Cheryl Baehr

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2014

    Chef Liz Schuster on Turning Films into Menus and Her Mad Bow Hunting Skills

    I first met Liz Schuster when she was a line cook at a country club, still working her way through culinary school. I was leaving town for graduate school, and as a going away present, she gave me a copy of the film Eat Drink Man Woman. Schuster had very specific instructions: "You'll be living out ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2014

    #88: WildSmoke's Smoked Chicken Wings

    Choosing a favorite chicken wing is like selecting a favorite song: With so many different styles, it's an impossible task. Sometimes, the tangy, Louisiana-style heat of the Buffalo wing dipped in funky blue cheese is the only thing that satisfies. Other occasions call for some thick, molasses barbe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2014

    The Precinct's New Chef Ben Welch Shares (Some) Barbecue Secrets and His Love of Tequila

    "I've heard Mike Emerson is my competition," Ben Welch said, matter-of-factly, as I dug into his brisket. I thought this comparison to Pappy's co-owner was hyperbole. After all, taking on the undisputed godfather of St. Louis barbecue is a bold move. One bite of the glorious, smokey meat, however, m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2014

    #89: The Duck Proscuitto Flatbread at Bella Vino

    If the bed-and-breakfast-style charm of Bella Vino (325 South Main Street, St. Charles; 636-724-3434) isn't enough of a reason to make the trek across the river, then the duck prosciutto flatbread should be. See Also: Bella Vino, in historic St. Charles, is a meal worth driving for

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2014

    Chef Carl Hazel, Scottish Arms, Loves Taking On the Whole Animal

    I had the pleasure of meeting chef Carl Hazel at Riverfront Times' Iron Fork 2014 event. We were both judges for the chef competition, and I have never met someone so excited about liver. As the four chefs prepared their offerings, Hazel could be overheard, circling the pop-up kitchen, saying things ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2014

    #90: The "Dam Burger" at the Dam

    If Pulp Fiction's Jules Winnfield thought his "Big Kahuna" burger was tasty, he would be downright out of his mind for the "Dam Burger" at the Dam (3173 Morganford Road; 314-771-3173). See also: The Dam Cooks Up Bar Food Fit for the Fried

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2014

    Critic's Notebook: Planter's House Owner Ted Kilgore on His Days as a Perfumer

    There was a time when Ted Kilgore nearly ruined his sense of smell. "I used to work for an industrial perfume company," Kilgore says. "It was a small company, and I worked my way up to research and development. By the time I left, I had a heightened sense of smell -- a hyper-sensitivity. I could sme ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2014

    Chef Ivy Magruder on Whiskey, the Next Big Local Chef and Secret Nocturnal Behavior

    If the St. Louis food community gave out an award for "Mr. Congeniality," Ivy Magruder would be the hands-down winner. The Gamlin Whiskey House (236 North Euclid Avenue; 314-875-9500) chef may work at hip whiskey bar, but he is the kind of guy who's more comfortable chatting about his kids. "We're ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2014

    #91: The "Hog Mess" at Blind Tiger

    After shooting photos at the Blind Tiger (7376 Manchester Road; 314-646-8822) for Gut Check, my colleague returned to the office, eyes filled with the raptures. "Oh my goodness. You have to have the 'Hog Mess,'" she said. See Also: Blind Tiger serves great pizza in a space with a split personality

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2014

    John Perkins Takes the Title at Iron Fork 2014

    One of the best parts of Iron Fork is the competition. Chefs and bartenders from some of our favorite restaurants battled for supremacy. Returning champ Ed Heath of Cleveland Heath took on challengers John Perkins of Juniper, Colleen Clawson of Standard Fare and Brian Coltrain of Element. The compet ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2014

    Critic's Notebook: Nathalie Pettus Wants the Restaurant Experience from Ratatouille

    "You know that scene in Ratatouille, the one where they finally have their own restaurant and the critic is eating there? People are peering in the window from the outside, and the room looks so warm, inviting, convivial. There are flowers everywhere, and it just exudes warmth. That's what I am goin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 18, 2014

    Review Preview: Nathalie's

    As I child, I loved the story of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and would often wonder which life I'd choose: that of the bustling cosmopolitan city or the tranquil countryside. Nathalie Pettus doesn't feel the need to make this choice. The Overlook Farm owner lives out both roles as the propr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2014

