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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by gfron1

  1. I have gone through about 4 gallons since we opened...so ideally your source can do bulk. I would take as much as you can bring me.
  2. I got there this morning already. If they're willing to engage I can participate with them like I do my other contacts.
  3. gfron1


    I don't serve it but it is very authentic to what I do. The folk wisdom is to boil 2 or 3 times with no lid; boil, rinse, repeat. I don't bother because there are plenty of other greens to make for people not to like. As for confusing with elderberries...not even in the same ballpark nor season. Study the shape of the berry clusters to make ID easy. And then realize that elderberries came and went back in July and here we are in September... If in doubt, throw it out. Everything is edible ONCE.
  4. Alright...where to begin?! (or continue) After the last review we got our others: Sauce magazine - a local food publication Riverfront Times - alt weekly with critical reviewer and over the weekend we were named the best new restaurant (Best in Class) in St Louis magazine's biannual listing...essentially the best of the past two years! That's not digital yet, just print until next week. Each review had a little tidbit or two of Midwest Nice critique, and we've responded to each, as we felt each had a kernel of truth. To Ian's review mentioned last time I posted - we've significantly upped the anty on the dessert construction. Now, I still don't know if he was criticizing or just using the adjective "haute," but it I view that term as an insult to my food so we remedied it. Sauce mentioned our lack of Missouri wines. Well, show me one that works with my food and I'll serve it, but in the meantime we found this amazing little off-the-beaten-path meadery in the Ozarks that has some dry meads, and now we're the only restaurant in the state serving it. And RFT suggested that the price was too high for many people from the Ozarks (I know her well enough that I didn't read that as a serious criticism), so we are now offering a Bit Of Both Worlds experience where you can get both food from the bar and tasting menu, with drinks for a fraction of the price. I feel like our food just continues to mature as our larder matures. And we're able to gauge crowd response to the food and adjust. One of the things I'm most happy with is that my sous, Justin, seems to finally be walking the same path as me. His food has always been stellar, but much more traditional. His last few new courses get at things that are important to me but not as easily teachable - whimsy, surprise, completeness of textures, cravability. He's currently featuring cabbage - sassafras butter sous vide cabbage wedge, finished on the grill for a good char crust; sauerkraut cream, pickled apple spheres, parsley oil and crisped ham hock bits. Who knew you could be blown away by cabbage...and this coming from a guy who would be happy to have stuffed cabbage rolls on his death bed. We're still struggling to get customers to eat at the bar. The media just wants to focus on the sexy aspect of the tasting menu. So now I'm focusing all of my media efforts on the bar. Just this morning we were on our local CBS morning news show. Next Monday we're on our local Fox channel. We've been working on gathering our farmers for next year. The goal is to grow historic crops that have been lost to time and productivity/fashion that we've found in our research. I have over a dozen farms just waiting for us to tell them what seeds to get. I the same light, we got a new history intern from St Louis University. He's been going back and transcribing all of the documents that my research uncovered, and coding them. Now he's starting to do new research based on key words i've provided him. Here's what I sent him: So it's exciting to me to get back at the research angle. Just today I got an angry email that we are satan incarnate because we're serving walleye...well, let me just show you the message: I was excited to here about the concept of your restaurant on Great Day St Louis, until I saw you was serving walleye. Walleye has never been in the water of the Ozarks. Walleye is Native to deep water lakes in northern US and in Canada. There are no waters in the Ozarks that are deep and cold enough for walleye. A fish commonly found in the Ozarks is goggleeye. Pronounced gag-ga-lie. So now I am disappointed. I think you are misleading people. You need to do more research. My family had lived in the Ozarks since 1820 so I am well aware of Ozark Native cuisine, plants and animals [sic] to which I responded: Thanks for the info. When we make claims such as that, it is always based in some form of research. And while our research is constantly happening (ie, we are regularly updating our info), I'm curious how you square your experience with the MDC: https://mdc.mo.gov/conmag/2014/02/show-me-walleye This article, was in fact, our source for this decision. Early on we were doing pond fish, but obviously that wasn't sustainable for a restaurant, whereas walleye gave us more bang for the buck. As I stated on the web portion of the show, for legal reasons we source our walleye from a distributor who gets it up north. But if we are incorrect about them being native, please help me understand what I am missing in our research. The only thing I can think of is that you are stating that they are native to northern Missouri. Let me know. And I do want to state clearly - we don't expect to be perfect in every choice we make. We're doing our best. We do have some legal restrictions like where we can get our meats from. And my family's experiences and many of my sources may not jive with yours. But we are working our butts off to continue to gather info both from books and individuals' families with long histories in the Ozarks. We're trying to do this right and we're a very small restaurant, so this has never been about getting rich. We rely on folks to feed us info and correct us, so my response to you is sincere - if we are wrong, we need to know it so we can fix it. (sorry I can't fix the formatting now...) @kayb My sorghum farmer had a bust year because of the flooding. All he's getting is vinegar. If you know of anyone I've been planning to do your family tradition for fresh sorghum...but I gotta find some first and they're all pressing right now! In personal news, my spouse, Tyler, accepted a job in Portland OR as Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ - sorta the equivalent of a bishop. Yes this sucks that after 19 years together we'll be doing the long distance thing, but it's unavoidable right now. I keep reminding him that if I could live at my restaurant I would. There simply are not enough hours in the day...and I've always been a workaholic. Gonna stop there because I have an Imo's pizza on my table now and while the rest of the world hates St Louis style pizza...it's like milk from my momma's bossom!
