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The Top of the Restaurant Top 10s – Best Restaurants in St. Louis

Best Restaurants in St. Louis

Best Restaurants in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO/February 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Best Restaurants in St. Louis – As a major outlet for restaurant, brewery, winery, and craft food maker news in the St. Louis region, we’ve certainly kept up with which restaurants are on top.  We’ve analyzed thousands of customer reviews to find which restaurants St. Louis diners like best.  We’ve used that data to bring you lists of the Top 10 restaurants in every category from seafood to burgers, and Cajun to Italian.  Most recently, we wrote about the top 10 pizzerias in town just in time for National Pizza Day.

We thought it would be fun to take a moment to shine the spotlight on the top slots on all those lists.  So in this new feature, we’ll be writing about the restaurants that are St. Louis diners’ absolute favorites in each category.  And since there are so many ways to categorize restaurants, we’ll bring you 10 seasonably relevant #1s each week.

Without further ado, here are 10 St. Louis favorites that hold the top spot in their respective Top 10 categories:

Coffee Shops:

The Mud House (4.5 stars/764 reviews) Benton Park, 2101 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, MO 63118, (314) 776-6599.  This is a special spot along Cherokee Street’s Antique Row.  It’s cozy, with a friendly staff and relaxed coffee house vibe.  So whether you stop in for an espresso, a macchiato, a mocha, a rosemary & honey latte, or a simple cup of coffee, the Mud House brews a divine cup.  They do specialty teas, brunch, breakfast, and lunch too.

Bakeries:

Missouri Baking Company (4.9 stars/521 reviews) The Hill, 2027 Edwards Street, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 773-6566.  This family owned business has been offering Italian sweets and other pastries, breads, and desserts—everything from cannoli to Napoleons, and biscotti to gooey butter cake since 1924.

Fine Dining:

Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill (4.5 stars/893 reviews) The Hill, 5226 Shaw Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 772-8898.  This storied St. Louis institution has been one of the very best restaurants in town for decades.  This elegant restaurant in the Hill neighborhood offers an upscale menu of Italian favorites including pasta, veal, chicken, steaks, and seafood.  Customers praise the food, the wine, and the impeccable service of this distinctive restaurant.

Fusion:

Kounter Kulture (5.0 stars/40 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3825 Watson Road, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 781-4344.  This is a relatively new brick-and-mortar take-out restaurant from the same team that gave Saint Louis locally-sourced, freshly-prepared foods at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market.  It’s the same rotating, locally sourced menu of inventive, Asian fusion fare, but you can get it every Monday – Saturday 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sushi:

Sushi Tatsu (4.5 stars/129 reviews) Metro East, 5725 North Illinois Street, Fairview Heights, IL 62208, (618) 277-5554.  This unassuming, family owned restaurant makes specialty sushi rolls as well as Japanese & Korean dishes.  There’s a warm, friendly vibe here, even at the bar—a place that intimidates some.  If you’ve never done so, this place is the perfect opportunity to sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs prepare your food using classic Japanese techniques.

Seafood:

Broadway Oyster Bar (4.5 stars/1895 reviews) Downtown, 736 South Broadway, Saint Louis, MO 63102, (314) 621-8811.  This decidedly Cajun/Creole joint has been serving up some of the best seafood in St. Louis for about 35 years.  With fresh oysters, live music nightly, and a killer patio, it’s easy to see why BOB is St. Louis’ favorite.

Burgers:

Stacked Burger Bar (4.6 stars/397 reviews) Patch, 7637 Ivory Street, Saint Louis, MO 63111, (314) 544-4900.  This quirky restaurant has been the best burger joint in South St. Louis since opening three years ago.  With more than seven different patties available, including bean and locally-sourced, grass fed beef, plus six buns, seven different cheeses, ten sauces, and dozens of other toppings available, there are literally hundreds of possible combinations.  You could make a dozen trips to this Ivory Triangle gem and only begin to try everything Stacked Burger Bar has to offer.

