By Candice Coleman

The Brass Rail’s Scott Ellinger and his Thanksgiving helpers

We’ve all heard of Christmas in July promotions, but Thanksgiving? You may recall, The Brass Rail Steakhouse in O’Fallon, Missouri, provided more than 7,000 people in need of a hot holiday meal with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day last year. This year’s goal? Owner Scott Ellinger would like to feed as many as 12,000 people in and around St. Louis, as well as add a warm hat, gloves or mittens to every order. To accomplish this monumental undertaking—no surprise here—The Brass Rail Steakhouse holiday hustle starts now! While Ellinger spends his entire advertising budget for the year paying for the meals, donations of all kinds are welcome. If you have a spare $5 or $10 you’d like to donate—or a hat or pair of gloves, or if you’d like to sign up to help deliver and serve the meals, please drop him a line at The Brass Rail Steakhouse, 4601 Highway K, O’Fallon, MO 63368, call (636) 329-1349, or email scott@brassrail1.com.

JMac Gives Back event on July 15

Speaking of giving, once again, OGHG is stepping up to the plate: For the fourth year in a row, OGHG (the management company for Shack Breakfast and Lunch, Corner Pub & Grill and The Tavern Kitchen & Bar) this month donated $10,000 to NFL wide receiver and St. Louis native Jeremy Maclin’s JMac Gives Back foundation to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to more than 500 children in need. Earlier this year, OGHG donated $125,000 to BackStoppers, marking more than $1 million in donations to the organization over the past decade. For more information on OGHG, visit oghospitalitygroup.com. To learn more about JMac Gives Back, visit jmacgivesback.com.

The GiftAMeal app

Anthonino’s Taverna, Three Kings Public House, The Tavern Kitchen & Bar and Juniper are just a few local restaurants partnering up with GiftAMeal to provide meals to families in need! A free mobile app, GiftAMeal empowers users to feed someone in need by simply posting a photo of their dining experience at a partner restaurant to the GiftAMeal app. Users may then share their experience on traditional social media platforms to provide additional free meals, all of which are provided through Operation Food Search to the local St. Louis community. Visit giftameal.com for more information.

Clementine’s Naughty & Nice

Sweet salutations go out to Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery for being voted the Best Ice Cream in Missouri by MSN.com. Another milestone for owner Tamara Keefe? She’ll be opening her third brick and mortar at 4715 Macklind Ave., in the SoHa (South Hampton) neighborhood, very soon. For more information on Clementine’s, visit clementinescreamery.com.

Katie Fitzgerald’s gelato

To keep your cool this summer…and to prolong the celebration of July’s National Ice Cream Day, Jim Fiala’s Acero Ristorante and The Crossing are throwing a little love to ice cream’s super-sweet Italian cousin, gelato. Just feast your eyes on this magnificent dessert by Acero and The Crossing pastry chef Katie Fitzgerald: basil gelato, with lemon blueberry compote and candied zest. Talk about la dolce vita! fialafood.com

Porano by Pastaria

Fans of Pastaria can now get their fix, downtown! Gerard Craft, James Beard winner and chef/owner of Niche Food Group, has changed his fast-casual Italian concept, Porano Pasta, to Porano by Pastaria (located at 634 Washington Ave.). With new counter service ordering, guests will notice updates to the menu such as composed pasta dishes, Pastaria favorites like its famed Kale Caesar Salad, and silverware for dine-in guests. poranopasta.com

Chef Liz Schuster photo by Madison Thorn

West End Grill and Pub has hired Elizabeth Schuster as its new executive chef Schuster has created new menus for lunch and dinner, but don’t worry, those famous mussels are still available. Look for movie-themed Tenacious Eats events to be happening soon in the adjoining Gaslight Theater. Schuster will also be participating in the Chef Battle Royale, Sept. 14 to 16 at Chesterfield Amphitheater. For more information on West End Grill and Pub, visit westendgrillandpub.com.