    #92: Khao Soi at Fork & Stix

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. My relatively limited exposure to Thai cuisine typically leads me to a plate of pad thai and some spicy papaya salad. However, my predecessor, Ian Froeb (now food critic at the Post-Dispatch), said that I had to try ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2014

    Christy Augustin is Pint Size Bakery's "Punk Rock Grandma"

    I had the good fortune of being seated next to Christy Augustin at Sidney Street Café's ten-year anniversary dinner and quickly developed a bit of a girl-crush on the Pint Size Bakery (3825 Watson Road; 314-645-7142) owner. It was impossible not to. The effervescent Augustin was pontificating about ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2014

    Review Preview: Spare No Rib

    This week, I visit Spare No Rib (2200 Gravois Avenue; 314-202-8244) to investigate Lassaad Jeliti's culinary clash of cultures -- an unlikely marriage of tacos and ribs. Here is a sneak preview of my thoughts -- the full review will be online tomorrow and in this week's issue. See Also: First Look: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2014

    Five Bistro's Chef Anthony Devoti on His Last Meal and Awesomely Named Hockey Team

    Some would see a nationally acclaimed restaurant as the pinnacle of success and allow themselves to coast. Not Anthony Devoti. The Five Bistro (5100 Daggett Avenue; 314-773-5333) chef and avowed local food champion is pushing himself into new waters with another restaurant -- sort of. The chef, with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 6, 2014

    #93: The "Smokehouse Club" Sandwich at Bud's Smokehouse

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. The words "club sandwich" typically evoke visions of cold cuts on white bread, triple-decker style. Maybe it's classed up with those toothpicks that have the crinkly plastic on top. Lunchmeat, mayo, iceberg lettuce. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2014

    #94: Cafe Natasha's Yogurt Dip

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. When it comes to food, I don't do well with change. Sure, I like to try new things, and experiment with exotic ingredients. However, where my favorite, go-to dishes are concerned, I'm less flexible. When Café Natas ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2014

    Critic's Notebook: Blind Tiger Gives an Introduction to Whiskey

    The folks at Blind Tiger (7376 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-646-8822), the speakeasy-themed pizza and ribs joint in downtown Maplewood, know a thing or two about whiskey. With forty different bottles of Kentucky bourbon, Scotch, rye and Irish whiskey, Blind Tiger has set itself up to be the place ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2014

    Review Preview: The Blind Tiger

    The Crow's Nest owner Mike McLaughlin is at it again in Maplewood, this time with the Blind Tiger (7376 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-646-8822), a pizza, ribs and whiskey speakeasy on the prime corner of Manchester and Sutton. McLaughlin and his team take advantage of this space to host private ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2014

    #95: Macarons at La Patisserie Chouquette

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. Simone Faure is an artist. Not in the empty, overused way of describing anyone and everyone in the restaurant business, but in the truest sense of the word. Sure, she makes delicious pastries, but her genius is in h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2014

    Review Preview: Bella Vino

    This week's review invites my compatriots on this side of the Missouri to make the jaunt across the Blanchette Bridge to old town St. Charles' Bella Vino Wine Bar & Tapas (325 South Main Street, St. Charles; 636-724-3434). See Also: Green, But Sustainable? Prasino has eco-friendly dining down. Con ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2014

    #96: The Libertine's Fried Chicken

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. Josh Galliano is not afraid to divulge the secret to his fried chicken. As our server at the Libertine (7927 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-862-2999) said, "chef has published his fried chicken recipe for everyone to see. H ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2014

    Critic's Notebook: Cucina Pazzo

    In a city that takes pride in its Italian culinary scene, it's funny to learn that the chef behind the hottest new Italian restaurant cut his chops doing Hawaiian fusion. Justin Haifley, executive chef of the Central West End's Cucina Pazzo (392 North Euclid Avenue; 314-696-8400) doesn't think it's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2014

    Review Preview: Cucina Pazzo

    A few years ago it would have been unthinkable to imagine the Central West End without Duff's. Then the St. Louis icon shuttered its doors last July, and Cucina Pazzo (392 North Euclid Avenue; 314-696-8400) stepped in to fill the void. See Also: Cucina Pazzo Brings Rustic Italian to Former Duff's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2014

