Creamery goes kosher, more kosher dining on the way

Ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery

Ellen Futterman, Editor

Kosher foodies unite

Big news in the St. Louis kosher restaurant world. A new kosher Italian-American eatery and sushi bar is slated to open in Creve Coeur after the High Holidays this fall, and on Monday, the Cold Stone Creamery in Creve Coeur received its Vaad-approved kosher certification.

When I spoke to Rabbi Zvi Zuravin, executive director of the Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis, which superviseslocal kashrut operations, he was pulling into the parking lot of the ice cream and frozen confectionery shop, at 12418 Olive Blvd., to present owner Kevin Garrett with the necessary paperwork.

“Getting it all in order took several months,” said Zuravin, “but it’s now official.”

Garrett, who is not Jewish, explained that meeting the criteria to be certified as kosher was a lengthy process. When asked why he wanted to go through that, he said, “It was my heart’s desire to honor the Jewish people by becoming kosher certified.” 

Garrett explained after his business had supported an event for J Associates, “someone there mentioned we should consider becoming kosher, and we did.” He also noted that his Cold Stone Creamery is the only one in the area that now offers many kosher-certified items, including all ice cream treats and toppings as well as numerous chocolate candies. Ted Drewes, which has two locations in south St. Louis, and Tutti Frutti in University City and the Central West End, also offer Vaad-certified kosher ice cream and frozen desserts.

Creve Coeur also will be the location of the soon-to-be Café Coeur, a kosher restaurant featuring gourmet pizza, pasta, fish and dairy dishes, as well as a sushi bar. Co-owners Moshe Plotnik and Yaniv Sides plan to open the eatery in October at 10477 Old Olive Street Road.

“I had been pursuing for a while bringing high-end kosher dining to St. Louis,” said Plotnik, who moved here from Chicago 3½ years ago. He said his experience comes from commercial property management and construction, and he is familiar with “what it takes to keep a place hopping in a cost-conscious manner.” Sides already owns several kosher restaurants in New York, and is in the process of opening Sushi Konata and West Side Wok in Manhattan. He also has been an officer with the New York Police Department for the past 16 years. 

Plotnik said that when Sides was in St. Louis last summer, he discovered there was a “severe lack of kosher options” available here. 


“People who knew I was looking to do a venture like this got him in touch with me and we were able to get hooked up to do this,” added Plotnik, who is a member of Tpheris Israel Chevra Kadisha in Chesterfield. 

Plotnik said the 2,300-square-foot space will seat roughly 70 people and will have an inviting, modern, family-friendly atmosphere (renderings are currently in the works). The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner Sunday through Friday (closing in time for Shabbat) and will offer online ordering and delivery options, as well as catering and an area to hold parties. Beer and wine will also be available. 

As we talked, I asked Plotnik why he thinks he and Sides will be successful in St. Louis, where previous kosher restaurants in the past decade have not.

“For starters, the size of the Jewish community here has grown and kosher food has grown beyond the kosher crowd,” he said. “Between both our (he and Sides’) connections and experience, along with people we’ve lined up with both ‘back of the house’ and ‘front of the house’ experience and knowledge, I feel we have what it takes to be successful.

“Our goal is to make it convenient for people on many different levels. Having the ability to order online and pick up or get delivery — these are models that work.”

Rabbi Yosef Landa of Chabad, who hosted Sides and his children for Shabbat dinner last summer, says the excitement about a kosher restaurant that serves lunch and dinner is palpable among the observant Jewish community. 

“It’s not just about the food but also the camaraderie,” said Landa. “To have a place that serves kosher food into the evening, a place where you can bring out-of-towners who visit, is good for Jewish life and Jewish togetherness.” 

New Lincoln book

ABC chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams will sign and discuss his new book, “Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency” (Hanover Square Press, co-authored by David Fisher, $26.99), at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the Maryville University Auditorium, 650 Maryville University Drive.

At the end of the summer of 1859, 22-year-old Peachy Quinn Harrison went on trial for murder in Springfield, Ill. Abraham Lincoln, who had been involved in more than 3,000 cases—including more than 25 murder trials—during his two-decades-long career, was hired to defend him. This was to be his last great case as a lawyer.  

Abrams, who is Jewish, will discuss “Lincoln’s Last Trial,” answer questions and sign books. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required at Proof of purchase of the book from Left Bank will be required to enter the signing line. Books for signing are available from the bookstore in advance or at the event. For more information, call 314-367-6731 or visit