Barbecue:

Pappy’s Smokehouse (4.5 stars/5299 reviews) Midtown, 3106 Olive Street, Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 535-4340.  This Midtown barbecue joint offers slow smoked Memphis style BBQ in a rustic, down-home setting.  Since opening in 2008, the accolades just keep rolling in, including being named the #1 ribs in the country by Food Network.  Pappy’s Smokehouse is #1 on the list of top rated barbecue restaurants, and one of St. Louis’ very favorite places to eat.

Craft Brewery:

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. (4.4 stars/436 reviews) Midtown, 3229 Washington Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 222-0143.  This German inspired brewpub has quickly become a St. Louis favorite and the company is growing almost as fast in size as popularity.  This is UCB’s original microbrewery and biergarten.  It serves up a rotating selection of beers that run from the old-school Bavarian lagers like Zwickel to bitter, hoppy ales like the STLIPA.  Brewmaster Florian Kuplent brings nearly two decades of beer-making experience to UBC.  There’s also a small food menu with German biergarten staples like sausages, pretzel bread, and cheese, as well as soup, salad, and sandwiches.

Desserts:

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (4.5 stars/3036 reviews) St. Louis Hills, 6726 Chippewa Street, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 481-2652.  This is St. Louis’ original frozen custard.  We’ve been lining up for their delicious, hand-dipped cones, concretes, shakes, malts, sundaes, and floats since 1929.  It’s a popular stop after visiting the Arch, the Muny, the Zoo, or a Cardinal’s baseball game—a truly multigenerational treat!  And lucky for us, the St. Louis Hills location just reopened Feb. 9 for the 2017 season.

Nationally recognized again for their Toasted Ravioli – Charlie Gitto’s

Charlie Gitto's on the Hill, St. Louis, MO

National recognition is perfect timing for Charlie Gitto’s Valentine’s Day rush

ST. LOUIS, MO/January 29, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Charlie Gitto’s – The official travel site for the U.S.A., www.visittheusa.com, recently published an article titled “48-Hour Guide to St. Louis, Missouri”, whereby they recommend that travelers visit Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill for their famous Toasted Ravioli when visiting St. Louis, MO.

This is twice in the recent weeks that a national publication has recognized this popular restaurant that has become more of a local institution rather than a restaurant.  Last month we published an article titled “What America Eats” features Charlie Gitto’s Toasted Ravioli” announcing Charlie Gitto’s recognition on this popular series featuring the video.

To illustrate how much influence these two websites have that recommends Charlie Gitto’s, Community Table (What America Eats) is ranked 6,541 in the US and 27,200 in the world, while VisitTheUSA is ranked 118,750 in the US and 237,193 in the world.  Considering there are hundreds of millions of sites worldwide these are high ranking, high traffic websites that have taken notice of the Charlie Gitto’s brand.

Additionally, St. Louis Magazines’ George Mahe, recently published an article titled “Q&A: A Conversation with Chef Charlie Gitto Jr.

In addition to the recognition recognized in this article, over recent years that has been a significant amount of publicity surrounding the Charlie Gitto’s brand, making it the most popular fine dining restaurant chain in the St. Louis metro area with three beautiful locations.  They are: Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill, which is the original location and known as the location where toasted ravioli was accidentally created many years ago, Charlie Gitto’s from the Hill in Chesterfield and Charlie Gitto’s at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights.

While many restaurants struggle to compete in this highly competitive industry, Charlie Gitto Jr. has figured out the secret to success.  It is not a single item, it is the combination of great service, great atmosphere, perfect locations, an extensive wine list accompanied with a delicious awarding-winning menu offering everything from pastas, steaks and seafood cuisines that are unparalleled making Charlie Gitto’s the top-rated fine dining Italian restaurant in St. Louis.

This national recognition comes at a perfect time as Valentine’s Day approaches.  It is the most popular holiday for fine dining.  Any of the three Charlie Gitto’s locations are perfect for Valentine’s Day and always a popular destination for this special occasion.  Making your Valentine’s Day reservation early at Charlie Gitto’s is highly recommended.

