Evan Benn

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    The Shack Pubgrub's "Shack-Which": One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2013

    Restaurant Critic Evan Benn to Depart Post-Dispatch in April

    Post-Dispatch restaurant critic Evan Benn has submitted his resignation to the paper. Benn will move to Miami, where his wife, Teri, a physician, has taken a new position. Benn will return to the Miami Herald, where he worked before moving to St. Louis in 2009. Benn's time at the Post-Dispatch has ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2013

    Tidbits: Araka's Final Weekend; La Gra to Become Tamm Avenue Grill

    If you've been waiting to say goodbye to Araka (131 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton; 314-725-6777), you're almost out of time. The Clayton restaurant will close after service this Saturday, March 9. Owner Brad Beracha announced the closure last month. If you are a restaurateur looking for new fixtures or ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2013

    Tidbits: Tortillaria, Lampert's BBQ Return; Cristo's Departs

    - Tortillaria (8 1/2 South Euclid Avenue; 314-361-4443) reopened this week after a brief remodeling. The Central West End Mexican restaurant closed in December for a series of renovations, including the installation of a new kitchen floor and updated ventilation and fire protection systems. If you'v ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    Tidbits: Abby's Shell Corner Cafe, the Crafty Chameleon, Taj Indian Cuisine

    - We learned only in September that Abby's Shell Corner Cafe had opened at 1221 Locust Street, inside the same building as and just across the lobby from Sen Thai Asian Bistro (1221 Locust Street; 314-436-3456). A Gut Check operative passed along word this week that the restaurant might have closed ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2013

    Report: Capitalist Pig to Close Until Spring

    If you've been waiting to visit Capitalist Pig (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230), the new barbecue joint inside Mad Art Gallery, you'll have to wait a while longer. According to a report yesterday from Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch, owner Ron Buechele has decided to close Capitalist Pig until ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2013

    Josh Galliano, Acclaimed Chicago Sommeliers to Open New Restaurant, the Libertine

    Acclaimed chef Josh Galliano, already busy setting up the food program at the soon-to-open MX Movies downtown, has yet another project in the works: The former executive chef at the late An American Place and Monarch will head the kitchen at The Libertine, a new venture from Nick and Audra Luedde. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2013

    Tidbits: Delmonico's Diner, the Press Box, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant

    Continuing to catch up on some items from the end of last year and the beginning of this one... - We learned in November that after being closed for a year, soul-food institution Delmonico's Diner (4909 Delmar Boulevard; 314-367-3333) had reopened under new ownership. Today, a trusted operative pas ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2013

    Tidbits: Gravois Grill, Carondelet Diner, Shaw Garden Brewery

    Geez, you take a few weeks off around the holidays, and the tidbits really start to pile up. Let's try to make some headway on the backlog... - Received a tip about possible changes at Gravois Grill (515 Gravois Road, Fenton; 636-349-5030). I'm being circumspect about the specifics because I haven' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2012

    Tidbits: Robust Opens Downtown Location, Veritas Gateway Food and Wine Move and More

    - Sauce's Julie Cohen sneaks a peek at the new downtown location of Robust (227 West Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-963-0033) at 635 Washington Avenue in the Mercantile Exchange, which opened this past weekend. - Meanwhile, Sauce's Ligaya Figueras reports that Veritas Gateway to Food and Wine ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2012

    Tidbits: Chef Shuffle at Salt, Local Harvest

    Evan S. Benn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that chef Clara Moore is leaving St. Louis and her position as executive chef of Local Harvest's three cafes. Moore plans to move to Seattle. According to Benn, Local Harvest owners Patrick Horine and Maddie Earnest have hired three new chefs at ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2012

    Mike Shannon's Opening New Concept in Edwardsville

    Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch and Ligaya Figueras of Sauce both reported yesterday that Mike Shannon's Steaks and Seafood (620 Market Street; 314-421-1540) will open an "upscale casual" concept in Edwardsville, Illinois. The new restaurant, Mike Shannon's Grille, will be located in the same shoppi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 25, 2012

    Where to Break the Yom Kippur Fast

    Tomorrow is Yom Kippur, the Day of the Atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish year. It's a time for confessing sins, begging the pardon of everyone you have offended over the past year and praying desperately for God to inscribe you in the Book of Life for the next one. In order to show how tru ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2012

    Da Baldo's Trattoria Closes, Lafayette Fire Company Moving In

    A tipster informed Gut Check yesterday afternoon that Lafayette Fire Company No. 1 (1801 Park Avenue; 314-621-5001) planned to leave the Lafayette Square address that has been its home since opening in 2009. Its destination? Somewhere on Hampton Avenue in south city.

