Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Ten Most Important St. Louis Restaurant Openings of the Aughts #1: Niche (2005)

Posted By on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

gutcheck1209.jpg

Niche
(2005)

If a hurricane hadn't sent Josh Galliano here, both An American Place and Monarch would have had very different trajectories. And if an ambitious young chef in Salt Lake City hadn't taken the time to research emerging markets to open his first restaurant, we might not have had Niche. Can you imagine our dining scene without Gerard Craft, the first St. Louis chef to be a finalist for the James Beard Foundation "Best Chef - Midwest" award, the first to be named a Food & Wine magazine "Best New Chef"? Craft raised the bar for young chefs in St. Louis. No longer could you be content as a big fish in a little pond. No, you had to want more: a bigger profile, better ingredients, more thoughtful dishes, a greater respect for diners whose tastes were evolving. You couldn't serve the same four desserts as everyone else -- you had to trust the whimsy of a Mathew Rice (now of Pi). And you couldn't rest on your laurels but constantly innovate, opening not one but two new places -- Taste and Brasserie by Niche -- in half a year. Niche isn't perfect, and not every one of Craft's creations is a masterpiece. But it's the best restaurant we have, and it is a signal to the rest of the country: St. Louis has arrived.

1831 Sidney Street; 314-773-7755; website

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation