Where 7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton • More info 314-773-7755,

“St. Louis has a lively modern dining scene?” your out-of-town guests ask, skeptically. Take them to Niche, where Gerard Craft continues to put this town on the culinary map. With chefs Adam Altnether and Nate Hereford, Craft and the Niche team continue to develop flavorful, creative dishes that draw on the region’s bounty of produce and protein. (Are your guests still not convinced? Take them to Craft’s adjacent restaurant, Pastaria, just to see the crowds waiting for a table.) — Ian Froeb

• Readers’ choice: The Fountain on Locust