Three of St. Louis’ Finest are in the running for a James Beard nod…


The James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its restaurant and chef awards. Three St. Louis chefs made the cut in the “Best Chef: Midwest” category: Gerard Craft of Niche, Josh Galliano of Monarch and Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe.

Five finalists will be announced on March 23rd….keep your fingers crossed.

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Veruca Bakeshop closing to make way for Niche Taste Bar


That’s right folks….what once was a bright bubbly bakeshop during the day will now transform into a sleek new lounge featuring cocktails and a menu of small plates .  Wine tastings may be in the future as well.

As sad as I am to see Veruca Bakeshop go dark, I am excited for the new concept to take form!  Mathew Rice and Gerard Craft do amazing things together and I’m sure I’ll fall in love with Niche Taste Bar the minute I take my first bite.

Don’t fret though….Mathew will still be doing his famous wedding cakes, confections and cakes.  They will need to be pre-ordered through Niche!  I am very excited to see the new desserts that come from Mathew in the months to come!  Here’s a little scoop:  one of Mathew’s fabulous wedding cakes will be shown in a summer issue of Martha Stewart Weddings!!

Mathew will also be piloting a new bread program for the restaurant.  Now, all the breads will be made in house!  I can’t wait to get my chubby little fingers on some of that!

Look for Niche Taste Bar to debut this Spring!

The Wine Merchant closes Creve Coeur Location


From John Nash:

Greetings,
“The world is coming to grips with the most serious economic downturn since the second World War and many economists are expecting a slow recovery. Our lease is up for renewal at our Creve Coeur store and we’ve made the tough decision to close this location. Our Clayton shop remains vibrant and continues to grow as we enter our 17th year of business. Highway 64/40 is now open for business and getting to Clayton has never been faster. We appreciate the many years of patronage and support in West County. We’d like to invite you to visit our Clayton store where we will continue with our commitment to value, selection and great customer service. Our Clayton store is open every day (Sunday too) and we have free, excellent parking on the North and South side of our building. We’re closing out our remaining inventory in Creve Coeur this week at Clearance Sale prices. You’ll save big on our entire store stock. Shop early for the best selection. See below for details. Cheers!”

-John Nash, The Wine Merchant, Ltd.