Ian Froeb's STL 100 (2018 archive)

Photo by Laurie Skrivan (Post-Dispatch)


Olive + Oak

Neither time nor the opening next door of the more casual spinoff restaurant, the Clover and the Bee, have made it any easier to dine at Olive + Oak. Prime reservations at 2016’s blockbuster debut require as much advance planning to acquire as “Hamilton” tickets, and when I visited on a frigid Monday evening in January, the wait for a walk-in table was 45 minutes. (I’d planned to sit at the bar. It was full, of course. I sat at the front-window counter.) I doubt the crowds will thin soon. Chef Jesse Mendica cooks superlative versions of the foods you want to eat, from classic starters (blue-crab dip, cheese curds, wings) to large-format indulgences (Dover sole, the signature prime steak for two).

Hours: Dinner daily

Last year's ranking: No. 11

Opened: 2016

Must order: Blue-crab gratin ($14)