September 27, 2012 Slideshows

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Best Of® St. Louis Food & Drink 2012 

Selected Best Of® St. Louis 2012 food & drink winners. For the full Best Of® rundown, hop over to riverfronttimes.com/bestof.
Jennifer Silverberg
Cleveland-Heath - Best New Restaurant
You can't go home again? Nonsense. Bethalto, Illinois, native Jennifer Cleveland returned to the metro east last year from the oft-extolled climes of California, and the restaurant that she and her partner, Eric Heath, opened in downtown Edwardsville has had mouths watering on both sides of the Mississippi River since day one.
Robin Wheeler
Anthony Devoti - Best Local Chef
Many a chef will talk your ear off about the virtues of seasonal, local produce. But few, if any, are as committed to the concept as Anthony Devoti.
Jennifer Silverberg
Dressel's - Best Bar Food
It almost seems like an insult to call the food at Dressel's the Best bar food in St. Louis.
Handlebar - Best Hipster Bar
By definition, a hipster will vehemently deny that he is one. But there's no mistaking the youthful, cyclist elite populating Handlebar. That isn't to say the bar itself is exclusive or requires a strict membership.
Mama Josephine's - Best Comfort Food
In March 2010, Mary Samuelson opened Mama Josephine's, bringing to the Shaw neighborhood deep-fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, chicken and dumplings, chicken-fried steak, catfish, pulled-pork sandwiches, fried okra and all the other stick-to-your-ribs fixins' that define comfort food.
International Tap House - Best Beer Selection in a Bar
International Tap House — call it iTAP if you want to hang with the cool crowd — could win this honor solely on the basis of the draft selections at its locations in Chesterfield and Soulard.
Jennifer Silverberg
Plush - Best Breakfast with a Hangover
Plush. The very name is suggestive. The morning after, when your head is pounding and your stomach is roiling with perilous waves of still-undigested booze and you don't want to be around anything with any sharp corners or anything that sounds like it may have sharp corners, Plush is just right.
Pumpernickles Delicatessen - Best Pastrami
Drive out to Creve Coeur, more specifically to Pumpernickles Delicatessen, where the pastrami is brined and then seasoned with just the right amount of garlic and pepper — enough to give it a kick, but not enough to burn you.
Jennifer Silverberg
Niche - Best Desserts
In a town where, sad to say, serving crème brûlée in a flavor other than vanilla counts as edgy, the desserts at Niche stand head, shoulders, torso and waist above all the rest.
Urban Eats Cafe - Best Smoothie
The smoothie menu at Urban Eats Café in Dutchtown is small, but it's choice.
Chrissy Wilmes
Winslow's Home - Best Takeout Counter (Gourmet Division)
Sometimes after a busy workday, fumbling through the freezer for dinner suffices just fine. Other nights you know you deserve better. Such times are when you head to Winslow's Home.
Jennifer Silverberg
Sanctuaria - Best Drink Menu
Sanctuaria's Matt Seiter has been one of the leading lights of St. Louis' surging mixology scene for several years now, and people outside of town are starting to take notice: He was a finalist for the bartending contest at this year's "Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival" in Kansas City, and last summer, the restaurant's "Cocktail Club" menu was one of four finalists for "World's Best Drink Selection" at the annual Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans.
Robin Wheeler
GCS Ballpark - Best Place to Get Fatter
A fan of America's favorite pastime could get fat just stepping into a stadium; the fried, sugar-coated, cheese-doused and/or salt-soaked lurks around every corner.
Jennifer Silverberg
Peel Wood Fired Pizza - Best Pizza (Thin Crust)
You don't have to look very hard to find the secret to Peel Wood Fired Pizza's success.
House of India - Best Indian Restaurant
When the front doors open and the angle and breeze are just right, the subtle but unmistakable aroma of garam masala floods the strip mall at Delmar Boulevard and Interstate 170 like one of those plug-in atomizers set to "India."
Robin Wheeler
Super's Bungalow - Best Neighborhood Bar (City)
Super's Bungalow took its name from its previous owner, the late "Super Sam" Eveland — a union autoworker and shuffleboard legend. (His son, St. Louis Fire Department Captain Dan Eveland, now holds the keys.)
Bob's Seafood - Best Fresh Seafood Counter
Here in 100 percent ocean-free St. Louis, it's hard to know the great sea and its delicious culinary treasures, which is why we are so grateful that we have Bob's Seafood to broaden our horizons.
Rease Kirchner
"The Grounds" - Best Salad
The menu at Foundation Grounds is minimalist for a reason.
Sarah Rusnak
Sweetie Pie's at the Mangrove - Best Soul Food Restaurant
Robbie Montgomery's iconic soul-food spot sees slightly larger crowds these days thanks to its star turn in Welcome to Sweetie Pie's, one of the few successful shows on Oprah Winfrey's new, ratings-challenged cable network.
Bailey's Range - Best Decor
You can count on three things at any Dave Bailey restaurant (Baileys' Chocolate Bar, Rooster, Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar): good food, an impressive array of adult beverages and a very distinctive look.
1/20
Jennifer Silverberg
Cleveland-Heath - Best New Restaurant
You can't go home again? Nonsense. Bethalto, Illinois, native Jennifer Cleveland returned to the metro east last year from the oft-extolled climes of California, and the restaurant that she and her partner, Eric Heath, opened in downtown Edwardsville has had mouths watering on both sides of the Mississippi River since day one.
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