti

Our Instagram feed has become delightfully seasonal, especially over the past week. The novelty of pumpkin-spice everything has made way for belly-warming soups and hearty meals from St. Louis' finest. Just try not to drool, and let us know who we should be following in the comments.

See also: John Perkins Looks Back on Juniper's First Year

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SLAM Dunk: The St. Louis Art Museum's Restaurant Revamp is a Success

Peppered beef carpaccio, a thinly sliced beef fillet with mustard dressing, arugula, shaved parmesan, capers and lemon. | Jennifer Silverberg

(One Fine Arts Drive; 314-655-5490)
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.
11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m. Fri.
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat.
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun.
(Closed Mon.)

Within its first few months of existence, the Saint Louis Art Museum's new restaurant, Panorama, acquired as much tarnish as a Bronze Age cooking vessel. It was so bad that the museum hired an outside consultant to provide an assessment of what was to be its culinary crown jewel. The advice was straightforward: Change everything, and do it as soon as possible. I was one of Panorama's harshest critics -- my review almost a year ago savaged the restaurant for bad food and spotty service. In fact, I consider it one of the worst meals I've had as a professional restaurant critic.

So to say chef Ivy Magruder didn't have a blank canvas to work with is a bit of an understatement. The veteran St. Louis chef (Vin De Set, Gamlin Whiskey House) was called in to replace Arizona transplant Edward Farrow. I was curious to see how Magruder and company could turn such a bad situation around, so I headed back. The difference is astounding -- aside from the location and name, it's not the same restaurant.

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Comet Coffee's Mousse Cakes: Gluten-Free Tortes With Distinctive Fruit Fillings

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.

Comet Coffee's flourless chocolate-raspberry torte. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Since opening in August 2012, Comet Coffee (5708 Oakland; 314-932-7770) has offered up tasty little counterparts to pair with its meticulously hand-brewed, single-origin coffee roasts from around the globe -- everything from sweet breakfast treats to croissants stuffed with Salume Beddu meats. During weekends, however, visitors can look forward to something a touch more decadent to go with that blissful cup of joe: slices of light and airy mousse cake stacked with rich layers of carefully prepared fillings.

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Bonefish Grill Now Open in Brentwood

Ahi tuna sashimi with wasabi, pickled ginger and Sriracha. | Nancy Stiles

The first St. Louis location of Bonefish Grill opened yesterday at 8780 Eager Road in Brentwood. It's the 203rd restaurant for the chain, which prides itself on being the "fresh fish experts." The 6,500-square-foot space is dark and outfitted in "polished-casual" wood; it also has a patio, a bar area and two private dining rooms. Bonefish Grill is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. We stopped by for a preview of the menu -- continue on for photos.

See also: Cooper's Hawk Brings Napa-Style Winery to Town & Country

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John Perkins Looks Back on Juniper's First Year

Inside Juniper. | Jennifer Silverberg

Many impressive restaurants have opened in the past year or so. Several succeeded, many did not. Juniper (360 North Boyle Avenue; 314-329-7696) is one of the lucky ones. Chef and owner John Perkins turned his restless pop-up into an acclaimed restaurant that celebrates the best of Southern cuisine. We asked Perkins to look back on his inaugural year and see what he's thinking for the future of Juniper.

See also: Southern Bread: John Perkins' new restaurant, Juniper, does Dixie cuisine proud

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J. Gumbo's on Lindell Has Closed, Last in St. Louis


The second and final J. Gumbo's (3949 Lindell Boulevard) in St. Louis appears to have closed. The downtown location called it quits earlier this month, and there were rumors that the Central West End location would soon follow.

See also: J. Gumbo's Downtown Has Closed [UPDATED]

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Reinventing the Cocktail at Layla

Categories: Booze

"No Apologies" | 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.

More and more bars and restaurants in St. Louis are offering carefully concocted cocktails. The challenge of these craft cocktails is staying true to the classics while remaining inventive in an increasingly crowded market. Tony Saputo, bar manager at Layla (4317 Manchester Avenue; 314-553-9252), strikes this balance nicely with his newest cocktail list.

See also: Warming Up with Whiskey-Based Cocktails at Small Batch

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Cooper's Legendary American Pub Opens on Main Street St. Charles

No storefront on Main Street St. Charles seems to stay empty for long. Cooper's Legendary American Pub (140 North Main Street, St. Charles; 636-724-5505) opened October 14 in the former Eros Eclectic Greek Taverna space. The owners describe it as an upscale sports bar with the "coldest beer on Main Street."

See also: Little Hills Winery Expanding With Vineyard in St. Charles

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Restituo's Living Room Style Gets Your Vote for Most Underrated Coffeehouse

The dining room at Restituo. | Mabel Suen

Restituo (4100 Shenandoah Avenue) has only been open for a few months, but already the New York-style coffeehouse has a following. Owner Nicole McCormack refurbished the cafe's mismatched furniture, handcrafted many of the coffee mugs and imports her favorite New York coffee. We talked to McCormack about why these things add up to St. Louis' most underrated coffeehouse.

See also: Restituo Offers "A Little Bit of NYC in STL" At New Shaw Neighborhood Cafe

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Chef Chat: Hiro Asian Kitchen's Bernie Lee Is Proud of His Roots

Categories: Chef Chat

Bernie Lee, owner of Hiro Asian Kitchen. | Jennifer Silverberg

Hiro Asian Kitchen (1405 Washington Avenue; 314-241-4476) owner Bernie Lee had been dreaming of opening a restaurant on Washington Avenue for years. The cosmopolitan feel of the street, the bustling energy and the neighborhood vibe all made the spot on the corner of Fourteenth Street and Washington Avenue seem like the perfect fit for his vision of a southeast-Asian eatery.

Still, Lee -- a Malaysian ex-patriate -- wondered if he would have to Americanize his food to make Hiro successful. After struggling with what to do with his concept, he sought advice from his biggest culinary influence: his mom.

See Also: Hometown Hiro: Hiro brings Eastern Asian comfort food to St. Louis

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