When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
In the family-style dining room at LuBar & Bistro, chatter from an underground bar, full-service bar drifts up the stairs, hinting at hidden revelry. A stone-fired oven for pizzas spills warmth out across the open space, skilled hands craft Italian ice cream, and spoons click against pots of housemade barbecue sauce, dressings, and marinara. Servers cruise by, transporting sandwiches and gluten-free options down to the underground lounge, where neon darts in ghosts of blue and pink off of a forest of bottles and a gleaming marbled bar. Bartenders mix drinks, ice clicking to punctuate tunes on the jukebox and occasional live music. As patrons lower glasses full of suds from Sam Adams, Hoegaarden, and Smithwick’s, big-screen TVs show sporting events and a soon-to-arrive cadre of video games—including Golden Tee—promise digital thrills. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, a breakfast buffet beckons to early risers from 8 a.m. to noon.
A'mis Italian Restaurant garners compliments from area natives and transplants for its kitchen's mastery of regional pizzas ranging from hand-tossed New York–style pies to Chicago–style pizzas baked in a deep pie dish. St. Louis pizzas sport a thin-crust base that's sprinkled with a blend of provel cheese and mozzarella. All pizza dough is baked fresh every day in a brick oven. Entrees also include steak and pasta dishes, as well as lighter dinner options, such as grilled chicken or poached cod, that give diners fewer calories and grant increased aptitude for speaking in fishtongue.
Italian-born recipes guide Schiappa's chefs as they hand-spin pies out of house-made dough, crafting colossal disks that span up to 40 inches. Dining duos weave one of the menu's traditional toppings, such as italian sausage, pineapple, or pepperoni, through the14-inch pizza's lush mozzarella foliage or into drab living-room tapestries. Cheesy first courses make way for 10 wings dressed in one of eight flavor getups, including sweet hot, Caribbean jerk, and scorching. A pair of soft drinks washes down savory slices, and on Sundays during football season from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., NFL games get sports buffs more riled up than a bull trapped in Santa's walk-in closet
The pizza at Papa Murphy’s Take 'N' Bake Pizza is always cold. Not because it's old, but because it’s so fresh that it hasn’t been cooked yet. Assembled and customized before your eyes, the colorful, unbaked disk is then taken home and thrown into your own oven. The crust crisps to exactly your preference, whether a thin crust bubbling with chicken, bacon, and artichoke, or a Chicago–style stuffed with salami, pepperoni, sausage, and ground beef. Each pizza can also be customized from scratch, with ambitious eaters choosing from 8 meats, 4 cheeses, and 15 veggie toppings. A bevy of side plates complements any meal, with crisp salads, bake-your-own cookie dough, and dessert pizzas.
With fresh ingredients and real mozzarella, the piesmiths of Pazzo Pizza unfurl an enticing menu of savory Italian provender made from scratch. Baked in a rustic stone oven, each crispy pizza is born of hand-tossed dough and an infusion of family lore, like the Sicily-imported marinara recipe and the story about Grandma's eye patch, itself a pizza. Customers can select a topping from a list of nearly 20 options, including applewood bacon, provel cheese, and fresh tomatoes. This meal gets a fizzy lift with a 2-liter sidekick of soda. Though delivery is available, this Groupon does not cover the $2 delivery fee, which goes toward training homing pizzas.