Tag - Toasted Ravioli

STL’s Favorite Italian Place: Charlie Gittos Turns 36!

STL’s Favorite Italian Place: Charlie Gittos Turns 36!

Celebrating 36 Years of St. Louis’ Best Italian: Charlie Gittos

St. Louis, MO/March 29, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It seems that great events come in clusters.  Some years are just better than others.  For instance, the year 1981 gave us the first space shuttle mission (Columbia), MTV, Post-It notes, and Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill.  It was a great year indeed, especially for St. Louis diners and for food lovers everywhere.  Charlie Gitto’s has been serving great Italian food in a comfortable fine dining establishment ever since.  In fact, Gitto’s take on fine Italian dining is so popular, he now has three locations across the Saint Louis area: the original Charlie Gitto’s On The Hill at 5226 Shaw Avenue, St. Louis; Charlie Gitto’s From The Hill at 15525 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield; and Charlie Gitto’s at Hollywood Casino, 777 Casino Center in Maryland Heights.

Some restaurants are good.  Some are inspirational.  In the 36 years since Charlie Gitto, Jr. opened Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill (March 21, 1981), the place has become legendary.  This storied St. Louis institution is a collaboration of old world elegance, relaxing atmosphere, authentic Italian cuisine, and an exceptionally gracious service that make it a terrific choice for date night!  In fact, they were voted #1 for date night in St Louis in a recent National Sun Times article.  In February, Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill was named most romantic restaurant in St. Louis, based on customer reviews.  And customers put them in the #1 spot on our Top 10 Italian Restaurants list last fall—and they remain St. Louis’ favorite for Italian cuisine today.

The qualities that make Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill a great choice for date night also make this fine Italian restaurant a great choice for any dinner: the attention to detail that permeates every aspect of dining experience.  From the way staff makes you feel special to the extensive wine list and expertly prepared, award-winning pastas, steaks, seafood, and desserts, an evening at any of the three Charlie Gitto’s locations is a meal to remember.

Last December, Charlie Gitto Jr., and his son Anthony Gitto were featured on the Community Tables video series “What America Eats.”  Specifically Chef Jon Ashton visited with the Gittos to learn the about origins of toasted ravioli.  It was invented in the kitchen of Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill (then Angelo’s) in 1947.  Most St. Louisans know the story of the chef who accidentally dropped some ravioli into hot oil instead of water, creating one of St. Louis’ most iconic dishes.  Now, thousands of toasted ravs are made and served each week at Charlie Gitto’s three locations.  Charlie Gitto’s original Toasted Ravioli is so popular, the official travel site for the United States, www.visittheusa.com, advised hungry visitors to “head to Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill” for dinner. (A 48-Hour Guide to St. Louis, Missouri) And for the last 36 years, St. Louis diners in the know have been doing just that.

Contact Information:

Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill
Owner: Charlie Gitto, Jr.
5226 Shaw Ave.

STL.News Article, Dated March 29 2017

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!


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: $$$


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


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




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


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