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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.

Gioia’s Deli – Famous For Homemade Hot Salami Since 1918

Gioia's Deli on The Hill

Wins the 2017 James Beard Award – Gioia’s Deli on The Hill

ST. LOUIS, MO/January 31, 2017  (STLRestaurant.News) This week, Gioia’s Deli, Home of the Hot Salami sandwich, was honored with the prestigious 2017 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award.  “Each year since 1998 the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee has recognized our nation’s beloved regional restaurants.  Distinguished by their timeless appeal, they serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities.  We anoint these locally owned restaurants with a James Beard Foundation Award and designate them as America’s Classics,” states the James Beard Foundation.

There’s no doubt that Gioia’s Deli has a timeless appeal.  In 1918, Charlie Gioia, an immigrant from Marccallo, Italy, built Gioia’s Deli in a building that was constructed of re-purposed wood and brick from the 1904 Worlds Fair.  The Gioia Family embraced their 1934 Macklind location on “The Hill” and ran their grocery store and sold their homemade Italian sausage called Salam de Testa.  It is now the oldest family owned business on “The Hill.”  Steve and Johnnie Gioia added a lunch trade to the family business featuring the Salam de Testa.  This prize secret recipe is known today as Hot Salami.   The salami is made fresh in house and is hot as in temperature, not as in spice.  It’s a secret blend of pork, beef and peppery seasonings.  Topped with the city’s favorite cheese, Provel, it’s an unforgettable regional culinary favorite that has traveled from Italy, adopted by Italian-American and for nearly a century, known as the St. Louis favorite.

In 1980 the Donley family bought Gioia’s Deli and turned the grocery store into a sandwich shop and the Gioia’s entrusted their heirloom recipe with Donley’s matriarch.  The Deli features a variety of sandwiches with an assortment of premium meats, quality cheeses accompanied by homemade fresh salads, soups and desserts.  Their in-house made authentic Italian salami continues to reign as their signature item and they sell over 1,900 pounds of it weekly!  Cathy and her son Alex carry on the successful Gioia’s tradition by serving St. Louis’ favorite sandwich.  In 2013 Gioia’s Hot Salami was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” program and host Andrew Zimmern proclaimed the Hot Salami sandwich “Worth the trip!”

In 2014, Alex and his wife, Amanda launched the Hot Salami Truck which can be found on the streets of St. Louis at lunchtime and has quickly become an iconic favorite at food truck events.  Fans can follow the truck on Twitter @HotSalamiTruck to see where and when the truck will be next.

In April of 2016, Gioia’s Deli opened a second location in Downtown St. Louis at 903 Pine.    Congratulations and thank you to Gioia’s Deli and the Donley family for keeping the Hot Salami tradition alive on the Hill, in St. Louis and on the road!

Gioia’s Deli
On The Hill
1934 Macklind Avenue
Phone: (314) 776-9410
Open Monday – Saturday
10 AM – 4 PM
Phone: (314) 776-9410

Gioia’s Deli
903 Pine Street
Open: Monday – Friday
10:30 AM – 2:20 PM
Phone: (314) 776-9410

Catering Trays and Boxed Lunches are available.  The Gioia’s Hot Salami Truck is also available to rent for private events. Contact@gioiasdeli.com

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.

An Old World Experience – Missouri Baking Company

Missouri Baking Company, St. Louis, MO

Sweeten Your Holidays at the Missouri Baking Company

St. Louis, MO/December 17, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) The Missouri Baking Company is not just a bakery; it is literally an institution on the “Hill.”  Back in September it took the #1 spot on our Top 10 Best Bakery list.  There aren’t many establishments that can say they’ve been in business almost 100 years and have been passed down from generation to generation.

The shop was founded by the three Gambaro brother’s in 1923.  Their sons and daughters grew up working in the bakery a long side the family and eventually took over the business.  Ninety-three years later, this family legacy is still impressing customers from near and far.

Missouri Baking Company has a way of taking each and every visitor back to their childhood days.  The original freezer and the old-fashioned cabinets, and the rows of tables with heavenly baked items, bring you back to the olden days…a time when all things seemed so much more innocent and life was so much simpler.

