Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by J.B. Forbes (Post-Dispatch)



Calling Rob Connoley's Bulrush a restaurant is inadequate. It is an ongoing research project into Ozark foodways pre-1870. It is an agricultural rescue mission, attempting to grow crops long thought lost (if anyone thought of them at all). It is a moral argument for zero-waste and rigorously local cooking. And it is, yes, a restaurant — a spectacular one at that, weaving history, local (often foraged) produce and modernist technique into a briskly paced tasting menu. Your experience will almost certainly differ from mine this past summer, but you can expect surprising bites (a cattail pollen shell encasing a pop of strawberry amazake) and reimagined comforts (a traditional hand pie filled with stewed rhubarb, ricotta and acorn tamari). The tasting menu isn't mandatory; Bulrush offers an a-la-carte bar menu and, new since my review last year, the “Chef's Whim” menu, with shared dishes and drinks for two.

Hours: Dinner Thursday-Sunday (closed Monday-Wednesday)

Last year's ranking: New this year

Opened: 2019

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