Friday, January 24, 2014

elaia (2) - st. louis
1634 tower grove avenue
st. louis, mo 63110

this meal was my parents treat to my wife carrie and i in celebration of her passing the nurse practioner boards, and the quality family time coupled with incredible food and service made this night the best dining experience i have had in st. louis to date. unlike my first visit to the restaurant, chef ben poremba was in house and presented each of our 10+ courses to us throughout the perfectly paced four hour meal. his passion for the restaurant was clearly evident, and it was cool that he took the time to share his creations with us. it would be hard to name standout courses as the tasting menu was literally hit after hit, but i will say that the scallops with honey crisp apple and maple "caviar" was one of my all-time favorite dishes featuring the said bivalve. per our request, sommelier andrey ivanov selected and eloquently presented three excellent bottles of wine to pair with our meal. as someone who enjoys drinking wine but has rather limited knowledge, i really appreciated his thorough explanations of each bottle. for one reason or another, almost ten months passed between my first trip to elaia and this meal, and i will say with complete certainty that i will not be waiting that long to revisit.
lardo, quail eggs, pickled fennel, wafers
chicken-fried sweetbreads, 'old standard' hot sauce, josh's buttermilk ranch
salt cod croquettes, remoulade (no picture)
lightly-cured sea scallops, poached honeycrisp apple, maple, cress
lamb tartare, pine nut pudding, sunchoke crème, sunchoke chips
bread service
parfait of foie gras, "jonathan roshfeld", mango, citrus, spices
potato-leek soup, preserved lemon sabayon, crispy leeks
celery root cappellacci, chestnuts, walnut-gingerbread crumble
gamberetti poached in sea urchin butter, parsnip crème, grapefruit, fennel pollen
rose water and orange blossom soda
"stew", buckwheat, oxtail, pig ear, egg yolk
saddle of rabbit, speck, cauliflower, mustard
slow-roasted loin of lamb, red kuri pumpkin, quinoa, pistachio, date
bananas foster chouquette
 macaroons and canele de bordeaux

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