Photo by Cristina M. Fletes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Reeds American Table

Matthew Daughaday won many fans, myself among them, for his work as executive chef at Gerard Craft’s Taste, and the best dishes at his first restaurant, Reeds American Table, continue his knack for playful, soulful and technically precise cooking. This is especially true among the selection of small plates: braised beef cheek gilded with foie-gras cream; beer-braised pork ribs accented with five-spice powder and an orange-soy-hoisin glaze; cornbread fried in bacon fat, a welcome carryover from Taste. The main courses tend toward upscale takes on classic comfort food (chicken pot pie, meatloaf, a pork chop). Don’t overlook the burger, a patty of ground dry-aged rib-eye and a bit of brisket elevated to the upper rank of the St. Louis burger elite by a tallow aioli.

Last year's ranking: New

Opened: 2015

Must order: Braised beef cheek ($13)