Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Hillary Levin (Post-Dispatch)


Olive + Oak

Shortly after this edition of the STL 100 is published, Webster Groves blockbuster Olive + Oak will move a block west to 216 West Lockwood Avenue. The new building is larger and will contain an event space as well as a satellite brewery and tasting room from Perennial Artisan Ales. Crucially, though, as co-owner Mark Hinkle told me, the actual restaurant will retain its intimate vibe. “I’ve seen it happen too many times where you try to move or expand, and you know, it just changes things,” Hinkle said. The new building aside, I wouldn’t change anything about Olive + Oak, where nothing seems out of reach for chef Jesse Mendica and her team, thanks to inspiration (a recent dish that recast tacos al pastor as a sort of chilaquiles with octopus) and impeccable technique (perfect oysters roasted or fried, the luscious cheddar grits that serve as the bed for espresso-rubbed beef tenderloin).

Hours: Dinner daily

Last year's ranking: No. 6

Opened: 2016

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