To replicate the thin-crust pies found in New York's Italian-American neighborhoods, Giovanni's chefs make everything from scratch and bake their five-borough recreations atop a toasted hearthstone. They load their slices with layers of fresh mozzarella and an eclectic mix of toppings. Tables, draped in classic red-and-white checkered cloths, buckle under the weight of the pies, including the Coney Island piled with freshwater clams, garlic, and spices.
In addition to baking circular eats, the cooks marinate Sicilian-style chicken in extra-virgin olive oil and herbs before fire-roasting it on the rotisserie. Forks excavate the lasagna's layers, burrowing through strata of imported pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and housemade tomato sauce, to unearth hearty pieces of meat or veggies.
Winner of Mid Rivers Magazine's 2009 award for Best Pizza, 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.
Since 1981, the pizza specialists at Elicia's Pizza have zipped through St. Louis's tangled roads delivering piping-hot pies to households in 30 minutes or less. At the shop, marinara masters stretch house-made dough into the shape of a mad professor's monocle and lavish each thin-crust disk with fresh sauce and the house's three-cheese blend. Additionally, the pizzeria's menu celebrates casual eats, such as wings, baked pastas, sandwiches, and crisp salads.
Gianino's stretches its pizza crusts by hand, simmers its sauces from scratch, and serves them both in its warm, friendly dining room. Rev up your pasta palette with an appetizer of toasted cannelloni ($7.15), or jump straight to the main event with a traditional pasta dish like the fettuccine carbonara ($13.15), served with prosciutto, egg, and a cream-based sauce. Specialty pizzas ($12.10–$15.50) include the vegetarian-friendly eggplant with sliced tomato and provel cheese, while the Sonny Delight BBQ Chicken provides a tasteful update to an Italian classic, much like dressing Michelangelo’s David in jeggings. An array of meat and seafood-based entrees away to quell carnivorous cravings, and the organized menu comes complete with suggested wine parings for each course–saving the cabernet and the spaghetti con polpette ($12.20) from the perils of online dating. Reservations are recommended.
Some spots that feature expedient services, such as human egg timers and express zombie groomers, don't want patrons to stick around too long. At Bellacino's you'll get quick service without feeling rushed. Televisions and patio seating set the St. Louis outpost of this national chain apart from others, making it a place to gather with friends. The menu is full of speedy savories including oven-baked grinders, crisp salads, and pizzas. Indecisive diners can marry together two cultural eats with the taco pizza, a doughy round topped with taco meat, onions, a cheddar-mozzarella cheese blend, salsa, olives, fresh lettuce, and tomatoes ($6.99 for 8 inches, $13.59 for 12 inches, and $18.29 for 16 inches). Vegetarians can opt for the veggie grinder, a finger-friendly feast with green peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese blend, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo ($5.49 for 9 inches, $10.29 for 18 inches). The light menu, packed with sandwich options clocking in at 9 grams of fat or less, has healthier versions of classics (turkey, chicken, roast beef). Beer and wine, also available at this location, make substantial companions to the quick cuisine.
Bellacino's expert dough-tossers dish out a menu teeming with specialty pizzas, oven-baked grinders, and a bounty of other authentic Italian fare. Settle in for dinner with hand-tossed pizzas such as the Bellacino's Pride, strewn with pepperoni, ham, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and mozzarella ($13.99/12-in.) or blend cultures with the cheeseburger pizza ($13.59/12-inch). Diners can also customize their own pie-ride with 19 different toppings, including sausage, bacon, black olives, and 12-inch rims ($12.19/12" with two toppings). Bellacino’s also sports an enormous lineup of hearty grinders built with bread baked freshly from scratch daily. Try a sub with a saucy side such as the chicken bacon ranch ($5.99/9") or test meal-mates' duck-and-cover techniques with the A1 Bomber, a belt busting grinder made with rib-eye steak and A1 sauce ($5.99/9"). Bellacino's light menu is packed with healthy alternatives such as sandwiches made with nine grams of fat or fewer.