Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Michael Thomas



Billie-Jean is the best of restaurateur Zoë Robinson and chef Ny Vongsaly's three Wydown Boulevard collaborations, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. (You will find their other two restaurants, Bar Les Frères and I Fratellini, on this list.) Over Billie-Jean’s first two years, drawing on his lifetime of cooking, Vongsaly has built an entire menu of new signature dishes: coffee-rubbed beef carpaccio; the shrimp-pork dumpling soup with lemon grass and lime leaf; braised short ribs with citrus-horseradish gremolata. Billie-Jean also delivers terrific versions of familiar fare: pizza (on my last visit, a lovely salty-sweet-spicy arrangement of speck, squash and chiles) and grilled steak with fries. Robinson’s inimitable style — here, a boldly stark array of black-on-white Motherwell prints and black-and-white photographs — has created an ambience that, even by her standards, is unapologetically grown-up, a reminder that dining out can still be, if only for an hour or two, an escape into a more glamorous life.

Hours: Dinner Tuesday-Saturday (closed Sunday-Monday)

Last year's ranking: No. 9

Opened: 2017

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