    #97: Pork Belly at Element

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. Start with a drink at Element's (1419 Carroll Street; 314-241-1674) third floor lounge, and you'd think that your night has peaked. After all, what could be better than gazing out of the windows at a sweeping view o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2014

    Critic's Notebook: The Precinct Hopes to Win on Appeal (with a Menu Overhaul)

    In this week's review, I found the Precinct (1900 Locust Avenue; 314-588-8899) guilty of many crimes against food. Although the sting of a negative review is unpleasant, I got the feeling after speaking with owner Mark Winfield that it was some expected rain on an already unpleasant parade. When ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2014

    The Seven Best Vietnamese Restaurants in St. Louis

    In recent years, a spate of Vietnamese restaurants have popped up, bringing delicious Pho, a spice-filled broth served with noodles, to the masses. And we couldn't be happier. Lemongrass and ginger, rice and noodles, all fresh and remarkably healthy -- here are seven of our favorite spots to grab au ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2014

    Super "Bowl" Sunday: The Gut Check Guide to Curing the Munchies

    The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos face off this Sunday in the Super Bowl and in case you haven't noticed, both of those states got real friendly with an entirely different kind of "bowl" recently. In celebration of both states' recent legalization of marijuana, many will be marking game da ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2014

    #98: M'Lwee at Baida

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. When Baida (3191 South Grand Boulevard; 314-932-7950) opened its doors last September, it treated St. Louis to its first taste of Moroccan cuisine. Sure, there are the traditional dishes like couscous and tajines, b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2014

    #99: Breadbasket at Juniper

    Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. When chef John Perkins started doing underground dinners, he was a theology student who never planned on opening his own place. Now he's in the kitchen full-time at his first permanent restaurant, Juniper (360 North ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    Critic's Notebook: Crafty Cocktails at Katie's Pizza & Pasta

    Considering all of the hype that surrounds Katie's Pizza & Pasta (9568 Manchester Road, Rock Hill; 314-942-6555), I expected to be blown away, but I left a little underwhelmed by the food (read my review here). The cocktails, however, were a different story. These days, a creative cocktail program i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 22, 2014

    Sidney Street Cafe Celebrates Ten Years with Ten Chefs

    Sidney Street Café (2000 Sidney Street; 314-771-5777), the esteemed Benton Park restaurant, celebrated its tenth anniversary this past Monday with a celebrity chef-studded celebration. This gathering of culinary greats, entitled "Ten Years, Ten Chefs," featured notable St. Louisans, as well as chef ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2014

    Review Preview: Katie's Pizza & Pasta

    This week I visit Katie's Pizza & Pasta (9568 Manchester Road, Rock Hill; 314-942-6555), the new osteria by Katie Lee, formerly of Katie's Pizzeria Cafe. Lee gained quite a following for her handcrafted pies at the original location -- so much, in fact, that she financed the new concept through a Ki ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2014

    #100: Bucatini All'Amatriciana at Pastaria

    Today Gut Check relaunches one of our most favorite recurring columns for 2014: an 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 signature dishes that are still blowing our socks off. They're the 100 dishes that def ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2014

    Review Preview: Gamlin Whiskey House

    Brothers Lucas and Derek Gamlin of SubZero Vodka Bar fame turn their sights to whiskey and steaks at Gamlin Whiskey House (236 North Euclid Avenue; 314-875-9500). Bourbons, Scotches, ryes and whiskeys, served in every way imaginable, are the name of the game, but there's more to Gamlin than the booz ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2014

    Chef Brian Hardesty's Guiltiest Pleasure and Most Hated Ingredient

    When you've worked in some of St. Louis' most venerable kitchens -- Monarch, Harvest, Terrene -- such as chef Brian Hardesty has, you could be excused for sticking with what you know. After all, if you're privy to a winning formula, why not take the easy route and open a place that replicates past s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2014

    Review Preview: Juniper

    Rambling man John Perkins had one of the most highly anticipated openings of last year with Juniper (360 North Boyle Avenue; 314-329-7696), the southern table and bar located on the northeast edge of the Central West End. Perkins made his name, first as the not-so anonymous chef behind a series of u ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2014