Charlie Gitto’s three location’s are:

Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill
5226 Shaw Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: (314) 772-8898

Or

Charlie Gitto’s from the Hill
15525 Olive Blvd
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Phone: (636) 536-2199

Or

Charlie Gitto’s at Hollywood Casino
777 Casino Center
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Phone: (314) 770-7663

For additional information, media relations or corporate catering contact:

Samantha K. Vogt, Assistant to the President

Phone: (314) 772-8898

Email: svogt@charliegittos.com

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Picture courtesy of Photographer & Chef, Charlie Gitto Jr.

The Legend Continues – Charlie Gitto Jr.

Charlie Gitto Jr.

Charlie Gitto Jr. Going Strong 36 years Later

St. Louis, MO – (STLRestaurant.News) Charlie Gitto Jr. – He may have one of the most recognizable names and faces in St. Louis…and that’s not surprising since Charlie Gitto Jr. is the owner of the most beloved Italian restaurants in St. Louis that has been serving satisfied customers for a respectable 36 + years!  He was recently interviewed by St. Louis Magazine and shared a few of his amazing stories.

From the time he was 8 years old, Charlie knew what he wanted and has spent his life pursuing his dream.  It all began after school foil-wrapping russet potatoes at the place he now owns on The Hill, where his father was maitre d’.  At age 25, when it went up for sale he made it his own calling it “Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill”.

Charlie Gitto Jr.

Charlie Gitto Jr.

Was it always easy?  According to Charlie, it definitely was not.  A snowstorm in ’82, double-digit inflation, a 130 degrees -no air conditioned kitchen, and antiquated equipment made it challenging.  There were a few more challenges in those early days, like a wedding reception in a rain storm that left the tent leaking, the Dom Perignon fountain full of water, and the wedding cake melting.  But those only made Charlie hunker down and work that much harder.  After all, to Charlie, failure was not an option.

Through the years there have been many changes, both to the structure and to customers dining tastes.  Where part of the building now sits, there was once a tomato garden where customers could choose and hand-pick a tomato and watch their salad be made table-side.  The unique Italian Chopped Salad with its phenomenal in-house made dressing is still a favorite to this day.  They’ve also made expansions over the years, first a complete kitchen renovation, then adding three rooms divided by pocket doors then undertaking a major interior remodel a few years ago.

When they first opened it was not unusual for lunch goers to partake of an alcoholic beverage or two.  Whether it was a signature Gibtini , or simply, a Manhattan, 30, 40, 50 of those drinks were sold at lunch time each day.  That changed drastically in the late 80’s when the new drink of choice became tea.  The wine list at Charlie Gitto’s has also evolved throughout the years.  When he first took over, the list included Blue Nun, Lambrusco, Lancers, Matues and a few Chiantis, they have expanded to extensive Italian and California selections with mix of other varietals, to satisfy today’s more educated customer.
They now also have their own bakery on site where they bake their ancient grain and signature Italian bread, fresh hand-made pastas, desserts, and pizza dough.  They also prepare the sauces and condiments in an old-world recipe style that are sold in all their other restaurants.  All desserts, are homemade like their decadent tiramisu, and their delicious chocolate, red velvet, Italian cream cakes and Italian cookies.

Because of overwhelming success with his landmark fine Italian dining restaurant on The Hill, and due to popular demand, in 2004, Charlie launched a second location at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, Mo.  Most recently, he introduced his renowned Italian fare to his hometown of Chesterfield, Mo.

From his signature toasted ravioli to his bestselling Pasta Suzanne, Charlie has his hand on the pulse of it all.  He’s proud to say that this is not just a business, but a family labor of love.  Two of his four children already help run the company.

His son, Anthony, and daughter, Suzanne, are both in management positions.  Their mother, who Anthony calls the “unsung hero,” is also involved in the business, helping with decorating and making sure things are running smoothly at all three locations.

