Indo Named One of 2020's Best New Restaurants in America by GQ

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Nick Bognar's Indo is one of GQ's Best New Restaurants in America. - MABEL SUEN
  • MABEL SUEN
  • Nick Bognar's Indo is one of GQ's Best New Restaurants in America.

Amidst the troubling times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, one restaurant has reason to celebrate: Indo (1641 D Tower Grove Avenue, 314-899-9333) was named one of the Best New Restaurants of 2020 by GQ.

The Botanical Heights eatery was recognized by the magazine for chef-owner Nick Bognar's Thai- and Japanese-inflected cuisine and ability to balance intense flavor and restraint. Noting Bognar's experience working as a sushi chef at Nippon Tei (among his other sushi experience), author Brett Martin says Indo "may be meant as a release valve for his more creative impulses." Martin points to Indo's hamachi crudo and laarb — a play on Bognar's grandmother's secret family recipe — as examples of the restaurant's greatness.



Ever since he returned to St. Louis from working in Texas and Ohio, Bognar has been met with critical acclaim. First, came his reinvention of his mother's Japanese mainstay, Nippon Tei, where he updated the restaurant and turned the place into a must-visit for sushi aficionados. His work at Nippon Tei earned him a 2019 James Beard Foundation semifinalist nomination for Rising Star Chef of the Year

In June of that same year, Bognar branched out on his own with Indo, a restaurant which blends his passion for sushi with the desire to tell his family's Thai culinary heritage. He's received even more recognition for his efforts, most notably two James Beard Foundation semifinalist awards for Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best New Restaurant for Indo.



For now, fans of restaurant will have to wait to toast Bognar and his team in person; the restaurant remains closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has not yet announced a reopening date. Check out the restaurant's website, indo-stl.com or Facebook page, to keep up to date on the latest information.

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com.

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