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Lenten Dining is Fine Dining at Charlie Gitto’s

Lenten Dining is Fine Dining at Charlie Gitto’s

Charlie Gitto’s Offers Lent-Friendly Upscale Pasta & Seafood

St. Louis, MO/March 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Everyone loves a great fish fry during Lent, but some Friday nights, you want a more upscale dining experience.  That’s where great Italian fare can really fill the bill.  Well prepared pasta and seafood can make for an unforgettable evening.  If you’re going for a nice dinner out, why settle for plastic forks and paper plates, when St. Louis’ favorite Italian restaurant, Charlie Gitto’s offers so many Lent-friendly pasta and seafood dishes?

Gitto’s has been serving fine Italian food on the Hill for more than 35 years. St. Louis diners love it so much, they’ve named it the best Italian restaurant, best fine dining establishment, and best date night restaurant in multiple publications.  They’re an OpenTable Diner’s Choice winner (2015), and are currently the #1 Italian restaurant in St. Louis based on customer reviews.

The food at Charlie Gitto’s is top tier, but the real secret to Gitto’s success is the attention to detail that’s become the hallmark of all three of his St. Louis restaurants.  Everything they do at Gitto’s is aimed at creating an incredible dining experience.  From the casually elegant decor, to the warm, attentive, personalized service—Gitto’s makes every meal a special event.  The menu is a scrumptious selection of fresh, handmade, delectable options to suit many tastes.

This may be the birthplace of toasted ravioli, but the appetizer menu at Charlie Gitto’s has some great Lent-friendly choices too.  Start with something savory, like Arancini: risotto balls, filled with fresh mozzarella cheese, served with their famous pomodoro and walnut pesto cream sauces.  Or opt for eggplant.  They do it two ways: Parmesano (baked with their famous pomodoro sauce and cheeses); or Napoleon (with layers of breaded eggplant fried, filled with layers of CG’s cheeses, roasted sweet peppers, pesto, pomodoro and Asiago cream).  Or start with a bowl of their velvety lobster bisque.

The seafood, pasta, and pizza options seem endless.  Choose from pastas like Penne Primavera, homemade manicotti, linguini with fresh clams, lobster ravioli, or one their signature dishes like Seafood Pasta Suzanne (fresh homemade tagliatelle noodles with shrimp, scallops, clams, langostino and mussels in a spicy three-pepper cream sauce), or Pappardelle with Fresh Tomatoes (homemade ribbon noodles in a San Marzano tomato sauce).  They have a nice variety of seafood options too, including salmon, tilapia, shrimp scampi, and seafood risotto—all expertly prepared.  Prefer pizza?  They do a terrific brick oven Margherita, a classic CG cheese pizza, and delicious roasted mushroom pizza with fresh spinach, CG’s cheeses and pesto.

Of course Gitto’s professionally-trained sommelier is always available to help diners select wine to perfectly complement their meal.  A wine list with hundreds of selections means there’s something everyone will love.

As the weather warms, enjoy dining al fresco on the gorgeous patio at Charlie Gitto’s original location on the Hill.  Have drinks at the Hollywood Casino patio before your meal, or drop into the Chesterfield location for a quality lunch or dinner.  Whichever location you choose, you don’t have to give up real table linens, china and crystal, or amazing food and service just because it’s Lent.  Indoors or out, on the Hill, at the casino, or in Chesterfield, Charlie Gitto’s offers diners a beautiful meal with family and friends (or that special someone), during Lent and all year long.

Charlie Gitto’s contact information:

Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill
5226 Shaw Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone: (314) 772-8898
Offering Dinner:
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 Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Phone: (636) 536-2199
Offering Lunch (weekdays) and Dinner:
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
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
Phone: (314) 770-7663
Offering Dinner:
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.

After 10 Years, Acero Remains Special Kind of Authentic

Acero, Maplewood, MO

Local Sourcing Makes Acero “Midwestern” Italian

Maplewood, MO/March 2, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – In Italian, the word “acero” means “maple.”  So it’s fitting that an inventive Italian restaurant that helped to establish Maplewood as one of St. Louis’ culinary incubators is called Acero.  This intimate Italian restaurant at 7266 Manchester Road is another success of restaurateur and Chef Jim Fiala.  He opened The Crossing Restaurant (French-Italian, fine dining) in 1998, and Acero in 2007.  While both restaurants focus on bringing locally-sourced ingredients to the table, The Crossing is French-Italian fine dining, where Acero takes an upscale approach to rustic Italian fare.  To create Acero’s unexpected menu of small plates, Fiala tapped Executive Chef Adam Karl Gnau and Chef de Cuisine Eric Gibbs.  Both joined Fiala’s team via his other endeavors: Liluma in the Central West End and The Crossing in Clayton.