The ultimate goal is to one day turn the business over to his children and have them carry on the family dynasty that he has so devotedly created.  But for now, don’t expect Charlie Jr. to be going anywhere, anytime soon!

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Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill

5226 Shaw Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63110

Phone: (314) 772-8898

Hours: Sun 4 pm-10 pm, Mon-Thu 5 pm-10 pm, Fri-Sat 5 pm-11 pm, Price: $$$

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Charlie Gitto’s from The Hill

15525 Olive

Chesterfield, MO 63017

Phone: (636) 536-2199

Lunch and dinner daily, Average Main Course: $18,Reservations: Recommended

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Charlie Gitto’s at Hollywood Casino

777 Casino Center Drive

Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Phone: (314) 770-7663

Hours: Sun 4:30-9 pm, Mon-Thu 4:30-10 pm, Fri-Sat 4:30-11 pm

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http://www.CharlieGittos.com

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For catering, contact Samantha Vogt at (314) 772-8898 or svogt@charliegittos.com

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STLRestaurant.News related articles about Charlie Gitto’s

CHARLIE GITTO’S: THE GOLD STANDARD OF FINE DINING

CHARLIE GITTOS

#1 Italian Restaurant in St. Louis – Charlie Gittos

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Charlie Gittos – A Saint Louis landmark in Italian dining is being recognized as the best in town.  Charlie Gitto’s is now the number one Italian restaurant according to reviews from St. Louis diners.  And with good reason.

CHARLIE GITTO'S

CHARLIE GITTO’S

The best Italian food in St. Louis comes with a bonus: some of the very best service anywhere.  Charlie Gitto, Jr. has figured out something that sets his restaurants above all the rest: there really is no substitute for impeccable service, splendid ambiance, and magnificent food.  It’s a lesson he learned growing up in the restaurant business, and a business model he has taken to the next level.

Most St. Louis natives are familiar with the origin story of Toasted Ravioli.  It’s legend now—how it was invented in 1947 by a chef in the kitchen of Charlie Gittos On The Hill (then called Angelo’s).  The chef had accidentally dropped some ravioli into hot oil.  He liked the results, so he added a little bread crumb coating and tried it again.  Voila!  The most iconic St. Louis dish was born!

St. Louis has changed a lot since then.  In 1981 Charlie Gitto, Jr. took over the restaurant and it was renamed Charlie Gitto’s On The Hill.  One thing that hasn’t changed is the tender, crispy, perfection of CG’s original Toasted Ravioli and signature pomodoro sauce.  But then it wouldn’t be on the menu if it didn’t meet Charlie Gitto’s high standards.  It’s that tradition of excellence that drives his business.

Under Charlie Gitto, Jr.’s leadership, they have grown, adding two new locations.  In 2004 he opened Charlie Gitto’s at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights.  In 2010 he added Charlie Gitto’s From The Hill at 15525 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield.  Although his newer restaurants have a more casual vibe than the original restaurant on the Hill, Gitto has found a way to bring the same outstanding service and excellent food to both locations.  Diners will find each location has the same menu, simply amazing food, and Charlie Gitto’s signature service, yet each restaurant has a distinct personality.  That’s really quite a feat!  Only someone truly dedicated to taking care of the details—only Charlie Gitto, Jr. could pull it off.

Besides being the birthplace of Toasted Ravioli, Charlie Gittos is known for its traditional Italian specialties, especially their excellent pasta.  But Charlie Gittos customers also know it’s also one of the best places in town for steak (aged at least 28 days), expertly prepared seafood (the broiled Sea Bass, served over saffron infused tagliatelle with seafood cream, is life altering), and a focused, well-selected wine list.

