You might come to Onesto intending to order pizza, but do listen when your server recites the day's specials, for it is here that the kitchen displays the full range of its talent and creativity. On one visit the special appetizer was a scrumptious fritto misto of mushrooms, eggplant and halibut, the fish so plump and perfectly fried that it could have been served with French fries as a fish-and-chips entrée.

On another visit a friend and I each ordered the special entrées. I had rainbow trout, the skin of whose two fillets had been rendered crisp and golden-brown. They were served atop a tomato-corn risotto — a little heavy on the corn in terms of texture, but flavorful — in a pool of a tart, magenta sauce. The sauce paired well with the fish, adding an acidic note in much the same way a squeeze of lemon juice would, but as much as I chased it around the plate, I couldn't pin down the vaguely familiar flavor.

"A pomegranate beurre blanc," a server informed me.

Shrimply delicious: Onesto's Seth Berkowitz pulls a pizza with shrimp from the oven.
Kristan Lieb
Shrimply delicious: Onesto's Seth Berkowitz pulls a pizza with shrimp from the oven.

Location Info

Map

Onesto Pizza and Trattoria

5401 Finkman St.
St. Louis, MO 63109

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: St. Louis - St. Louis Hills

Details

Onesto Pizza and Trattoria
Arancini...$6.95
"Smoked Chicken" pizza (small)...$16.95
"Mad Cajun" pizza (large)...$21.95
5401 Finkman Street; 314-802-8883.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3-9 p.m. Sun. (Closed Tue.)

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Inspired. My friend's entrée special, housemade tagliatelle in a veal ragù, wasn't as successful. The veal was tough, and the sauce as a whole had a washed-out quality.

The dessert selection includes an excellent tiramisu, as light as a cloud and with the ideal balance between sweetness and rum's sophisticated savor. The beer and wine selections are small, with crowd-pleasing selections befitting the restaurant's casual nature. Service can be scattered, given the crowds and the small confines, but the staff is friendly. When a second beer was delayed owing to a keg change, the server comped it even though I hadn't said a word.

Onesto is a neighborhood restaurant in the best sense: appealing not just because it's there, but because it compels you to return to see your neighbors and friends and what specials Vito Racanelli and his staff are serving.

Might I suggest a fricassee of rabbit?

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