Like Fiala’s other restaurants, Acero was also founded on his famous farm-to-table philosophy, but serves it up in the classic Italian style.  That’s a little different than the salad-entree-check format of meals served in many very good St. Louis restaurants.  At Acero, the meal is a developing experience—based on the classic meal structure Italians have cultivated over centuries.  The point of the Italian meal is to savor both the food and company, as the evening unfolds.  As such, the menu at Acero is designed to be enjoyed in courses.  Like Fiala’s original restaurant, The Crossings, Acero offers a chef-selected tasting menu—the 7 course Seasonal Grand Tasting menu—for $75; or for $35 you can select your own four-course tasting menu.  Wine flights are available for each. Since formality takes a back seat to creating a unique and pleasurable meal, diners at Acero are also free to order ala carte—whatever their hearts desire.

Whether choosing a tasting menu or sampling a single item, some of the dishes not to be missed, according to customers and food critics alike, include the Salumi and Formaggi (a selection of cured meat and Italian cheeses), the Gnocco Fritto (a zeppole (beignet) topped with Prosciutto di Parma, sea salt and olive oil), the Crudo (raw seafood of the chef’s choice, prepared with shallot, pea shoots, olive oil, and sea salt), the famous Egg Raviolo (the chef’s daily flavored cheese surrounding a farm fresh egg yolk in pasta), the Tagliatelle (topped with a house made ragu), the Sea Scallops, the Grass-fed Ribeye, and the wine list.  While critics praise the nice selection of exclusively Italian wines, diners appreciated both the wine flights and the ability to order wine by the quartino—about a third of a bottle, an option that makes some very good wines more affordable.  The Acero staff is excellent at suggesting appropriate pairings for any meal.

The restaurant sits in the heart of downtown Maplewood’s dining district, so parking is at a premium.  But diners appreciate the intimate setting and incredible hospitality Acero offers.  The dining room could best be described as upscale chic meets urban rustic. It’s comfortable, inviting, and semi-casual.  The service is top tier, making dining at Acero feel indulgent, no matter what you order or where you sit.  Seating is available at the bar, at tables, and when the weather is nice, on the patio.  In the ten years since it opened, one might expect a few changes at Acero, but the exemplary service, outstanding food, excellent wine, and congenial ambiance have persisted.  Acero is open for dinner Monday – Saturday.  Reservations are accepted beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Contact Information:

Owner: Chef Jim Fiala
7266 Manchester Road
Maplewood, MO 63143
Phone: (314) 644-1790


Picture courtesy of Dress Code Finder

Bad Luck for Giovanni’s on the Hill

Giovanni's on the Hill

St. Louis Landmark Goes Up In Flames – Giovanni’s on the Hill

ST. LOUIS, MO/January 27, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Giovanni’s on the Hill – There seems to be one piece of bad news after another for what has been a St. Louis landmark for four decades.  Officials are investigating the cause of a fire at the popular Giovanni’s restaurant in the 5200 block of Shaw Avenue on the Hill.

Giovanni’s is one of only six restaurants in the St. Louis area to have a four-diamond rating from the AAA’s national restaurant guide.  Owner, Giovanni Gabriele, has cooked for Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, both George and George W. Bush, and Vice President Al Gore.  In the 70’s his clientele included celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Oprah Winfrey and Paul McCartney.

The one-alarm blaze broke out around 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday before the restaurant had opened.  The building sustained heavy damage to the second floor and the roof.  When the flames broke out there were no customers present however, the restaurant’s owner and seven others were inside at the time.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Giovanni’ son, Carmelo Gabriele, told a reporter the business had been upgrading its electric system for weeks and that the fire was discovered after an electrical worker smelled smoke.  According to the St. Louis Fire Department, electricians had been working for more than a week to install new wiring.

Before the fire incident, there had already been a black cloud hovering over the high end restaurant.  Earlier this month a missing #14,000 mink coat made headlines when a Belleville couple took the coat home by mistake.  Then last month, a St. Louis grand jury indicted 75 year old Gabriele for allegedly molesting a female security system representative at the business in July.  Giovanni was charged with first-degree sodomy, second-degree sexual abuse, and third-degree assault.

Although the future seems anything but bright, Gabriele says the goal is to reopen the restaurant in a couple of months following repairs to the water damaged dining room.

