Italian



At 10Best, we're always on the lookout for St. Louis's best restaurants, and while we appreciate places that have a broad culinary range, we can't help but adore restaurants that specialize in a given cuisine. When we're in the mood for Italian food in St. Louis, we head to Trattoria Marcella - a reader favorite - or we count on Cunetto House of Pasta's solid track record and consistently great dishes. You'll find these places - and any of the restaurants on our list - to be fantastic options for Italian cuisine, and if you're looking to concentrate your efforts, start with the vibrant The Hill area.



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The extensive menu features 33 gourmet pasta dishes, including Cannelloni Bianco (rolled pasta stuffed with veal, chicken, and beef and served in a mushroom sauce) and Spaghettini alla Genovese (pasta and pesto). For the health conscious, Cunetto also features no cholesterol and low salt pastas.


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This classy restaurant features chandeliers, soft-toned walls, and waiters in black-tie. The classic menu begins with calamari sautéed with onion and garlic. Entrees include grilled swordfish in a sauce with roasted vegetables, bow-tie pasta with smoked salmon in an Alfredo sauce, and mussels with linguine and a delightful tomato sauce.


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Central West End
Bar Italia


 

The bright decor, offset by the industrial setting, is the perfect scene for the wildly imaginative menu featured at this dynamic restaurant. Calamari salad is made with garbanzo beans and diced beans tossed with a lemon and oil dressing. Eggplant fettuccine is enlivened with a tangy blend of tomatoes, olives, onions and capers and topped with herbed ricotta cheese. Sample the homemade gelato for dessert.


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Dominic's on the Hill


 

With its beautiful chandeliers and fine paintings, this elegant restaurant is the city's standard-bearer in Italian gourmet cuisine. Dine on shrimp vino blanco (plump shrimp cooked in white wine, garlic and lemon sauce and served with a peppery capellini) or the tender ossobuco with a tomato-based sauce prepared with bay leaf, garlic, and wine and served with risotto Milanese. Reservations are accepted.


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With warmly painted walls and white tablecloths, this intimate setting is very inviting. Start with the incredible fritto misto, made with calamari and spinach and served with shredded Parmesan and a lemon wedge. Enjoy the potato ravioli with shrimp and seasoned with herbs grown in the restaurant's garden or try the creamy risotto with roasted chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and asparagus. Reservations are essential.


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Downtown


 

This authentic gourmet Italian restaurant has been a St. Louis staple since the 1920's. Small dining areas arranged within the larger space create an intimate old world atmosphere. Start with the signature fried artichokes and move on to filet tournedos in a green peppercorn cream sauce, linguine with seafood, or a mixed grill of lamb, beef, and Italian sausage in a currant mustard sauce.


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Charlie Gitto's


 

This elegant, old world-style restaurant features dark woods, a fountain, and a comfortable ambience. Risotto makes as fine an appetizer as it does an entree. Start with the creamy seafood risotto made with salmon, shrimp, and scallops. Follow with the Veal Nunzio, medallions sautéed with cheese and topped with lump crabmeat and a lemon butter sauce.


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LoRusso's Cucina


 

Achieving that rare, successful balance between elegance and comfort, LoRusso's attracts couples looking for a romantic night out and families who come to enjoy the spacious dining area. Authentic, flavorful entrees from the cucina are inspired by the owner's grandmother's cooking. Veal saltimbocca, chicken Teresa (breaded breast meat with broccoli, cheese, and white wine sauce), and linguine in tomato and lobster sauce are a few favorites. Interesting vegetarian dishes like butternut ravioli and eggplant lasagna promise flavor without meat.


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Vito's Sicilian Pizzeria and Ristorante
Photo courtesy of Vito's Sicilian Pizzeria and Ristorante


 

If you're in the mood for Italian but want to avoid the glut of restaurants on The Hill, try this wallet-friendly Midtown spot. A comfortable, wood-floored interior welcomes customers who clamor for Vito's delicious, hand-tossed pizzas. Created with dough that's made fresh daily, pies come topped with ingredients from the standard to the sublime: among them, mushrooms, roasted eggplant, fresh basil, feta cheese, shrimp, buffalo mozzarella, and pine nuts. Try your pizza with pesto for a change of pace.


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