The doughsmiths at Cecil Whittaker’s Pizzeria craft thin-crust pizzas bubbling with an untouched surface of cheese or loaded with toppings such as jalapeño peppers, bacon, and shrimp. It’s their specialty and what they’re known for—“This is the place to go if you like St. Louis-style, thin-crust pizza (though they do offer a thick crust pizza, too) or just want to kick back and have a beer,” raves Metromix.
But the menu isn’t limited to pizzas. Each day, the kitchen roasts and slices tender beef for roast beef sandwiches dipped in savory au jus. The au jus is prepared in house, as is the meat sauce that graces Cecil Whittaker's pasta, chicken parmesan, and meatball sandwiches. There’s also a hearty selection of smokehouse dishes such as ribs, pulled pork, and brisket served with homestyle sides of green beans and coleslaw. A weekday lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. gives diners a chance to sample different entrees and sides–along with a salad and pizza bar–and creative additions the chefs cook up like sloppy joe's one day or bacon cheeseburgers the next.
Cooks at Pirrone's Pizzeria's two locations craft pizzas from fresh dough, housemade sauce, and 17 different toppings. Inside the kitchens, cooks bake lasagnas and deep-fry golden onion rings to pair with sandwiches stuffed with meatballs, chicken parmesan, and italian salami. In the evening, diners can opt for a dinner portion of golden fried jumbo shrimp, skinless chicken breast, or italian sausage accompanied by salad, spaghetti, and all the napkins you can eat. Both locations have sizeable dining rooms, and the newer Saint Peters location fills its red-hued walls with flat-screen televisions showing sporting events for customers seated at the full bar.
Installed in the food industry for 25 years, chef Moe brings his culinary prowess to the inviting atmosphere of his very own Pasta Bowl. This welcoming Italian eatery provides a home away from home, with room to spread out and catch up with friends, free WiFi, and chimneys carved from tiramisu. Moe's signature spaghetti bolognese tops a plate with heaps of pasta and a choice of marinara or meat sauce. Five types of cheese layer into the well-loved meat lasagna, and the flat noodles of fettuccine alfredo swim amid the garlic, nutmeg, and parmesan of the titular cream sauce. A fresh, green house salad accompanies each entree, and meals are drawn to a close by the grand finale of Gabe's Famous Chocolate Cake, a velvety dessert that delights taste buds and makes neighborhood pies jealous of the attention.
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).
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.
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.