  5. Hey everyone...i'm alive, and i'm forcing myself to take a day off so I can finally share more with you all later. It's been a fast and hard 6 months!
  6. Bought on Amazon: California Air Tools CAT-4620AC Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 2.0 hp 4.0 gallon Aluminum Twin Tank Electric Portable Air Compressor, Silver
  7. I don't know if he gets the concept or not because he's also limited by word count and we're a pretty concept dense restaurant. BTW, thanks to the feedback from the eG group we modified our portions including downsizing the entree (@ChrisHennes) and making the dessert more delicate and plated. As a result we added a course, but it was too much food so we dropped another (the peach and chanterelle pate which just wasn't clicking withe guests).
  8. I've gotten to know Ian fairly well over the past three years. He is not big on desserts, nor carbs, and it's clear from his reviews he is impressed by fussy service, which we very consciously do not do. One of our goals is to define what service and restaurant experiences should look like in 2019, which to my way of thinking does not include servers hovering around my table refilling water after every sip. He, like others, is having a hard time defining or understanding our big picture efforts.
  9. And we aren't done yet for the day - HERE'S a story that released today on Vice.com
  10. Our big local review is OUT I love that my staff's response was to immediately start dissecting the review and our operations to figure out what we need to do to be a 4 star restaurant.
  11. I was watching the baby panners and they went for just under retail.
  12. I went for a few things and they all went too high.
  13. My role would be get things to a shipper, but you would have to do the shipping....for example, I would take it to the UPS store and give it to them to box. I don't have the supplies to pack big items, and I certainly don't want to be responsible if they get damaged in shipping.
  14. *Some restrictions may apply I'm going to try. That's the day our big review comes out so everything is tentative, but I'm going to prep to do my best to be at the auction. I'm going for the guitar so don't bother asking me to get that for anyone.
  15. Kerry shared this with me and so I thought I'd share with the group. The reason Bissingers couldn't participate in our eG gathering in May has now become obvious. They have all of their equipment being auctioned. if anyone wants to buy with a local person on the ground let me know. I'm going to do my best to be onsite for the auction so I can grab a few things, but those of you looking for slightly bigger volume could grab some deals. My point is, if you need someone to move and store items I'm happy to help. HERE
  16. @Chris Hennes are you going to show us which room you got? Every room is different and 100% of the art in the hotel is local artists.
  17. There is nothing left for me to accomplish with Bulrush now. On Twitter this morning:
  18. Center Cross/Tower Grove Ave will be full because of the food trucks and farmers. The roads inside of the park are all one way so you can go around the circle and enter the inner road on the northwest end of the circle...that's the tennis courts. You'll find easy parking then.
  19. The farmers market is on the circle in the center of the park. Since we'll be there at 8 you can find parking relatively easily (worst case park on Magnolia and walk the extra 50 yards, but you can get much closer than that parking by the tennis courts. We can meet on the steps of the concrete/stone pavilion next to (west of) the playground and play fountain. The farmers market surrounds that building...so if you're confused look for the food trucks and then look west 30 yards and it'll all be obvious. I'll look like the picture in my avatar to the left here minus the apron
  20. I go right at 8 before it gets too crowded and too hot. This is a really good one - best in Stl. We've had that since spring. St. Louis is fine. It's really the surrounding country roads that have been a problem.
  21. It's almost time for many of you to hit the road so I wanted to offer some last minute suggestions. Remember that many big attractions are free in St Louis. It's an old historic deal for the land that was given to the city back before the city expanded beyond the riverfront. That means the zoo, art museum and many of the big attractions only charge for special exhibits. The zoo is considered one of the top 3 in the country and has for many, many years. Our Botanic Gardens is also considered top 3 and is doing a special event this weekend - a lighted nighttime event. And while I know many of you are going to Vicia on Friday, Friday night across the street from the Botanic Gardens is Tower Grove Park (I live one block from the garden), and this Friday is Food Truck Friday. It is absolutely the best food event in town - live music and a slew of food trucks with big trees offering lots of shade. Our War Memorial and the Arch are both recently updated and both are spectacular! You need your coffee...Sump is king for snobs (the owner just won some international award for coffee somethingorother). Comet, Blueprint are top tier but not snobbish. Comet is the one that I sent all the eG chocolatiers to and they agreed - great coffee and baked goods. My favorite breakfasts - Egg on Gravois, Kitchen Kulture at the Tower Groves Farmers Market (If anyone wants to go to the farmers market with me let me know because I chat with all of my suppliers on Saturday mornings - you'd get the chef tour of the market. My favorite lunches - Mac's Local Eats & Beast Butcher and Block Best cocktail bar (Besides us of course) - Planter's House Best beer for snobs - Side Project Best beer for hanging out in a beer hall - Urban Chestnut (either location) or Earthbound (our buddies) Lastly, please remember to show up a few minutes early. We start the seating at the reservation time and when folks come late they are served at the point of the rest of the group. Any missed courses are grouped as quickly as possible. Thanks.
  22. Depends on price point. Hotel Ignacio is very close and cute as a button. Angad is extremely hip and cool, and certainly pricier. The eG Chocolate group stayed at Marriott Courtyard West. And there's a Drury that is probably best value and super location. You certainly won't be the only one. It's common and our room is lit such that it's not disruptive to the other diners. We will continue to play it by ear until the moment that we can no longer.
  23. Looking forward to seeing folks. Any questions coming up? Housing? Tourism stuff? Other meals/drinks? I'm happy to share my thoughts...
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