Leaving it to the Diners – St. Louis’ Top 10 People’s Choice

St. Louis’ Top 10 People’s Choice Neighborhood Restaurants

ST LOUIS, MO/December 28, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) We always hear a lot about what the food critics say about which restaurants we should frequent but what about the diners themselves?  After all, isn’t that who really matters in the end?

OpenTable, the San Francisco-based online restaurant reservation service thinks so.  Their website evaluates 400,000 new diner reviews every month to find the best overall restaurants around the world.  In a recent article they ranked the top ten neighborhood restaurants chosen by local diners.

St. Louis’ Diners Top 10 Favorite Neighborhood Restaurants:

1. Candicci’s Restaurant & Bar in Ballwin
2. Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge in Soulard/Benton Park
3. Demun Oyster Bar in Clayton
4. Tavolo V in The Loop
5. Yemanja Brasil in Soulard/Benton Park
6. Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante in Grand Center
7. Atlas Restaurant in the Central West End
8. 612 Kitchen & Cocktails in Kirkwood
9. Herbie’s Restaurant in the Central West End
10. Bar Italia Ristorante in the Central West End

Candicci’s Restaurant & Bar, came in at #1 is known for their fine Italian cuisine, which got more than a few fabulous compliments from customers in numerous OpenTable website reviews.  Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge took the #2 spot.  They serve cuisine driven by palates all over the world.  French, Moroccan, Italian, Mexican and Cajun are just a few of those different cultural flavors.


Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Dinner Theater

Dinner with a Side of Comedy, Mystery, or Burlesque! Dinner Theater

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Dinner Theater – The phrase “dinner and a show” conjures up all sorts of images.  It can be as simple as musicians playing unobtrusively in the corner of a restaurant, as immersive as mystery dinner theater, or as elaborate as medieval feasting.  In St. Louis, a wide variety dinner shows pop up throughout the year, everything from food truck-music festivals to Shakespeare in the Park.  Four of the most popular dinner shows are in full swing, some opening their special holiday shows this week.  Each is offering a unique evening out.

Probably the best known is the Bissell Mansion Restaurant & Dinner Theatre, 4426 Randall Place in North St. Louis, (314-533-9830).  All this month and through December, the Bissell Mansion presents “It’s A Wonderful Death”, a parody of Frank Capra’s classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  In their version, the cantankerous Mr. Potter is found murdered.  You’ll meet the residents of Bedford Falls, as the play unfolds and the audience helps to solve the case.  You can be part of the cast, by asking for a “starring” role in the show, or just sit back, relax, and guess “whodunnit.”  Tickets for the Bissell Mansion Participatory Murder Mystery include a 4-course meal (appetizer, salad, entree and dessert).  Evening meals also included two glasses of white wine.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm., with a Sunday show at 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $54.95 per person in November ($56.95 in December), and must be reserved in advance, by phone.

Another popular choice is the Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn, 3322 DeMenil Place in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, (314-664-8024).  The Jest Murder Mystery Company at the Lemp Mansion Restaurant has also begun performing their holiday show.  This year it’s “Dickens of a Killing!”  The comedy mystery centers on the murder of Ebenezer Scrooge.  The suspects are a who’s who of Charles Dickens’ characters.  Tickets for the interactive comedy-mystery show are $52.95 per person, including a three-course meal with wine.  The show runs every Friday and Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. from now through January 7, 2017.  Reservations are required and can be made by phone or online at www.lempmansion.com.

A once familiar downtown St. Louis favorite is back for a limited engagement in a new venue!  The Royal Dumpe Dinner Theatre has moved to The Lodge at Grant’s Trail, 4398 Hoffmeister Ave. (Lemay) in South St. Louis County, (636-933-9057).  At “the King’s Hunting Lodge,” you will step back into 16th century England for an evening of medieval madness with King Henry VIII and his bevy of wenches.  The comedy show is an interactive night of bawdy merry making and song!  The Royal Dumpe claims to be the longest running show of its kind in the U.S. Since this is their fourth decade of feasting, they may well be.  But it almost wasn’t so.  The Royal Dumpe Theatre closed last spring when their landlord sold the building on North 2nd Street that had been their home.  At the new location in South County, they won’t hold weekly shows as in the past.  In fact, there are only two dates listed on their website: December 4 & 15, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  With the new location comes a new menu and a change in pricing.  At the new venue, the $49.50 per person price includes dinner, the show, all drinks, parking, taxes, and even the gratuity!  There’s a link to buy tickets online at www.royaldumpe.com.

