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

Retreat Gastropub

Owner Travis Howard and chef Michael Friedman haven’t broken new ground at this Central West End newcomer. A glance at its menu might prompt jaded diners to roll their eyes. Mac and cheese? Flatbreads? A griddled burger, with (of course) a sunny-side-up egg on it? But Retreat Gastropub matters because it invests these familiar dishes with energy and care, turning out a better griddled burger (with egg), a better bistro steak (a teres major cut served with a verdant chimichurri), better small plates, flatbreads and cocktails (especially the smoky, spicy mezcal- and tequila-based Oaxaca Flocka Flame). It’s a restaurant that will make you happy — and that should keep many other St. Louis restaurants on their toes.

Last year's ranking: New

Opened: 2015

Must order: Farmhouse burger ($14)