Steven Pursley, F&W’s 2023 Best New Chef, shares his favorite St. Louis spots for grilled ravioli, country-fried steak and more.
Opening Menya Rui, one of the first and only ramen restaurants in St. Louis, was a risk for 2023 F&W Best New Chef Steven Pursley. But the restaurant has received nothing but love and support from the community. “We have the opportunity to offer a whole new food culture,” he says. It’s an exciting time for St. Louis: new, independent restaurants have the space to make a name for themselves while staples continue their decade-long legacy.
For the best places to eat, drink, and shop in St. Louis, follow Pursley’s lead with these incredible recommendations.
“One of the emblematic dishes of Saint-Louis is grilled ravioli. Monte Bello pizzeria has the best because it doesn’t have the hard, crispy edges that attack the palate. Instead, they are soft, fried, meaty dough puffs, filled from corner to corner.
Dinner well done
“I am a simple and fat man. I grab an $8 breakfast plate, usually with fried steak and gravy from the Courtesy Diner, and keep pushing.
The sweet spot
“Nathaniel Reid Bakery makes my favorite pastries, hands down. From croissants to cakes, everything is elegant and tasty.
“Our neighbors across our square, Knead Bakehouse + Provisions, make great sourdough breads and donuts.”
“Nick Bognar’s Sado (2020 F&W Best New Chef) is the place to be right now. Elegant but approachable with tasty and simple cuisine.
Related: Steven Pursely Studied in Japan to Make the Most Tender, Bouncy, and Deliciously Flavorful Ramen Noodles
Barbecue to beat
“We sleep a lot on the Stellar Hog barbecue. They have prime rib and pastrami. Everything is beautifully seasoned, so much so that sauce isn’t even necessary.
“Louie has a great wine list and even better service to complement it. All successes, no failures.
Raise the bar
“Kira Webster and her team make great drinks at Indo and Sado.”
“The outdoor patios at John D. McGurk’s in Soulard, Venice Café in Benton Park, and The Boathouse in Forest Park all create great ambiances.”
“I shop at Pan-Asia for Asian products, DiGregorio for Italian products and Schnucks for everyday.”
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