Small Plates: Thursday, 2/8

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Balaban's is back in business. (Again.)

Cafe Balaban (405 North Euclid Avenue, 314-361-8085) reopened this morning. New owners Brendan Marsden and Harlee Sorkin had closed the 35-year-old restaurant three weeks ago for renovations. "The construction guys left at ten-thirty," executive chef Andrew White said when we spoke on the phone. "We started service at eleven."

White describes Balaban's new menu as "very approachable" classic American bistro fare with French and Italian influences. Be sure to check back later this year as Cafe Balaban continues its quest to be the most-reviewed restaurant in St. Louis history.

A follow-up to Monday's "Small Plates": A sign outside the space recently vacated by Jasoom (3210 South Grand Boulevard) says the new occupant will be Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant. I'll let you know when it opens.

-Ian Froeb

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