Stars and kudos to Ben Poremba for his latest palate pleasing menu. This week the innovative chef teased his fans with a trio of dishes to be featured at his latest eatery on Tower Grove. Nixta will highlight upscale Mexican cuisine in the space that, until this summer, housed Old Standard.
We started the evening with Tuna Tostada served with sugar snaps, avocado, lime-white shoyu glaze, and chile mayo. You won’t find this item on the chalkboard of the average South-of the-Border cantina. Taco Bell it ain’t. A few hefty forkfuls from each of the four at our table, and the dish vanished. Within moments the Mole Negro with braised beef cheeks appeared. The dish didn’t photograph very well, but what it lacked in studio appeal it made up for on the taste scale.
The final piece de resistance was the Tacos de Carnitas de Borrego, the pulled lamb artfully swaddled in a cauliflower-based taco. This item got high rating at our table, even from the one non-cauliflower eater.
Nixta’s menu is influenced by Mexican street food and the grandmother of Executive Chef Tello Carreon. A glimpse at other upcoming dishes range from Al Pastor (pork belly, caramelized pineapple, charred onion salsa, and cilantro) to Sea Scallops with smoked aguachile, bergamot, cucumbers and serranoto, to Pollo Empinado (pineapple braised chicken with arroz curcuma.
If Poremba’s first three dishes are any indication of the others soon to follow, he’s already due a huge Olé! With the opening of Nixta, we’re in for the food we love.
Nixta, 1621 Tower Grove Ave., Botanical Heights. Open: Tue-Sat 5p-10p. Late night menu from 10p-midnight. Soft opening: Nov. 11; Seating: 50 seats, plus bar and a patio with festive possibilities. Live music.
Proprietor Ben Poremba (owner Elaia, Olio, Parigi and co-owner of La Patisserie Chouquette); Excecutive Chef: Tello Carreon.
Note: Ben Poremba’s next innovation: a Jewish deli named AO&CO. (It’s the first initial of the name of the family’s kids: Aviv, Omri, and Cossette.) Look for the first pop-up at Parigi’s on November 20 from 10:30a to 2:30p. Call for reservations, 314 899 9767.