That’s why Charlie Gittos is not only the best Italian restaurant in St. Louis, but they are rated as the 6th best restaurant in the entire St. Louis area.  And this isn’t the first time Charlie Gitto’s outstanding restaurants have been recognized for excellence.  The San Francisco-based online restaurant reservation service, OpenTable has honored Charlie Gitto’s On The Hill as one of nation’s Top 50 Italian restaurants.  They’ve also won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the restaurant’s outstanding selection of more than 450 wines.

Now Charlie Gittos is ranked #1 Italian restaurant in St. Louis and not by snooty restaurant reviewers (although they love Gitto’s too).  No, this honor comes from reviews by the people that matter most to Charlie Gitto’s, the customers.  That’s a tip of the hat to the man himself, Charlie Gitto, Jr.  It’s his commitment to making every guest feel special and every meal incredible, that’s the real secret behind Charlie Gitto’s becoming the gold standard for fine Italian dining.

Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill, 5226 Shaw Avenue, St. Louis, MO
Phone (314) 772-8898
Monday through Thursday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Charlie Gitto’s from The Hill, 15525 Olive Boulevard., Chesterfield, MO
Phone (636) 536-2199
Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Charlie Gitto’s At Hollywood Casino, 777 Casino Center Drive, Maryland Heights, MO
Phone (314) 770-7663
Monday through Thursday: 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Contact information:

Charlie Gitto’s

Attention: Samantha Vogt, Assistant to the President

Email: svogt@charliegittos.com

Website: https://www.charliegittos.com

IRRESISTIBLY ITALIAN EVENT AT MARY TUTTLE’S – SPECIAL GUEST CHARLIE GITTO JR.

Charlie Gitto Jr at Mary Tuttles

VIETRI, Irresistibly Italian, Ambassador Event at Mary Tuttles and book signing with Charlie Gitto, Jr. as special guest

CHESTERFIELD, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Famed restaurateur, Charlie Gitto, Jr. will be a special guest at Mary Tuttles Floral and Gifts located in Chesterfield, MO, Saturday, October 15th for a book signing promoting a cookbook featuring recipes from The Hill, which is home to the popular Italian restaurant, Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill.

Charlie Gitto Jr at Mary Tuttles

Charlie Gitto Jr at Mary Tuttles

Mary Tuttle’s Floral and Gifts is an upscale florist in Chesterfield

Charlie Gitto Jr. is part of an event being held at Mary Tuttle’s Floral and Gifts featuring VIETRI, Irresistibly Italian.  VIETRI is the largest U.S. importer of fine, exclusively Italian and handcrafted ceramic dinnerware, garden and home décor, as well as mouth blown glassware, flatware and table linens.  VIETRI’s fashion forward yet classic home accessories combine the richness of European culture with sophisticated American spirit and are designed to passionately bring family and friends together to celebrate life, heritage and traditions with irresistible Italian style.

VIETRI, Irresistibly Italian

VIETRI, Irresistibly Italian

Special guest, Charlie Gitto Jr. is known for his popular St. Louis based Italian restaurant chain, Charlie Gitto’s, offering three locations; (1) On The Hill (2) From The Hill located in Chesterfield and (3) At Hollywood Casino, located in Maryland Heights, MO.  Charlie Gitto’s offers an upscale fine Italian dining experience with authentic Italian cuisines made fresh daily, using only the best ingredients and is best known for their Toasted Ravioli.

The event begins, tomorrow, Saturday, October 15th, 2016 at noon to 4 pm and special guest, Charlie Gitto Jr. will be present autographing copies of the cookbook, Saint Louis Italian by Eleanore Berra Marfisi from 1 pm to 3 pm.  Additionally, there will be complementary food and drinks, some of which is provided by Charlie Gitto’s.

