Building on more than 50 years in the restaurant industry, the chefs at Talayna's Italiano's draw on culinary traditions from Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean to craft their menu. The restaurant takes its name from the Yiddish word for Italian, reflecting its ability to fluidly blend a variety of cuisines. Chefs assemble pastas, kebabs, paella, and beef and lamb dishes alongside pizzas in five distinct styles—either gourmet preassembled pies or customizable pizzas with dough in the thin St. Louis style, deep-dish Chicago style, or semithick New York style. The menu also boasts a roster of American and European wines, as well as imported and domestic brews. When not mastering their own kitchen, the culinary crew performs offsite catering services, including setting up the space with bartending tables, chairs, linens, and glassware, as well as providing live music and servers.
Northern- and Southern-Italian cuisines collide on Trattoria Branica’s menu, which has won acclaim from local press for its culinary acuity and fiscal reticence. Italian cheeses, herbs, and homemade sauces accent tender nests of pasta, market-fresh seafood, and succulent cuts of beef, veal, and chicken. Inside, sleek black chairs clip crisp white tablecloths prepped to prop up more than 300 wines from around the globe. A Mediterranean mood slips over patrons on the expansive patio, where umbrellas guard against the sun and waters cascade at a nearby fountain. For private parties, a balcony surrounded by wrought-iron railings elevates the dining experience and provides a better launching pad to catapult leftovers home.
Brew suds mingle with the red sauces and cheesy layers of The Haus Pizzeria & Bar’s Italian and American cuisine, which guests savor amid a flurry of activities that take place throughout the week. Pizzas sport myriad toppings, such as sundried tomatoes, basil pesto, and steak, and pair with hoagies, pasta, and wings to fuel patrons as they play poker on Tuesday nights or croon favorite pop hits, rock songs, and lullabies during karaoke on Thursday nights. On Mondays, trivia entertains brains with puzzling questions and free shots to each trivia-round winner. The piping-hot music notes of live bands and flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports serve as additional amusement.
In response to the popularity of his downtown eatery, J.F. Sanfilippo's, owner Joe Sanfilippo brought his authentic cuisine to his fans in West County. Like a sibling who borrows clothes without asking first, Filippo's Italian Kitchen & Bar boasts a pared-down menu of favorites from its older sister, featuring pasta entrees and bread baked in-house. With 3,300 square feet of space capped by vaulted ceilings, the house can hold large groups of people as they dig into generous portions of Italian-inspired fare featuring lean chicken breasts, fresh seafood, and beef.
In 1956, the Farotto family opened their first eponymous eatery, a pizzeria with limited seating and carhop service. Over the years, they expanded and improved their humble establishment until, in 2004, the family decided to embrace a new tradition. They opened Villa Farotto, a Tuscan-style Italian restaurant that eschews simple pizzeria fare for the upscale risottos and delicate meats that helped put the country’s most famous culinary region on the map. Scents from the old world drift through the restaurant’s multiple seating areas, which help diners share meals in a setting that maches the occasion. Grab small bites in the casual cafe, pass leisurely dinners in the fine dining room, warm up next to the outdoor patio’s fire-pit, or escape to a wine bar with high-top tables, couches, and live music four nights a week.
El Charro slings an extensive dinner menu of innovative Mexican fare, from stuffed quesadillas and sizzling fajitas to homemade tacos and fruity sangria. Acclimate bellies to spicy cuisine with a cadre of 10 shrimp sautéed in lemon, garlic, and habanero peppers, or play it cool with steak-stuffed quesadillas. Sizzling fajitas saunter over to tables with a posse of bell peppers and onions, backed by flour tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, and rice. Feed crispy cravings with two homestyle, deep-fried burritos bursting with beef, fresh jalapeño, and cheese, or take on a chromatic trifecta with the tri-color cheese enchiladas swimming like Father Christmas on vacation in a pool of green sauce, sour cream, and red sauce. All orders include fruity sangria or draft beer, ideal for sharing with dates or guzzling in front of thirsty enemies.