Nuggets! (Random Notes of Interest)

Eyeball Laumeier

Sauce magazine’s Harvest Festival is set for Sunday, October 19, at Laumeier Park in Sunset Hills (near I-44 and I-270). Food and beer from great restaurants and breweries, plus live music and art. Admission is $10.

Click HERE to go to the Harvest Festival Website. Click HERE to see my pics from last year’s Festival. (The eyeball above is one of the art items at Laumeier!)


Carney pic

John Carney’s annual “Taste of Restaurant Tuesday” Halloween Spooktacular happens Friday night, October 24, at Hotel Lumiere. 15 restaurants will provide food and the bar will be open for 4 hours. Good times!

Click HERE for ticket information and a full list of restaurants. That’s John in the middle above.



There’s a new sushi joint that recently opened in midtown St. Louis called BaiKu Sushi Lounge, located in the Hotel Ignacio, at 3407 Olive.

The restaurant will feature “an extensive sushi menu with specialty nigiri, fresh fish being flown in fresh from Hawaii, as well as a healthy selection of engaging appetizers. Lunch will feature a noodle shop concept with ramen noodles made by Midwest Pasta especially for Baiku.”

Baiku is Japanese for motorcycle, which is appropriate since it is located near the Triumph Grill and the Moto Museum. Click HERE to visit the BaiKu website.


Pastry book

Nick Malgieri will be back in St. Louis for an event at Cravings on Big Bend in Webster Groves on Tuesday, December 9, promoting his latest book Nick Malgieri’s Pastry. Call Cravings for info on Nick’s visit at 314-961-3534.

I interviewed Nick in 2012 when his Nick Malgieri’s Bread book was new. Click HERE to listen to that interview. (Click HERE to go to Nick Malgieri’s website.)



Ballpark Village will host the 1st annual Brew Fest by Budweiser on Saturday, November 8, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Samples of various Anheuser-Busch beers will be available, along with samples from seven local home brew clubs. There will be live music and Clydesdale photo ops.

Jeffco Home Brew

Tickets for the beer sampling are $35. In addition, a special VIP package is available for $75 that includes a four-course lunch with special beer pairings led by an Anheuser-Busch Brew Master, a souvenir glass and rare beer samples! For complete event information and to purchase tickets, click HERE.



On Sunday, November 9, McCormick and Schmick at West County Mall in Des Peres will offer a free meal (complimentary lunch or dinner entrée) to all U.S. Veterans, in honor of Veterans Day on November 11. (They ask that you bring along some credentials to verify your service.) Click HERE for the McCormick and Schmick website, where you can make reservations.


J. Gilbert’s—Worth Finding

J. Gilbert’s at West County Mall in Des Peres is in the area that was remodeled about 6 years ago to give a handful of mall tenants an outside entrance. (At the northwest corner of the mall.)

Two other restaurants have the prime spots that are visible from the roadway around the mall. J. Gilbert’s entrance is tucked just beyond one of the other eateries. You CAN miss it. But don’t.

At a tasting last week at J. Gilbert’s, I had the opportunity to sample some of their good food. First up was Ahi Tuna Tartare, garnished with avacado, mango and pineapple, served on a crisp wonton. A wonderful flavor combo to begin the repast.

JG Scallop

My favorite of the 3 savory dishes was the Seared Georges Bank Sea Scallops with lobster risotto. Great taste, beautiful presentation!

JG Filet

The Filet Au Gratin with asparagus was also pretty terrific. (As were each of the wines chosen to accompany our samples.) We finished with a bit of New York Cheesecake.

JG Bar

During my visit, quite a while before peak dinner time, the bar at J. Gilbert’s was beginning to get some traffic. And the large, dark dining room (which is available for private events) was slowly beginning to fill up.

JG Dining Room

While most of the word-of-mouth I’ve heard, most of the online reviews I’ve read and the images on the restaurant’s HOME PAGE all focus on steaks, the full name is J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood. Click HERE to see their dinner menu which includes salmon and crab cakes. (Although I’m aiming for a KC Strip on my next visit.)

If you want to make a reservation OR if you’re wandering around the mall and can’t quite locate J. Gilbert’s, here’s the number: 314-965-4600.

