Best Never Went - 2009
Sidney Street Café
For nearly a quarter of a century, Sidney Street Café has been the crown jewel of Benton Park and among the city's most popular restaurants, one of the first spots discussed when dinner isn't merely dinner but a Special Occasion. Even more remarkable is the fact that the restaurant continues not merely to prosper — it remains one of the toughest reservations in St. Louis — but to innovate. Chef Kevin Nashan and his wife, Mina, bought Sidney Street from long-time owner Tom McKinley in 2004, and Nashan has added a contemporary flair to the restaurant's old-school charm. Standout dishes include applewood-smoked duck, confit of sweetbreads and just about any pork or lamb dish. (The pork belly is probably the best in town.) St. Louis is blessed to have a restaurant that has been this terrific this consistently. At its current level of excellence, Sidney Street Café is good for another quarter-century at least.