More than 40 years after opening his first restaurant, Sicilian chef Franco Bongiovanni embarked on his third culinary venture: Il Posto Pizzeria, which translates as “the place for pizza.” And pizza they have. Sauces made in-house slather homemade dough, which chefs then top with such fixings as bacon, anchovies, onions, and Italian salami. Specialty pies include Lina’s veggie special—named for Franco’s beloved wife—and chicken-alfredo pizza. The menu rounds out meals with a quartet of salads and sides such as garlic bulbs’ high-strung cousin, the garlic knot.
When Mr. and Mrs. Kemoll opened Kemoll’s in 1927, Mrs. Kemoll served her mother’s authentic Italian recipes in a casual dining room adjacent to their living quarters. Today, the dining room fills the 40th floor of Metropolitan Square, the tallest building in downtown St. Louis. Two floors above, Kemoll’s Top of the Met banquet facility caters to weddings and private parties. Spectacular views of the city and riverfront helped Kemoll’s earn third place for Best Romantic Restaurant from CityVoter in 2010, and prompted Gayot to note that “the three-direction views only heighten what was already a lovely dining experience.” Lunch and dinner menus include Italian delicacies like cannelloni, manicotti, and Kemoll’s signature fried artichokes. In the spacious dining room, elegant place settings perch upon white tablecloths as diners attempt to spot celebrity clientele or undercover espionage agents from Chef Boyardee. Complimentary parking is available in an enclosed garage.
Joe Sanfilippo got his start in the food industry at age 11 when his Uncle Agostino recruited him to bus tables at his St. Louis restaurant on a particularly busy New Year’s night, according to St. Louis Magazine. Two years later, he returned to his hometown of Palermo to study and to attend culinary school at night, which ignited his passion for cooking and spurred him to open his own eatery at the tender age of 24. Today, the owner and executive chef of J.F. Sanfilippo’s Restaurant mingles his southern-Italian training with northern-Italian influences in a menu of pastas with tomato- or cream-based sauces, sautéed chicken and veal, and broiled steaks. In a recent KSDK 5 interview centering on the opening of his second location in Chesterfield, Joe confided that his 80-year-old mother still bakes the restaurant’s bread each day and divulged plans to bottle and sell J.F.’s popular vodka sauce, then ship it to Neptune.
Like the restaurant's brand-new menu, House of Savoy's Chef Paola Bugli is a relocated native of Florence—Tuscany's regional capital and leader in savory dining. Begin your repast with antipasto toscano—assorted cured Tuscan meats and cheeses with roasted peppers and marinated olives ($15)—before opening the gates to your gut with a savory secondi of pasta such as the lasagna matta (baked crazy-lasagna with bolognese meat-sauce and béchamel, topped with parmesan and mozzarella, $15). A grill entree such as the 12-ounce prime-choice, dry-aged beef tenderloin fillet ($32) and a side of Tuscan cannellini beans ($5) connects meaty Midwest traditions with Tuscan artistry, much like an oil painting depicting a naked Mike Ditka atop a clam-shell, while a salsiccia pizza flattens appetites with tomato sauce, spicy sausage, sweet red-peppers, caramelized onions, and mozzarella ($10). For dessert, head to the Cascade Bar and finish the feast with $10 worth of post-prandial potion.
At Ricardo’s Italian Café, the combined culinary skills of the Adams family, which has run the restaurant since 1989, transport palates to the land of Europe's boot via hearty pizzas, pastas, and meats. Chef Mark Adams and his wife Michelle lead the crew and reward staffers with gold stars cut out of cheese as they whip up Italian classics such as chicken parmigiano and Sicilian-style pizzas. In the dining room, exposed-brick walls and painted murals of Italian cityscapes surround diners in an Old-World ambiance, amid which waiters fill glasses with dozens of domestic and imported wines.
Discovered in 1953, pizza is the only food to have been eaten on the moon, blessed by a pope, and endorsed by Olympic marathoner Gezahegne Abera—the "triple crown" of food honors. With today's Groupon, $10 gets you $20 worth of pizza, pasta, and more at Joanie's Pizzeria in historic Soulard. Split a savory pie with your pals over beers and catch Joanie's shuttle to sporting events, or prove that opposites attract while you and your sweetie eat vastly different individually sized pizzas. Let the friendly staff of this family restaurant fill your belly full of fresh fare with artistic flair.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.