Ian Froeb's STL 100

Cinder House

Gerard Craft has deepened the Brazilian connection at Cinder House, the acclaimed chef’s collaboration with the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis. Craft credits his childhood nanny, the late Cecelia “Dia” Assuncao, as a major influence on his cooking, and Cinder House opened with pão de queijo, feijoada and other dishes from her native Brazil alongside steaks and chops. Now Craft has introduced Dia’s Room in the restaurant's private dining room. The tasting menu from Craft and executive chef Josh Adams bridges Brazilian fare and the progressive cooking of Craft’s late flagship Niche. My dinner in January included stunning dishes: dry-aged squab and confit squab leg in a tucupi broth; a version of feijoada with A5 wagyu beef, fermented-orange puree and an intensely savory beef jus; a riff on moqueca with prawn lacquered in fermented-chile vinegar and agave with lobster-coconut foam over a dende-onion soubise. I happened to visit on the first menu that Craft credits to the then-recently hired Adams, and the evolution of Dia’s Room under Adams’ direction will be fascinating to observe.

Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (Dia's Room dinner Friday-Saturday by advance-purchase ticket)

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2018

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