Contact information:

Mary Tuttle’s Floral and Gifts

17021 Baxter Road

Chesterfield, MO 63005

Phone: (636) 728-0480

Email: marytuttles@sbcglobal.net

Additional contact information:

Charlie Gitto’s

REVISED TOP 10 ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN ST LOUIS LIST

Top 10 Italian Restaurants

Top 10 Italian Restaurants in St. Louis – Charlie Gitto’s takes the lead

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) We first published the Top 10 Italian Restaurants in St. Louis list on June 27th, revised it in July and revising it again as there has been a major change in the first place rating.  For some time now, Anthonino’s Taverna, located on The Hill as well, was rated the #1 Italian Restaurant in St. Louis, however, Charlie Gitto’s has replaced it taking the spotlight as the #1 Italian Restaurant in St. Louis, MO with 566 online reviews from customers that determine the rankings.

These positions are highly competitive.  The tension is probably unimaginable to most of us as perfection is the norm for these top-rated restaurants and restaurateurs.  Big money is at stake, not to mention big reputations.

Charlie Gitto’s has been located on The Hill since the mid-1980’s.  They have grown, adding two locations, one in Chesterfield, MO on Olive Blvd and the other at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, MO.  Charlie Gitto’s is not only the best Italian restaurant in St. Louis, but they are rated as the 6th best restaurant in the St. Louis area.

According to our public database, currently, the “Top 10 Italian Restaurants in St. Louis, MO” are:

  1. Charlie Gitto’s – Rated #6 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  2. Anthonino’s Taverna – #9 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  3. Zia’s Restaurant – #14 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  4. Roberto’s Restaurant – #14 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  5. Tony’s Restaurant – #17 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  6. Pi Pizzeria (Washington Street) #18 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  7. Cafe Napoli – #22 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  8. Pastaria – #23 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  9. Trattoria Marcella – #32 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star
  10. The Crossing – #33 of 2281 Restaurants in St. Louis – 4.5 Star

As you can see the competition is fierce with all 10 restaurants scoring a 4.5 Star rating with each having between 154 to more than 600 reviews.  To say that the competition for this position is fierce, is an understatement.   Considering that there are thousands of restaurants in the St. Louis area and to rank in the Top 10 at all is amazing, not to mention impressive, but to rank #1 is an unimaginable accomplishment.  It is amazing that one organization can please that many people.  It is a big statement about how they do business, but more importantly, it proves that they know how to serve the finest cuisine with great service to receive these kind of reviews from customers.

We would like to congratulate Mr. Charlie Gitto Jr. for this unimaginable accomplishment.  It is a well-deserved recognition that one should be proud of.   We would like to congratulate the entire staff at all three Charlie Gitto’s locations because an accomplishment of this magnitude is an example of some spectacular team work.  Great job Charlie!

Previous Article About Charlie Gitto’s

Contact information:

Charlie Gitto’s

Attention: Samantha K. Vogt, Assistant to the President

Phone: (314) 772-8898

Email: svogt@charliegittos.com

PRESS RELEASE

MAKING HIS OWN WAY – ANTHONY GITTO

Anthony Gitto

Charlie Gitto’s Rising Star – Anthony Gitto

ST LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Charlie Gitto’s Rising Star – Anthony Gitto: Lights, Camera, Action!  At 25 years old you could say that, Anthony Gitto is already sitting “on top of The Hill.” The son of Charlie Gitto, Jr., recently made his film career debut starring in Parade Magazine’s new television show, “What America Eats.”  When Parade Magazine came calling on the Gitto’s, Anthony had no idea he’d be telling the world all about the best toasted ravioli.  His dad said it was time he got a little face time, and Anthony was more than up to the challenge.  Turns out, in front of the camera, he’s quite a natural.

And it was easy to talk about toasted ravioli, the extremely popular signature St. Louis dish.  It was created in 1947, in the kitchen of Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill, called Angelo’s at the time, when a chef accidentally dropped ravioli in hot oil instead of water.  At the time, Anthony’s grandfather, Charlie Gitto, Sr. served as maitre d’.  The scrumptious, homemade, breaded, deep-fried appetizer has been taking the country by storm ever since.