For something completely different, check out the burlesque show at the Boom Boom Room at 500 North 14th Street in downtown St. Louis (314-436-7000).  Modeled after a 1920’s speakeasy with a modern twist, customers describe the dinner and cocktail shows as “classy with divine debauchery.” The venue is intimate, with a limited number of seats.  On Friday and Saturday nights they offer two-hour dinner shows.  Tickets for the Friday night show, “Cocktails, Cuisine & Corsets” cost $14.99, plus $14.99 each for the two-course dinner (salad & entree).  On Saturday it’s “Dinner Von Tease” at $21.99 each for the show, plus $29.99 each for a four-course dinner (salad, fish course, entree, dessert).  Tickets can be purchased online at www.theboomboomroomstl.info.  Both shows feature singing, dancing, burlesque, cirque and more to keep you thoroughly entertained.  Since the venue is downtown, be prepared to pay for parking at one of the two nearby garages.

All of these dinner theaters have limited seating, so reserving your place well ahead of your planned night out is recommended.  No matter whether you want a raucous whodunit, a bawdy medieval feast or something else entirely, these establishments are serving up dinner and a show.  It’s a whole evening of entertainment like nothing else.


wine party

Wine Party at Candicci’s Restaurant and Bar – October 26th

BALLWIN, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Candicc’s Restaurant and Bar has announced a wine dinner party, scheduled for October 26th, with special four course gourmet dinner prepared by Candicci’s new Executive Chef, Jack MacMurray.  Featured guests is E & J Gallo Wines providing the featured wines for the evening event.

  • 1st Course – Flash Fried Calamari with a zesty Tomato Aioli – wine pairing: La Marca Prosecco
  • 2nd Course – Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Strawberry Salad – wine pairing: Storypoint Chardonnay
  • 3rd Course – Bacon wrapped Pork Tenderloin Medallion with spiced Bing Cherry Pinot Noir Glaze –  wine pairing: MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir
  • 4th Course – Braciole Stuffed Italian Meat Balls – wine pairing: Storypoint Cabernet Sauvignon

Complete the evening with Sabayon and Mixed Berries for dessert.

The cost of the event is $55 per person including tax and gratuity.  Reservations are required.

Candicci’s Restaurant and Bar has been in business for more than 35 years providing fine Italian cuisines and pizza to the St. Louis metro area.  Candicci’s has established a solid reputation in the community of providing a casual fine dining atmosphere featuring regular weekend specials, happy hours, catering and banquet.  Recently, they added online ordering and pizza/food delivery within a 5 mile radius of the restaurant.

Additionally, Candicci’s recently announced about leasing additional space.  The space will be used to expand their existing catering services.  The additional space is necessary to meet demand for their catering services.  Candicci’s has been providing catering services to the St. Louis area since they have been in business having catered for some of the largest companies located in the city.

For more information about Candicci’s upcoming wine party, catering or just to make reservations please use the contact information provided below.

Contact information:

Candicci’s Restaurant and Bar

100 Holloway Rd

Ballwin, MO 63011

Phone: (636) 220-8989

Email: candiccis@gmail.com (please do not make reservations using email, please call)


top 10 fine dining

Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Top 10 Fine Dining: In our opinion, St. Louis has some of the best dining opportunities available in the mid-west, if not across the entire country.  Everything from Italian restaurants to steak and seafood restaurants are available for your dining pleasure.  St. Louis has country renowned chefs now that own restaurants to top-rated fine dining restaurants chains like Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  St. Louis has it all!  However, we were surprised that there were not more restaurants from The Hill area that reached the list.   The Hill is still one of our favorite communities in the city, but we love Italian cuisines.

Fine dining has been difficult of the recent years as consumers have cut back, but it appears that fine dining might be making a come-back from the dead as consumers are slowly returning to fine dining establishments more frequently.

Our database is created by thousands of online reviews that are available to the public.  Therefore, the information is verifiable and is not paid advertisement.  Naturally, the more reviews an establishment has, the more reliable the rating probably is.  Our number 10 restaurants only has 94 reviews after many years of business.

