Our 20 Favorite Restaurant Openings of 2013

Collage made up of photos by Jon Gitchoff and Jennifer Silverberg.
Collage made up of photos by Jon Gitchoff and Jennifer Silverberg.

As the year winds ever closer to its end, we here at Gut Check are getting awfully nostalgic for the year that is and was 2013. In celebration, we compiled a list of the twenty restaurants, coffee shops, bars, burger shacks, BBQ joints, and so on that opened for business in 2013 and changed the dining landscape of St. Louis for the better.

This list is in alphabetical order with the exception of the top spot, which in 2013 goes to The Libertine (7927 Forsyth Boulevard), Josh Galliano's new Clayton restaurant. The other nineteen are listed but not ranked. All the love.

See also: Impeccable Element Is Lafayette Square's Newest Jewel

The Libertine
[Opened in May]

The dining room at the Libertine -- a "neighborhood eatery" in Clayton -- which opened in May. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The dining room at the Libertine -- a "neighborhood eatery" in Clayton -- which opened in May.
The twice-cooked duck egg, garden-vegetable salad and chicken-fat sherry vinaigrette. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The twice-cooked duck egg, garden-vegetable salad and chicken-fat sherry vinaigrette.
Ramen -- soft poached egg, noodles, molasses bacon and pickled shiitakes -- from the lunch menu. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Ramen -- soft poached egg, noodles, molasses bacon and pickled shiitakes -- from the lunch menu.

* * *

Adam's Smokehouse
[Opened in October]

A tri-tip sandwich. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
A tri-tip sandwich.
A smoked salami sandwich with a sampling of ribs, potato salad and coleslaw. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
A smoked salami sandwich with a sampling of ribs, potato salad and coleslaw.
Order at the counter to eat in or carry out. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Order at the counter to eat in or carry out.

Click here to view as a single page.

* * *

Baida
[Opened in September]

Eggplant stuffed with grouper. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Eggplant stuffed with grouper.
Tomatoes stuffed with a goat cheese sauce. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Tomatoes stuffed with a goat cheese sauce.
Zaaluk, fresh eggplant and tomato blended with olive oil, cilantro, garlic and cumin, with herb crostini. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Zaaluk, fresh eggplant and tomato blended with olive oil, cilantro, garlic and cumin, with herb crostini.

* * *

Blueprint Coffee
[Opened on Labor Day]

Cesmach coffee: It's better from a beaker. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Cesmach coffee: It's better from a beaker.
Toasted French peasant bread with Havarti cheese and Cesmach coffee. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Toasted French peasant bread with Havarti cheese and Cesmach coffee.
People watching on Delmar. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
People watching on Delmar.

* * *

Central Table Food Hall
[Opened in May]

Decadent bone marrow with grilled bread, watercress and shallots. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Decadent bone marrow with grilled bread, watercress and shallots.
Wine in the beverage cooler at Central Table Food Hall. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Wine in the beverage cooler at Central Table Food Hall.
Martell Barnett prepares a tomato-basil panini. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Martell Barnett prepares a tomato-basil panini.

* * *

Chubbies
[Opened in February]

A "Double Chubbie Cheddar" comes stacked with two patties, cheddar and carmelized onions. Seen here with the addition of bacon and a side of crinkle fries. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
A "Double Chubbie Cheddar" comes stacked with two patties, cheddar and carmelized onions. Seen here with the addition of bacon and a side of crinkle fries.
Chubbie's facade, 6227 Delmar Boulevard. "Just read the words printed across the windows burgers, wings, frozen custard and envision the hordes of hungry students walking back from campus to their new Wash. U. digs." -- Ian Froeb - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Chubbie's facade, 6227 Delmar Boulevard. "Just read the words printed across the windows burgers, wings, frozen custard and envision the hordes of hungry students walking back from campus to their new Wash. U. digs." -- Ian Froeb
Frozen custard with Oreos. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Frozen custard with Oreos.

* * *

Corner 17
[Opened in August]

Ramen with beef and bok choy. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Ramen with beef and bok choy.
Milk tea. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Milk tea.
Co-owner Guang Zhao behind the counter. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Co-owner Guang Zhao behind the counter.

