Quick Bites: 6.22.16

a new niche
Gerard Craft’s new Sardella, which is replacing his former Niche at 7734 Forysth Blvd., is set to open soon as “a fun, seasonal, creative restaurant with a nod to Italy.” The decor is getting an overhaul, and new exec chef Nick Blue is working with Craft to “cook food we feel passionate about and in turn excites our guests.” One thing we know, it will be Italian cuisine and include creative hand-stuffed pastas, a large selection of appetizers and roasted meat entrees. Bonus: It will be open for breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner! PS: Niche Food Group also gets a shout-out for partnering with Operation Food Search recently to host an Urban Pop-Up lunch for local families in need. Using provisions donated by Straub’s, Craft and his team created a meal for individuals who receive pantry services from Mount Olive Lutheran Church in the Shaw neighborhood.

The news is still fresh that Herbie’s Vintage ’72 is leaving the CWE for Clayton, taking up residence in the soon-to-be-shuttered Cardwell’s. That Clayton restaurant’s longtime (and very gracious) proprietors, Rich and Debbie Gorczyca, plan to retire, which leaves an opening at one of the prettiest spots in town. Herbie’s chef-owner Aaron Teitelbaum says he’ll bring the Herbie’s/Balaban’s historic ambiance and French decor to the new spot. Perhaps he was lured by the prospect of a lively lunch crowd in this bustling county seat? The closings are going down Oct. 1, with a proposed opening date for Herbie’s Clayton in November.

shutterstock_389393455-copynevermind … 
Hacienda’s new Mexican spot in Clayton will be named Mayana Mexican Kitchen (not Wet Burrito, as first announced). Look for the fast-casual cantina at 7810 Forsyth Blvd. to open in July. It will feature burritos made-to-order in a food line, but also will have fry bread tacos and wet burritos melted in a salamander broiler. All salsas, guacamoles and tortillas will be made fresh, in-house.

missouri wine kudos
Congrats to Augusta Wine Company on its six awards at the recent Pacific Rim Wine Competition in California. Its Augusta Winery’s 2013 Norton snagged Best of Class and gold medals, and its 2013 Chambourcin and Montelle Winery’s 2015 Seyval Blanc won gold medals. Bit of trivia: Augusta, Missouri, was the first American viticultural area. Who knew!

qb-fitzeshigh-octane fitz’s
The popular local root beer company recently launched hard root beer, brewed and bottled at O’Fallon Brewery. The partners, Fitz’s Michael Alter and O’Fallon’s Jim Gorczyca, say it took 11 months of experimentation to properly pair the iconic soft drink’s flavor with beer. The hard root beer is 5 percent alcohol and will be available in six-packs and kegs. You can find it throughout Missouri and Illinois, and on-tap at Fitz’s in the Loop and O’Fallon Brewery.


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