Where did the first half of 2014 go? It seems like only yesterday that we were cursing the endless winter, and now we're suffocating in the sweltering heat. With half of the year already in the rearview mirror, we thought it appropriate to reflect on the best restaurants that have opened in 2014...so far. Hopefully, this impressive crop is a sign of things yet to come.
Athlete Eats (2837 Cherokee Street; 314-932-5566)
Owners Simon and Angelica Lusky didn't intend to open a restaurant. The husband-and-wife team had enough on their plates running a prepared-meals business while Simon worked full time as the St. Louis Cardinals' nutritionist. However, when they saw the Cherokee Street storefront, they knew they had to put in a café. They enlisted the help of their colleague, chef Bob Brazell, to bring their healthy, clean-eating style of food to the general public. With dishes like tender Carolina-style pulled-pork shoulder, a bibimbop bowl with roasted "caulirice" and a gluten free, garlic-studded waffle topped with Provel cheese, shaved ham and béchamel sauce, it's hard to believe this qualifies as health food.