The Ten Most Important St. Louis Restaurant Openings of the Aughts #10: Pi (2008)
Forget for a moment that then-Senator Obama declared Pi's pizza the best he'd ever eaten. Forget too that President Obama invited Pi owner Chris Sommers and staff to cook at the White House. Consider that in only two years, Pi's cornmeal crust recipe, though imported from San Francisco, has resulted in one of St. Louis' signature dishes, packing the restaurant's three locations with suburban families, college kids, city scenesters and food cognoscenti. It's an inspiring reminder that, despite St. Louisans' reputation for having conservative tastes, we can embrace something different. Add in Sommers' dedication to green principles and his desire to keep improving (hiring talented young chef Marc Baltes and former Niche dessert whiz Mathew Rice), and you have the rare Obama position that Republicans, Democrats and independents can all support.
Three locations: 6144 Delmar Boulevard; 314-727-6633 / 400 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-4300 / 10935 Manchester Road, Kirkwood; 314-966-8080; website