The Second Time Around

Another helping please: Spaghetteria Mama Mia gets it right

Kehm pays homage to Italy -- read about his Italian heritage on the menu or the chalkboard in the bar -- by stocking a decent selection of Italian wines. Given that most casual diners order wine by price, it doesn't hurt that the wine list is organized by number: The list comprises five sections, each of which contains four whites and four reds, with at least one available by the glass. Prices range from $15 per bottle/$4 per glass to $30 per bottle/$8 per glass. For bigger spenders, Kehm also offers a "cellar list" of 22 pricier bottles. There's also a list of specialty drinks (all $6). Italian lemonade, made with Limoncello liqueur and club soda, is refreshing, while a mochatini was more like dessert in a glass: vodka, coffee, chocolate liqueur and cream. Yowzah.

The house-made desserts can be a welcome departure from the run of the mill. The roster of house-made gelati ($5) recently featured both wild-cherry risotto and lemon ice, with the former chock-full of chunky cherries and crunchy rice and the latter a velvet-smooth lemony dream. Fresh strawberries topped with a light cloud of zabaglione ($6) is simple yet elegant. On the heavier side there's strawberry panini ($6), a damn-this-is-good dense chocolate pavé topped with strawberries and a dollop of zabaglione ($6), and mini cannoli (four for $6). An Italian lemon or peach cupcake ($5) may also be available (if you're lucky).

Steve Saffa, Spaghetteria executive chef, and Pepe Kehm, chef and owner
Jennifer Silverberg
Steve Saffa, Spaghetteria executive chef, and Pepe Kehm, chef and owner

Location Info


Spaghetteria Mamma Mia

904 S. Vandeventer Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: St. Louis - Tower Grove


Hot or cold appetizer $5
Salad $4
Pasta $10
Entrée $12
Nightly special $16-$18
Dessert $5-$7

314-647-6969. Hours: lunch Tue.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; dinner Tue.-Wed. 5-10 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 5 p.m.-1 a.m.

1227 Tamm Avenue

In working to strike that elusive balance between food, cost and ambiance, Kehm has progressed a long way toward his goal of creating an authentic Italian café in Dogtown. He has also succeeded in grasping one simple truth: Learn from your mistakes and move on.

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