￼With this citation, the STL 100 says farewell to Juniper as we’ve known it. John Perkins’ Southern restaurant is slated to relocate later this year to a larger space about a half-mile south of its original Central West End home. This will actually be Juniper’s third life; the restaurant started in 2013 as the pop-up concept a Good Man Is Hard to Find. Its growth since then has been remarkable. Perkins and executive chef Jeff Friesen continue to build around the dishes that have been Juniper’s hallmark (fried chicken, shrimp and grits, the bread basket) with exciting new fare. My visit this fall found a “taco” with a crisp, luscious fritter of smoked hog’s-head meat and blackened catfish distinguished by crawfish and aged maple syrup. I can’t wait to see what’s next — and, I expect, even better.
Hours: Dinner Monday-Saturday
Last year's ranking: No. 15
Must order: Menu changes frequently