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Archive for the ‘Food and Wine’ Category


The Kemp Auto Museum will be buzzing come April 3 when the Automobile Club of America hosts a welcome dinner for its annual conference at which travel writers, editors, sales and marketing execs convene here.  The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission is giving a major boost to the April 3-5 convention by showcasing the destination to the august delegates. The conference theme – the  Missouri stretch of “The Mother Road.”


Eighteen people attended a free training session for proper service techniques for the sale and dispersing of alcoholic beverages on Feb. 18 at Grey Eagle Distributing in Maryland Heights. The training opportunity for servers, conducted by the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control covered a wide range of topics including a detailed explanation of hours of limitations, identification of customers who’ve consumed too much alcohol and methods dealing with intoxicated individuals and techniques for spotting fraudulent IDs. Mastermind of the program is the agency’s state supervisor Gene Lacy.


Barrister Bill Corrigan‘s $1.7 million campaign to unseat St. Louis County Exec Charlie Dooley did not win the big prize (Dooley’s office), but one of his consultants has picked up a smaller prize of his own. Axiom Strategies, the firm of KC consultant Jeff Roe, was presented with a Reed Award last week for “best direct mail in a Republican county, local or judicial election” by Campaigns & Elections magazine for some work on Corrigan’s campaign. The mailer’s message, “Dump Dooley,” went unheeded. . .Associate Circuit Judge Thea Sherry has been upped to new Circuit Judge for the 21st Circuit, encompassing all of St. Louis county. She fills the seat occupied by retiring Judge John Kintz. ..The Albert Pujols Wellness Center, which offers patients access to a team of specialists of Down Syndrome at St. Luke’s is already gearing up for a Jan. ’12 benefit at The Sheldon. . .Cardinals’ asst. g.m. Mike Girsch and wife, Kelly, pulled up steaks at Tony’s, where author Harlan Steinbaum was toasted on his big natal day by pal, Judy Allen. Steinbaum is the author of “Tough Calls from the Corner Office,” in which he includes interviews with top ceo’s. He rejoiced over an upcoming edition of USA Today in which he hoped would carry an interview with him. Steinbaum is remembered by some as the son-in-law of the late Morris Glaser, founder of the drug store chain. Steinbaum was also a founder of MEG’s, a bellied-up discount drug store in Ellisville. . .John Kain has clocked out as g.m. of the Charles Cella family’s Truffles restaurant in Ladue to become sommelier at Thom Sehnert‘s Annie Gunn’s.


Bagels have been around for centuries and the ones bought by the columnist yesterday at a super market even longer. Once an entrepreneur made a fortune in South America selling them as halos for shrunken heads.  The ethnic specialty is eaten with gusto – whether with lox or butter.  For 94 years, the Theodoro Baking Co. in Hazelwood has been turning out  some of our town’s choice sweets, including those “Miss Hullings” cakes for Straub’s.  Now,  Theodoro owner Mike Daniels has stepped up to the plate, in the absence of Pratzel’s, to supply delis and stores with water bagels.  Are they as good as Pratzel’s?  “They’re even better,” insisted Daniels.  With any luck, diners can grab a few at the old style Sunday brunch at Charlie Downs‘ Cyrano’s in the heart of Webster Groves before the crowds converge there. Lunch and dinner are also served throughout the week, where diners can eye celebs including regulars Bob Costas, Kathleen Turner and Isaac Mizrahi. . .Happy half-century of wedded bliss to pizza vendors Marge and Ed Imo, who celebrated at Dominic’s on The Hill. . .Don Anderson, who has been serving as interim Ballwin prosecutor, is up for nomination for the permanent post.  His pal, Ray Kerlagen, has highly endorsed him which bodes well. . .


After a million dollar renovation, our town’s Amy and Amrit Gill (Moolah, Coronado, The Grove) have bowed the “hip and historic” Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport, Iowa.  The Gills’ painstaking (and savvy) eyes for restoration include the return of the storied (it was Duke Ellington‘s fave) Blackhawk Baldwin,” a mahogany grand lost years ago during one of the hotel’s lapses into seediness.  The restored piano, which tuners found to be full of buffalo nickels, will grace a lounge near the front door.


