Robin and I sat next to the large window-door at Olio as we waited for Tom to join us for lunch. The chic revamped space—a former filling station—has large front windows overlooking Tower Grove Avenue. The view is all the better for chef-owner Ben Poremba to oversee his culinary fiefdom.
In addition to Olio and its petite, upstairs’ sister, Elaia, there’s the French bakery, La Patisserie Chouquette, where Chef Simone Faure puts a New Orleans twist on her creations. Cross the street and you’ll cross the boarder with your arrival at Nixta, the upscale Mexican cantina. The newest star in the Poremba galaxy, Moroccan-inspired Benevolent King, is located on Manchester.
More to Come
This day Ben and his business partner, Alexis Cosse, were at Olio. While visiting, we learned of yet more real estate acquisitions across the street. One spot is now being rented by Good Fortune. Ben also plans to add a place for carry-out foods and other local provisions. Wife, Angela, will be getting in on the fun, too, when she opens a children’s shop next door. I’d say the feisty entrepreneur has definitely “cornered the market” at Tower Grove and McRee.
Look for more kitchen tweaks at Olio and Elaia—especially greater use of their wood burning stove—with new chef Aaron Martinez, who has burnished his cutting edge culinary skills in restaurants in Belgium and the Bay Area.
Food with a Flair
Olio: 1634 Tower Grove. Open: Tue-Thu 11a-10p; Fri-Sat 11a-12a; Sun-Mon 11a-10p. Owner: Ben Poremba (Elaia, Nixta, Benevolent King, La Pâtisserie Chouquette ); Executive Chef: Aaron Martinez.