When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.
When he was 11 years old, Jim Parrott began working as a busboy at a restaurant owned by his sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Lou Farotto. That was in 1960. At the time, Farotto?s was a small operation, a 4-year-old Italian joint that served a few pastas, had limited seating, and offered carhop service. In the early 1980s, Lou stepped down and Jim stepped up to become the restaurant?s sole proprietor.
Since taking the reins more than three decades ago, Jim has helped Farotto?s grow further into its mold as a St. Louis institution. He?s overseen expansions throughout the venue, including the addition of an outdoor patio and larger dining rooms, which can comfortably pack in large crowds and the occasional herd of wild spaghetti noodles. The menu has changed a bit over the years, too, and today features customizable St. Louis?style pizzas as well as authentic pastas and sandwiches.