The optimal way to appreciate the smoked salmon at Bixby's, the restaurant inside the Missouri History Museum, is to eat it without any accompaniment. This, after all, is sushi-grade salmon (Shetland salmon from Scotland, to be precise), and when you spot the gorgeous dusky orange flesh on Bixby's brunch buffet, you might mistake it for sashimi. Executive chef Todd Lough and his team purchase the fish whole (via Bob's Seafood in University City) then cure and cold-smoke it themselves. The result is a luscious texture -- it is to salmon what prosciutto is to ham -- and a flavor that imparts a fresh ocean sweetness with a hint of smoke. One bite and you'll never think of salmon the same way again.
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