Browsing Tag

Pi Pizza

A frigid Fat Tuesday in the CWE

A bitterly cold Fat Tuesday meant fewer people joined the 2nd Line Parade led by the Saint Boogie Brass Band and Jennings High School Marching Band as they traveled along Euclid from Washington to Maryland Plaza. There, the bands joined the McCluer South-Berkeley High School Band for a group performance. The Fat Tuesday event, the first of what we hope will become a tradition in the neighborhood, ended at 1764 Public House at Euclid and West Pine.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  Saint Boogie Brass Band Pi Pizza McCluer South - Berkeley High School Band Jennings High School Marching Band Evangeline's

The parade route started at Evangeline’s at Euclid and Washington where the Saint Boogie Brass Band performed before marching to Pi at the corner of Euclid and McPherson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  Saint Boogie Brass Band Pi Pizza McCluer South - Berkeley High School Band Jennings High School Marching Band Evangeline's

There they were joined by the Jennings High School Marching Band.

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  Saint Boogie Brass Band Pi Pizza McCluer South - Berkeley High School Band Jennings High School Marching Band Evangeline's

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  Saint Boogie Brass Band Pi Pizza McCluer South - Berkeley High School Band Jennings High School Marching Band Evangeline's

Some of the hardy souls who joined in the 2nd Line Parade.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  Saint Boogie Brass Band Pi Pizza McCluer South - Berkeley High School Band Jennings High School Marching Band Evangeline's

At the corner of Maryland and Euclid the bands converged with the McCluer South-Berkeley Band, below. Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  Saint Boogie Brass Band Pi Pizza McCluer South - Berkeley High School Band Jennings High School Marching Band Evangeline's

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink For Children  Saint Boogie Brass Band Pi Pizza McCluer South - Berkeley High School Band Jennings High School Marching Band Evangeline's

The high school band members were troopers to battle the cold as they entertained the crowd that had gathered for their group performance, above and below.

Finally, I wanted to share a favorite moment featuring one of Jennings High School’s Band Members during last holiday season’s Window Walk.

Thanks to Kate Haher, Executive Director of CWENorthCID, Erica Lembo, Marketing and Communications Director, and intern, Ellie Stuhlreyer for producing this fun event. And special thanks to all the band members who braved the elements to celebrate Fat Tuesday in the CWE.

Meet Pi’s Executive Chef Steve Caravelli

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink  Steve Caravelli Pi Pizza District of Pi

I stopped in to see Pi's Executive Chef Steve Caravelli (above) on Friday morning to get the lowdown on the posters in the restaurant's windows plugging "Meatless Mondays" (see below). I assumed the push at Pi was solely to encourage healthier eating ("Meatless Mondays" has its own wikipedia entry: look here), but there is more to it. Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink  Steve Caravelli Pi Pizza District of Pi

Steve said that the business model restaurant owner Chris Sommers and his partner, Frank Uible, have adopted is heavily weighted toward making  Pi an ecologically sustainable restaurant.  The Meatless Mondays' initiative (at the CWE location only at this point), is a step in that direction.

The newly-created Meatless Monday menu rolls out today, and will list among other choices, the "Western" and "Berkeley" pizza.

Once we finished discussing the initial reason for my visit, my ulterior motive for contacting Steve surfaced. I love getting behind the scene of almost anything–especially restaurants, and talking to chefs about their background and how they came to the restaurant business is high on the list.

Steve graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Journalism, and if there was any thought of the food business at all, it was writing about it, not working as a chef. But his father–who has a large cookbook collection and loves to prepare family meals—suggested that Steve might like working in the restaurant business. Father knew best and Steve apprenticed for some of the top chefs in St. Louis— Aiden Murphy at Old Warson Country Club, Larry Forgione at the late, great American Place (one of our favorite special occasion spots), Gerard Craft at Niche, Eric Brenner at Chez Leon and Moxy (another old favorite).

Steve has been at Pi for about six months. One of his first assignments as Corporate Chef was to help open Pi's Washington, D. C. location, District of Pi at 910 F St., N.W.  He still travels to D.C. every month to tweak the menu. I asked Steve to compare the top selling crust in the CWE location to the District of Pi. Thin crust is more popular in D.C., where on a good day they sell 400 to 500 pizzas. In the CWE deep dish rules the day, and on a really good day here 300 to 400 pizzas are served. Anyway you slice it, that's a lot of pizza!

On the domestic front, when Steve has time off, he and his wife Cara and their two-year-old daughter enjoy spending time with both of their families, usually centered around a meal. Steve says that Cara, a graphic designer, whose online business is called "Clever Hands Press," does most of the cooking and makes a mean minestrone.

