Meatball Hero

Todd Sanders' 10th Street Italian is a Provel-free zone

It is, although it's flavored with sambuca and Kaldi's coffee instead of marsala and espresso, rendering it lighter and airier (though less aromatic) than traditional tiramisu. Tradition is bucked almost as often as it's revered here. Witness the Italian tuna salad sandwich, proffered on Fazio's Italian white bread: The tuna, which Sanders buys packed in olive oil, is mixed with Sicilian olives, celery, roasted red peppers, lots and lots of basil mayonnaise and a noticeable amount of lemon juice. The Tuscan BLT, on barely toasted focaccia, substitutes pancetta for standard bacon (and also makes use of that basil mayo, this time a bit too liberally).

There are a few instances where the innovations don't carry through. The house's roasted tomato soup, rumored to be a favorite among those who have already become regulars, lacks resonance; it's strangely thin and tangibly missing both a bass note and a grace note. Same goes for "Grandma's chili," chock-a-block with red beans and served over spaghetti as a lunch special one day; though stick-to-your-ribs hearty, its flavor was staid.

Back to Tuesday, 8:22 p.m. Sanders points the west county couple toward his "dinner for two" menu. Two side salads or cups of soup, two pasta dishes and two homemade chocolate chunk cookies for $18. For ten bucks more, he'll throw in a bottle of Ca del Sarto pinot grigio or Castelvero barbera.

That's amore: Kelli (left) and Todd Sanders have a hit 
in their charming "mom-and-pop pasta shop."
Jennifer Silverberg
That's amore: Kelli (left) and Todd Sanders have a hit in their charming "mom-and-pop pasta shop."

Location Info

Map

10th Street Italian

504 N. 10th St.
St Louis, MO 63101-1310

Category: Restaurant > Bistro

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Kitchen K

1000 Washington Ave.
St Louis, MO 63101-1263

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Di Gregorio's Italian Foods

5200 Daggett Ave.
St Louis, MO 63110-3026

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: St. Louis - Tower Grove

Details

Salsiccia sandwich $5.95
Tuna salad sandwich $6.25
Spaghetti and meatballs $6.95
Tiramisu $3.00

314-241-9988. Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.

504 North Tenth Street

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"I don't want to cross the $10 threshold with my food prices, and I don't ever want to offer a bottle of wine over $25," Sanders says. "I actually take a hit on the wine, but I believe people should be enjoying wine with their dinner, and I wanted to sell wines that Italians themselves would have with supper."

Sanders' wine costs aren't his only hit. So is 10th Street Italian, a little gem of a place.

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