There is a new restaurant in St. Louis called the Salted Pig. It is restaurateur Michael del Pietro’s latest endeavor and it’s a departure from his prototypical Italian eateries. I love salt and I love pig, is this a match made in heaven?
The Salted Pig is an upscale southern restaurant focused on BBQ and fried chicken. The first thing I noticed when I walked in there wasn’t that BBQ aroma that slaps you in the face and makes your mouth water. The place has minimal decorations and features an industrial / minimalist feel. I liked the use of the reclaimed wood in the dining room, and I’m also pretty sure that this is the first BBQ place that uses Edison bulbs in the dining room.
I was really surprised how busy it was for a Monday evening. The room is dark and I found it amusing that several folks of advanced wisdom and age were using phones and small flashlights so they could read the menu. Speaking of the menu, I was expecting something a bit more diverse and unique. It mainly featured the standard BBQ and southern food staples. For my meal, I chose to start with the sprouts and finish with a full slab of ribs.
The sprouts were soft but not overcooked to the point that they were mushy. Typically sprouts can be bitter but the sauce with caramelized onions added a nice sweetness. I also enjoyed that the bacon stayed crunchy even while swimming in the sauce. I would gladly eat these veggies again, but don’t worry, I won’t be going vegetarian anytime soon.
When the ribs arrived the first thing my nose noticed was the sweetness. They were nice and tender, not quite falling off the bone, and definitely had some chew. The sauce was caramelized on each rib so there was a good amount of flavor.
Up to this point, you are probably wondering why the title of this post is “Searching for an Identity”. In general, this is a very basic BBQ restaurant but placed in a BBQ void location, Frontenac. The key ingredients for a successful restaurant were there, but to me it was lacking that key factor (personality, originality, etc.) that would set it apart from other giants in the St. Louis BBQ scene. This was only after a month of being open, so maybe they will find their way to stand out. If you are in the area, it is a solid choice for BBQ. If you are on a BBQ pilgrimage, there are more worthy choices.
Dive 2 Five Scale: 3. The atmosphere here is lively and slightly noisy, so definitely kid friendly. There are 2 TV’s at the bar in case you want to catch a game. At the table they provide a wine menu rather than a beer list….maybe that is a Frontenac thing? Note that the fried chicken seemed to be popular. I didn’t try it but may have to in the future.