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Elaia Restaurant Review: St. Louis is fertile ground for rising culinary talent, and Ben Poremba, chef/proprietor at Elaia (and its sister wine bar Olio), has tossed his hat into the ring with an ambitious first restaurant. In a rehabbed house seating only about 30 patrons, he enthusiastically offers the tried and true --- namely, charcuterie from his other business, artisanal meat curer Salume Beddu --- alongside experimental dishes like charred thumb-size octopi, ceviche of opah (moonfish), spaghetti with pig ear, and pickled herring with apples, beets, blackberries and buckwheat. Keep an eye out for playful interpretations of Mediterranean classics and for vegetables that pop up in unexpected preparations. Impressively, the wine list holds its own with the unique food, thanks to general manager Andrey Ivanov, a certified advanced sommelier. Desserts, including the cloud-like chouquette from the bakery across the street, are not to be missed.