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2 St. Louis area restaurants on Esquire's 'Best New Restaurants' list

Congratulations to Indo and Balkan Treat Box!
Credit: Jasper and Paul PR and Marketing

ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis area restaurants are among some of the best in the country, according to Esquire.

Even during a pandemic, Esquire was able to put together a list of 23 'Best New Restaurants' in America. 

Indo and Balkan Treat Box made the list. Both restaurants opened in 2019.

Food and drinks editor for Esquire, Jeff Gordinier, said "can this guy do anything?" about chef Nick Bognar. 

"Indo is not a sushi restaurant per se, yet electrifying bites of nigiri land in front of you during the course of a meal like random emoji lightning bolts of flavor. (Looking back now, I can’t help but think of Eddie Van Halen onstage unleashing a Mozartian flourish of arpeggios just for the virtuosic fuck of it.) Meanwhile, much of the menu at Indo is rooted in the complexities of Thai cuisine that the chef grew up with. Bognar, goateed and headbanded, toggles between cutting boards and cultures with the sprezzatura of a shredder," Gordinier wrote.

You can find Indo at 1641D Tower Grove Ave. in St. Louis.

Gordinier wrote at first he didn't understand why there was a line down the block at Balkan Treat Box and then his crew took a bite of the food. 

"We’ll admit that we didn’t have “Bosnian flatbreads” on our 2020 bingo card, either, but chef Loryn Nalic (whose husband, Edo, above, grew up in Bosnia) is doing some astonishing things with dough in the Show-Me State—things that (oh, the blasphemy) made us forget about pizza for a moment. I mean, the piping-hot boat of bread that is pide, with its duet of ajvar (a red-pepper spread) and kajmak (a creamy fresh cheese)!" Gordinier wrote. 

Balkan Treat Box is located at 8103 Big Bend Blvd. in Webster Groves.

Yes, we did it. We put together an Esquire Best New Restaurants list in the middle of a global pandemic. This may lead you to ask a couple of questions. For instance: How? And why? As for the how part, suffice it to say that, yes, we had to make a few adjustments to our annual process.

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