Savage is fucking dope.
If it was in Chicago, New York, London, Singapore, or some other big city, it would be impossible to get into. It would be featured on an episode of Chef’s Table. Chef/owner Logan Ely would be a judge on 350 episodes of Chopped.
But it’s not in any of those cities. It’s in St. Louis. Right here, waiting for you.
Diners like to assume the food coming out of most high-end restaurants has been cooked personally by the chef whose name is on the menu—you want Eric Ripert to have cooked your fish, Grant Achatz to have personally blown up your apple-flavored balloon, René Redzepi to have made…whatever it is Noma makes. But the reality is that these restaurants have massive teams full of (extremely talented) people who are producing incredible food based on the executive chef’s vision. At Savage, that’s not the case. You are getting Logan Ely's food, cooked by Logan Ely, sometimes served by Logan Ely. You’re watching him do it right in front of you, looking like Jason Statham’s younger, tattooed brother. The chef’s counter is spotlit, making the entire thing feel like a show. Whether you’re dining with others or alone, you’ll often find yourself trying to figure out what’s coming next.
And you’re never going to guess correctly—which is part of what makes Savage so unforgettable.
You have three options for ordering: snacks for $25, 6 Courses for $55, and 12 courses for $75 (beverage pairings at $25, $35, and $45, respectively). What kind of dingus doesn’t order the 12 course option? Pay the extra twenty for double the amount of courses and get the full Savage experience. You’re going to regret it if you don’t.
Logan’s focus is on “simple” bites (we have different definitions of simple, apparently) that focus on making a few ingredients shine by doing very little to them. What drives him is trying to do things he hasn’t done before without bastardizing the ingredient—“It’s a tomato, so I want to let it be a tomato.”
This meal in particular was shot in late June, so you don’t have to worry much about this post spoiling your upcoming Savage dinner. The pescatarian menu changes as the seasons change, as you might expect.
Even now, almost three months later, my girlfriend and I still debate about which dish was our favorite. Was it the fermented potato mousse with crispy potatoes, broccoli, and seaweeds? Or was it the absolutely perfectly cooked fluke served with toasted fennel and a kombu beurre blanc? No, it was definitely the onion.* Yes, a damn onion was the best bite of the night. Slow cooked until soft and sweet, then glazed with soy-malt over a bed of toasted yeast mousse and shiitake mushrooms. It was one of the best things I ate in all of 2019, I’m pretty sure.
*My girlfriend’s pick for dish of the night goes to dessert: milk sorbet with brown butter, black barley crumble, and miso caramel. She scraped my bowl clean after she was done with hers.
I haven’t been to Scandinavia, but I have spent a lot of time on Instagram, and Savage’s food seems straight out of Aalborg. It’s all about a level of simplicity that is, uh, very complicated. To take raw goat's’ milk curds, put them in a fermented white asparagus broth, and cover that with daikon radish—and have it work—is insane to me. Especially when you take into consideration that Logan’s kitchen team has, at its largest, been four people, and at its smallest, just him. Producing this much and this level of food.
Besides the food, I loved the atmosphere of Savage. It’s not serious, like you’d expect from a high-end tasting menu spot. Service isn’t fake and obnoxious. You aren’t stuck there for four hours. They want you to come, have a great meal, and more importantly, have a great time. I think you will.
TLDR: Savage will blow your mind with some of the most innovative food ever seen in St. Louis at a ridiculously low price for what you’re getting. Make a reservation right now.
dill & chive powder
Spot prawn & Heirloom Tomatoes
marinated in red currant & chamomile oil, finished with whipped soured milk
Raw Goat’s milk curds
daikon radish, fermented white asparagus broth
white bean & ramp butter, sorrel, cauliflower mushrooms
egg yolk puree, mussel foam
fermented potato mousse
crispy potatoes, broccoli, seaweeds
preserved chive blossoms, dashi with clams, horseradish leaf oil
toasted fennel, kombu beurre blanc
Baked sweet onion
soy-malt glaze, shiitake mushroom, toasted yeast mousse
brown butter, black barley crumble, miso caramel
carrot cake ball