Post-Dispatch file photo


Quincy Street Bistro

Rick Lewis put Quincy Street Bistro on the culinary map, so the news that he was leaving the restaurant to open Southern with the Pappy’s Smokehouse team worried fans of Mike and Sue Enright’s corner tavern. Our concerns, though understandable, were unfounded. Southern is a smash hit, and at Quincy Street Bistro, first under chef Chris Tirone and since November with Chris Ladley helming the kitchen, the engine Lewis built continues to hum. Or, as Ladley himself told me, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That means applying a chef’s sure hand and the contemporary concern for quality, often locally sourced ingredients to comfort-food classics local (toasted ravioli filled with smoked hog’s-head meat), Southern (chicken-fried steak) and universal (meatloaf). The selection of burgers and sandwiches is especially strong, chief among them the Southsider, griddled bologna, cheddar fondue and a sunny-side-up egg. I’m no longer concerned for Quincy Street Bistro — just anxious to see where Ladley takes it next.

Last year's ranking: 14

Opened: 2011

Must order: The Southsider ($10)