Tom Schmidt

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2014

    #64: Salt Smoke's Beef Brisket

    St. Louis barbecue is a crowded field: It seems a new smokehouse opens every week, each one as delicious as the last. Just when the market seemed to be saturated, restaurateur Tom Schmidt decided to get into the game, turning his Mediterranean restaurant Nico into Salt Smoke (6525 Delmar Boulevard, ... More >>

  • Dining

    August 21, 2014
  • Blogs

    August 20, 2014

    Review: Salt Smoke Distinguishes Itself in the Crowd of New St. Louis Barbecue

    Salt Smoke (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-0200) 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tues.-Sun. (Closed Mon.) Sipping on a stiff bourbon cocktail at Salt Smoke, I glanced out of the window and did a double take. A fire truck had stopped in the middle of Delmar Boulevard and its crew seemed to be s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2014

    Salt Smoke's New Texas-Style Barbecue and Bourbon Menu in the Delmar Loop

    Frequenters of the Delmar Loop undoubtedly have already noticed the change in the atmosphere lately. The unmistakable smell of smoky barbecue now permeates the air in the area, and it's all thanks to restaurateur Tom Schmidt and his brand new concept, Salt Smoke (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2014

    Salt Smoke Opens This Friday, June 13, in Former Nico Space

    Salt Smoke (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City) opens tomorrow, June 13 in the Loop in the space previously occupied by Nico. Restaurateur Tom Schmidt announced he was turning Nico into a barbecue restaurant back in April, joining a slew of new joints like the Salted Pig and Dave Bailey's unti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 10, 2014

    Tom Schmidt Talks Transforming Nico Into a Barbecue Restaurant

    There have been a flurry of restaurant announcements this week, and more than a few of them are barbecue related. Tom Schmidt, owner of Franco, is turning his other outpost, Nico (6525 Delmar Boulevard; 314-727-0200) into a barbecue joint this spring. See also: Dave Bailey Announces New Barbecue Re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2014

    Dave Bailey Announces New Barbecue Restaurant in Downtown for Winter 2014

    His restaurant Small Batch (3001 Locust Street; 314-380-2040) is just a baby in culinary years, but this week restaurateur Dave Bailey announced he is already on to the next one. The as-of-yet nameless place will serve barbecue at 1011 Olive Street in the historic building that was previously Busson ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2013

    Soulard: A Glutton's Guide to St. Louis' Funnest Neighborhood

    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. One of St. Louis' most iconic neighb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2013

    Smoked Veal Sweetbreads Barigoule and Rabbit-Prosciutto Terrine at Franco: What to Eat This Weekend and Where to Eat It

    Gut Check tells you what's new and tasty at our favorite restaurants. I called Tom Schmidt, owner of Franco (1535 South Eighth Street; 314-436-2500) and its younger sibling Nico (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-0200), expecting that he would want to talk about the latter restauran ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2012

    Franco to Stop Serving Lunch in 2013

    If you sincerely believe you cannot get through a workday without a lunchtime bowl of French onion soup and a side of pommes frites at Franco (1535 South Eighth Street; 314-436-2500), we have some very sad news for you: Today is the Soulard restaurant's last day of lunch service. From now on, Franc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2012

    RFT vs. Our Readers: Best New Restaurant

    As we celebrate the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2012, Gut Check is asking you, dear readers, to settle the disagreements between our picks and our readers' poll. Our pick for the "Best New Restaurant" is Cleveland-Heath (106 North Main Street, Edwardsville, Illinois; 618-307-4830). The reade ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2012

    Best of St. Louis 2012 Preview: Five Years of Best New Restaurants

    In a matter of days -- hours, even! -- the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2012 issue ("Creature Comforts" is the theme, and just you wait till you see this!) will hit the Internet and newsstands. Among the many food- and restaurant-related categories, one of the most eagerly anticipated is alwa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2012

    Nico Announces Grace Dinsmoor as Executive Chef

    Nico (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-0200) announced Friday that Grace Dinsmoor is the restaurant's new executive chef. She succeeds Darin Since, who in turn replaced original chef Chris Williams. Dinsmoor is likely best known to St. Louis diners for her time as executive chef at M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2012

