￼Gerard Craft finally opened the Nashville, Tenn., outpost of Pastaria in September 2017, the acclaimed chef’s first restaurant outside St. Louis and the concept most suited for expansion. This is good news for Nashville, not least because Music City scored the great Niche Food Group pastry chef Mathew Rice as part of the deal. The good news for St. Louis: Ashley Shelton remains executive chef in Clayton, with Evy Swoboda as her chef de cuisine. (Shelton is also now executive chef of Sardella, giving her two restaurants in the STL 100’s top 10.) Shelton, Swoboda and crew continue to turn out lovely pastas (especially Shelton’s beloved bucatini all’Amatriciana) and Neapolitan pizzas, all the more impressive given how busy Pastaria constantly is.
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Saturday-Sunday
Last year's ranking: No. 9
Must order: Bucatini all’Amatriciana ($16.25)