The Five Best (Not Cheap) Italian Restaurants in St. Louis

Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this Gut Check series, we are chewing our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. To see hundreds more winners and finalists and download the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis mobile app, visit our Best of St. Louis homepage.

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Jennifer Silverberg
A pizza from Mad Tomato, one of our finalists for "Best Italian Restaurant (Not Cheap)"
The Hill might be St. Louis' go-to destination for Italian dining, but our list of the best "not cheap" Italian joints in town ranges from the inner suburbs to the very edge of downtown. With, yes, a stop on the Hill along the way.

Page through to see the four finalists and our pick for "Best Italian Restaurant (Not Cheap)" in St. Louis.

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Ian Froeb
The arancini at Lorenzo's Trattoria
Lorenzo's Trattoria (1931 Edwards Street; 314-773-2223)

Though still a relative youngster on the Hill's crowded Italian restaurant landscape, over the past decade Lorenzo's Trattoria has established a reputation as a go-to spot for elegant northern Italian cuisine in a friendly, unfussy setting. The arancini (fried rice balls stuffed with ground beef) are a can't-miss appetizer, and the pasta dishes are superb -- especially the risotto. The veal entrées are fantastic, from fork-tender osso buco over saffron risotto to the succulent grilled veal T-bone. (Careful not to fill up on the tasty breadsticks that await you at your table.) The shorter lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads and pastas.

Cielo (999 North Second Street; 314-881-5800)

The restaurant on the eighth floor of the Four Seasons received a jolt of energy when Fabrizio Schenardi became executive chef in 2010. A native of Rivoli, Italy, Schenardi offers elegant takes on rustic cuisine: veal-truffle ravioli; grilled octopus in a lime-basil dressing; pork chops in a green peppercorn-grappa sauce. It's no small feat for Cielo to provide cuisine as impressive as its view, but Schenardi has managed the trick.

Location Info

Cielo

999 N. 2nd St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

I Fratellini

7624 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO

Category: Restaurant

Lorenzo's Trattoria

1933 Edwards St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Mad Tomato

8000 Carondelet, Clayton, MO

Category: Restaurant

Acero Ristorante

7266 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO

Category: Restaurant


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2 comments
Francis
Francis

Man, if I ate that rich crap all at once at Acero I would be sick for days. It's not worth it. "Heart attack waiting to happen" is not a recommendation, unless you're in favor of culinary suicide.

...and Trattoria Marcella belongs on this list.

Bigpeeler
Bigpeeler

What, no Olive Garden? Not THAT'S true Italian. My TV tells me so.

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