Best Of 2021

Best Italian: Noto

Kendele and Wayne Sieve had a choice: Take over Kendele’s father’s bakery as he had been priming her to do all her life or forge their own path and create the Italian restaurant of their dreams. The latter was a big gamble for the two chefs, but one they knew they could take on. Not only did they have the culinary and hospitality chops, forged over years of working in the industry; they also had Wayne’s passion for traditional Neapolitan pizza that he’d been showing off for a year with a food truck. Now, a year and a half into opening Noto (5105 Westwood Drive, St. Peters; 636-317-1143), the Sieves have shown they made the right call by firmly establishing themselves as an outstanding, traditional southern Italian restaurant that dazzles at every turn. From the handmade pastas to executive chef Josh Poletti’s charcuterie that could bring a tear to the eye of an Italian butcher, from Kendele’s pastries (you’ve never had tiramisu if you haven’t had her version) to Wayne’s undisputed title as the king of Neapolitan pizza in the region, this is the Italian restaurant that dreams are made of. Thankfully, the Sieves were willing to follow theirs to make ours come true. —Cheryl Baehr

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