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.
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.
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.
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.
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.