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St. Louis's Niche Taste Bar

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A big part of St. Louis’s transformation into a food destination is the creativity of people like Gerard Craft. In a few weeks, the F&W Best New Chef 2008 will open Niche Taste Bar, a small-plates and classic-cocktails joint, in the space that was Veruca bakeshop. He’s Tweeted Taste Bar news obsessively for the past month and yesterday announced that local mixologist Ted Kilgore will head the drinks program (One of Kilgore's best recipes is in F&W Cocktails 2008). As for the food, Craft says everything will be cooked on a hibachi or induction burner or in an immersion circulator—that’s it! There will be things on toast (spicy pork meatballs with radish and parsley) and on sticks (grilled escolar with pineapple and pepperoni). There will also be pork liver and foie gras pâté in crocks and maybe a porchetta for slicing. Craft is even smoking his own country hams. With only about 18 seats at the wooden communal table and bar, space will be tight. My advice: Get there early. It’s sure to be the hottest spot in town.

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