* * *

Cucina Pazzo
[Opened in November]

Housemade linguini with shrimp and clams. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Housemade linguini with shrimp and clams.
Swordfish with spinach and potatoes. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Swordfish with spinach and potatoes.
Get a front-row seat to Euclid Avenue. - Nancy Stiles
Nancy Stiles
Get a front-row seat to Euclid Avenue.

* * *

Element
[Opened in August]

Element's hamburger is served on a brioche bun with cheddar, bacon and egg. - Corey Woodruff
Corey Woodruff
Element's hamburger is served on a brioche bun with cheddar, bacon and egg.
Element's dining room. - Corey Woodruff
Corey Woodruff
Element's dining room.
Element's Reuben sandwich with side salad. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Element's Reuben sandwich with side salad.

* * *

Juniper
[Opened in October]

Juniper's chicken and waffles dish with pickled watermelon rind. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Juniper's chicken and waffles dish with pickled watermelon rind.
Kale salad with cornbread croutons. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Kale salad with cornbread croutons.
Outside Juniper in the Central West End. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Outside Juniper in the Central West End.

* * *

La Patisserie Chouquette
[Opened in March]

Clockwise from bottom left: The "Ooh La La" ($4.50) strawberry-pistachio tart, a "Bananas Foster Bombe" ($5) and a "Mille Crepe" ($4.25) flavored with white chocolate and Matcha. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Clockwise from bottom left: The "Ooh La La" ($4.50) strawberry-pistachio tart, a "Bananas Foster Bombe" ($5) and a "Mille Crepe" ($4.25) flavored with white chocolate and Matcha.
Our 20 Favorite Restaurant Openings of 2013
Mabel Suen
Our 20 Favorite Restaurant Openings of 2013
Mabel Suen

* * *

Melt
[Opened in March]

The "Violet Beauregarde" with bleuberry coulis, blueberries. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
The "Violet Beauregarde" with bleuberry coulis, blueberries.
A "Blue Ox" cornmeal waffle with caramelized onions, slow cooked brisket, - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
A "Blue Ox" cornmeal waffle with caramelized onions, slow cooked brisket,
Inside Melt on Cherokee Street. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Inside Melt on Cherokee Street.

* * *

Mi Linh
[Opened in May]

The dac biet combination plates comes with grilled and shredded pork, paste egg cake, egg over easy and bean curd skin-wrap with shrimp. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The dac biet combination plates comes with grilled and shredded pork, paste egg cake, egg over easy and bean curd skin-wrap with shrimp.
Mi Linh's dining room. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Mi Linh's dining room.
Mi vit tiem, the five-herb duck, is slow-cooked and served over egg noodles and baby bok choy. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Mi vit tiem, the five-herb duck, is slow-cooked and served over egg noodles and baby bok choy.

* * *

Mike Shannon's Grill
[Opened in March]

The "BBBB" is barbecued burger made of a blend of bison, blue cheese and bacon on a brioche bun. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The "BBBB" is barbecued burger made of a blend of bison, blue cheese and bacon on a brioche bun.
The "Moscow Mule" is vodka, ginger beer and lime. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The "Moscow Mule" is vodka, ginger beer and lime.
The bar at Mike Shannon's in Edwardsville. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The bar at Mike Shannon's in Edwardsville.

* * *

Mission Taco
[Opened in February]

