The Hill: An Updated Guide to Restaurants in St. Louis' Iconic Italian Neighborhood
|Charlie Gitto's on the Hill|
(5226 Shaw Avenue; 314-772-8898)
Dim lighting and secluded booths make Charlie Gitto's a great place to be romantic, incognito or both: No one will notice you, because the crowd is always intent on the huge plates of old-school St. Louis-style Italian food set before them. Fried calamari, served with a citrus chipotle mayo sauce, is crunchy and spicy. The standout entrée is the tenderloin Siciliano: a buttery cut of beef two inches thick, smothered with Provel and mushrooms and surrounded by a phalanx of tasty vegetables.
(5101 Shaw Avenue; 314-773-3833)
It's testament to an eatery's excellence when the place can stay open only five or so hours a day, yet hold a place among a city's most-loved nosh spots. Such is the case at the family-run Adriana's, where loyalists lunch on Sicilian specialties like eggplant caponata, mostaccioli and salsiccia sandwiches. Those sandwiches are oversize, so plan to pack up half a lunch for the next day, or take advantage of the half-sandwich combos (with soup or salad). Some folks call Adriana's a no-frills joint because there's no table service, the tablecloths are vinyl, and the prices are low. But really, the frills are in the food, abundant and delicious.
Joey B's on the Hill
(2524 Hampton Avenue; 314-645-7300)
Joey B's on the Hill might be more sedate than the original Joey B's on the Landing, but its neighborhood bar-and-grill ambiance is winning. The lengthy menu features standard bar-food fare like wings, T-ravs and potato skins, as well as pasta, burgers and sandwiches. The St. Louis-style pizza is popular, and those seeking a more substantial meal will find steak on the menu. The bite-size soft pretzels are fantastic: buttery sweet and served with a spicy jalapeño-cheese sauce for dipping. The dining rooms offer numerous flat-screen TVs to keep tabs on all the games.
- RFT's "Best Snack" 2102