A literary reception with wine and cheese of which the late Joe Pulitzer told the columnist he didn’t enjoy it because it played hell with the breath. . .Politicians who slap you on the back and say, “Great to see you” and have no idea who you are. . .Chinese fortune cookies are never wise, because all I want them to read is that someone like Sam Fox, Rex Sinquefield, Jack Taylor/Barbara Bryant, Ginny Weldon or Dennis Jones will lay a million bucks on me. . .Some labor unions send out statements that read members are not making enough, while the international presidents are pulling down massive, six-figure salaries. .  . Old-timers still guffaw over the yesteryore sign in the window of Clarence Baris windows on Skinker at Delmar, that read, “Help beautify St. Louis.  Buy a plastic plant today!”. . .Some doctors’ offices at Mo. Bap. medical buildings have plants that are real, but the furniture’s artificial. . .Cong. Lacy Clay is considered ballsy, because he won’t let Sen. Claire McCaskill push him around. . .Just think, that if Dick Cheney sat in a bathtub and opened his veins, he’d freeze to death. . .A Cardinal knows when he’s cut from the team, when he comes into the clubhouse and he’s told they won’t allow visitors. . . It’s thrilling to see a Cardinal pitcher at Morton’s raise a glass of water to his lips and misses. . ..A sign read in a Dogtown bar, “If you drink too much, pay in advance!”. . .My neighbor had a baby-sitter who fed the baby at twelve, two and four. She fed herself at one, three and five. . .At the Ritz Carlton a woman got bruise marks on her womb from the baby holding on until after the wedding. . .When will Starbucks in Creve Coeur begin selling Cafe Latke?. . ..Anytime a customer walks into Protzel’s Deli and orders pastrami on white bread, a Jewish person dies. . .At a visit to my dentist, Dr. Dean West, he told me my cavity was so deep he’s sending me to a podiatrist. . ..Always enjoy dinner at Cardwell’s at Plaza Frontenac, where there are usually a hundred face lifts. . . The best things the columnist can cook are peach cobbler and chili and was asked by a guest, “Which one is this?”. . .Chili will be de rigueur Friday night at the Chase Apartments, when the Symph’s David Robertson will cook his version before invited guests, who will each plunk down $300 for the privilege of devouring it and they might hear how the orch’s $25 million budget will be spent. . ..Whatever became of sex researcher Virginia Johnson? Can you just imagine an expert on sex introduced to an audience celebrating Masters & Johnson, when he would stand up and say, “It gives me great pleasure” and then sit down?. . .Miss the old-fashioned laundries, where they tore off buttons by hand?. . .There’s one guy, whose mother is Catholic and his father is Jewish and when he goes to confession at the Old Cathedral he brings along his lawyer. . .East St. Louis isn’t the safest town for criminals.  One guy held up a bank and got mugged on the way to the getaway car. . .The columnist misses the years, when John Vitale, Tony Giordano and Buster Wortman were fodder for reporters. A joke that made the rounds on The Hill in those days was the guy who was told by one of them to blow up a truck.  He burned his lips on the exhaust.


Why do they call it background music, when it’s so intrusive? That was at a Bristol’s, where the columnist settled down Thursday night with friends for dinner. The napkins smelled yukky and the table had not been thoroughly cleaned before we were relegated to Siberia despite a half-filled room.  The night manager offered that the calamari and crab legs had been frozen. The signature hot scones were room temperature.  The lobster bisque was missing lobster. The entrance foyer was strewn
with filth. And, the grit of sand from the oysters remained in our mouths as we drove away. (Back to Cracker Barrel!)


“Pay what you deem what the meal is worth” is the slogan for Monarch Restaurant in Maplewood.  The inspiring move by the owners of Monarch, where food is twice as good as it needs to be, was hatched to attract new customers during a slower time of the year – on Monday and Tuesday evenings in January.  Guests will be offered the full menu, but will receive two separate checks at the end of their meals.  One check is for the beverage portion and one for the food.  They will be required to pay for the beverages consumed, but are to pay whatever amount they feel is fair for the food. The owners said the move is to combat all the discount deals that have become so popular over the last year by other restaurants.Teitelbaum and Orbin also own Monarch’s big city sibling, Herbie’s Vintage ’72 in the CWE, where the slavishly fashionable tribe dines.  At Herbie’s, the two restaurateurs have successfully grafted the
present to the past with brio and imagination.


Vince (Bommarito) has been offered the chance to move to the Cheshire from downtown,” said Bommarito’s brother-in-law Kevin McGinnis, who was among Musial’s pals at the luncheon, hosted by auto magnate Bill SuntrupRay Barrett lamented the current value of his 1,000 acres in Forristell, Mo., which he bought in the 1970s for $1,000 an-acre. “Three years ago, the land could have brought $10,000 an-acre and now it could probably fetch $6,000 an-acre,” said Barrett. Seated across from him was retired Creve Coeur police chief Bill “Cowboy” Kisling, who got into a discussion with Barrett about Florissant Mayor Bob Lowery.  “I wrote to Lowery explaining what a fine mayor he is and asked why he doesn’t fold up the tent already,” said Barrett. “When he got my letter, Lowery phoned me and began screaming.  At the end of the conversation, Lowery said, ‘My wife says the same thing.'” Others on hand at the party were Ed Thornton, Jeff Musial and Dave Dolan.


In another room at John Mineo‘s, Tony Sansone, Jr., with his children, Michael and Lilly checked out the wines.  Tony has begun with Jeff Lehman a wine distribution network headquartered in Clayton with warehouses in Maplewood.  The label – Five Sisters –  is derived from
names of his daughters: Debi; Carrie; Christine; Nicki and Lilly.  The line is led by imports from Tuscany, California, South Africa and New Zealand.

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