Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Photo by David Carson (Post-Dispatch)


Now into its second decade, Jim Fiala’s Acero isn’t resting on its reputation. Sure, the menu from Fiala, general manager Adam Karl Gnau and chef de cuisine Andy Hirstein delivers the famous egg raviolo, the should-be-as-famous gnocco fritto (essentially, prosciutto-topped doughnuts), gorgeous crudo and classic pastas. But at a winter dinner here, what I expected to be a straightforward dish of lamb chops over sweet-potato spaetzle popped with brilliant, springlike flavor thanks to a pomegranate sugo. The meal began with an equally impressive bruschetta with mortadella mousse, lemon zest, white balsamic and pistachio. As always, Acero’s $40 four-course tasting menu is the best approach.

Hours: Dinner Monday-Saturday

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2007

Must order: Gnocco fritto ($9)