The national food-restaurant blogging empire Eater has yet to open up a St. Louis branch and give us local food-media types a serious case of agita. But the folks at Eater definitely have us on their radar, and they recently asked me to help assemble a "Heat Map" of St. Louis hottest new(ish) restaurants.
The choices include some of the highest profile openings of the past few months: Gerard Craft's Pastaria (7734 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-862-6603), Marcella's Mia Sorella (14426 Clayton Road, Ballwin; 636-333-1015) and Little Country Gentleman (8135 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-0719).
There is barbecue from Sugarfire Smokehouse (9200 Olive Boulevard, Suite 114, Olivette; 314-997-2301), burgers from 5-Star Burgers (8125 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314-720-4350) and Korean-Mexican fusion from the bricks-and-mortar Seoul Taco (571 Melville Avenue, University City; 314-863-1148).
And even though it's been open for a while longer than these other places, I'm still buzzing about my visits to Blood & Sand (1500 St. Charles Street; 314-241-7263).
Alas, two ventures that are certain to be much-discussed entered their soft-opening phases only after we put this list together: Ben Poremba's Elaia and Olio and Zoë Robinson Pidgeon's Bar Les Frères. All the more reason for Eater to return sooner rather than later.