The Ten Most Important St. Louis Restaurant Openings of the Aughts #3: An American Place (2004)



An American Place (2004)

Five years, the economic plunge that stalled downtown's "renaissance" and, frankly, the disparaging comments about St. Louis diners that Larry Forgione made during a Sauce Magazine interview have taken some of the luster off An American Place. Still, when it opened in 2004, An American Place was a Big Deal, bringing to St. Louis an honest-to-god big-name chef, the look and feel of a contemporary big-city fine-dining palace and, most important, the ethos of locally sourcing the best possible ingredients, transforming them into culinary wonders and giving the producers as much credit as the cooks. If St. Louis hasn't seen another restaurant quite as urbane as An American Place, the number of restaurants that now embody a similar philosophy shows that our tastes aren't quite as provincial as Forgione might believe. What's more, An American Place introduced us to one of the city's most remarkable culinary talents, Josh Galliano, blown by Hurricane Katrina from New Orleans into Forgione's kitchen.

822 Washington Avenue; 314-418-5800; website