Thursday, May 2, 2013

elaia - st. louis, mo
1634 tower grove avenue
st. louis, mo 63110

about the restaurant:
- opened in november of 2012 by chef ben poremba (olio, salume beddu)
- 28 seat dining room situated in a 100+ year old house in tower grove
- open for dinner only with al a carte offerings along with a tasting menu ($100)
- valet parking available but street parking is easy
details of our visit:
8pm. reservation...tasting menu... two wine pairing to share
brown derby and aviation
chicken liver mousse, mustard
bodegas grant “la garrocha” amontillado. palomino. spain, andalucia, jerez, el puerto de santa maria
oyster, cucumber, lime, cilantro 
2012 ameztoi “rubentis”. hondarribi zura, hondarribi beltza. spain, basque country, getariako txakolina
burrata, fava beans, hen of the woods, muscat grape, smoked olive oil
2010 rijckaert “les sarres”. savagnin. france, côtes du jura
chilled sweet pea soup, carrots, yogurt, dill
2009 furst. gewürztraminer. france, alsace, furstentum
duck salad, rhubarb, beets, mango
2011 azienda agricola cospithos rosso”. frappato & nero d’avola. italy, sicily
scallop, apple, dashi, sunchoke
kirin-zan junmai daiginjo. gohyaku-man-goku rice. japan, niigata
pomegranate, rose water, vermouth, lemon
charred octopus, piquillo pepper, squid ink, ceci
2010 david reynaud. pinot noir. france, burgundy, irancy
berkshire pork collar, fennel, cherry, potato puree
2008 pecchenino "sirí d’jermu”. dolcetto. italy, piedmont, dogliani superiore
2005 kilikanoon "block’s road” cabernet sauvignon australia, south australia, clare valley
pistachio financier, white chocolate, strawberry
dumante “verdenoche” pistachio liqueur. usa, kentucky, louisville

choquette, chocolate, hazelnut, caramel 
nv rare wine co historical series “new york” malmsey portugal, madeira
pastries from la choquette patisserie

superlative...certified sommelier brandon handled our table, and provided us with wine service rivaling what we have experienced at multi-michelin starred restaurants. his descriptions of each pour were extremely thorough, extending far beyond a few quick tasting notes, and i came away from the meal with my wine knowledge expanded. towards the end of the night, i asked if there was anyway to get a copy of the menu/wine pairings, and was told that if i left my email address it would be sent to me. as we pulled away from the restaurant after the meal, i realized that i had forgotten to write down my information. the next day, brandon took the time to get our phone number and called to make sure he knew where to send our menu.

the food was very solid, and is certainly comparable to other st. louis restaurants offering this type of menu/experience (niche, little country gentlemen). my favorite course of the night was unquestionably the duck salad, while the octopus dish lagged behind the others. the pork collar was a great end to the savory portion of the meal, but if it was up to me the entree sized portion would have been scaled down in order to add in a fish course.

overall thoughts:
elaia is a great addition to st. louis' "fine dining" scene. the space is charming yet modern, the staff is knowledgeable without pretension, and the food is progressive but not over complicated. at the time of our meal, the restaurant was not yet six months old, and i am looking forward to revisiting elaia towards the end of this year to see how the young restaurant has grown.
Elaia on Urbanspoon

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