Quick Bites: 12.19.18

brew news
Schlafly Beer has released The Variant II at the Schlafly Tap Room and venues around St. Louis. It’s the only Ibex Rare release of 2018 and became available in limited quantities earlier this month. Variant II follows the first installment of the brand, which debuted in September 2017. Meanwhile, Schlafly has re-released some other local favorites: Mexican Chocolate Stout (also known as Dulce de Leche Stout), Raspberry Coffee Stout and Mango Ancho Stout.

Hi-Pointe Drive-In is set to take over the former Porano Pasta space at 634 Washington Ave. sometime in February. The new location’s menu will center on burgers, and
chef/owner Mike Johnson says the restaurant will have a 1950s retro feel.

new addition
Grace Dinsmoor, formerly executive chef at Washington University’s Whittemore House, is now overseeing operations for Gamlin Restaurant Group, which includes 1764 Public House, Sub Zero Vodka Bar and Gamlin Whiskey House. As the group’s new executive chef, she is updating the menu at the pub and getting used to life in a more public environment.

branching out
Ben Poremba of the Bengelina Hospitality Group (which includes restaurants Elaia, Olio, Nixta, La Patisserie Chouquette and The Benevolent King), is adding another type of business to the mix. AO&Co., a boutique market, is expected to open in January at 1641 Tower Grove Ave. It will carry a variety of artisan items such as cheeses, charcuterie, olive oil, spirits and more. The space also will feature a coffee and tea shop.

window of opportunity
The Fortune Teller Bar is serving food once again via Söl, a new onsite concession. Söl’s predecessor in the space, The Cut, shut down recently so chef Ari Ellis could focus on her new dinner venture, Morning Glory. Söl owners Daniel Spicer and Lily Sparen grabbed the space—and the opportunity!