Gut Check:
Acero in Bon Appétit; Sassafras goes green at MoBot

Another feather in St. Louis's fine-dining cap: The September issue of Bon Appétit magazine includes Maplewood's Acero (7266 Manchester Rd., Maplewood; 314-644-1790) in an article about "the new breed of Italian restaurants" in America — restaurants that are "transforming the cuisine into something utterly American, with cross-cultural nods, frequent improvisation and irreverent rule-breaking." Included on page 108 of the issue is a recipe for Acero's cauliflower ravioli with guanciale; the dish is pictured on page 105. Congrats to owner Jim Fiala and his staff.

Green Giant: The Green Restaurant Association has named Sassafras, the café at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Blvd.; 314-577-5196), a "Certified Green Restaurant." It's the first restaurant in the state to be awarded the designation. The café's "green" credentials include fluorescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) lighting, recycled building materials and aerators to conserve water.

Openings: Café Ventana, from Chris Lee (of the late Central West End restaurant Melange), is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily at 3919 West Pine Blvd. The menu features breakfast soufflés and paninis, along with light lunch and dinner fare including soups, salads and sandwiches. Maybe most exciting of all, Café Ventana offers beignets. Call 314-531-7801 for more information.

Bill Cardwell of Cardwell's in Clayton and Cardwell's at the Plaza and his executive chef, John Vincent Kennealy, have opened BC's Kitchen at 11 Meadow Circle Dr. in Lake Saint Louis. The restaurant, which featuress a broad range of classic American fare, is open nightly for dinner. Call 636-542-9090 for details.

Café Osage is now open at Bowood Farms garden center at 4605 Olive St. in the Central West End. Running the kitchen are two names familiar to longtime observers of the St. Louis restaurant scene: David Guempel of the recently departed Zinnia and Café Balaban, and David Kirkland of Frazer's Brown Bag. The menu features produce from the garden center as well as other local sources. Café Osage is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday and for brunch on Sunday. For more information call 314-454-6868.

Are you opening a new restaurant? Know of a place that has closed? Something else for Ian to chew on? E-mail ian.froeb@riverfronttimes.com.
 
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