  • Blogs

    September 4, 2012

    Tidbits: Balaban's Expands, Craft Chophouse in Edwardsville

    - Balaban's Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar (1772 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield; 636-449-6700) has announced a 2,046-square-foot expansion. The new space will include a private-event space and a wine room. Business at the existing restaurant-slash-wine shop-slash-deli will go on as usual during work on the ex ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 30, 2012

    Joe Bonwich Files Final Restaurant Review for Post-Dispatch

    Post-Dispatch restaurant critic Joe Bonwich published his final review today, reaffirming downtown institution Tony's (410 Market Street; 314-231-7007) as a "perfect" dining experience and awarding it four stars out of a possible four. Bonwich will continue to work on the Post-Dispatch's "Let's Eat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2012

    Ferguson Brewing Company Triumphs, St. Louis Wing Co. Scorches at UCP Heartland Wing Ding

    A little after five o'clock yesterday afternoon, the judges took their places at the appointed tables inside the Greensfelder Recreation Complex at Queeny Park (550 Weidman Road, Ballwin). In front of each of them were a score sheet, a stack of napkins and a pile of wet naps. Most whetted their appe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2012

    Tidbits: Vin de Set Celebrates Julia Child, Potbelly Cometh

    - Julia Child would have turned 100 years old on Wednesday, August 15. To celebrate the occasion, Vin de Set (2017 Chouteau Avenue; 314-241-8989) will offer a special three-course, prix-fixe dinner from Tuesday, August 14, through Sunday, August 19. For $29.99, diners will receive three courses bas ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2012

    Tidbits: National Lasagna Day, Courtesy Diner, Little Country Gentleman

    - Today might be National Lasagna Day. Then again, National Lasagna Day might have been Sunday, July 29. Really, lasagna is so great, why not celebrate it two days in close succession? At any rate, today sister restaurants Bravo! Cucina Italiana (15 West County Center Drive, Des Peres; 314-821-2562) ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2012

    Esquire Features Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, Bon Appetit Prints Blood & Sand Recipe

    In an article published by Esquire titled "The Best Beers of the Future," Evan S. Benn, Post-Dispatch beer blogger and assistant editor, calls local craft brewery Urban Chestnut Brewing Company's (3229 Washington Avenue; 314-222-0143) new euro bottles, "the bottle of the future." Released earlier t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 29, 2012

    Tidbits from Yummies Soul Food Cafe, Thai 202, J. Spain's Waffles & Wings

    - Yummies Soul Food Cafe has relocated from 3149 Shenandoah Avenue to 2800 Olive Street. Riverfront Times' 2010 pick as "Best Soul Food Restaurant" and one of our "Five Best Spots for Comfort Food" for 2011, Yummies had originally intended to make the Olive space a second location, but then decided ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2012

    Tin Can Tavern & Grille Closing Downtown

    Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch breaks the news this afternoon that the Downtown West location of the Tin Can Tavern & Grille (1909 Locust Street; 314-241-9330) will close this weekend.

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2012

    Tidbits from the Loop, Jumpin' Jupiter and Coyote's Ranch Grill & Saloon

    Catching up on some more restaurant news from when I was out of town the past week: - Ligaya Figueras of Sauce spotted a new venture right in the back yard of Gut Check International Headquarters: An awning outside of 6227 Delmar Boulevard advertises a restaurant serving burgers, wings and frozen c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2012

    Wes Johnson Leaves Salt [Update]

    George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine breaks what is, without a doubt, the biggest restaurant story of the year so far: Chef and co-owner Wes Johnson has departed Salt (4356 Lindell Boulevard; 314-932-5787), the restaurant that he opened in early 2011 to acclaim both local (Riverfront Times' "Best New R ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2012

    Tidbits from J. Gumbo's, Pumpernickels

    - Looks like another fast-casual chain is setting up shop in St. Louis: A trusted operative tells Gut Check that J. Gumbo's will open in the Central West End. (We have an exact address, but we're working to confirm it.) J. Gumbo's, which as its name might suggest specializes in Creole and Cajun far ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2012

    Tidbits from Red Guitar Bread, Bixby's, Buffalo Brewing Co.

