Best Italian Restaurant (Cheap) - 2005
10th Street Italian
Readers' Choice: The Pasta House Co.
When was the last time you ate spaghetti and meatballs? Too long. Get over to 10th Street Italian, stat, and chow down on a humongo, heaping, Atkins-be-damned helping of the stuff, a glorious pile of soft pasta complemented by a quartet of honest-to-goodness homemade meatballs, prepared with grated Parmesan, bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, parsley, whole milk and a touch of TLC courtesy of husband-and-wife owners Todd and Kelli Sanders. The whole shebang'll set you back all of $7.25, and you'll be covered for lunch the next day with the leftovers. Boldly eschewing the traditional St. Louis-Italian trappings (Provel cheese, cracker-crust pizza, toasted ravioli), Sanders and Sanders serve up East Coast-style pasta-shop staples like four-cheese manicotti, meatball subs and minestrone. Not one dish clocks in over $8, and any one of them would taste just as great at twice the price. Inexpensive but not inelegant, 10th Street boasts a short but sweet wine list and a dinner-for-two special that nets two side salads or cups of soup, two pasta dishes, two chocolate-chunk cookies and a bottle of vino for a ridiculous $31.50.