People generally associate premium vodka with distillers in Poland, Russia, or Sweden. But Mastermind Vodka is changing this preconception with a fine American vodka that’s truly local.
In a custom-designed still that resembles a giant martini glass, they mix small batches of the locally grown grains with water purified by a filtration system they designed themselves. The result is a clean, crisp drink that won a gold medal in the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The emphasis on local sourcing extends beyond the liquor as well, with nearby manufacturers supplying the glass bottles and obliging townies offering to taste-test each fresh batch.
The modern flourishes on Copia's menu are globally-inspired but grounded by an American culinary tradition. Brought to you by chef Zach Fiorimondo and property director Derrick Collquett, dishes such as chilies and champagne-goat-cheese cream take off from Midwestern classics, such as slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, house-smoked trout, and pork-rib chops.
Aided by a wine market whose bottles pour into the dining room at retail price, the downtown eatery aims to shuttle city dwellers directly into wine country with 18,000 square feet of exposed brick walls, wood-beam ceilings, and white tablecloths. Elsewhere within the rambling complex, natural light pours into an atrium garden, a glass waterfall neatly partitions off the bar to prevent diners from impulsively ordering every dish and drink they see, and stainless-steel vats age several of Copia's own wines. Much missed after a fire shuttered its initial incarnation, Copia was roundly welcomed back onto the St. Louis scene in 2010: among other praise, St. Louis Magazine called its calamari "as crispy-crunchy delectable as any seafood you?ll find in a New England clam shack" and its smoked ribs "the best upscale version of barbecue in the area."
Since 1958, the clatter of pins has filled Crestwood Bowl, which was taken over in 1973 by Ray Bluth, one of the first PBA Hall of Fame inductees. Ray?s son, Mike, recalls fond memories of a childhood spent carousing amongst the lanes. In 1979, Mike started working at the alley, and continued to do so all throughout high school and college, before he became general manager. "Nothing much has changed," says Mike about the alley and the sport itself. The bowling alley still glistens pristinely, just as it did in the 1970s, with comfortable seating at each of the 24 lanes, which are set against a backdrop of planets and stars.
But that?s not to say that there haven?t been updates. Years ago, the alley's bumpers were inflatable, and would send balls ricocheting from side-to-side down the lane like runaway hedgehogs. Today, bumpers are built into each lane, and the 12 Strike Scoring system is all new and user-friendly. During Extreme Bowling on Friday and Saturday nights, the lights dim and a disco ball spins wildly in an attempt to escape down the lanes and hit a strike. Between frames, bowlers can refuel at the snack bar, chewing on chicken strips, pizza, 1/3-pound Angus beef burgers, and pork tenderloin.
At Pottery Hollow, kids and adults alike find inspiration to create ceramic works of art from a fanciful story about a potter in need of an apprentice to help him and his fairy friends adorn ceramic mugs, platters, and knickknacks with colorful paint. Guests enter the potter's enchanted hollow?complete with twisted tree trunks and brightly colored chairs?to work on the unpainted pieces stored deep beneath the forest. While guests create their masterpieces, staffers keep them supplied with paints and brushes and take finished pieces to be baked in the kiln.
In addition to walk-in sessions, Pottery Hollow's three locations host parties and events such as mommy-and-me sessions, bridal showers, and corporate events. And on Friday nights until 9 p.m., ladies can create beautiful works of art while sipping on their favorite BYOB drinks. Staffers also craft custom pieces in one to two weeks, which can be given as gifts, kept as future heirlooms, or offered as sacrifices to the home-decor gods.
Launched 5 years ago, Mattress Source has grown from a plucky family-run enterprise to a regional institution, soothing aching backs and brightening up dream times with masterfully engineered mattresses of all makes and types. Models from brands such as Simmons, Corsicana, Restonic, and Spring Air enrich the third of your life spent asleep and the eighth of your life spent practicing trust falls with thick, long-lasting constructions designed to support and relax the body. The inventory promotes deep sleep and good health through a range of mattress types, from the strong, nonsagging innerspring design to the pillowy comfort of sheets of memory foam and latex.
Staffers at Kirkwood Knittery happily direct shoppers to a colorful collection of knitted sweaters, hats, and wraps; however, they're not for sale. That?s because staff members would rather teach customers to make the garments themselves during classes aimed at beginning and intermediate knitters. Sessions, which typically meet in four one-hour segments or two two-hour segments; cover skills such as basic stitches, circular knitting methods, and crochet patterns; and culminate in the creation of a scarf, pair of socks, or knitted umbrella. Before classes, students can peruse the shop?s selection of yarns to choose an attractive skein whorled from international wools, organic cottons, or rare fibers.