Olio's Octopus Salad: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

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The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

The octopus salad with chickpeas and edamame at Olio | Ian Froeb
The octopus salad with chickpeas and edamame at Olio | Ian Froeb

When I reviewed Ben Poremba's new twinned restaurants Elaia and Olio (1634 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-1088) last month, I focused the majority of my words on Elaia. This is understandable, I think. It is, by design, the more ambitious of the two concepts, with a tasting menu that can stretch over ten (or more) courses and two (or more) hours.

Which is not to say the food at Olio doesn't demand attention.

See Also: - Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Elaia and Olio - Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Slideshow of Elaia and Olio

The octopus salad is typical of much of Olio's fare: a simple, light dish that can work as a snack or light meal, or that can be shared as part of a larger lunch or dinner.

The flavors are clean and fresh: the octopus, of course, chickpeas and edamame. The contrast in textures between the three components is as interesting as the combination of flavors.

The "dressing" is a small pool of kefir yogurt in which the salad sits. Its fermented tang gives the dish an extra little touch that lingers on your palate and in your memory.

Is there a dish that you think belongs among the Gut Check One Hundred 2013? Let us know!

See Also: The Gut Check One Hundred 2013 (So Far)

- Dressel's Porchetta "Louie"

- Cleveland- Heath's Seared Beef Tongue - Cleveland-Heath's Cauliflower Soup - Pastaria's Italian Ramen - Pi Pizzeria's "Grove" Pizza - Famous Szechuan Pavilion's Spicy Wonton Soup (Novice) or Yu Shan Pork (Advanced) - La Tejana Taqueria's Goat Soup - Hendricks BBQ's Ribs - Sauce on the Side's "Costanza" Calzone - Siete Luminarias' Guanajuato-Style Carnitas - Fork & Stix's Khao Soi

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