Chef-owner Logan Ely sits in a booth at The Lucky Accomplice.

Logan Ely Delights Diners with His Two Restaurants in St. Louis

Monday May 8, 2023

By Rachel Huffman

A contemporary masterpiece of naturally fatty kanpachi layered with braised kombu, dotted with turnip and adorned with citrus. A blissful mash-up of confit carrots, caramelly dates, briny capers, burnt grapefruit and zesty gremolata.

Fluffy pizza dough stuffed with Slagel Family Farm beef and gooey American cheese and topped with shredded lettuce, crisp onion, sesame and a secret sauce. Silky panna cotta with notes of chamomile and orange.

Chef Logan Ely dreams up ambitious dishes like these for his two restaurants on South Jefferson Avenue: The Lucky Accomplice and Press.

Press serves stuffed pizzas alongside garlic cheese bread and draft cocktails.
Press | Photo by Mark Hermes

Although the neighboring restaurants serve vastly different cuisines, they’re both rooted in fun and influenced by farmers.

“Farming isn’t easy, but it’s essential,” Ely says, “and it makes me happy to give as much money as I can to local farmers. When I invite people into my space to serve something that I cooked, which someone I know farmed, it’s a special moment for everyone.”

The Lucky Accomplice serves dishes made with the freshest ingredients.
The Lucky Accomplice | Photo by Mark Hermes

Born and raised in St. Louis, Ely went to St. Louis Community College – Forest Park before bouncing around kitchens from Chicago to Copenhagen and Houston to Hong Kong. Returning to the Gateway City, he conducted cutting-edge pop-ups while figuring out how to open his own restaurant.

In 2018, Ely debuted Savage – renamed Shift in 2020 – where refined tasting menus both surprised and delighted diners. To grow his team and continue to challenge them, Ely opened The Lucky Accomplice in the fall of 2020.

Corey Moszer mixes drinks behind the bar of The Lucky Accomplice
Corey Moszer at The Lucky Accomplice | Photo by Mark Hermes

Marked by a neon rabbit rather than a sign, The Lucky Accomplice has a fun, boisterous atmosphere activated by the bar, where beverage director Corey Moszer crafts elegant cocktails, which accompany the forward-thinking wine list. Past highlights include Ring My Bell (1220 barrel-aged gin, rhubarb, raspberry, honey, lemon and Peychaud’s bitters), O! Paloma! (pink peppercorn tequila, ginger, grapefruit soda, lime and mint) and Espress Yourself (spiced rum, amaretto, vanilla stout syrup and cold-brew coffee garnished with a cookie).

Rabbit-themed décor, which ranges from whimsical to punkish, adds to the ambience, but it’s the inventive à la carte fare that guests remember most. Changing seasons and local ingredients dictate the menu, and we recommend ordering a variety of dishes to share with your table to fully experience Ely’s magic technique.

An exquisite dish is paired with a craft cocktail at The Lucky Accomplice.
The Lucky Accomplice | Photo by Mark Hermes

Right now, the grilled asparagus salad is a must-try dish. After grilling the asparagus, Ely and his team chill it and marinate it in olive oil and citrus kosho. They dress the asparagus with a brown butter vinaigrette, top it with a purée of brown butter and milk solids and plate it with fresh herbs.

The Roman-style gnocchi is also a crowd-pleaser. “We make the dough with fermented potatoes,” Ely explains. “Once the dough is cut and roasted – so that it’s almost like a cake – we serve it with wilted spinach and ramp leaves, pickled ramps, roasted maitake mushrooms and a ramp leaf sauce. It’s simple, but really tasty, and it highlights delicious seasonal ingredients.”

Press serves gooey stuffed pizzas in St. Louis.
Press | Photo by Mark Hermes

A year and a half after opening The Lucky Accomplice, Ely began playing with panini presses. His vision was to stuff pizza dough and then smash it.

“We thought it was hilarious,” Ely says. “When we got the opportunity to lease a space next to The Lucky Accomplice, we thought, ‘Why not? Let’s do it.’”

And so, Press was born.

Press serves draft cocktails in colorful glasses in St. Louis.
Press | Photo by Mark Hermes

With a lower price point and a more casual vibe than The Lucky Accomplice, Press appeals to a wide audience. Here, the pizzas are stuffed with enticing ingredients, and the cocktails are served on draft.

Start with the garlic cheese bread slathered with confit garlic, Fontina and Parmesan or the prosciutto di San Daniele and burrata, drizzled with pickled pear butter and paired with flatbread.

Then, dig into the housemade Italian sausage stuffed pizza smothered in rich tomato sauce, pickled fennel, dried black olives and fresh herbs or the al pastor pizza stuffed with braised pork shoulder and Oaxaca cheese and topped with cilantro-lime crema, roasted pineapple and queso fresco.

Wash it all down with draft cocktails such as the pineapple-basil Margarita, cranberry Mule and Italian Soda (bourbon, amaro, sweet vermouth, ginger and bitters).

Chef-owner Logan Ely sits at a table at Press in St. Louis.
Logan Ely at Press | Photo by Mark Hermes

“I want to help the St. Louis dining scene be the best that it can be,” Ely says. “With everything that I do, I strive to give guests fun and exciting experiences, but I also try to mentor the cooks that come through my kitchens, leading by example.”

When he isn’t in the kitchens of his restaurants, Ely gravitates towards his friends’ restaurants – think Bowood by Niche, O+O Pizza, Indo and Vicia.

“For me, the people make the St. Louis food-and-drink scene,” Ely says. “Our community is incredibly supportive – everyone is rooting for everyone. I think that creates a strong, stimulating industry, and it’s not something that you find everywhere.”