Primo Pitch

Trattoria Branica is an authentic Italian delight

One of my favorite parts of eating out at a fancy restaurant -- and Trattoria Branica is certainly that, with a floral, mauve-on-mauve, everything-upholstered décor and, on weekends, a pianist and a violinist serenading customers at the small bar up front -- comes when the server breaks out the crumber, a.k.a. the table Zamboni. I was delighted at its appearance after our main courses at Branica. Earlier in the meal, though, I hadn't expected our waiter to go so far as to return my entrée to the broiler when I departed for the restroom. And I certainly wasn't anticipating that, during my dining partner's bathroom break, this same waiter would use my friend's napkin to slap stray crumbs off the seat of his chair before folding it back at his place setting. I thought Italian-restaurant waiters only did that in movies.

For such splendor to be on display in Frontenac, inside a little shopping area called Chateau Village, isn't surprising. Downright shocking, given such environs, are Branica's prices. Only one meat entrée exceeds $20. Salads are under $6; all the appetizers but one cost less than $10. It's quite possible for a party of two to wend its way through four courses plus dessert for under $100.

Molto bene: Sam Kacar (pictured) runs one of the most exceptional Italian restaurants in St. Louis.
Jennifer Silverberg
Molto bene: Sam Kacar (pictured) runs one of the most exceptional Italian restaurants in St. Louis.

Location Info


Trattoria Branica

10411 Clayton Road
Frontenac, MO 63131

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Frontenac


Gamberi a la Monica $7.95
Tortelloni di pollo $10.95
Risotto pescatore $12.50
Salmon $17.95

314-432-8585. Hours: Lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Dinner 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 4-9 p.m. Sun.

10411 Clayton Road, Frontenac

Sam Kacar left his managerial post at Dominic's Trattoria in downtown Clayton to open Branica. He brought with him chefs Pepe Profeta (late of the erstwhile Bellaluna in Kirkwood) and former Cardwell's at the Plaza employee John Komotos. I'm not quite sure how they're managing to pull off their Italian-cuisine grandeur; the food here is so good, mere math and recipes don't explain it all.

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