This year’s STL 100 bids farewell to two higher-end but unstuffy neighborhood bistros: Three Flags Tavern, which closed in March 2017, and Grapeseed, which closed a month later. Fortunately, the 2018 list welcomes Polite Society, a warm, upscale but neither pretentious nor budget-busting bistro in the heart of Lafayette Square. Chef Thomas Futrell is equally at home with chicken wings (you don’t need to know he confits the wings before frying them to order to enjoy them), a steak with an old-school foyot sauce and a massive pork “osso buco.” Polite Society also offers interesting vegetarian options.
Hours: Dinner daily, lunch Monday-Friday, brunch Saturday-Sunday
Last year's ranking: New this year
Must order: Shrimp & grits ($14)