I've made it my mission to try as many restaurants on 'The Hill' as I can possibly get to. The first that I bring to you is Lorenzo's Trattoria. We chose this one because I have a physician colleague that has a little weekend getaway right next to this place and he highly recommended it as great food without having to wear a tie. Needless to say, I wasn't in the mood for a tie that night.
It was raining the night we were there but they had outdoor sidewalk seating. I definitely intend to come back to the area, if not Lorenzo's, on the weekend, grab a bottle of wine, and watch the people walking around.
So... the ambience was fairly laid back, but the food was not lacking whatsoever. Nice surroundings but nothing spectacular (or underwhelming). Like anywhere in 'The Hill' district, come early as you'll have to beg, borrow, and steal to get a parking spot.
Favorite Dish: I had the Ossobuco and (as its supposed to be) it was the most tender, falling off the bone, piece of meat ever. Supposedly the house special and it was worth every penny.
Went here with my wife and some of the people I work with and couldn't have been happier. The ambience is fairly laid back but the food is of great quality and very tasty.
Favorite Dish: I had the trout which was prepared as well as any fish I've ever eaten. We also had the brie- excellent; and a desert that I can't remember the name of (pastry stuffed with ice cream??? don't know what its called but its gooooood).
Definitely make time to eat at one of the many great Italian Restaurants in St. Louis' famous Hill Section, known not only as the home of great pasta but the birthplace of Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra and renown baseball announcer (and Cardinals' catcher) Joe Garagiola. We had very little extra time in St. Louis, but made sure we squeezed in lunch at Mam Campiase's, a little corner restaurant that was chose because it met our primary criteria being that we were late for a wedding -- it was open. Open and delicious! normally, we wouldn't have minded if the service was slow, as we could have lingered over a flavorful antipasta or any of our wonderful tomato sauce drenched entrees while listening to a tour group get serenaded by a neighborhood Italian tenor (E gumbari/ Cimo sonare/ como si sono, une friscolette/...). But, unfortunately we had to rush, which left me hurrying out the door with hopes of returning to the Hill some day soon.
Bar Italia is one of the more interesting places that we dined during our recent trip to St. Louis. We had a beautifully breezy and temperate St. Louis summer night -- a rarity, for sure! -- so we chose to eat on the patio of this innovative Italian restaurants owned by Ethiopian Americans. Their take on Italian cuisine teases the palate and the imagination, and there were several dishes I would have loved to try. In the end, I ordered the delectable chicken cooked using a medieval Venetian recipe while Janet and Tia chose the renowned tortellini. The wine list was excellent and the service wonderful, and a trip through the inside (empty that lovely evening) revealed an interesting decor.
You will not find better Italian food (I travel a lot, thus know), than you will find on "The Hill" in St. Louis. It is a South St. Louis neighborhood, mainly Italian immigrants. If you want exact directions ask any local.
Took an out of town client to Cunetto's on a Tuesday evening thinking it wouldn't be that crowded and was WRONG. Over an hour wait. Why? The food is the BEST!!! If you are not into waiting check out any number of fine Italian establishments in that area.
If you are downtown and not into the 10 minute drive to "The Hill" and money is no object go to Tony's. The only 5 star Italian restuarant in the country. Serve & Food is the BEST!!!
Favorite Dish: The Special or pasta at Amegetti's and anything @ Cunetto's
I love the Old Spaghetti Factory (even though it's a chain) - I love that they utilize historic buildings to house the restaurant. I love the "boudoir" chandeliers, and the streetcar dining section. I'm not sure what this building was originally, but the restaurant now resides on the lower level - you access it by way of the gorgeous wood staircase. For lunch on a Saturday, I walked right in with no wait at all. My waitress was lovely - as I was dining alone, she checked back often to make sure my iced tea was full and to ask if I wanted more bread. And the prices are great - a complete meal with salad, entree, hot fresh bread, spumoni ice cream, and iced tea came to $14, INCLUDING TIP!!
Favorite Dish: I always get the mizithra cheese in some form - this time I got the Potpourri, which is pasta with the restaurant's four most popular sauces - mizithra cheese, clam, marinara, and meat sauce. Yummy!
Tony's is supposed to be the best restaurant in or around St. Louis. It has a very high end waitstaff (2-3 waiters per table) so its a very good place to go for anniversaries or other celebrations.
The wine list is exceptional, but very much on the higher end of the price spectrum (>$60).
Favorite Dish: I had the lamb chop. Small but delicious.
Found Lamar's on the web and read a ton of accolades. Decided to give them a try as we are donut lovers. I actually worked in a donut shop my senior year in high school. We spent less than we typically do at the donut shop at home and the donuts, service, and cleanliness were better.