Pi, 400 N. Euclid, open 7 days a week, (314) 367-4000.

An early September weekend

This week it feels as if the day after Sunday is Thursday….the week's almost over and I am just getting to a post about last weekend's activities in the neighborhood. Yesterday morning I ran into Peter Franzen, the dapper Director of Development for the Children's Educational Alliance located at 4742A  McPherson. When I mentioned I hadn't posted for a few days he surmised that there wasn't much to say. Would that I could use that as an excuse. Before this coming weekend becomes a distant memory too, here is a rundown on last's.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

On what turned out to be a very busy Saturday I was invited by my friend Mary Morgan to have lunch with the latest, and likely the youngest, gardening, cooking, and entertaining author to hit the scene, James Farmer, above, who was in the CWE to sign copies of his book "A Time to Plant" at Left Bank Books. The author's charming sister Maggie Yelton, who was the photographer for his gorgeous book, was also in town to accompany him on a couple of St. Louis appearances. The luncheon at Pi was arranged by St. Louis philanthropist Susan Sherman, who is serving as James's P.R. person for his 20-city book tour.

Over President Obama's favorite pizzas (Southside & Western), James talked about growing up in Elizabeth, Georgia, and learning to cook from his grandmother, Mimi, and the family maid, Mary. It was from Mary that James learned to make delicious cornbread, biscuits, and quick breads using unwritten recipes handed down generation to generation. Only seasonal ingredients were used in the Farmer household, which is much easier to do in Middle Georgia.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

Farmer is a landscape and interior designer by trade. His first book, "A Time to Plant,"  published by Gibb Smith Publishing, launched on September 1. A prolific author, his next books— "A Time to Cook," "A Time to Celebrate," "Sip & Savor" and the "Front Porch"—will follow in quick succession starting next Spring. Autographed copies of "A Time to Plant," $40, are available at Left Bank Books.

James is also a contributor to Southern Living and somehow finds time to keep up with his blog featuring stunning photos, recipes, and entertaining tips. After lunch and before the book signing James and Maggie, aka "Magnolia," had only a half-hour to explore Euclid and McPherson. They loved what they saw and said they hope to be back soon.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

While they toured I hustled over to Bowood Farms for a demonstration on cold frame construction. On the way I passed by The Vino Gallery and was pleased to see that owners Rachael and Alex are planning a couple of very interesting events during the month of September, see chalkboard above. Check them out on The Vino Gallery website or on facebook.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

It was surprising to see these charming little gourds growing haphazardly alongside Bowood Farms'  garden fence on Walton Row at Olive.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

Jenny Murphy, above, a creative reuse specialist who graduated from the Sam Fox School of Design at WU, was the guest speaker at Bowood Farms Saturday afternoon demonstrating how to make a cold frame. For her frames Jenny uses recycled materials she "sources" in alleys and dumpsters around town. She had pre-cut the wood pieces used for the demonstration, so with the plans provided in hand the project looked somewhat easy to copy. Her organization is called Perennial and on her blog I found instructions for building cold frames (see here). A list of suitable vegetables to plant in the cold frames is available at Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive.

  Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant    

To extend the length of the gardening season even if your outdoor space is limited to a balcony, Jenny suggested turning an old suitcase into a coldframe, right. On Monday this "diy" expert will teach a workshop at Bowood Farms from 3 to 5 p.m. on "Upcycled Planters", using glass lighting fixtures as hanging planters, $35. Call Bowood Farms (314) 454-6868 to register.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

Late in the day, as I walked down Euclid for the umpteenth time, I began to wonder how in the world one could possibly be bored living here. Proprietors Dawna Sturdivant of Borough Vintage, and Kelly Reding of Dauphine, hosted a festive "Fall Faire" that evening at 447 N. Euclid, above. There are a lot of stylish women in St. Louis and many of them found their way to this party. See Dawna's blog for more photos. Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

Sunday evening we returned to Art Hill (see earlier post here) to experience the 9/11 Memorial, "America's Heartland Remembers," at night. We parked near the Grand Basin and were intrigued to find a group of young musicians, flame throwers, and jugglers entertaining onlookers on the broad steps of the Basin, above and below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Forest Park Urban Gardens  Susan Sherman Pi Pizza Jenny Murphy James Farmer Grand Basin Forest Park Children's Educational Alliance of Missouri Bowood Farms America's Heartland Remembers A Time To Plant

The schedule for this weekend is just as busy with art openings and the Balloon Glow on Friday night, and the Balloon Race on Saturday afternoon. "America's Heartland Remembers" closes on Sunday. Have a great weekend!