Chef Nicholas Martinkovic is making his mark on St. Louis food. Imported from Brooklyn to helm the kitchen at Central Table Food Hall, Martinkovic was lured to Blood & Sand in January.
Since arriving at the private restaurant and bar, the chef has focused on balancing member expectations (those truffled tots are staying on the menu) with pushing culinary boundaries. Acidity punctuates Martinkovic’s dishes, ensuring flavors that pop. Iberico secreto (a highly marbled cut of the famed Spanish pig), is plated with chestnut purée, sautéed treviso (a mild cousin of radicchio) and orange. Rich, bitter, sweet, tart and nutty. Big eye tuna is charred with a blowtorch, cut into ruby rectangles and partnered with shaved apple, togarashi spice, shiso leaf and bone marrow powder, an artful and memorable presentation. In a nod to his Slavic heritage, Martinkovic’s pierogies – potato-stuffed dumplings – are richly garnished with crab, crème fraîche and chives. And in case you’re wondering, B&S does still have memberships available.
Blood & Sand, 1500 St. Charles St., Downtown, 314.241.7263, bloodandsandstl.com