Tag Archives: the loop

The Dining District at United Provisions

United provisions 7Exciting things are happening in the Delmar Loop including the building of Wash U. student housing, the opening of exciting new restaurants, and the creation of a much needed grocery store. The owners of Global Foods Market in Kirkwood recently opened their newest venture, United Provisions. This specialty supermarket features items you would find in a typical American grocery store as well as products from around the world. Another component unique to this location is a restaurant called The Dining District, located inside United Provisions. Chef Ben Poremba, James Beard nominated chef and owner of Olio and Elaia, has partnered up as chef in this new venture.

The Dining District offers a variety of foods including old favorites from Porembra’s other restaurants such as Olio’s egg salad and burrata as well as a huge menu of new creations. They feature a raw bar, a long list of sandwiches, grill items, and full sushi menu which is overseen by Chef Naomi Hamamura.

I started my meal with two appetizers, the burrata and crudo. The burrata was topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper and served with beets on the side. It came with a large portion of warm pita bread although I was happy eating the dish on its own. The crudo included five thinly sliced pieces of fish that were also lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I was a little nervous about ordering this on a Sunday night because it is hard to expect much freshness out of seafood at that time of the week. However, this fish was perfect and tasted like it was caught that morning!

Next up was a marinated artichoke and provolone warm-pressed sandwich. It was filled with marinated artichokes that were just a little too lemony for my liking but delicious nonetheless. There was a thin layer of a mayo based spread over the bread which was crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish the sandwich at the restaurant but ate the rest at home later that night. My husband ordered the goat burger which was a hamburger topped with a healthy serving of goat cheese and medjool date tampenade for sweetness. The burger was served medium rare and was devoured before I could even finish half of my sandwich.

Because there was a sushi menu sitting in front of me the whole night, I couldn’t help but order one roll. I went with the Hamma’s tuna roll which is Chef Hamma’s signature spicy tuna roll. The tuna was incredibly fresh and the sauce was not overpowering as it sometimes is. The sushi was a bit more expensive than most restaurants in St. Louis with prices averaging $8.50 for basic rolls and $10 to $22 for specialty rolls.

United provisions 3Somehow, I managed to save just a tiny bit of room for dessert. Desserts at the restaurant are provided by La Patisserie Chouquette and are displayed in a case at the front of the restaurant. Since I had just eaten the equivalent of about three meals, I stuck to macarons. Although there were lots of interesting flavors such as absinthe and lavender, I chose to play it safe with pumpkin and chai. They were both fresh, delicious, and probably the best I have found in St. Louis.

Overall, I was really impressed with both the grocery store and restaurant and I think that this space adds so much to The Loop. Whether you need groceries, takeout, a fast lunch, or want to sit and enjoy a nice meal with a bottle of wine, you will be able to find something at United Provisions and The Dining District that works for you.

United Provisions on Urbanspoon

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Corner 17 in the Delmar Loop

Looking for something new? Ever heard of hand-pulled noodles or fluffy ice? Two concepts that are hugely popular in other parts of the world have finally made their way to St. Louis and Corner 17 is the place to discover them. Located in the heart of the Delmar Loop, this new hotspot serves up several noodle and rice dishes as well as your traditional and not so traditional bubble tea.

We managed to snag the last table available when we arrived on a Tuesday night around 6:30 p.m. and the restaurant remained 100% full the entire time we were there. The diners at this restaurant represented the Loop demographic perfectly and included families with children, international students, and couples. There were only 2 servers working the whole restaurant but they moved at warp speed and we were served right away.

The origin of hand-pulled noodles can be traced back to China where dough is repeatedly pulled, stretched, and folded onto itself. Once the dough is the proper consistency it is stretched to arm’s length and folded into a loop at which point the process is repeated until multiple strands are created. It is then separated and placed in a pot to finish cooking. What makes Corner 17 special is that this is done at the back of the restaurant behind a glass wall so you can watch the whole process.
The origin of hand-pulled noodles can be traced back to China where dough is repeatedly pulled, stretched, and folded onto itself. Once the dough is the proper consistency, it is stretched to arm’s length and folded into a loop at which point the process is repeated until multiple strands are created. It is then separated and placed in a pot to finish cooking. What makes Corner 17 special is that this is done at the back of the restaurant behind a glass wall so you can watch the whole process.

We started with bubble tea and we immediately noticed that unlike most bubble tea that is served in plastic cups with a sealed plastic lid on top, the tea at this restaurant is served in nice glassware. I chose to try a flavor new to me, red bean milk tea. You already have to be okay with odd textures to handle the boba (tapioca balls) that is in bubble tea but you really have to be ready for the red bean tea as it has actual pieces of beans mixed in to the drink which I happened to love. Based on the recommendation of the server, my husband chose lychee milk tea. We decided that this must be an acquired taste as it tasted similar to what I would imagine floral perfume would taste like. However, the server happily exchanged it for a taro milk tea which was 100% more palatable.

Our food arrived shortly thereafter and I was served spicy tofu with steamed rice. This was a very healthy portion of food which lasted me another two meals. When they say spicy, they mean spicy, but the flavor was delicious and although they could have gone a little lighter on the oil, I would happily order it again. My husband chose beef noodle soup. The huge bowl was filled with the hand-pulled noodles they are so well known for as well as big pieces of beef. This is not something I would order on a first date because the noodles can be a little cumbersome to eat but they are so fresh and have such a perfect texture that you would be doing yourself a disservice if you skipped out on trying them. The beef was just a little bit fatty but my husband thought the flavor was just right.

We thought we were finished with our meal until we saw another table with the most intriguing looking dessert. We decided to order it and we were served a giant plate of mango fluffy ice topped with mango sauce and fresh fruit. This was the lightest, most refreshing dessert I have ever eaten and I would return just for that!

Overall we really enjoyed this meal and loved the quick, friendly service. The price is right and it is great for a quick bite to eat if you are looking for a cuisine that is a little out of the ordinary.

Corner 17 can be found at 6623 Delmar Blvd St. Louis, MO 63130

Corner 17 on Urbanspoon