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Archive for the ‘Food and Wine’ Category

DON DAVIS’ PURUS, “THE BEST VODKA I EVER TASTED” – FORBES, NOV. 2, THE NEW AGOSTINO’S, SHAME ON FOX 2

Paul, John and Rosa Gabriele

Paul, John and Rosa Gabriele

The holiday season was off to a sluggish start. It’s Christmas, it’s joy, it’s happiness and good luck. Unfortunately, at the foot of Mullanphy Street, the homeless still hover over small fires in an area called “Hopeville.”  The Martin Luther King and Eads Bridges have lost those lights that were gifted to the city years ago by the Veiled Prophet Order. The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville has transformed once again into a magnificent shower of Christmas lighting.

Don and Joan Davis

Don and Joan Davis

There’s one glitch this year – an intrusion of a full-color, electric sign that promotes FOX2 near the grotto. Then, we drove to Fairview Heights, where another blazing sign beckoned all to the new Agostino’s. It figures that a fancy town like Fairview Heights would have an upscale Italian restaurant. After ordering dinner, Todd, the server, rushed into the kitchen and reappeared with a massive bowl of cioppino worthy of the 14th century’s Huou, chef of the court of Kublai Khan. There was adulation in the air over chef Rosa Gabriele’s
miraculous preparation of Sicilian delicacies and daughter-in-law/pastry chef Francesca’smemorable delights with each dish rising to new heights.

David and Thelma Steward

David and Thelma Steward

Soaring with a burst of floratory, her sons Paul and John traced the 44-year history of Agostino’s that began on The Hill. Onward to Tony’s to help celebrate the birthday parties of Thelma Steward with her hub, David of World Wide Technology, and in another party room, Joan Davis with her hub, Don, who’s hit the ball out of the park with Purus boutique vodka, that has caught on like wildfire in about a dozen states. Next for the Davis’ Pure Holdings LLC is Pomacai, a pomegranate and acai berry-flavored vodka.

ELLEN SWEETS COMES HOME

Former Post-Dispatch reporter and food scribe Ellen Sweets is setting the cookbook world on fire with her cooking memoir,”Stirring It Up With Molly Ivins.”  Sweets’ roots are in St. Louis and her family once published the St. Louis American, but food writing took her to Texas where she became a friend of the raucously liberal syndicated columnist, who had a particularly pointed pen for the Republican puffery.  Sweets wrote the memoir with recipes after Molly’s death four years ago.  The tome is getting high praise from reviewers and is #87 among cookbooks in the Amazon.com rating.  She’s in town for a book signing at Left Bank Books at 7 p.m., Dec. 13.  She’s been on the signing circuit all over Texas, New Orleans and the Beltway.

SOCIAL NOTE

We’re the stodgy Midwest. All the social innovation and hip trends start on the coasts. Right?  Then how to explain that the cocktail party wasn’t invented in Manhattan or Beverly Hills, but right here in the Central West End. Not only that, but playwright and poet T.S. Eliot, who lived here scribed a successful play in 1949, “The Cocktail Party.” Moreover, a 1917 St. Paul Pioneer Press story that says in May of that year, Mrs. Julius S. Walsh, Jr. of 4510 Lindell Blvd. invited 50 guests to her house at noon on a Sunday, serving drinks for an hour followed by lunch.  “The party scored an instant hit,” the Pioneer Press declared.  Within a matter of weeks, according to Wikipedia, “cocktail parties became a “St. Louis institution ” In 1924, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis bought the Walsh mansion and it has served as the local archbishop’s residence ever since. (Conventional wisdom credits Christopher Nevinson with holding England’s first cocktail party in 1924.)


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