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ABOUT TOWN

ABOUT TOWN

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

Live, free theater in the park — what more can you ask for?

On Friday I had the pleasure of “shaking the park” by seeing Othello, this year’s show put on by the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. It was incredible! I was a tad hesitant when it was suggested that I go see it; I love theater, but Shakespeare? Come on.

If you are unfamiliar with the wonderful things Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is doing, their mission is to produce extraordinary professional Shakespeare, culminating with a free production in Forest Park, and celebrate the language of Shakespeare and artists inspired by his works.

So grab a blanket, picnic basket, a few friends and head to Forest Park. The show runs through June 17th, with each show beginning promptly at 8pm. (I would suggest getting there by at least 6:45pm to find a spot to sit!)

For information about the show, visit their website or follow them on Twitter @shakefestSTL.

Keep craving what you love —

ABOUT TOWN, DO THIS IN ST. LOUIS

Midwest Mayhem

More like mid-week mayhem. Let’s take a bunch of fun people, give them live music, feed them beer, and let them loose on the monstrosity that is the City Museum. Yep, KDHX, you guys sure know how to throw a party.

{mayhem tees}

{watching bands from inside the whale}

{playtime}

{Tight Pants Syndrome}

{mustache win}

{fetch}

A seriously fun evening!  The City Museum is a must visit, even for STL residents. 

ABOUT TOWN, ETC.

pop overs

Every Sunday growing up, my mom would make a roast dinner complete with yorkshire puddings. They were always my favorite part of the meal – warm doughy insides with a crisp outside. Since moving to the States 12 years ago (this month!) the roast dinners have been seldom, and yorkshire pudding only makes an appearance at Christmas. That was until last week when I was introduced to Blondie’s on Washington Ave. Enter the pop over. So very similar to yorkshire puddings, but they come with your choice of, like, a gazillion different spreads – I suggest the sunflower pesto.

ABOUT TOWN, DO THIS IN ST. LOUIS, PLACES

St. Louis Staycation // Delmar Loop

{This post is sponsored by the Moonrise Hotel}

Every so often I feel the need to take a mini-vacation. Nothing drastic, no real big travel plans, just a night or two to escape my current work/stress/blog/social life and relax. Maddie and I were lucky enough to take one of these mini-vacay’s here in STL, courtesy of the Moonrise Hotel. Aptly named our ‘staycation’, Mads and I took the opportunity to explore both the night-life and daytime fun of the Delmar Loop.

The rooftop terrace has a stunning view of the St. Louis skyline and most importantly, a full service bar. Perfect for pre-dinner and after-dinner cocktails…which we may or may not have indulged in…it was staycation, it’s allowed. We popped across the street for a quick dinner at Pi - the pizza is absolutely fantastic and the service was as good as it gets thanks to one Mr. J. Potts!

Did I mention the Moonrise has the most comfortable beds on the planet? I got some seriously good sleep that night. Which was needed for the shopping expenditures that happened on Saturday. A delicious breakfast at Eclipse, a walk around the Loop, a little star gazing, a lot of coffee, and some money well spent at the boutique shops made for the ideal ending to our Loop ‘staycation.’ As far as shopping is concerned – one of my all time favorite shops in St. Louis (and in the Loop) is Phoenix Rising, which I featured here last year. I also picked up some great things from Avalon Exchange, Zeizo, and Pitaya.

Big thanks to the staff of the Moonrise Hotel and Eclipse Restaurant for taking proper care of us while we were there. Next time you’re finding yourself in need of a mini-vacay, book a stay at the Moonrise – even if it’s just to lay in those beds all day! And, if you’ve got a favorite way to spend a staycation, I’d love to hear about it – leave a comment!

{This post is sponsored by the Moonrise Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri. All goods & services read about in this post were received on behalf of the Moonrise Hotel, and their representation in exchange for coverage by City in a Jar. Though the Moonrise provided our stay, the opinions expressed in the following article are entirely our own. To find out more information, please contact hello@cityinajar.com}

ABOUT TOWN, FOOD

making agnolotti

Last week, Maddie and I got to play in the kitchen at Stellina with Chef and Owner, Jamey Tochtrop. The task at hand was stuffed pasta – a panchetta & leek agnolotti. From rolling and flattening to filling and pinching, Maddie and I were taught the entire process of noodle making! Sure, we may have been covered in flour when we left, but we dominated that agnolotti! I’m not sure what the best part of it was – knowing that all the people eating the stuffed pasta would be enjoying something we made, or getting to eat that delicious agnolotti ourselves.

A big thanks to Jamey for letting us crash his kitchen – we had so much fun!

ABOUT TOWN, DO THIS IN ST. LOUIS

mardi gras STL

{beads!}

It’s Mardi Gras weekend in St. Louis! Time to get your beads, and head to the festivities! Here are just a few things you might want to know before venturing down to Soulard this weekend.

Mardi Gras St. Louis, official website

The River City Casino Grand Parade kicks off at 11:00 am. Don’t forget to arrive early to secure a good spot!

Be sure to check out all the map & parking information, as well as the official STL Police road closings.

For all things Soulard, get the inside scoop from the Islanders, including their survival guide for Mardi Gras.

{masquerade}

{mardi gras macarons}

Follow the Mardi Gras fun on Twitter if you’re heading downtown: @STLMardiGras.

What are your Mardi Gras plans?

Keep craving what you love –

ABOUT TOWN, OUT TO EAT

Crushed Red.


