Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen Will Close in September
University City, MO/September 2, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – In some places, the only constant is change. The Delmar Loop is one such place. The pseudo-residential entertainment district is an eclectic collection of quirky shops, unique restaurants, and one of the best people-watching venues in the metro area. Just as it is always busy, it seems to also be a place always in flux—dynamic and ever-changing.
Sometimes the changes are good, like when the Delmar Loop was designated a Green Dining District, with LED lighting and cigarette butt recycling containers added to the street. Sometimes the news is bad, when someone or something is lost. This week’s news is the latter kind. In a Facebook announcement this week, we learned that Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen at 6665 Delmar Blvd. will close at the end of service Saturday, Sept. 9.
Open just two years, the restaurant was the brainchild of James Beard-nominated chef Mike Randolph and his wife/partner Liz Randolph. It had been chef Randolph’s homage to his Italian roots, but with his uniquely playful take on classic fare. Randolph’s culinary philosophy calls for him to challenge expectations of the norm. Menu items at Randolfi’s cover the traditional Italian restaurant range from antipasti, salads, and starters to house made, shareable pasta courses, oven-roasted entrees, and chef’s famous Neapolitan-style pizza, but at Randolfi’s there’s generally a touch of the unexpected, like making a classic Caesar Salad with kale.
As seems to be a trend in the modern business era, the Randolph’s took to Facebook Monday to announced their plans to close the restaurant. They wrote:
“It is with heavy hearts that we are announcing the closure of Randolfi’s. Our last day of service will be Saturday, September 9th. We’ve thrown everything that we have into this restaurant. There have been a lot of tears, but it’s time to close the chapter. We are so proud of what we’ve accomplished at Randolfi’s. We appreciate every kind word and every satisfied diner who’s supported us. Randolfi’s was called the ‘most soulful restaurant in St. Louis’ last year, and that’s exactly how we feel about the food and the experience.”
The restaurant was a tribute to Chef Randolph’s family heritage, especially to his late father. The name Randolfi was his family’s name before they moved to the United States from Italy. In announcing their plans, the Randolphs called the decision to close “deeply personal.” Chef Randolph also lauded praise on his chef de cuisine Tommy Andrew, calling Chef Andrew “one of the most talented chefs that I’ve ever had the pleasure of standing shoulder to shoulder with in the kitchen.” Chef Randolph went on to say, “Liz and I will be the first to dine wherever he lands.”
Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen was chef Randolph’s second restaurant in the space—sort of. In 2014, he moved the Good Pie, his Neapolitan pizzeria, from Midtown. It morphed into Randolfi’s the next year. It’s unclear if the Randolphs are calling it quits at the Delmar location, or if they’ll open a new concept in the space. For now, we can still enjoy chef Randolph’s critically acclaimed Central American-inspired gastropub, Público (6679 Delmar Blvd, University City), and the breakfast and brunch spot Liz Randolph runs in Clayton, Half & Half (8133 Maryland Ave). Only time will tell what the couple cooks up next.