Photo by Sid Hastings

Signature India

Signature India doesn’t follow the template for Indian restaurants in St. Louis. There’s no lunch buffet, and while chicken tikka masala, vegetable korma and a few other familiar dishes are on the menu, its true focus is on the cuisine of owner Sateesh Kodebattula’s native Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere in India’s south. In standout dishes like the gongura goat curry and ulavacharu goat biryani, the fierce heat of chiles works in concert with sour, tangy and even medicinal notes for an effect that is as revelatory as it is delicious. Signature India’s menu also includes idli and other breakfast dishes as well as snacks available only during the late afternoon or on the weekend — reasons to return here repeatedly. I know I’ll be back.

Last year's ranking: New

Opened: 2014

Must order: Gongura goat curry ($14.99)