Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by David Carson (Post-Dispatch)


Under the stewardship of chef de cuisine Andy Hirstein and general manager Adam Karl Gnau, Jim Fiala's Acero can still surprise. Most recently, the menu tempted me away from not one but two go-to pastas — the renowned egg raviolo and the spaghetti alla chitarra in Amatriciana sauce — for a bowl of rye gnocchi and braised beef cheeks enlivened by lemon zest and parsley. In chilly weather, I can't imagine a more satisfying dish. Acero delights whether you stick to your favorite dishes (the ethereal gnocco fritto with gossamer slices of prosciutto) or venture outside your comfort zone. As ever, Acero's prix-fixe is a terrific value at $40 — and remains so even if a specific dish adds a supplement of a few dollars.

Hours: Dinner Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2007

Many St. Louis-area restaurants are closed or limiting their dining options during the coronavirus pandemic.