Our Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants in St. Louis are:

  1. Bristol Seafood Grill – #16 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis and rated #1 restaurant in Creve Coeur – 354 online reviews resulting in 4.5 Star
  2. Trattoria Marcella – #24 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 246 online reviews resulting in 4.5 Star
  3. J. Gilbert’s – #25 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 119 reviews resulting in 4.5 Star
  4. Kreis Restaurant – #34 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 188 online reviews resulting in 4.5 Star
  5. Citizen Kane’s Steak House – #47 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 189 online reviews resulting in 4.5 Star
  6. Ruth’s Chris Steak House (downtown) – #53 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 262 online reviews resulting in 4.5 Star
  7. Lombardo’s Trattoria – #64 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 189 online reviews resulting in 4.5 Star
  8. Cielo Restaurant (Four Seasons St. Louis) – #84 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 228 online reviews resulting in 4 Star
  9. Sidney Street Cafe – #107 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 223 online reviews resulting in 4 Star
  10. Modesto Tapas Bar and Restaurant – #175 of 2275 restaurants in St. Louis – 94 online reviews resulting in 4.5 Star



herbies vintage 72

Herbies Vintage 72

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Herbies Vintage 72 will be open in their existing location in Central West End through the end of September and then they will close.  However, don’t worry, they will open in November in Clayton, MO.   They will be offering a throwback menu and drink specials throughout the month of September.

Their websites states that the reason for moving was for growth.  In this economy, that is an excellent sign as many restaurants are struggling with what, one nationally recognized investment adviser states, is a restaurant recession created by an excessive amount of restaurants that have opened in recent years.  Competition is tough as restaurants fight for the same dollars from consumers.  However, it doesn’t sound as though this establishment knows that there is a restaurant recession going on.  Congratulations!

They will still have a presence in Central West End with their Kingside Diner on Maryland Avenue.  Good things are expected from this major change.

Contact information:

Herbie’s Vintage 72

405 North Euclid Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63108

Phone: (314) 769-9595

Talayna’s Italian Restaurant Weekend Special and Live Music

Talayna's Italian Restaurant

Weekend Special and Live Music at Talayna’s Italian Restaurant

CHESTERFIELD, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Talayna’s Italian Restaurant has announced their weekend specials and live music schedule for this upcoming weekend, July 29th, 30th and 31st.  Talayna’s is more than 50 years old and have been owned and managed by Mehdi and Susan Rouhani for more than 35 years.

Additionally, Talayna’s offers online ordering and pizza delivery to the Chesterfield and Creve Coeur, MO areas.  You can order online or call.

Talayna’s weekend specials are:

  1. Stuffed Rainbow Trout – Chardonnay Poached rainbow trout filled with blue crab meat and baby shrimp on a bed of quinos and seasonal vegetables for $18.95
  2. Chicken Roulade – Chicken breast stuffed with spinach and icotta served with anglehair pasta, seasonal vegetable and tomato basil sauce for $15.95
  3. Slow Braised Beef Cannelloni – home made cannelloni stuffed with Talayna’s special slow braised beef.  Served with roasted vegetables and merlot reduction sauce for $15.95
  4. Salmon A la Putanesca – Chardonnay Poached Salmon with tomatoes, Kalamata olives, Capers, Roasted Garlic served on Angel Hair pasta for $17.95

Talayna’s is conveniently located just west of 141 and Olive Blvd.

Contact information:

Talayna’s Italian Restaurant

68 Four Seasons Shopping Center

Chesterfield, MO 63017

Phone: (314) 469-6650


Niche is now Sardella

Taking Sardella on the Road

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – For years, Restaurateur Extraordinaire, Gerald Craft, has contemplated closing his popular and very successful brainchild, Niche, located at 7734 Forsyth Blvd in Clayton.  At least as far back as the recession in 2008.  He first opened its doors in 2005 in a Benton Park storefront, and then relocated to Clayton in 2012.

The restaurant has received both local and national acclaim for both its ambitious tasting menus and extreme dedication to local produce.  Last year, it earned Craft a James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Midwest,” and more recently, a second consecutive #1 ranking on the Post-Dispatch’s STL100.  But while it was a fun ride to the top, Craft found it can be agonizing trying to hold that spot.

His newest venture, Sardella, will replace the longtime Niche, which closed June 11th. It will operate in the same space in Clayton, and include the same team, Executive Chef Nick Blue, Pastry Chef, Sarah Osborn, and General Manager, Christopher Kelling.  But that’s where the similarities stop.  This restaurant will have a much different feel.  Expect an Italian-inspired cuisine in a more relaxed, fun atmosphere.

Sardella’s breakfast and lunch menus will include pastries, sandwiches, and salads.  The dinner menu will feature hand-stuffed pastas and roasted meats.  Craft plans to continue to place emphasis on seasonal produce and continue his established relationships with local farmers, but unlike Niche, Sardella will not exclude ingredients not grown or raised locally.

Before the restaurant opens at the end of the month, Craft is taking Sardella’s lunch menu on the road.  He has partnered with Seoul Taco to feature his lunch items on the red Seoul Taco truck this Monday.  All the proceeds will go to the St. Louis MetroMarket, the converted bus that delivers fresh produce to the needy in St. Louis City.