    - Alex Carlson, the owner and baker of Red Guitar Bread, Riverfront Times' "Best Bread" for 2011, announced via Facebook that he is opening a storefront at 3215 Cherokee Street. Related: Holly Fann profiles Carlson for Gut Check. - Sauce reports that executive chef Todd Lough has left Bixby's (Lin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2012

    Introducing the 2012 RFT Web Awards Finalists

    ​The good news? The St. Louis online community is alive and well. The bad news? There's so much great content out there, it's extremely difficult to come up with a list of the best of the best. But, hey, this is the Internet. People love them some lists. We'd hate to disappoint. So, then, the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2012

    Report: Whiz-Tech Technology Cafe Closed

    Whiz-Tech Technology Cafe (1629 Locust Street; 314-241-9449) has closed, Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch reported via Twitter on Saturday. Whiz-Tech's website remains live; calls to the establishment are routed through a generic directory without voice mail. Whiz-Tech opened in December 2010, a uniq ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2012

    The RFT Web Awards' Food Finalists

    Today the RFT revealed the finalists for our 2012 Web Awards, a.k.a. Point Clique. The winners, as selected by a panel of esteemed judges, will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Old Rock House next Tuesday, January 24, and will be published in next week's issue. Several of the categories ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2012

    Tidbits from Chuy Arzola, Sassy Jac's, Farmhaus

    The patio at Chuy Arzola​- WIth Dr. Gurpreet Padda and Ami Grimes having opened Diablito's Cantina nearby, changes were sure to follow at their other Mexican restaurant, Chuy Arzola (3701 Lindell Boulevard; 314-644-4430). Chuy Arzola is now essentially a bar, with a limited menu of such drink-frie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2011

    Beery Tidbits from International Tap House, St. Louis Wing Co.

    Inside the Soulard Iocation of International Tap House​- STL Hops floated the rumor and a few minutes later Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch confirmed it: International Tap House, a.k.a. iTap, is looking to take over the former Pasta House Co. space at 313 North Euclid Avenue in the Central West End ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2011

    Tidbits from DeMun Oyster Bar, Perennial Artisan Ales, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

    Jennifer SilverbergDeMun Oyster Bar in Clayton​- DeMun Oyster Bar (740 DeMun Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-0322) has announced a change in hours. Beginning today, Monday, October 31, the seafood-centric restaurant will be open from 4 p.m. daily. Lunch will be available on Saturday only, beginning at 11 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2011

    Tidbits from the Stable, Pinky's

    Ian FroebPinky's: It's pink.​- Post-Dispatch beer guru Evan Benn reports that Amalgamated Brewing Company has sold The Stable (1821 Cherokee Street; 314-771-8500) to the owners of the Rotten Apple in Grafton, Illinois. According to Benn, the new owners will continue to operate the Stable as a brew ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2011

    Royal Kabob Restaurant Opens in South City

    Ian Froeb​Royal Kabob Restaurant is now open at 3611 Bates Avenue (the former location of El Burrito Loco). As Gut Check learned last month, Royal Kabob shares an owner with the small grocery store across the street at 3608 Bates, Ariana Market.According to a sign on the front door, the restaurant ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2011

    Tidbits from Crostini, Robust and the Bleeding Deacon

    ​It's almost the weekend, we're about to go have drinks to celebrate the departure for bigger and better things of our two awesome interns -- including Gut Check's designated competitive eater Amanda Woytus -- so why don't we clear out the ol' restaurant-news backlog....- Gut Check first told you ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    Tidbits from Del Taco, Ozzie's, Del Pietro's

    Are you tired of this picture yet?​A new week, a new development in the saga of the former Del Taco building at 212 South Grand Boulevard. Developer Rick Yackey, who owns the flying saucer, has released a statement to the Post-Dispatch in which he says he will consider alternatives to demolishing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    The Tilted Kilt Closed

    Ian Froeb​The Tilted Kilt (151 Arnold Crossroads Center, Arnold; 636-287-6300) has closed, the restaurant announced on its Facebook page yesterday. The first area location of the Tempe, Arizona-based chain known for scantily clad female servers -- a.k.a. a "breastaurant" -- opened at the end of Ma ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2011

    Tidbits from Ozzie's and the Rhine Haus

    ​More than a month has passed since Ozzie's Restaurant & Sports Bar (1511 Washington Avenue; 314-241-0100) canceled its first-anniversary party and then closed its doors due to a power outage. At the time, owner Roberto Gallardo told Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch that the restaurant would con ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2011

