Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Photo by David Carson (Post-Dispatch)

Mariscos el Gato

One of 2016’s standout debuts, Mariscos el Gato, split in two last year, with chef Pedro “El Gato” Diaz taking his talents and the Mariscos el Gato name from the restaurant’s original Cherokee Street location to new digs in Bevo Mill. (The original location now operates as Mariscos Seafood; I haven’t dined there yet.) Diaz’s seafood cooking, inspired by the Pacific Mexican state of Nayarit, remains uniquely appealing. The best play is to visit with a group to feast on platters and molcajetes overloaded with crab, lobster, shrimp, octopus, mussels and more. The whole red snapper and seafood soups are terrific options for solo diners.

Hours: Lunch and dinner daily (closed Wednesday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2016

Must order: Huachinango al Gato (red snapper, $21.99)