Photo by Laurie Skrivan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Three Flags Tavern

The top new restaurant of 2014 infuses the upscale-comfort trend that has swept through the dining scene here and elsewhere with the personal touches of chef John O’Brien, a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry who has finally opened his own place. You’ll find top-notch versions of the expected favorites (lobster rolls warm and cold, the ground-brisket burger and especially the fried chicken) and old standbys reinvigorated (fried cheese, mussels and even steak Diane). Excellent service and a lovely, cozy bar and dining room make Three Flags Tavern the epitome of the neighborhood restaurant.