The donuts are not heavy as some tend to be. The cake donuts are especially light and moist. The long-johns were huge and completely filled. We were also given free samples of the pomagranite smoothie, which was good.
We all loved the donuts and understand why Lamar's has been voted best donut.
A must go for donut lovers.
Favorite Dish: Anything
Was online trying to figure out where to order delivery pizza from and was told Imo's. Found many conflicting opinions about Imo's on the internet, so we looked for a pizza place close to the hotel. Not too many close to our hotel, but one came up so I investigated it. No bad reviews and a very good story about it on the web. After convincing the wife to go, the location would fit into "Diners, drive-ins, and dives", but DO NOT let the outside fool you (the main location may look better). You can get take out (no delivery) or dine in. We ate in. We ordered a large italian sausage (home made sausage) pizza and toasted ravioli, with four drinks and tip it came out to about $26. The ravioli was not as good as I had hoped for, but the pizza was great (Saint Louis style). My kids loved the pizza and said it was their favorite meal on the trip.
Basically its just a normal Irish beer pub though the decor tends to lean more to the Americanized side of the spectrum. They've got quite a few tvs if you're interested in going during any type of game.
Favorite Dish: The fish sandwich was very good. Probably the best I've had in St. Louis so far...
>"On which street(s) can I find the most opportunities to find what I'm looking for in case choice #1 bombs out?"
The dining choices are mainly located in the rectangle of resturants I listed above. Cunnetto's on the southwest corner, Gioia's on the northwest corner, Ameghetti's on the northeast corner and Southwest on the southeast corner (ironically). The area around Ameghetti's (St. Ambrose Church area) has a denser population of resturants and grocery/bakery/deli than the rest of this residential neighborhood.
Favorite Dish: Sandwiches, deli meats, cheeses and bakery
The URL below is a good interactive list of Hill resturants.
Your correct about Sunday dining on the Hill. I am sure that the majority of the resturants I have listed are closed on Sunday with the possible exception of O'Connells.
Cunetto's is my favorite resturant on the Hill. They are located on Magnolia at Sublette Aves. I have never had an experience at Cunetto's where the food, service or atmosphere has failed to please. The wait times are much shorter excepting for certain times around Cardinal, Blues or Rams games and currently the MLB All-Star game activites.
Gioia's (Joya's) deli across from Viggo Park on Macklind Ave. at Daggett. You pick your sandwich ingredients from the bakery/deli or try one of their creations. You might get to catch a soccer game in the park with your lunch. Great selection at prices you'll like.
A St. Louis favorite is Ameghitti's bakery/deli. They serve sandwiches on bakery bread, pasta and salads. They are located on Wilson at Marconni street.
Southwest Bakery is on Southwest Ave. at Marconni. They serve a similar menu as Ameghetti's. The different between Southwest and Ameghitti's is the breads they use for their sandwiches.
If you want to stretch the Hill boundaries eastward a block or two (It's still west of the railroad tracks that I consider the Hill's eastern boundary) You'll find O'Connell's Irish Pub on Shaw at Kingshighway Blvds. You'll find my absolute favorite burger in St. Louis.
Boundaries of the Hill vary with whom you talk to. I consider the Hill borders to be Shaw Ave on the north, Hampton Ave on the west, Arsenal St. on the south (including the State Hospital ground) to the railroad tracks on the east boundary. The State Hospital dome is the highest point in the area. Perhaps the highest point in the city.
Favorite Dish: Deli sandwiches
We heard about this place on Food network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" so we figure we might as well check out the hoopla. The restaurant is bit small but the food selection was awesome. You'll have a pick from schnitzel, to paella, to prime rib. Their specials for the day is definitely worth trying. They have live music everyday and while your waiting for your table head to the bar and order some drinks. They have good selection of beers too.
A great place to end your special night out. This place offers quite a selection of desserts from cheeses, cakes , truffles and other sweets. They have an extensive list of drinks to go with your delicious deserts. I recommend the chocolate mocha pot de creme.
Pat's has been an Irish Pub in the Dogtown neighborhood of St. Louis since 1942. It's not a fancy place, but a couple steps above a dive - and can be a bit of a Sports bar depending on what's going on. They pour a good Guinness, but one of the most remarkable things about Pat's is their excellent comfort food.
Favorite Dish: I've heard people say Pat's serves the best fried chicken (called chicken fried chicken) they've ever eaten. It's on the regular menu. Tuesday's special is Pot Roast, and its as good as (or better than) the Pot Roast your mom made. Served with Mashed Potatoes and veggies, and covered in gravy.
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