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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.
Generally speaking, it might be a little scary to enter a business by way of heavy doors, dark twisting hallways and multiple security cameras. What is this, protection from the impending zombie apocalypse? But if the business is an indoor shooting range, this is the sort of entrance you hope for. Not because you’ve read World War Z one too many times, but because firearms are dangerous and Bull’s Eye is the only place in St. Louis city where it’s legal to shoot one. Located in a nondescript white building on Manchester Avenue in the Hill neighborhood, Bull’s Eye is a pretty typical indoor range and gun shop. Lane time costs $17.50 per hour per person, and firearm rental is $14, plus $2 for eye and ear protection if you need it. Concealed Carry Weapons classes are offered, as well as firearms training for beginners up through advanced personal protection. And of course, guns. You can buy mostly new and used handguns, but there are a few long guns available too. Frequent visitors can save money with an annual membership: $250 for you or $350 for the family gets you unlimited range time, ear and eye protection and free handgun rental if you purchase range ammunition.
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.
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