With a guest list that includes Oprah Winfrey, Frank Sinatra and multiple presidents, Giovanni's is not exactly the place to go for some t-ravs and pizza. It is, however, the place for diners who want to experience classic Italian cuisine, impeccable tableside service and an atmosphere that oozes old-school elegance. For 40 years this icon of the Hill has been the gold standard of upscale Italian. Under the direction of the restaurant's patriarch and namesake, Giovanni's has gone from the dream of a Sicilian immigrant and former waiter to the place in St. Louis for classic fine dining. The wait staff is dressed in black tie, the walls are covered in fine artwork and you never know which local celebrity might be dining at the table across the room. It's not just the classy atmosphere that scores the restaurant such high marks — Giovanni's has the culinary substance to back it up. Enjoy such decadent dishes as the positively sinful veal chop with black truffle sauce or the lobster risotto. It's not trendy by any means, and the menu comprises fairly straightforward classics, but this is why it works. Think of Giovanni's as the Armani little black dress of dining — timeless, elegant and worthy of its price tag.
Readers' Choice: Charlie Gitto's
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