    Gut Check's Five Most Anticipated Restaurants of 2012, Revisited

    At the end of last year, I listed five restaurants due to open in the coming months that I dubbed the "Most Anticipated Restaurants" of 2012. Now that we've entered the second half of the year, I thought revisiting this list would be appropriate -- if only to highlight how unpredictable the restaura ... More >>

  • Dining

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    June 12, 2012

    Review Preview: Nico

    This week, I visit Nico (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-0200), the new Mediterranean-influenced restaurant from the folks who brought us the critical and popular hit Franco (1535 South Eighth Street; 314-436-2500). Page through for a sneak preview of my review.

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2012

    Chef Chris Williams Parts Ways with Franco, Nico

    Franco (1535 South Eighth Street; 314-436-2500) and its two-month-old sibling restaurant Nico (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-0200) have parted ways with executive chef Chris Williams, who has held that position since the beginning of last year.

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2012

    First Look: Nico

    A brand-new restaurant has joined the Delmar Loop's league of lunch and dinner destinations just in time for this year's early spring, readily equipped with an outdoor patio, plenty of elegant indoor seating and a fully stocked bar. Nico (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-0200), the yo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2012

    Chef Shuffle: News from Modesto, Bailey's Range and Franco

    Michael Warhover, former executive chef of Baileys' Range (920 Olive Street, 314-241-8121), announced he's now the executive chef of Modesto (5257 Shaw Avenue, 314-772-8272). Peter Clark, a new addition to the St. Louis dining scene via the West Coast, replaces Warhover as executive chef of Bailey's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2012

    Nico Opens Friday, February 24, in Delmar Loop

    Ian Froeb​Nico, the highly anticipated "younger brother" to Soulard's Franco, will open this Friday evening, February 24, at 6525 Delmar Boulevard in University City. (This, of course, was the longtime home of Brandt's.)

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2011

    The Five Most Anticipated New St. Louis Restaurants of 2012

    ​To be frank: This was an odd list to compile. If 2012 continues the trend begun in 2011, St. Louis will welcome many new restaurants over the next twelve months, so singling out only five of them as the "most anticipated" seems silly. What's more, many of the restaurants that will open in the new ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2011

    Franco to Open Nico in the Delmar Loop [Updated]

    The mystery of who will take over the late Brandt's Cafe spot at 6525 Delmar Boulevard in University City apparently has been answered. Just this hour Franco (1535 South Eighth Street, 314-436-2500) announced via Twitter that it will open a new restaurant called Nico in the Delmar Loop:​We're work ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 9, 2009
  • Blogs

    April 17, 2009

    Question: What does Spring Put YOU in the Mood For?

    Photo by Nicholas Phillips Jerome Wade, native St. Louisan"Spring is a companion. It's like a friend. Springtime is a time for growing, re-rooting, re-sprouting."Photo by Nicholas PhillipsMaggie Karges, SLU student"Cookouts. Anything on the grill."Photo by Nicholas PhillipsTom Schmidt, owner of Fran ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 10, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 2, 2008

    The Chef Merry-Go-Round Continues: Monarch and Franco

    St. Louis Magazine broke the news on its new food blog last week, and co-owner Jeff Orbin confirmed to me on Friday: Monarch has hired Josh Galliano, formerly the chef de cuisine at An American Place, to be the new executive chef. Galliano takes over the Monarch stoves on September 22. Meanwhile, S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2007

    Small Plates: Friday, 3/16 Downtown St. Louis is about to get a new restaurant or seven. Want to open a restaurant downtown? You might have to stand in line. The Downtown St. Louis Partnership recently announced that seven new restaurants will open downtown in the coming months, the fruits of the grou ... More >>

  • Dining

    February 7, 2007

    French Kissed

    Ian makes out (like a bandit) at Franco.

  • News

    February 8, 2006

    One Swill Game

    The long and tipsy road to the World Series of Beer Pong