(Final note: In case you were wondering, as I was, Georges Bank—the scallops’ provenance—is an area of the Atlantic between Cape Cod and Nova Scotia.)

Francine Segan To Visit STL

Francine Segan is a food personality who will be bringing her chocolate expertise to St. Louis this week. She will be participating in a number of classes for Dierberg’s School of Cooking and popping up on local TV shows. She is the official chocolate instructor for Perugina chocolate.

Here is a photo of Francine about to eat a cannoli.


Friday night (11/15), 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., she’ll host Date Night: For Chocolate Lovers at the West Oak Dierberg’s on Olive at Craig in Creve Coeur. It’s a demonstration class for couples that features Pasta with Pork Ragu, Chocolate Cheesecake and a Chocolate Martini. Perugina chocolate, natch.

On Saturday night (11/16), 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., she’ll be at Des Peres Dierberg’s for A Chocolate Extravaganza, which includes tastings of a number of items featuring Perugina chocolate. She will also present classes on dessert making (with chocolate!) at Edwardsville (Thursday night), Bogey Hills (Saturday afternoon) and Southroads (Sunday afternoon).

Click HERE to view Dierberg’s November-December School of Cooking brochure with costs and registration information.

Francine Segan is also an expert on pasta!

Pasta Modern

Her newest book (she’s written six) Pasta Modern is available now. Click HERE for the Amazon link.

So, yes, you could have it delivered in time to get her to sign the book this weekend at a Dierberg’s event. If you opt for the download, maybe she could sign your Kindle. (Or maybe not.)

All Chicken Fingers, All The Time!

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers opened today at 12215 Manchester Road in Des Peres.

RaisingCane'sI give Raising Cane’s credit for being bold enough to open just down Manchester Road from a Chick-Fil-A that’s always busy. They’re also across from a McNugget-serving Mickey D’s. (Maybe that’s good strategy—to be near a competitor but not right next door.)

But are chicken fingers a big enough deal to format a fast-food restaurant around them? Apparently so, as Raising Cane’s opened its 150th location earlier this year. Personally, I tend to take a pass on chicken fingers. I think of chicken fingers as the ultimate kid’s menu item. My mother-in-law loves Dairy Queen’s chicken fingers and would eat ’em every day if she could.

I plan to take her by to sample the chicken fingers at Raising Cane’s soon, although not at lunchtime. That strip of Manchester just east of I-270 can get seriously congested during the noon hour. Edward Jones HQ, West County Mall, the Epic Schnuck’s and the Mondo Dierberg’s are all close by, all generating cars.


Raising Cane’s has locations in food courts in the Galleria, Mid-Rivers Mall and in Chesterfield Mall. This is their first free-standing store in metro STL.

In this era where so many fast food and quick serve places are trying to cover their competitors’ offerings and be all things to all people, I admire these folks for putting all their (hatched) eggs in one basket, so to speak. All chicken fingers, all the time!

On the web at

FOOD TALK STL show schedule

Food Talk STL will not be heard on Saturday, September 29, as KFNS will carry the Illinois-Penn State football game.

Our show will be on the air on October 6, 13 and 20 at 11:00 a.m. each of those Saturdays.

On October 6, guests will include George Mahe of St. Louis magazine, Chuck Dressel of Mt. Pleasant Winery and Caryn Dugan, a local vegan cook and consultant. We will give away several pairs of tickets to the Soulard Chili Cookoff, which is set for October 20.

On October 13, guests will include chef Carl Hazel of 1111 Mississippi and Beth Huch of St. Louis Culinary Tours.

On October 20, we will broadcast live from the Soulard Chili Cookoff. Guests will include Dan Kopman of Schlafly Bottleworks (and representing St. Louis Originals) and Lisa Lillien, author of Hungry Girl to the Max. Lisa will be appearing on Thursday, November 1, at the new Dierberg’s in Des Peres. (We will be giving away copies of her book during the show on 10/20.)

On October 27, the Illini start early, so no show.

In the meantime, click on the “past shows” tab to hear interviews from previous shows. Click HERE to listen to our recent chat with Gerard Craft.