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.
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.
Taking a health-conscious approach to cuisine, Picasso's Bistro wields a menu of freshly prepared provender, eschewing butter in favor of olive oil to create fare that delights both tongues and hearts. Certified Angus beef is transformed into entrees such as the filet maison, whose tenderloin, doused in a dijon-mustard-brandy sauce, lays on a bed of mushrooms after stumbling over curbs ($28.50). Traditional chicken piccata is decked out with lemon and capers ($17.95), and the pan-seared ahi tuna invites Yukon gold potatoes and sautéed shiitake mushrooms to join the gustatory revelry ($29.50).
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.
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.
Even if pizza isn't your thing—which is unthinkable—the menu at St. Louis Pizza & Wings has something tasty and satisfying to please palates. The kitchen staff prepares 14 signature sandwiches, including an open-faced ham and cheese on garlic bread, and seven traditional pasta dishes for in-house dining or takeout. Double-decker burgers and boneless wings sate cravings for classic pub cuisine, and nine specialty pizzas come with hand-tossed thick crusts or St. Louis–style thin crusts.
The pizzas at Pizzarelli's Pizza begin with dough: freshly handmade rounds become thin-crust, New-York style, and deep dish pizzas. Then, the sauce: made without sugar, the sauce combines basil, oregano, salt, garlic, tomatoes, and spices for a delectable, tangy flavor. Finally, the toppings: freshly-cut veggies and freshly-cooked meats pile on top, mingle with cheeses, and provide the finishing touches to a delicious pie.