During the first day of the two day shoot, Anthony talked all about the origin of toasted ravioli and the basics of what goes in it.  Of course, he was a bit vague, as not to give away too many secrets of the Gitto’s sacred recipe.  On day two, he actually got down to business showing the crew exactly how they’re made.  And for those who don’t realize it, Charlie Gitto’s Toasted Ravioli’s are made with lots of love.

Forget the press, they hand roll the dough, hand cut each one with a pastry cutter, stuff them, and then dip them in their signature homemade breading.  He and the girls in the back make a great team, and they’d better, since they sell more than 10,000 a week.  They recently got a large request from the The Bud Light Convention at The Pageant for 5,500: 2000 cheese and the rest, their classic meat.

Anthony says, “It’s a never ending learning process, you’re always learning something,” but then, he learned from the best.  He has an incredible teacher in his father Charlie Gitto, Jr., who himself worked at Angelo’s as a young boy.  His dad was brought up with the belief that if you want something, you have to work for it.  He’d always wanted to buy the building and make it his own.  So when it went up for sale, without hesitation, he did just that.  The restaurant opened as Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill at 5226 Shaw Avenue in 1981.

Since that time, he’s added two more locations, Charlie Gitto’s from the Hill in Chesterfield, and Charlie Gitto’s at Hollywood Casino.  Don’t confuse them with Charlie Gitto’s Downtown, his father, Charlie, Sr.’s restaurant, which is a totally separate entity with an entirely different menu.  To this day, Charlie, Jr., remains very hands on.  Anthony believes his father’s success is due to the passion he has for his business, along with his loyalty to his staff, and his desire to keep them happy.  A few have been with him for close to 30 years, and have watched Anthony grow up from wearing diapers into the man he is today.  Anthony, “recalls being a 5 year old”, sitting at one particular table trying to master the art of thinly slicing bread and saying, “Hey Dad!  Look at this.”  And his dad would say, “That’s really cool.”

Anthony is the youngest of four.  He has a brother and sister that live in Chicago, and a sister, Suzanne Gitto, that like him, has grown up in the business.  She manages the Chesterfield location, and has one of the best-selling pasta dishes, the Pasta Suzanne, named after her.  Their mother, who Anthony calls the “unsung hero,” is also involved in the business, helping with decorating and making sure things are running smoothly at all three locations.

Suzanne Gitto

Suzanne Gitto

Most of Anthony’s own learning has been done on the hill, although he has worked at the other two locations.  And yes, he says, he did start out washing dishes, learning the old-Italian way, from the bottom up.  Even though his dad rules with tough love, he believes it’s really helped both he and Suzanne learn a lot.  He didn’t have to attend culinary school because the hands-on experience served him better.  He’s also well aware that you need to be able to wear different hats, and from the look of things, Anthony is managing that just fine.

His latest venture is managing the CG Pasta Products, which began in 2014, while he was at Mizzou, earning a degree in hospitality, food and beverage.  He finished his last classes online, so he could come back early and work at the restaurant…overseeing the line of CG Products they sell to all three Gitto’s locations within the company.  They make their own bread every day, pasta’s and ravioli’s for all the restaurants every other day, and lots of desserts, like their decadent tiramisu, and their delicious chocolate, red velvet, and Italian cream cakes.

It can be a huge task because they’re making so much for all the other locations, and Anthony says that in a moment’s notice, they have to be ready with inventory.  He says, “When you’re baking 500 loaves of bread, and numerous cakes, you’re on a real time schedule with not much room for error.”  But once again, he’s up for the challenge.  He’d already had experience on the line cooking at all the different stations.

Each location makes their Gelato.  On the Hill those flavors are pistachio, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and cherry.  In Chesterfield, there are even more extravagant flavors.

The new 8 to 5 pm hours work well for Anthony, putting him on the same schedule as Kate, his girlfriend of more than two and a half years.  She’s a civil engineer, who also works for her father.

