The Hill: An Updated Guide to Restaurants in St. Louis' Iconic Italian Neighborhood
(5046 Shaw Avenue; 314-771-4900)
Rome? Or Madrid? At Guido's you don't have to decide. This Hill institution serves tasty Italian fare, including one of the city's best thin-crust pies, and authentic, knockout Spanish tapas. While Guido's has no pretensions of being a tapas bar in the Spanish sense, owner and chef Miguel Carretero and his parents Segundo (front of house, including wine) and Genoveva (executive chef) hail from Madrid, and Guido's tapas are as close to the real deal as you can find in this town: soul-satisfying albóndigas (meatballs), spicy patatas bravas (sautéed potatoes in a picante sauce), the striking charbroiled squid dish calamares a la plancha and more.
(1933 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.)