    Smoking Joe's Bar-Be-Que Closed? [Updated]

    ​Smoking Joe's Bar-Be-Que (1901 Washington Avenue; 314-436-3876) is closed at least temporarily. Following up on a post in this NextSTL thread, I stopped by the Downtown West barbecue joint to find it closed during its regular business hours. An employee at a nearby business told me that Smoking J ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2011

    Restaurant Tidbits from Jim Fiala, Pi

    Jennifer SilverbergThe Terrace View, a Jim Fiala restaurant, at Citygarden downtown​I'm nursing a high ankle sprain -- imagine me making a puppy-dog sad face, asking for your pity -- which means I'm currently housebound and just a skosh behind the curve. At any rate, lots of chef shuffling over th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2011

    The Good Pie Announces New Breakfast-Lunch Spot in Clayton

    Image via​Midtown Neapolitan pizza restaurant The Good Pie announced via Twitter on Friday that it will open a new breakfast-lunch spot called Half & Half in Clayton. Good Pie owner Mike Randolph tells Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch that the restaurant will seat approximately 70 and open in ab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2011

    SLeeK to Close: Bleak Day for St. Louis Steak Hair Lovers

    Hey, wait a minute! That's not Hubert Keller! Never mind.​Credit the Post-Dispatch's Evan Benn with the scoop: SLeeK, the eye-buggingly pricey steak joint inside the Lumière Gambling Industrial Complex, is no more. Well, technically it still is, but if you want to order up the seven-course "B ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2010

    Katie's Pizzeria Cafe Now Katie's Pizzeria Cafe

    Katie Lee announced via Facebook on Friday afternoon that she will be leaving Katie's Pizzeria Café, the upscale pizza and hot-waitress repository that bears her name, to open a new restaurant. Katie's will remain open -- good news for those addicted to the crisp egg-and-speck pizza and downy ricot ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2010

    October 2010 Openings and Closings

    Jennifer SilverbergNewstead Tower Public House​October was a very busy month for restaurant news in St. Louis. Judging by the reaction here and elsewhere, I'd guess the biggest news was the closing of Newstead Tower Public House. (Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch reported via Twitter on Saturday, Ne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2010

    Report: City Gourmet Closes Today

    Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch filed the scoop yesterday afternoon: Downtown grocery store City Gourmet will close for good at the end of business today. Longtime fans and opportunistic bargain hunters can enjoy closeout discounts, including on beer and wine, until then.City Gourmet opened at 920 Ol ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2010

    Restaurant Tidbit Smörgåsbord: The Tavern, Vito Racanelli and More

    Robin WheelerVito Racanelli Jr. of Onesto Pizza & Trattoria​It's only the second full week of October, but it's already been a busy month for local restaurant news -- so busy that our friends in the local have scored several scoops of their own.- Evan Benn reports at Off the Menu that The Tave ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2010

    Ted Kilgore Claims Heirloom-Tomato Cocktail Throne

    Alissa NelsonEvan Benn of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch evaluates cocktails from (left to right) Nate Selsor, Matt Seiter and Kilgore.​On Saturday, a robust crowd descended upon the event space at Orlando's Catering to watch three of our region's preeminent mixologists -- Ted Kilgore, Nate Selsor&nb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2010

    No Soup for You! Original SoupMan Closed

    Evan Benn first reported the news at the Post-Dispatch: The only St. Louis location of the Original SoupMan chain (612 North 11th Street) closed its doors Friday afternoon. The chain was founded by Al Yeganeh, who was immortalized by the sitcom Seinfeld as the "Soup Nazi." Yeganeh will reopen his o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2009

    FoodWire: Pi Opens Third Location Today, 12.15

    How about some Euclidean geometry? San Francisco-style pizzeria Pi debuts at 400 North Euclid Avenue at 5 p.m. today, December 15. This is the popular, Obama-approved eatery's third location, following the original Delmar Loop restaurant and the Kirkwood spot, which opened only a few months ago. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2009

    Post-Dispatch Employee Among Group of Students Accused of Bribing Interviewees Calls Bull^&*%

    For the last six months, Evan Benn has been editing and writing about topics that go down easy -- like craft beer -- for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But the new St. Louisan used to cover much meatier subjects, especially during his time spent in Northwestern University's Medill Innocence Project. A ... More >>

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