And with Christmas right around the corner and dreams of sugar plums dancing in our heads…it’s the perfect place to make a visit to for some traditional Italian Christmas cookies and other delectable treats.  The magnificent aroma of freshly baked goods reaches your senses the minute you step through the front door.

You’ll find counter after counter of the most superb looking sweet treats and warm loaves of bread.  It’s a gold mine for someone looking to buy something delicious for a holiday party or perhaps to give as a gift.  Keep in mind when you visit that you won’t find anything artificial tasting here.  Everything is made from scratch.

There are way too many goodies to name them all but to me a few stands out above the rest.  Of course, there’s the 2015 award winning Gooey Butter Cake that melts in your mouth.  The Ricotta or Italian Cream Cannoli’s are heavenly, the Tiramisu to die for, and the fabulous Italian butter cookies are gloriously rich and sinfully good.  One sweet is simply better than the next, which means you can’t go wrong on anything you purchase.

There are also four kinds of biscotti, and additional cookies such as Chocolate Drops, delicate Shortbreads, Nut-Based Crunchy Squares, and Amaretto Macaroons.  A few of the items might sound foreign to some but if you haven’t tried them, then you should.  One is the Cuccidati made with figs, raisins, pine nuts, chocolate chips and orange zest.

Another is the Panetone bread, pronounced with the correct Italian emphasis, Pan-e-tone-a. I only know about it because I’m Italian and grew up having it at my Nona’s home every Christmas.  It’s a sweet yeast bread of Milanese origin, considered a Christmas classic for Italians everywhere.  What could be more festive than a tall, puffy, round bread studded with raisins and candied citron?  Especially our version… soaked in rum.

For an Old World experience and some of the best confectioneries that will ever cross your lips, make time for a holiday visit to Missouri Baking Company.

Missouri Baking Company (on The Hill)

2027 Edwards

St. St. Louis, MO

Phone: (314) 773-6566

Hours: Sun 7:30am-12pm

Tue-Fri 7am-5:30pm

Sat 7am-5pm


Picture courtesy of Carrie Nenonen


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

American-Italian Restaurant, Monas Opens on the Hill


American-Italian Restaurant, Monas Opens on the Hill

ST. LOUIS, MO/December 7, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) – Monas, an American-Italian Joint has opened at the old location of Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant. Modesto had been in this spot for over 15 years.

Brendan Marseden, who owned Modesto, also owns Monas. The joint will offer pizza, garlic knots, pickled zucchini fries and fried-green tomato salad.

Located at 5257 Shaw Ave 63110 in The Hill, Monas will also offer a kid’s menu and gluten-free options for pizza and pasta.

The owner, Marseden, made the restaurants a complete different contrast. Where Modesto’s was dark and romantic, Mona’s is light and bright. You will find the brick painted white with yellow painted chairs to sit in and that Italian style checkered tablecloth, to make you feel welcome and at home.

Monas offers some unique takes on classic dishes, like antipasto salad with kale instead of lettuce. Their goal is to put a new and modern spin on the Italian pizzas and pastas.

Pizzas range from $12-$14 dollars per pie, with a variety of types. Red Pizza would include: Meatball, Muffaletta, The G.F., Sausage & Greens and Grilled Zucchini. Where the White Pizza’s would include: Shrimp Scampi, Roasted Broccoli, Smoked Chicken, Crispy Mushroom and Marinated Artichoke.

You also can design your own pizza from their quality ingredients. Monas pasta dishes range from $14 dollar, Baked Ziti, Mona’s Lasagna, Gnocchi or Roasted Broccoli Penne. And make sure you leave room for Mona’s desserts, Limoncello Tort, Grilled Fruit and Modesto’s Bread Pudding.

While enjoying your appetizer or meal, you can also sip on wine by the bottle or glass, draft beer or homemade Sangria. Monas hours are Monday through Thursday 11 am to 9:30 pm and Friday through Saturday 11 am to 10:30 pm.

Mona’s, an American-Italian Joint in The Hill. Stop in, sit down and stay awhile.

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

Contributing Editors: Chris and Karen Cushing