Gut Check: Comings and goings on the local food scene

May 20, 2009 at 4:00 am

Fans of Five will have to wait a few weeks for their next fix: Chef Anthony Devoti's restaurant is moving from Forest Park Southeast's Grove neighborhood to the former Pizzeria della Piazza space, 5100 Daggett Avenue, on the Hill.

I spoke with Devoti last Thursday, a couple of days prior to Five's final dinner at its original location. He told me the end of the restaurant's current lease was the impetus for the move: "We wanted to buy our own building. [Our landlord] wasn't able to sell us this building. But we went and found [the new] building on the Hill."

Devoti says he's "pumped" about the new location. "It's a gut rehab job. We ripped everything out. The idea is to be the same restaurant as the original Five. We're keeping the same color scheme. We'll be bringing all of our paintings over. We have beautiful new lights."

In addition, the new restaurant will have a patio and artwork from artist Josephine Romo. Five will celebrate its grand reopening beginning Thursday, June 11.

Brian Hardesty has taken over as head chef at Terrene. Hardesty has worked in the kitchens of such well-known St. Louis restaurants as Monarch and Harvest. Most recently, Hardesty was at the general store-slash-café Winslow's Home. (For more on Winslow's, see this week's review.)

The first St. Louis location of El Pollo Loco opened this Monday at 4103 Lemay Ferry Road. Since 1975 El Pollo Loco has grown from a roadside stand in Guasave, Mexico, to a California-based chain with 418 restaurants in fourteen states. El Pollo Loco is best known for its citrus-marinated and grilled chicken. The Lemay Ferry Road location (the first in Missouri) is one of six planned for St. Louis County. El Pollo Loco is open 10 a.m.-midnight Sun.-Thu. and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat.

The downtown location of 10th Street Italian (504 North Tenth Street) is once again open for dinner. The restaurant's current hours are 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tue.-Thu. Hours on Mon. and Fri. remain 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. RFT has always been big fans of 10th Street Italian. My predecessor, Rose Martelli, raved about the restaurant ("Meatball Hero," February 16, 2005), and our annual Best Of issue named it Best Italian Restaurant (Cheap) in 2005 and again last year.

Are you opening a new restaurant? Know of a place that has closed? Something else for Ian to chew on? E-mail [email protected]. And check out this column's virtual doppelganger at