Best New Restaurant


Staff Pick

Much has been made about Elmwood's Josper grill and oven — a piece of kitchen equipment so special it's the only one of its kind in North America. What makes the Josper so unique is its restraint. It's wood-fired but clean-burning, primal but controllable, resulting in flavors that are in perfect balance: char without bitterness, smoke that's surprisingly gentle. In many ways, the Josper, in all of its beauty, is a microcosm for Elmwood. Owned by Niche alums Adam Altnether and Chris Kelling, this magnificent Maplewood spot has all of the makings of an ultra-fine-dining restaurant: sophisticated, flawlessly executed dishes; magnificent design; a top-notch bar program and impeccable service. However, Altnether and Kelling manage to pull this off while still making the restaurant feel like the type of place you can roll into for a burger while wearing jeans. It's nothing short of wizardry, and it's the reason Elmwood has the sort of slow-burn staying power that has already put it on its way to becoming a St. Louis institution.

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