Schlafly Partners with Noodles & Company

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Of course pasta can go with beer. | Courtesy Noodles and Company

Beer pairings are a bit of a no-brainer in town these days, so much so that even the fast-casual joints are getting in on the action. Noodles & Company, which has six St. Louis-area locations and one in Columbia, has partnered with Schlafly -- it will be selling the beer and offering monthly specials.

See also: Noodlevana - Does Noodles & Company have a cure for the chain-restaurant blues?

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Gerard Craft Talks His New Fast-Casual Restaurant, Porano

Categories: Restaurant News

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One of many combinations that will be available at Porano. | Greg Rannells

As the man behind some of St. Louis' top restaurants, Gerard Craft has long been an advocate of the slow-food movement and an opponent of fast food. However, he's hoping to find a way to combine the two in his latest venture, Porano Pasta & Gelato. The fast-casual restaurant is projected to open this summer in the former Takaya space at 634 Washington Avenue at the Mercantile Exchange. We talked to Craft about maintaining quality, the allure of fast-casual and what Italian food is really all about.

See also: At Pastaria in Clayton, Gerard Craft and crew use their noodles - Slideshow: Pastaria in Clayton Photos

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Van Goghz Martini Bar Victim of Hit and Run Robbery

Categories: Restaurant News

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The front windows at Van Goghz were smashed. | RFT Photo

Van Goghz Martini Bar & Bistro (3200 Shenandoah Avenue; 314-865-3345) was robbed early yesterday morning by some pretty unusual criminals. According to the police report, four guys in a maroon van smashed into the front window, only to climb inside and snatch four bottles of liquor. Not money, liquor.

See also: Tower Grove East Restaurants Face Multiple Break-Ins

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Nashan, Heath, Poremba and More Named James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalists

Categories: Restaurant News

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Kevin Nashan, left, and Ben Poremba are both semifinalists for the JBFA's Best Chef: Midwest category. | Caroline Yoo, Mabel Suen

The 2015 James Beard Award semifinalists were announced this week, and as usual, St. Louis managed to creep into the ranks. Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe, Ben Poremba of Elaia, Gerard Craft of Niche and Kevin Willmann of Farmhaus are semifinalists for the Best Chef: Midwest category. Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath is a semifinalist in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category, because Cleveland-Heath is located in Edwardsville, Illinois. Annie Gunn's is a semifinalist for Outstanding Wine Program, a national category.

See also: The Libertine's Josh Galliano Brings a Taste of the Mississippi to the James Beard House

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Melt Relaunches Menu, Amps Up Cocktails

Categories: Restaurant News

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Pick your poison at Melt. | Luc Michalski

Melt (2712 Cherokee Street; 314-771-6358) is known for its savory and sweet waffles, but when it moved to bigger digs from Carondelet to Cherokee, it expanded its menu and entertainment. Now bar manager Luc Michalski is relaunching the cocktail menu and increasing focus on dinner dishes.

See also: First Look: Melt Serves Savory Waffles and More at New Location on Cherokee Street [Photos]

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Taha'a Twisted Tiki Looks Forward Without the Gamlins

Categories: Restaurant News

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The new coconut shrimp at Taha'a. | Stephanie Tash

Earlier this month, Gamlin Restaurant Group announced that its year-old tiki bar in the Grove, Taha'a Twisted Tiki (4199 Manchester Avenue; 314-202-8300), would no longer be under its direction. Instead, partners Steve Blome and John Speno are taking Taha'a into its second year (after a birthday celebration this weekend). We talked to them, along with bar manager Stephanie Tash, about menu changes and what they've learned.

See also: Taha'a Twisted Tiki serves cocktails from paradise -- and food from somewhere else entirely


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Steve's Hot Dogs Adds New Menu of Decadent Mac & Cheese Bowls

Categories: Restaurant News

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Mac & cheese bowls from Steve's Hot Dogs. | Steve Ewing

Steve's Hot Dogs (multiple locations) is obviously known for its wieners, but customer requests for more of its mac & cheese sides led to an additional menu.

"We thought of doing the mac & cheese bowls almost how we do the hot dogs -- start with the hot dog, and embellish," owner Steve Ewing tells us. "So we started with our mac & cheese [that] we make all day long, that's really good by itself, and started putting things on top."

See also: Tick Tock Tavern and Steve's Hot Dogs' New Partnership Debuts in South City

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Tony's Restaurant to Add Fast-Casual Sibling, Tony's A.M.

Categories: Restaurant News

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The Equitable Building will add Tony's A.M. next month. | Google Street View

Tony's (410 Market Street; 314-231-7007) is pretty much the opposite of a fast-casual restaurant. The St. Louis classic is known for its impeccable meals -- even after 40-plus years, St. Louis Magazine named it the best restaurant of 2014. But when the cafeteria tenant's lease in the Equitable building was not renewed, Tony's A.M. was born.

See also: Tony's Downtown to Undergo Latest Renovation in January

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Guerrilla Street Food Snags a Storefront on South Grand

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Chicken Adobo with soy sauce and vinegar braised chicken thighs served over steamed jasmine rice with green onions. | Jennifer Silverberg

Guerrilla Street Food (@guerillastreet; 314-529-1328) has been raising funds for a bricks-and-mortar location for its hit food truck since 2013. It's finally becoming a reality. Chef Brian Hardesty and his team have signed a lease for Guerrilla at 3024 South Grand Boulevard.

See also: Guerrilla Street Food Truck Raising Funds for Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant

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Companion Bakery Plans Extensive Maryland Heights Expansion

Categories: Restaurant News

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A rendering of the new Companion facility. | Courtesy Companion Bakery

You probably don't even realize how often you've been treated to Companion Bakery bread. Besides its cafe, Companion provides bread for restaurants across St. Louis like Juniper, Mathew's Kitchen, Panorama, Capitalist Pig, Dressel's Pub and more. The Clayton cafe was renovated last year, and owner Josh Allen told us then he was eyeing a big expansion. Turns out, Companion will be moving operations to Maryland Heights.

See also: Companion Bakery Renovates Clayton Cafe, Eyes Regional Expansion

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