Photo by Roberto Rodriguez



The blessing and the curse of being a restaurant critic? (Besides the expense account and the weight gain, that is?) You’re never done learning what’s out there, what’s new, and what you’ve missed or misjudged or forgotten about. Case in point: Veritas, David and Stephanie Stitt’s wine shop, gourmet market and restaurant in Ellisville, where their son, Mathis, is the executive chef as well as a co-owner. I’d eaten at Veritas before. I’d included it in last year’s inaugural STL 100. But not until my most recent dinner there, from Mathis Stitt’s oft-changing “fine-dining menu” (available for dinner Thursday through Saturday) did I realize just how great Veritas is. Crisp-edged cornbread with bacon jam and foie-gras butter could hold its own with any of the newly trendy Southern dishes in town. And then there was the pan-roasted barramundi, served with a slab of pork belly, a sort of fritter made from creamed rice and a slew of vegetables (Brussels sprouts, turnips, carrots) in a citrus-bacon broth. It was as beautifully plated and complexly flavored as anything I’d eaten all year. Veritas is now in the Top 25, where it should have already been. I suspect it might go higher still.

Last year's ranking: Unranked

Opened: 2004

Must order: Menu changes frequently