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The Salted Pig: BBQ Meets Southern Cuisine

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How do you attract the Jewish crowd to a new restaurant called “The Salted Pig” when the name has nothing to do with koshering?

Well, first you offer outstanding food, generous portions, decent prices, a fun atmosphere, good service, and a convenient location. Then, you offer an infusion of flavors that tempts the customers’ taste buds with something out of the ordinary, such as award-winning barbecue and Nouvelle Southern cuisine that makes you want to come back again and again to try something new each time. Finally, you throw in the famous Del Pietro name for good measure.

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Bacon cake served at The Salted Pig Grand Opening,
March 28, 2014

“We wanted to come up with a name that hasn’t been used before, which is hard to do because there are so many restaurants in St Louis,” explains Co-Owner Michael Del Pietro, whose successful line of Italian eateries includes Sugo’s, Babbos, Tavolo V, and Via Vino Enoteca. “We chose ‘The Salted Pig’ even though there’s so much more on our menu than pork chops and pulled pork.”

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Rib platter served with beans and slaw.

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Shrimp and grits.

Indeed, the variety of lunch and dinner options is what make The Salted Pig so appealing, from the pan roasted red fish served with crayfish and creamed leeks, to the barbecue beef brisket sandwich served on a brioche bun. The crispy and moist buttermilk fried chicken, served with green beans and creamed potatoes, takes three whole days to prepare. The recipe is top secret, so you’ll have to taste it for yourself. Let’s just say when the leftover chicken is eaten cold straight out of the fridge, it tastes like a picnic in your mouth.

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The best buttermilk fried chicken, ever.

The Salted Pig also makes a serious burger made with Rain Crow ground beef short ribs, topped with Flurys Truckel aged white cheddar and pickled onions. Another favorite main course is shrimp and grits served with oven roasted wild gulf shrimp and a spicy butter sauce. And Pitmaster Ken Dennison’s ribs are what he is famous for, having won barbecue competitions all over the country. The ribs are lean and tasty, with just the right amount of spices and tangy sweet sauce. The Salted Pig is so new, having just opened last week, the Black Canyon strip steak is still aging so come back next week to try it.

The side dishes are a meal in itself. So far, I’ve enjoyed the roasted sweet and spicy shaved brussel sprouts with caramelized onions and house cured bacon; mac and cheese with Prairie Breeze white cheddar and blue crab; and the signature appetizer, house made potato chips topped with pulled pork, cheese, and yummy barbecue sauce.

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Brussel Sprouts with caramelized onions and bacon.

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Mac & Cheese with crab.

If you would rather eat light, try the shrimp and crab roll sushi with asparagus and spicy sriracha barbecue sauce or one of the many delicious salads, such as the seafood cobb with mixed greens, shrimp, crab, house cured bacon, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled farm egg and lemon vinaigrette.

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Seafood cobb.

Sure, you’ll be stuffed, but try to save room for dessert. The rum and chocolate bread pudding is the masterpiece of Executive Chef Brian Steinman (Scottsdale Culinary Institute) and is served warm with a cremon glaze and topped with Serendipity salted caramel ice cream that you’ll want to share with everyone at the table.

The Salted Pig is the newest addition of the Michael Del Pietro Restaurant Group (http://www.mdprestaurants.com), and is jointly owned with THF Reality Developer and Entreprenuer Michael Staenberg (Chair of the Board, Jewish Community Center) and Dennison, who blends his culinary skills with Chef Brian to create comfort food that is truly original.

For Dennison, who has been in the restaurant business since he was 16 years old, having his own restaurant is a dream come true.

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The cooking staff at The Salted Pig.

“Our approach is farm to table, and I strive to make the best food, using the freshest, local products available and custom made spices. I look forward to planting our own restaurant garden in the next few weeks—you don’t get any fresher than that,” he said.

Everyone feels at home at The Salted Pig, which has a rustic, comfortable lodge atmosphere with the outside walls wrapped in recycled barn wood.  The doors and the window into the kitchen are reclaimed from St. Louis structures, and an interior wall is made from  tree trunks recycled from the property. Look for a growing wine and bourbon list at the bar, which has big screen TVs and is appointed with a granite top, textured to look like suede, and features lighted shelving made from cold rolled steel and angle iron.

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Rustic decor at The Salted Pig.

Centrally located at 731 South Lindbergh in Frontenac, where Coco’s Bakery Restaurant used to be, The Salted Pig is an ideal setting for a business lunch, happy hour, a family dinner, or a girl’s night out. Word of mouth has made The Salted Pig a popular dining destination and is already getting rave reviews.

For more info and restaurant hours , call 314-738-9373.

Chances are you’ll run into someone you know at The Salted Pig, so be ready for a Jewish goodbye at the door.

Check them out on Facebook!

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