As always, my timing is impeccable: Just after last week's review of The U (3108 Olive Street) went to press, I received an e-mail from the midtown restaurant's owner, Adam Kustra, who wanted to let me know about some upcoming changes. First, the U will soon have a liquor license and plans to serve beer and wine. Also, the restaurant's sandwiches will be available on a second kind of bread, the "Bistro Pugliese" from local bakery Companion. Finally, the restaurant has added two desserts to the menu: cupcakes and deep-fried Twinkies. The latter will seem especially appetizing at 3 a.m., I'm sure.
By the way, this makes the U the second new restaurant to offer deep-fried Twinkies. Pam's Chicago-Style Dogs & More (6016 Delmar Boulevard) is the other. One more and we have a trend.
Speaking of jumping the gun, last week's column noted that St. Louis chef Christina Machamer was one of two finalists in the FOX reality show Hell's Kitchen, which stars the verbally abusive British superstar chef Gordon Ramsay. I mistakenly believed that the season finale aired last Tuesday. In fact, that episode was the first of two parts, and the winner was revealed this past Tuesday.
Visit the Gut Check blog (blogs.riverfronttimes.com/gutcheck) to learn whether Machamer emerged victorious. At press time Riverfront Times contributor Jeanette Kozlowski had plans to attend a viewing party at Revival (3800 Chouteau Avenue), where Machamer works, to live-blog the final episode and interview the chef.
Openings: The gelateria Paciugo Gran Café is now open at 173 Carondelet Plaza, in the same retail complex as the restaurant Araka and the latest Kaldi's location. Paciugo is open daily; call 314-727-6006 for more information.
The loft district has a new spot for sushi, Mizu Sushi Bar (1013 Washington Avenue; 314-621-2646).
And Bici Café is scheduled to open to the public this week at 7401 Pershing Avenue, the University City space formerly occupied by Sofia Bistro. Bici features pizza and Italian and Mediterranean fare from the indefatigable Mike Johnson. Call 314-721-8484 for more info.Opening a new restaurant? Know of a place that has closed? Something else for Ian to chew on? E-mail email@example.com.