The tacos offered at Mission Taco, from left to right, are: napoles (roasted cactus, poblano, caramelized onion, goat cheese, roasted jalapeno salsa); roasted duck (shredded chile-roasted duck, crisp pork belly, avocado serrano sauce); Mofu tofu (chile grilled local tofu, avocado, arugula, ancho barbecue sauce, grilled onions); carne asada (grilled flank steak, baby arugula, creamy avocado serrano sauce, queso fresco); Yucatan chicken (achiote marinated chicken, pickled onion, fiery arbol salsa, queso fresco); Cochinita pibil (achiote marinated pork shoulder, slow roasted in banana leaf with pickled onion and ancho barbecue sauce); Baja fish tacos (wood grilled or fried, chipolte baja sauce, cabbage, pico de gallo, queso fresco); beef brisket birria (slow-roasted brisket, pork belly carnitas, avocado, fiery arbol sauce). Shown with grilled-vegetable quinoa and roasted street corn. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The tacos offered at Mission Taco, from left to right, are: napoles (roasted cactus, poblano, caramelized onion, goat cheese, roasted jalapeno salsa); roasted duck (shredded chile-roasted duck, crisp pork belly, avocado serrano sauce); Mofu tofu (chile grilled local tofu, avocado, arugula, ancho barbecue sauce, grilled onions); carne asada (grilled flank steak, baby arugula, creamy avocado serrano sauce, queso fresco); Yucatan chicken (achiote marinated chicken, pickled onion, fiery arbol salsa, queso fresco); Cochinita pibil (achiote marinated pork shoulder, slow roasted in banana leaf with pickled onion and ancho barbecue sauce); Baja fish tacos (wood grilled or fried, chipolte baja sauce, cabbage, pico de gallo, queso fresco); beef brisket birria (slow-roasted brisket, pork belly carnitas, avocado, fiery arbol sauce). Shown with grilled-vegetable quinoa and roasted street corn.
The Chorihuevo torta brings chorizo, fried egg, pickled jalapeno, smashed black beans, Chihuahua, garlic lime mayo. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The Chorihuevo torta brings chorizo, fried egg, pickled jalapeno, smashed black beans, Chihuahua, garlic lime mayo.
Owner and chef Jason Tilford's ten-year-old son, Julian, eating some roasted street corn. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Owner and chef Jason Tilford's ten-year-old son, Julian, eating some roasted street corn.

* * *

Piccione Pastry
[Opened in April]

Espresso hazelnut, pistachio and strawberry cannolis. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Espresso hazelnut, pistachio and strawberry cannolis.
Chocolate and coffee checker cassata cake, a rum soaked sponge cake. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Chocolate and coffee checker cassata cake, a rum soaked sponge cake.
Inside Piccione Pastry, located in the Delmar Loop. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Inside Piccione Pastry, located in the Delmar Loop.

* * *

Rise
[Opened in September]

Co-owner Jessie Mueller prepares coffee with a kalita wave dripper. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Co-owner Jessie Mueller prepares coffee with a kalita wave dripper.
Rise's latte ($4). - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
Rise's latte ($4).
A variety of options from Whisk Bakeshop. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
A variety of options from Whisk Bakeshop.

* * *

Strange Donuts
[Opened in October]

Jason Bockman, left, and Tyler Fenwick, right, work in the kitchen as patrons begin lining up outside Strange Donuts. - Jon Gitchoff
Jon Gitchoff
Jason Bockman, left, and Tyler Fenwick, right, work in the kitchen as patrons begin lining up outside Strange Donuts.
The Bart's Revenge donut which is chocolate with a Butterfinger topping. - Jon Gitchoff
Jon Gitchoff
The Bart's Revenge donut which is chocolate with a Butterfinger topping.
The pumpkin spice classic donut. - Jon Gitchoff
Jon Gitchoff
The pumpkin spice classic donut.

* * *

Table
[Opened in June]

The lobster roll comes with white truffle mayo, shaved celery, matchstick fries and tomato jam. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
The lobster roll comes with white truffle mayo, shaved celery, matchstick fries and tomato jam.
Country-style pork ribs with red wine barbecue sauce. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Country-style pork ribs with red wine barbecue sauce.
"The Table" at Table. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
"The Table" at Table.

* * *

Tree House
[Opened in June]

Obaachan's -- or Grandma's -- udon soup is a bowl of noodles, vegan dashi, red miso, cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallion, tofu and a side of kimchi. Here, it's seen with the optional hard-boiled egg. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Obaachan's -- or Grandma's -- udon soup is a bowl of noodles, vegan dashi, red miso, cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallion, tofu and a side of kimchi. Here, it's seen with the optional hard-boiled egg.
Like everything else here, the jambalaya is vegetarian, made with smoked spicy vegan sausage, brown rice, bell pepper, tomato, celery, garlic and onion, and served with cornbread. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Like everything else here, the jambalaya is vegetarian, made with smoked spicy vegan sausage, brown rice, bell pepper, tomato, celery, garlic and onion, and served with cornbread.
Bar manager Billy Holley crafts cocktails. - Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg
Bar manager Billy Holley crafts cocktails.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email us!


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