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Food and Drink

Sunday morning observations

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  Pharaoh's Maryland Plaza Fountain Busey Bank AC Hotel by Marriott

Pharaoh’s Donuts opened at 8 Maryland Plaza on Halloween morning in a corner space sandwiched between Blue Mercury and Busey Bank, which unfortunately shuttered its Maryland Plaza location a week earlier. Proprietors Aman Asis and his daughter Syeeda Asis-Morris announced on Facebook that they sold out early.

This is Pharaoh’s second location in the City of St. Louis. The downtown store, in the Paul Brown building at 202 N. Ninth St., is where the kitchen is located. Donuts are made downtown and brought to the CWE in time for the 7 a.m. opening (these days the shop closes at 3), as there isn’t room for a kitchen in the new space.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  Pharaoh's Maryland Plaza Fountain Busey Bank AC Hotel by Marriott  The line on opening day wound around the corner, and this morning around 9 a.m. it was headed in the same direction. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  Pharaoh's Maryland Plaza Fountain Busey Bank AC Hotel by Marriott

Cranes have come and gone over the past 5 years as more and more construction pops up in the CWE. The most notable to disappear recently was the gigantic crane that loomed over One Hundred Above the Park on Kingshighway for the past year or so.

On Friday morning a new tower crane was installed on York Avenue (between Maryland and Lindell) at the site of the new AC Hotel by Marriott.  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  Pharaoh's Maryland Plaza Fountain Busey Bank AC Hotel by Marriott

After a summer hiatus, the fountain on Maryland Plaza was returned to action the other day after repairs to the inner workings were completed. Though it won’t be long before it’s closed for the winter and the installation of the holiday tree, let’s savor the few weeks until then.

November is off to a good start. Please vote on Tuesday if you haven’t already.

Former Duff’s chef Jimmy Voss cooking at West End Grill & Pub

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  William Roth West End Grill & Pub Jimmy Voss Duff's

A recent press released announced that Jimmy Voss has returned to the CWE as “Executive Consigliere” at West End Grill & Pub, 354 N. Euclid. Voss was executive chef at Duff’s for many years until the beloved restaurant closed in 2013.

Stories about Duff’s and memories of favorite dishes linger in the minds of many who patronized it over its long history. Now you can experience some of Voss’s favorite recipes at WEGAP, such as the pepper steak, above, French-onion soup or Creole-crab & crawfish cakes.

There’s so much more to the Voss story however. When he was at Duff’s, the chef would occasionally take time off and hit the road to cook for the Grateful Dead.

I reached out to West End Grill’s co-founder William Roth, who is also an actor, and founder of St. Louis Actors’ Studio, and whom I was sure would have much more to say about his new hire. As is often the case, I got so much more than I asked for. 

In Roth’s words:

“We all grew up at Duff’s. I’ve known Jimmy (Voss) since the mid ’70’s. I worked at Duffs from ’84 to the mid ’90s.

We both love the Grateful Dead and once he became their road chef I would work as many cities as I could. I eventually worked West Coast shows, designed t-shirts and apparel for the band.

He catered my wedding and when I rehabbed the buildings on Boyle I designed a private kitchen (now Blue Strawberry’s kitchen) for him. He would come and fix lunch for me and my clients.

Once he moved to Texas, he would come home for a couple of weeks here and there, and I would hire him to work at WEGAP to do something special while he was in town.

Now he is here for an extended time (until Spring at least) and is working as our Executive Consigliere with Chef Raven.

We all miss 392 N Euclid (where Duff’s was located, now Salt ‘n Smoke) and so many are happy to see Jimmy and come and eat the favorites that he and (Duff’s owners) Karen Duffy and Tim Kirby cooked up for so many years.

The day West End Grill & Pub opened (14 years ago) I hung a Duff’s menu on the wall.  Karen Duffy and Duff’s taught us all so much about love and relationships and civil responsibility
and the arts. We pay homage to that as best we can.

Who says you cannot go home again?”

West End Grill & Pub, 354 N. Boyle, (314) 531-4607, 4 to 10 p.m., limited seating in the bar & dining room, patio open.  Pick-up available until 9 p.m.

Edera Italian Eatery joins CWE’s restaurant scene

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Sam Koplar Mike Randolph Eric Ortiz Edera Italian Eatery

Edera Italian Eatery opened recently in the former Scape space, 48 Maryland Plaza. with a simple menu of antipasto, salads, pizza and pasta. It’s a tough time to open a new restaurant but in an email exchange Sam Koplar, whose family is behind the new venture, said that the restaurant is “off to a good start.”

Koplar also said they wanted an Italian name with a tie to the location, so they chose”Edera,” Italian for ivy, in a nod to the vine-covered wall on the beautiful patio, shown above. They’re keeping the menu simple for now, but after they get settled in they’ll be expanding offerings. There’s a strong possibility there will be inside seating by the end of the week, albeit with limited capacity pursuant to the city’s guidelines.Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Sam Koplar Mike Randolph Eric Ortiz Edera Italian Eatery

In the meantime, you can order online, or follow the signs by the Maryland Plaza fountain to the carry-out window located in the passageway between Edera and Suit Supply. Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Sam Koplar Mike Randolph Eric Ortiz Edera Italian Eatery

The menu, which includes selections for kids, was created by consulting chef Mike Randolph (Publico, The Good Pie, & Half & Half) with Executive Chef Eric Ortiz, formerly at The Ritz Carlton.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Sam Koplar Mike Randolph Eric Ortiz Edera Italian Eatery

The European pizza oven can be seen in action through the carry-out window.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Sam Koplar Mike Randolph Eric Ortiz Edera Italian Eatery

Visit the website for delivery options, or head to the carry out window for orders to-go or to enjoy on the patio. There is an outdoor bar, and heaters too. Safety protocols are in place at Edera: masks are required unless seated, and everything is served in “to go” containers. 

Edera Italian Eatery, 48 Maryland Plaza, Open Tuesday-Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m., (314) 367-7227. Check the website for more information.