Ian Froeb's STL 100

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



If you visit Louie's Instagram page, you will see many photos celebrating the staff of this 2-year-old restaurant. Birthday celebrations. Everyday celebrations. They are as compelling a reason to return to Louie as the food. Owner Matt McGuire is renowned in St. Louis for his hospitality, but that is too corporate a word for what he is building here. Call it a chosen family, one that just so happens to throw a hell of a dinner party. McGuire, chef Sean Turner and Louie's team found a winning formula from the beginning: wood-fired pizzas, hearty pastas (Roman gnocco with pork ragu, béchamel and pecorino; chitarra with tomato, basil, chiles and Parmigiano-Reggiano), and among the best grilled pork chops and roasted chicken in town. They also know sometimes you need nothing more than great ingredients by themselves — a bowl of Castelvetrano olives, a plate of prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano — and great company.

Hours: Dinner Monday-Saturday (closed Sunday)

Last year's ranking: No. 11

Opened: 2017

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