Another Rough Day At The Office

Those beverage guy's must have a motto, "Leave No Stone Unturned, Leave No Wine Uncorked". It's actually all about the math, One thousand bottles of wine + 1000 glasses = 1000 reasons to taste wine.


Gerard Craft, chef and owner of Niche restaurant in the Benton Park neighborhood, is one of 10 chefs on the list of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs in America. The list was announced in New York. The magazine says that the award — open to people of any age who have been head chefs for five years or less — recognizes "America’s next superstar chefs who are innovators with a distinct culinary style and vision creating exceptionally delicious food."

"What we look for is a chef who is pushing the boundaries in some way — who will change the focus of food in the future," said Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin in a telephone interview. "At the same time, the food still has to taste really good."

Craft, 28, came to St. Louis from Salt Lake City in 2005 to open Niche at 1831 Sidney Street. "I still to this day don’t really know how I ended up in Benton Park," said Craft by telephone from New York. "I was always surfing the Internet looking for property, and I just liked what I saw in St. Louis. Then I found out that people like Larry Forgione (An American Place) and Kevin Nashan (Sidney Street Cafe) were moving there."
Joe Bonwich

Dia's cheese bread

Blackfin tuna cruda
watermelon, basil, black olive vinaigrette

Pan fried brandade
egg, arugula, mustard greens

Chicken liver terrine
citrus-date compote, mixed greens

White anchovies
toast, tomato jam

Pork loin
pan fried grits, corn, mustard greens, peach, sherry vinegar jus

Roasted chicken
warm potato salad, smoked bacon, green beans, watermelon

Seared scallops
roasted mushrooms, sunchoke-potato puree, greens, brown butter

Roasted beets
feat, pistachios

Tollhouse pie
ice cream, caramel, hot fudge

Cherry upside-down cake
toasted almond ice cream

Greek yogurt pudding
rhubarb, pistachio shortbread

Chef Gerard Craft and myself

An American Place

Since the mid-1980’s, Larry Forgione’s name has rarely been mentioned in the press without “The Godfather of American Cuisine” tacked onto the end of it. The Italian American Forgione didn’t acquire his Mafioso-like designation by sending bloody heads of dead animals to competing chefs, unless you count an occasional generous delivery of free-range chickens to some close chef friends. About twenty years ago food writer John Mariani wrote that if James Beard was the Father of American cuisine, Forgione was certainly the Godfather.

New York Restaurant Insider
Matt DeLucia
January 1, 2008

Lemoncello and mint ceviche
fresh seafood with a cucumber and red onion relish

Housemade rootbeer glazed ribs
grilled red onions, blue corn fritters

Grilled sweet corn bisque
chive creme fraiche, jumbo lump crabmeat, shaved jicama salad

Trio of rabbit
smothered leg, sage sausage with cherry compote, oil poached loin and dirty rice

Shrimp and grits
ramp green grits, mushroom stuffed trotter, cardinale sauce

Prarie Grass farm lamb duo
grilled eggplant, berbere, crimson lentils, phyllo wrapped shoulder

Tasting of American Farmstead Cheese

Dark chocolate tart
caramel, hazelnut oil, vanilla ice cream

Summer berry pudding
apple saba, honey sorbet, basil seed tuile

Caramel roasted apricots
peach butter, sweet pie crust, peach leaf ice cream

Soulard Farmers Market

Soulard Market is the oldest farmers market,west of the mississippi. Soulard Farmer's Market is named for Julia Cerre Soulard, who donated the land specifically for use as a marketplace in 1838. The first structure was built on the site in 1843 by a private joint venture of farmers and vendors, who sold shares to build a one-story red brick building on the eastern of the two half blocks.

During the Civil War years the local military commander declared martial law throughout the city. The grounds of Soulard Market were pressed into duty as a military encampment of pro-Union guards, charged with enforcing martial law. Since then the market has had a long and varied history, through tornado damage, urban beautification during the "City Beautiful" movement of 1909-11, the construction of a new building in 1928-29, the threat of demolition for new development, decline into slum conditions, and comeback beginning in the 1970s