Ian Froeb's STL 100

Post-Dispatch file photo


Travis Howard and Tim Wiggins keep working. Not content with one Central West End hot spot in Retreat Gastropub, in 2018 they opened the more ambitious Yellowbelly, featuring visually dazzling and often delicious seafood dishes and a rum-focused beverage program from cocktail expert Wiggins. When I returned to Yellowbelly in late 2019, Howard and Wiggins and executive chef Ben Tulin had tightened Yellowbelly's menu, ditching the over-the-top large-format fare, though not the focus on big flavors. I enjoyed one of my favorite dishes from my 2018 visits, the spicy, briny Wu-Tang Clams, and a lovely piece of barramundi with warm, Moroccan-inspired seasoning. Howard and Wiggins haven't stopped working. This winter, aware of national trends, they tried a delivery-only “ghost kitchen” concept called Soupboi out of Yellowbelly.

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

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.