by Nancy Stiles
Truffles (9202 Clayton Road, Ladue; 314-567-9100) is expanding into an adjacent space, but not to add more seating. Instead, it will be an old-fashioned, full-service butcher shop complete with a retail space. We talked to general manger Aleksandar Jovanovic about why it'll make Ladue a lot more interesting.
"It's kind of like a little extended arm of Truffles," Jovanovic says. "We have the space next door that used to be a little boutique clothing store, and it's adjacent to the back door of our kitchen, so very easily we connected it to Truffles."
The space is only 800 square feet total, but it will include a dry-aging room with pink sea salt walls, seafood, retail wine, sandwiches, a salumi program and more. Executive chef Brandon Benack is planning meat accoutrements like rubs, spices and dressings.
There are about 1,500 wines on the list at the restaurant, which actually has a retail license to sell wines, but there will be curated selections at the butcher shop, and, depending on Missouri's liquor laws, may hold weekly tastings.
Jovanovic says the butcher shop will fill a niche in St. Louis that is pretty much empty. "The big guys do a really good job when it comes to the selection in Schnucks or Straub's these days," Jovanovic says, "but there's little personal connection with the butcher that you know and that knows what you specifcally like and little special cuts. We want to develop that relationship with our customers."
The tentative opening date right now is August 13, and Jovanovic says it'll definitely be open in time for Labor Day barbecues.
"There's some really interesting things going on in this part of Ladue, and adding this butcher shop with great sandwiches and high-quality meat and a phenomenal wine list," he says. "It's going to be, hopefully, a lot more fun and inviting in this part of Ladue."
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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