Ian Froeb's STL 100

Photo by Laurie Skrivan (Post-Dispatch)

Polite Society

The team behind Polite Society (owners Brian Schmitz and Jonathan Schoen, chef Thomas Futrell and beverage director Travis Hebrank) opened the Bellwether last year. The new restaurant is meant to be more of a destination than Polite Society, and its ambiance is more sophisticated. But when I returned to Polite Society after reviewing the Bellwether, I saw a baseline for excellence — a reason why Polite Society, a neighborhood restaurant, is a destination itself. With Daniel Sammons as chef de cuisine, Polite Society continues to turn out polished comfort fare: wings, shrimp and grits, and, new to me on my recent visit, pork belly over sweet-potato biscuits. There is also synergy between the two restaurants, with Polite Society serving bison short ribs braised in red wine over pasta from the Bellwether.

Hours: Dinner daily, lunch Monday-Friday, brunch Saturday-Sunday

Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best

Opened: 2017

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