1998: The Year in Dining

But can all of these projects succeed simultaneously? The Metropolis-belonging, city- and region-loving side of me says yes, but the longtime observer of torn-down landmarks, parking-fine-driven fiefdoms and civic dithering reserves the right to be skeptical.

Luckily, there's always a new restaurant to try in the meantime. And if you're looking for one, here's my traditional list of the Top 5 new restaurants I visited in 1998:

Babalu's, 8 1/2 S. Euclid, 367-7833. Bright colors and a lighthearted atmosphere mix well with a serious approach to the cooking of the Caribbean islands.

Location Info

Map

The Crossing

7823 Forsyth Blvd.
Clayton, MO 63105

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Clayton

Harvest

1059 S. Big Bend Blvd.
Richmond Heights, MO 63117

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Richmond Heights

Cardwell's At The Plaza

94 Plaza Frontenac
Frontenac, MO 63131

Category: Restaurant > Fine Dining

Region: Des Peres

Cafe Provencal

427 S. Kirkwood Road
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Category: Restaurant > French

Region: Kirkwood

Pueblo Solis

5127 Hampton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63109

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: St. Louis - St. Louis Hills

Zhivago's Russian Restaurant

15480 Clayton Road
Ballwin, MO 63011-3172

Category: Restaurant > European

Region: Manchester/ Ballwin

Miris Dunja

1216 Hampton Ave.
St Louis, MO 63139-3149

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: St. Louis - South City

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse-Downtown

315 Chestnut St.
St. Louis, MO 63102

Category: Restaurant > Steakhouse

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Flaco's Tacos

116 N. 6th St.
St Louis, MO 63101-1822

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Trattoria Marcella

3600 Watson Road
St. Louis, MO 63109

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: St. Louis - St. Louis Hills

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Cafe Mira, 12 N. Meramec, 721-7801. Enough people seeing and being seen to fill an entire Jerry Berger column, but they're also there for well-executed rewarding risks like the orange-and-chile-glazed breast of duck and sea bass with potato-fennel puree.

The Crossing, 7823 Forsyth, 721-7375. From the piquant blue-cheese-souffle amuse-gueule all the way through to a finale of lemon-ginger creme brulee, each successive course is artfully and meticulously prepared and always offers the unexpected. This place certainly aspires to a national reputation.

Pueblo Solis, 5127 Hampton, 351-9000. A small, family-run spot that takes Mexican up a notch with thoughtful preparations like a filet of beef elegantly presented in stripes of mole sauce. The basics are very good here, and the out-of- the-ordinary stuff is even better.

Zhivago's, 15480 Clayton Rd., 394-5758. The lowly beet and cabbage are elevated to royalty in this Russian palace, and the rest of the vast menu includes everything from elegantly sliced rare tenderloin of beef to hearty lamb and densely flavored smoked sturgeon.

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