The finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards were announced this morning in Chicago. St. Louis had a number of chefs (and a restaurant) in the semifinals, and so far we're not completely empty-handed. Gerard Craft of Niche and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe are finalists for Best Chef: Mi ... More >>
The semifinalists for the annual James Beard Foundation Awards were announced Wednesday morning and we're happy to report that several St. Louis chefs made the cut. Of course, 2013 finalist Gerard Craft of Niche was on the list for Best Chef: Midwest, as well as 2013 semifinalist Kevin Nashan of Sid ... More >>
2013 is going to be hard to top. Some of the best restaurants in years debuted -- the St. Louis dining scene is going strong. There are a slew of new projects we're looking forward to in 2014, both from all-stars like Ben Poremba and newcomers like the father-and-son-team behind a Festus brewery. Le ... More >>
There's something for every food lover this weekend, whether its beer, cupcakes, po' boys, or Indian food. Celebrate Diwali at the St. Louis County Library or celebrate New Orleans at the Best of BOB Festival at Broadway Oyster Bar. Check out the rest of our food-related recommendations after the ju ... More >>
There must be something going around -- restauranteur Ben Poremba is the latest to announce an expansion to his food empire. Following Olio, Elaia, and Salume Beddu and La Patisserie Choquette for his company Bengelina Hospitality Group will be a restaurant focusing on fried chicken, which Poremba, ... More >>
Bon Appetit magazine has released its 50 nominees for the best new restaurant in the country, and two of our own made the cut. Elaia and Olio (1634 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-1088) and Niche (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-773-7755). Both have been praised here in town, but it's nice to see S ... More >>
St. Louis' neighborhoods are gems in their own right: full of history, great people and, as far as Gut Check is concerned, fantastic food. Each week we'll take you into a specific neighborhood and point you in the direction of the best places to grab some bites.
This is part two of Gut Check's Chef's Choice profile of Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath. Read part one, a profile of Heath, here. Part three, a recipe from Heath, will be available on Friday. For years Eric Heath and Jenny Cleveland planned to open a restaurant together. But when they found the pe ... More >>
The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when ... More >>
After reporting multiple restaurant closings to begin this week, Gut Check is happy to provide news of openings immediate and imminent: - La Pâtisserie Chouquette (1626 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935) opened this morning in the city's Botanical Heights neighborhood. Owner Simone Faure was previo ... More >>
Ben Poremba's twinned restaurant concept of Elaia and Olio (1634 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-1088) is as bold an addition to the dining scene as St. Louis has seen in years. It is also one of the best. My review of Elaia and Olio is now available online.
Before our tasting menu at Elaia (1634 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-1088) officially begins, before the first of twelve courses (or was it fourteen? my post-meal notes, chicken-scratch under ideal circumstances, suggest that at some point I entered a state of delirium, or left the space-time continuu ... More >>
Devotees of Salume Beddu's (3467 Hampton Avenue; 314-353-3100) cured meats have known for years the glories that reside within the humble walls of its south St. Louis location. Now the masses can join the salami soirée. The locally made artisan salumi is now available at a number of Schnucks store ... More >>
Another busy month for openings included Bar Les Freres, a cozy new French spot from Zoë Robinson Pidgeon; Elaia and Olio, the restaurant and wine bar from Ben Poremba; and a new home for Niche, Gerard Craft's flagship venture. Closings were few, though my colleague Liz Miller's farewell to Spanky ... More >>
The unassuming old (circa 1937) Standard Oil gas station at the corner of McRee and Tower Grove Avenues in the city's Botanical Heights neighborhood has received a new lease on life, thanks to chef Ben Poremba, one of the masterminds behind the acclaimed salumeria Salume Beddu. Poremba has renovate ... More >>
The national food-restaurant blogging empire Eater has yet to open up a St. Louis branch and give us local food-media types a serious case of agita. But the folks at Eater definitely have us on their radar, and they recently asked me to help assemble a "Heat Map" of St. Louis hottest new(ish) restau ... More >>
Olio, the new wine bar from Ben Poremba of Salume Beddu, opens this evening at 1634 Tower Grove Avenue in the city's Botanical Heights (née McRee Town) neighborhood.
- Wine Spectator magazine's annual awards for restaurant wine lists should be out very soon -- the issue is dated August 31 -- but one area restaurant is already trumpeting its improved status. Balaban's Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar (1772 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield; 636-449-6700) announced this morning ... More >>
I'm counting down my ten favorite dishes from the restaurants that I reviewed in 2011. Look for a slideshow featuring most of the winners on Wednesday, December 28.Jennifer SilverbergFrom left to right are Cary Exler and Salume Beddu co-owners Ben Poremba and Mark Sanfilippo.An occasional special ... More >>
Jennifer SilverbergA tasty spread at Salume BedduYesterday lifestyle columnist Larry Olmsted of Forbes declared Salume Beddu the best salami in the country. "It's pretty crazy. We are both incredibly humbled by the article," Salume Beddu co-owner Mark Sanfilippo told Gut Check. "We just tr ... More >>
When Mark Sanfilippo and partner Ben Poremba opened their retail shop, Salume Beddu Salumeria, a few weeks back, local lovers of artisan-cured meats rejoiced. Sanfilippo, a St. Louis native who returned after ten years out west schooling himself, literally, in how the sausage is made, had earned pla ... More >>
Robin WheelerAlthough he's not sure which day, Mark Sanfilippo -- profiled in last week's Chef's Choice column on Gut Check -- confirms that Salume Beddu Salumificio and Salumeria, the storefront location of the two-year-old artisan meat company, will be open for business next week. The shop ... More >>
This is part one of Robin Wheeler's Chef's Choice interview with Mark Sanfilippo of Salume Beddu. Part two will be published tomorrow, and part three on Friday. Robin WheelerA man, a plan, a ham: Mark Sanfilippo of Salume Beddu"I really appreciate obsessiveness in other people because I have ... More >>