I originally wrote this piece for FEAST Magazine. Wanted to share this awesome place with all of you! M.

Opening today in the heart of Clayton, the new fast-casual Crushed Red – Urban Bake & Chop Shop offers chopped-to-order salads, handcrafted pizzas on whole-grain dough and hearty soups.

This latest innovation from St. Louis restaurateur Chris LaRocca, along with four other notable partners, including Panera Bread’s former national bakery director, Mike Mario, is sure to change your opinion on fast food. Fresh, all-natural ingredients and unique flavors make Crushed Red a place for both the food lover and health-conscience diner to put on their must-try lists.

The goal is to make even the most hurried diner feel at home, and during a preview tasting Saturday that we attended, the staff did just that.

Customers can watch as their orders are prepared right before their eyes, allowing them to see the ingredients and tailor them order to their liking.

One of the delicious pizzas: the Steakhouse with Parmesan cream, smoky beef brisket, rosemary and mozzarella. If you’re in the mood for a salad, pick your own ingredients or try one of their menu options, such as the Emerald Coast with roasted shrimp, avocado, mushrooms and crispy bacon crumbles.

Crushed Red has promise as a great neighborhood locale, perfect for lunch or meeting a friend for a casual dinner.

Crushed Red is located at 2007 Maryland Ave in Clayton. For more information, visit crushed-red.com.

Keep craving what you love —

ABOUT TOWN, FOOD, OUT TO EAT

rogue underground dining society {exclusive interview}

27 months. 17 dinners. 2 anonymous chefs. This is a City in a Jar exclusive interview. We’ve gone Rogue.

One late evening in January, Jessica and I had the opportunity to meet these two talented chefs at a local watering hole to discuss food, St. Louis, and what exactly it means to be Rogue.

rogue — n. a playfully mischievous person. These two chefs are just that. Both mischievous, both highly praised in the St. Louis culinary scene, and both hoping to turn the concept of food as we know it on its head.

Rogue has four rules, with the first rule being most important — you do not reveal the secrets of Rogue. The anticipation of being selected by this secretive duo to attend a dinner is highly addicting. Going into your first experience, you are shocked to find out who exactly is behind this movement, and why on earth anyone would run a secret “underground” dining society.

“St. Louis has a lot of room to grow as far as food goes. America is at a crossroads when it comes to their national food identity.  This so-called “farm fresh” idea we’ve developed is becoming what we would call “American cuisine.”  With that being said, we are here to re-invent your culinary experience. We don’t follow any rules or regulations. We take an idea, go one step further, and then flip it. We want to be outside our comfort zone. Each time we try to figure out how can we do something that no one has ever encountered. Everything from the tasting menus, guest list, music, and atmosphere are all done with a purpose to create the ultimate dining experience.”

Each event means a different location, and sometimes they aren’t the most ideal kitchen set-ups. “Let’s just say we’re lucky if we have gas to cook with.”  From the Kirkwood Train Station, a photography studio, and even an old church, nothing is too out of the ordinary for Rogue. “Each location is different, and patrons don’t know where they are going until just a day or two before the event. It’s exciting that way.”  

The food is nothing short of gourmet, with a twist. Each dinner centers around a certain theme; tasting menus highlight the evening in a playful way. They’ve served “baked” Alaska with oregano ice cream, duck yolk ravioli, and even foie gras cannoli — nothing is too out of left field for this pair. “We never practice or pre-plate our food. We create every dish from start to finish, with the help of a few, trusted volunteers to help plate and execute. Our goal each time is to serve great food. We want people to love and understand what exactly it is we are putting in front of them. We do a lot of prep work and research before each event. We’ve learned a lot, and hope our patrons do, too.”

As the Rogue movement continues to grow in St. Louis, you can be sure it will always remain under its veil of secrecy. “We are word of mouth only. No advertisements, no direct invitations, strictly donation based. We do this because we love it, and hope those who come to our dinners do as well.”


All photos courtesy of Rick Forrestal.

To find out more information about joining the Rogue experience, follow them on Twitter: @rudse. You can also read the chefs’ cryptic blog to see their notes on each dinner.

Keep craving what you love —

ABOUT TOWN, ETC.

friday tunes.

I am continually amazed by my wonderfully talented friends.

Today some very good friends of mine, Dots Not Feathers, released their second EP – two songs that will eventually be added to their second full length album. Give ‘em a listen. It’s impossible to be disappointed by their folky goodness.

Sometimes my friends might be in far away places, like New York, but that doesn’t stop me from lovin’ hard on their songs. Check out Mail The Horse.  Good stuff all around.

And if I’m ever in the mood to shake it, which – let’s be honest – is all the time, I put on The Breaks. Their EP “Odd Man Out” was named one of the best STL releases of 2011, something I strongly agree with!

Wanna know the best part about having such talented friends? Free music!

Download free from all the artists here: Dots Not Feathers . Mail The Horse . The Breaks .

ABOUT TOWN, ETC.

they like us, they really like us.

{holy cow!}

We want to give a gigantic thanks to everyone who reads this little blog of ours. We’re still in {happy} shock. We just cannot believe we won the Riverfront Times Web Award for Best Personal Blog. Thank you so much for keeping up with our adventures and supporting everything we do!

We’d also like to note the other great nominees in our category: Running From the LawsKIDmarks, and Captain’s Quarters.

*Photo by Kholood Eid