Ever since he can remember, he’s been trying to make his dad proud of him, and he speaks for his sister, as well.  It didn’t really strike him until high school when he realized that one day, this would be all be his and his sister’s.  He says, “They are not only in this for themselves and to protect their father’s hard work, but more importantly, they’re doing it to make him happy and make him proud.”  And he says he feels like they’re definitely doing something right.

The ultimate goal one day is for him and sister to be able to take over for his dad–whenever that time comes.  Suzanne handles front of the house matters, while he takes care of things in the back, and if either has questions, they go to each other.  Being from such a close-knit family has served this brother/sister duo well.  But for now, this young rising star, plans to work hard, learn as much as he can, and follow his dad’s one golden rule.  Anthony says, “My dad always says, read, read, read, you’ve always got to read about what’s happening.”  And with that learning tool, Anthony plans to reach for the moon.

  • Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill, 5226 Shaw Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110.  Phone (314) 772-8898 – Hours: Sun 4 pm-9 pm, Mon-Thu 5 pm-10 pm & Fri-Sat 5 pm-11 pm
  • Charlie Gitto’s from The Hill, 15525 Olive, Chesterfield, MO.  Phone (636) 536-2199 – Hours: Sun 4 pm to 11 pm, Mon – Thur 11 am to 10 pm & Sat 4 pm to 11 pm
  • Charlie Gitto’s At Hollywood Casino, 777 Casino Center Drive at Hollywood Casino, Maryland Heights, MO 63043.  Phone (314) 770-7663 – Sun 4:30 to 9 pm, Mon – Thur 4:30 pm to 10 pm, Fri – Sat 4:30 to 11 pm
  • CG Pasta Products – Phone (314) 772-8898
  • Website: https://www.charliegittos.com

WEST COUNTY RESTAURANT WEEK IS ON THIS WEEKEND

WEST COUNTY RESTAURANT WEEK

West County Restaurant Week goes throughout this weekend

WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – The 6th Annual West County Restaurant Week began on July 18th and will run through this upcoming weekend ending July 24th, 2016.  Presented by West County Newsmagazine since 1996 15 top-rated restaurants in the area join together to offer a promotion that benefits charity.  This year the charity is Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The promotion is a three course meal for $25.00, which does not include tax or tip.   This offer is not valid with other promotions.  No sharing or substitutions.  Valid for dine-in only at the following participating locations.  Reservations are recommended, but not required.

The following restaurants are participants of this years West County Restaurant Week:

  • Charlie Gitto’s From The Hill – Recognized as one of the Top-10 Italian Restaurants in St. Louis, MO – 15525 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO – (636) 536-2199
  • Balaban’s – 1772 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield, MO – (636) 449-6700
  • Bishop’s Post – 16124 Chesterfield Pkwy West, Chesterfield, MO – (636) 536-9404
  • Bravo! – 15 West County Center, Des Peres, MO – (314) 821-2562
  • Circle 7 Ranch – 14412 Clayton Rd, Ballwin, MO – (636) 220-9707
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 1146 Town and Country Crossing Drive, Town and Country, MO – (636) 489-0059
  • Gianfabio’s – 127 Hilltown Village Center, Chesterfield, MO – (636) 532-6686
  • John Mineo’s Italian Restaurant – 13490 Clayton Rd, Town and Country, MO – (636) 434-5244
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks – 17 W County Center Dr, St. Louis, MO – (314) 835-1300
  • The Melting Pot – 294 Lamp and Lantern Village, Town and Country, MO – (636) 207-6358
  • Satchmo’s – 13375 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO – (314) 878-3886
  • Surf & Sirloin – 13090 Manchester Road, Des Peres, MO – (314) 822-3637
  • Vito’s in the Valley – 138 Chesterfield Town Center, Chesterfield, MO – (636) 536-3788
  • Walnut Grill – 1386 Clarkson Clayton Center, Ellisville, MO – (636) 220-1717
  • Wasabi – 1066 Town and Country Crossing Drive, Town and Country, MO – (636) 230-7400

Contact information:

Website: http://www.westcountyrestaurantweek.net/home.html

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