    Cassy Vires on the Changes at Table in 2014

    Table (1821 Cherokee Street; 314-449-1888) was one of our favorite restaurant openings of the year, and it earned Cassy Vires our pick for the Best Chef of 2013. The concept of her second restaurant focused around communal dining, which certainly took some people off guard. In her review, our critic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2013

    Restaurant Redemption: The New Gringo Is Much Improved

    Perhaps it's the cheer of the holiday season that has left this Scrooge feeling generous. It could be that the approaching New Year has made me reflective about fresh starts. Whatever the reason, I'm dishing out second chances, and Gringo (398 North Euclid Avenue; 314-449-1212) is at the top of my " ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2013

    The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013

    Here are thirteen food trends that have become ubiquitous and shed the sheen of novelty -- now they're just dull and sometimes annoying, in spite of an exciting debut. (To keep things interesting, we've included a few food trends we hope continue into 2014 and beyond. See if you can identify which ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    Scenes (and Drinks) from Dishcrawl's Cocktail Wars

    Our own Cheryl Baehr was a very distinguished judge at this week's Cocktail Wars competition. Of course, we had to be on hand to document her American Idol-style commentary (would she be a Simon? A Paula?) and watch the bartenders competing do what they do best. See also: Dishcrawl's Cocktail Wars: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2013

    Critic's Notebook: How Baida Went from Fast Food Joint to Moroccan Jewel

    It's hard to believe, but Baida (3191 South Grand Boulevard; 314932-7950) was almost a burger joint. "My aunt and uncle [Assia and Abder Meskine] were going to open a fast food restaurant," says Adam Bennis, general manager of Baida, the new Moroccan restaurant on south Grand. "Then they found out ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2013

    Review Preview: Baida Moroccan Restaurant

    This week I visit Baida (3191 South Grand Boulevard; 314-932-7950), shockingly, the first Moroccan restaurant in the area. Finally, St. Louisans have a place to go when that insatiable couscous craving hits. Here is a sneak preview of my thoughts -- the full review will be online tomorrow and in th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2013

    Dishcrawl's Cocktail Wars: Which Drink Will Win?

    Some of St. Louis' best bartenders will be slinging drinks at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230) on Tuesday, December 12, and competing in the North American Spirits Championship -- a.k.a. Dishcrawl's Cocktail Wars. Each one is distinct; read on for more detailed descriptions. S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2013

    Review Preview: Element Has Four Cooks in the Kitchen and the Food is Divine

    This week, restaurant critic Cheryl Baehr reviewed Element in Lafayette Square. Here are some extra tidbits she picked up during her visits. Read the full review of Element here. Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soup, right? Brian Hardesty doesn't think so. Hardesty, executive chef of Elem ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2013

    Review Preview: The Dam Resurrects the Animal Burger for Ravenous Soccer Fans

    This week, restaurant critic Cheryl Baehr visited the Dam (3173 Morganford; 314-771-3173) in Tower Grove South. Here are some extra tidbits she picked up during her visits. Read the full review of the Dam here. In this week's review of the Dam, I joke that the concept seems like it was hatched by a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2013

    Panorama: Brunch at the St. Louis Art Museum's New Restaurant

    This week, restaurant critic Cheryl Baehr visited Panorama (One Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park, 314-655-5490), at the St. Louis Art Museum. Here are some extra tidbits she picked up during her visits. Read the full review of Panorama here. My recent review of Panorama focused exclusively on its lunch ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2013

    A Farewell to Summer at the Schlafly Farmers' Market

    It's still technically summer for another week, and the blazing humid weather of the past few days makes us feel that pool season should go on forever. However, the temperature is dropping, slowly but surely, and before we know it, we will be busting out our favorite sweaters and making pumpkin tart ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2013

    Sidney Street Cafe's Kevin Nashan Takes Barbecue Honors

    Last night marked the first time that the traveling porcine pleasure palace known as Cochon555 oinked its way into St. Louis. Founded by man-on-a-mission Brady Lowe, Cochon is a celebration of the heritage breed pig, local farmers, humane and sustainable agriculture, and the potential of barbecue in ... More >>

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