Photo by Christian Gooden, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Salt + Smoke

A new barbecue joint needs to offer something special to stand out amid the Great St. Louis ’Cue Boom of recent years. Salt + Smoke, which restaurateur Tom Schmidt (Franco in Soulard) opened in June 2014, hooks you with the best beef brisket in town. Pitmaster Jon Dreja (who is also Franco’s executive chef) smokes the brisket over post oak, the wood of choice in Texas, for up to 18 hours. The fatty cut is perfect: luscious, smoky and peppery. The rest of the menu — pork ribs, pulled pork, chicken — is no slouch, either. Salt + Smoke features table service and a bar focused on craft beer and bourbon.