Have you ever asked yourself what would bring you to the beach-volleyball court in St. Charles’ New Town community? (Go ahead. Ask yourself now. I’ll wait.) The answer is one of the area’s rising-star chefs, Jessie Gilroy, a veteran of Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill, the Tavern Kitchen & Bar and Sidney Street Cafe, who has opened her first restaurant on this faux beachfront. Gilroy’s cooking shows skill, smarts and an appealing why-not? brio. For maximum flavor, she sous-vides chicken with jerk seasoning before dredging it in jerk-seasoned flour and frying it. The Duck Grilled Cheese pairs duck confit with a blend of American, Gruyere and raclette cheese.
Hours: Dinner Monday-Saturday, brunch Sunday (closed Tuesday)
Last year's ranking: New this year
Must order: Jerk fried chicken ($18)