bagel union in webster groves photo by michelle volansky

3 new St. Louis-area places to try this month

Bagel Union
Few restaurant openings have inspired as much anticipation as Bagel Union, the Webster Groves bagel shop from the team at Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery. There is good reason for this: The bagels are delicious. The boiled and baked bagels boast fluffy interior texture and chewy crust available in a variety of flavors. We’re partial to the everything bagel with scallion cream cheese, but the salt and tzitzelnickel – their version of a pumpernickel – are also winning choices. Thankfully, sandwiches – open-faced and closed – are also on the menu: the Delox with lox sourced from Durham’s Tracklements and Smokery in Michigan, cream cheese, capers and onion is an excellent version of the classic lox bagel. Other sandwiches riff on this classic, like the salmon roe with cream cheese and the Goldie Lox featuring smoked golden beets shaved paper-thin with notes of citrus; it’s a clever vegetarian rendition that’s as vibrantly flavored as it is colorful.
8705 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves,

the vandy // photo by michelle volansky

The Vandy
St. Louis’ cocktail culture has received yet another boost thanks to The Vandy, the first brick-and-mortar from STL Barkeep. As to be expected, the focus here is well-balanced, spirit-forward cocktails. The current list is divided into two parts: “classics,” building blocks of cocktail culture made with small, fun twists, like the mole bitters in the Old-Fashioned, and “carnival classics,” a St. Louis-meets-New Orleans-style nod to the latter’s role as the birthplace of the cocktail. We enjoyed the Soulard Sidecar made with El Dorado 5-year rum and sotol in addition to curacao, Montenegro and lemon. There’s also an extensive whiskey list that includes several single-barrel bourbons and ryes and single-producer flights from brands like High West, Blue Run and Old Forester. A handful of wines and local beers rounds out the high-and-tight menu.
1301 S. Vandeventer Ave., St. Louis, 314.472.5321,

Lola Jean’s Pizza
Lola Jean’s Pizza’s order-ahead pizzas are a great option for a weeknight dinner at home that can either feed many mouths or bless you with great leftovers for a day or two. The thrice weekly pop-up operates out of the former Lola Jean’s Giveback Coffee spot and, like its predecessor, is owned and operated by the owners of Russell’s Cafe. The thick, Sicilian-style pies with buttery, deep crusts come in a few regular styles (all-cheese margherita blanketed with whole basil leaves, generously topped pepperoni, and supreme) and a rotating special, often inspired by Russell’s menu items like the bacon-wrapped meatloaf. For sweets, there are housemade chocolate-chip cookies and rotating trifle-like dessert specials like tiramisu and butterscotch pudding, served in a Mason jar for easy transport and storage (if you don’t eat it all immediately).
5400 Nottingham Ave., St. Louis,