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You can't spell barbecue without "cue," but the lines haven't formed outside the door at Adam's Smokehouse -- yet. The slow-smoking barbecue joint in Clifton Heights opened in October and serves as a sister store to well-renowned, consistently packed restaurants Pappy's Smokehouse and Bogart's Smokehouse, so it seems like only matter a time before all of St. Louis stands in line to try a bite. Co-owners Frank Vinciguerra and Mike Ireland spent several years working at Pappy's with barbecue master Skip Steele before embarking on their own venture. With the blessing of their barbecue brethren, the two put together a small but substantial menu of smoked meats and traditional sides done well. --MABEL SUEN
It's testament to an eatery's excellence when the place can stay open only five or so hours a day, yet hold a place among a city's most-loved nosh spots. Such is the case at the family-run Adriana's, where loyalists lunch on Sicilian specialties like eggplant caponata, mostaccioli and salsiccia sandwiches. Those sandwiches are oversize, so plan to pack up half a lunch for the next day, or take advantage of the half-sandwich combos (with soup or salad). Some folks call Adriana's a no-frills joint because there's no table service, the tablecloths are vinyl, and the prices are low. But really, the frills are in the food, abundant and delicious.
If St. Louis has a signature sandwich, the leading contender must be the Amighetti's special, an ultragourmet poorboy overloaded with meats, cheese and peppers on crusty Italian bread. This location on the Hill is the original, and here you'll find many other fine sandwich choices, along with delectable ices and gelati and fresh baked goods. Always crowded at lunchtime. See listing for second location under "Webster/Kirkwood."
The menu reflects both the Italian and the Greek heritage of owners Anthony and Rosario Scarato. The selection tilts toward the former, with numerous pizzas and pastas available, while the Greek board focuses on the cuisine's standbys, such as saganaki (flaming cheese), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and gyros. The pizza is very good: the crust thick, with a slight chew and a teasing sweetness; the sauce lightly applied beneath a blanket of melting mozzarella; the toppings ideally proportioned. The gyro is also good and a great value. A welcoming spot with a wonderfully friendly staff.
Dim lighting and secluded booths make Charlie Gitto's a great place to be romantic, incognito or both: No one will notice you, because the crowd is always intent on the huge plates of old-school St. Louis-style Italian food set before them. Fried calamari, served with a citrus chipotle mayo sauce, is crunchy and spicy. The standout entrée is the tenderloin Siciliano: a buttery cut of beef two inches thick, smothered with Provel and mushrooms and surrounded by a phalanx of tasty vegetables. See listing for second location under "Downtown."
China Dish on Southwest Avenue, next to Walgreens and just west of Kingshighway, offers carryout, delivery and dining in the former location of Lee Wok. Menu options include China Dish's happy boxes, consisting of a half order of pork fried rice and a half order of egg foo young prepared with your choice of beef, shrimp, pork, chicken or vegetables. Other menu items include lemon chicken, hot braised pork, pineapple shrimp and Szechuan tofu, all served with steamed rice. Lunch and dinner combinations come with a soup of the day, rice and crab Rangoon and feature a large array of dishes, including kung pao shrimp and hot braised boneless chicken wings. China Dish also offers St. Paul sandwiches.
You'll pay top dollar here, but you'll be rewarded with meticulous classical-Italian preparations and presentations in an elegant atmosphere best described as serene. Pastas and veal dishes are among the most popular, but you also won't find better adaptations of mussels anywhere. The Galati family has lived in the restaurant (sometimes literally) for something like 30 years now, and even though they've branched out, the flagship location on the Hill is obviously still the closest to their hearts.
Located in the Hill neighborhood, Eovaldi's Deli offers up more than just simple sandwiches. The menu also offers salads and pastas, including spaghetti and gnocchi with a choice of meat sauce, butter-and-garlic sauce or white sauce. Sandwich choices range from a muffaletta to the "Special" -- a sandwich with roast beef, ham, mortadella, Genova salami, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, pepperoncinis, mayonnaise and Provel.
Sitting on the edge of the Hill neighborhood, Favazza's serves up St. Louis-style Italian food (read: big portions, Provel). The wine list includes a half dozen house wines, with a few more to choose from in the "Select" white and red categories. Other dishes include calamari, baked mostaccioli (topped with Provel) and a few options in the chicken, fish, steak and veal categories.
Situated in the heart of the Hill neighborhood, Gelato di Riso, which also has a Central West End location, serves up classic Italian treats. Customers can get their gelato in sizes ranging from bambino to grande, and flavor offerings include the standards (vanilla, chocolate) and more exotic selections, such as amaretto and blackberry. Gelato di Riso also takes orders for gelato pies and cakes.
Serving up authentic Sicilian cuisine since 1989, Gian-Tony's on the Hill offers a taste of the classics. Their extensive pasta list includes capellini alla Gian-Tony's - angel-hair pasta with tomato sauce, onions, Italian ham and white wine. Veggies used for their dishes come straight from their on-site garden. The menu also features chicken, veal, seafood and steak, such as the Ripieno filet, a nine-ounce steak breaded and stuffed with prosciutto, cheese and mushrooms. All dishes are prepared by owner and head chef Tony Catarinicchia.
An institution on the Hill since 1918, Gioia's Deli began its life as a grocery store but is now a sandwich shop. Gioia's is most famous for its hot salami, or Salam de Testa: a thick, soft salami made from beef and -- yes -- pork snouts. The flavor is rich and earthy and delicious. Try it on its own or in the "Italian trio" with mortadella and Genoa salami, peperoncini, onions and cheese on toasted garlic bread. Gioia's salsiccia is tasty, too, especially when smothered with melting mozzarella cheese.
Giovanni's is the ultimate Hill experience: very intimate, very Italian and very expensive. You will encounter nothing here that is not impeccable. The squadron of deferential waiters is vigilant without being pesky. They'll bring you bow-tie pasta with smoked salmon in a feather-light Alfredo sauce or a first-rate rack of lamb garnished with vegetables. Dim lights, gilt-framed paintings and glittering table settings form an elegant backdrop for both the romantic third date and the expense-account business dinner.
Rome? Or Madrid? At Guido's you don't have to decide. This Hill institution serves tasty Italian fare, including one of the city's best thin-crust pies, and authentic, knockout Spanish tapas. While Guido's has no pretensions of being a tapas bar in the Spanish sense, owner and chef Miguel Carretero and his parents Segundo (front of house, including wine) and Genoveva (executive chef) hail from Madrid, and Guido's tapas are as close to the real deal as you can find in this town: soul-satisfying albóndigas (meatballs), spicy patatas bravas (sautéed potatoes in a picante sauce), the striking charbroiled squid dish calamares a la plancha and more.
39 total results

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