Giovanni's on The Hill
Paul McCartney. Luciano Pavarotti. Ronald Reagan. Besides being household names, these icons all have something else in common––they've all had the honor of dining on Chef Giovanni Gabriele's authentic, award-winning cuisine. While his passion for cooking was born in his native Sicily, it was Giovanni's other great love––his wife, Fina––that eventually led him to 'The Hill' neighborhood of St. Louis, where he opened his restaurant in 1973. Just six years later, he found himself cooking for President Reagan at Reagan’s inaugural dinner, and the dish he made––a creamy bow-tie pasta topped with salmon and parmigiano––was renamed farfalline del Presidente Reagan in the commander in chief's honor. Today, it remains one of the most popular items on Giovanni's menu, alongside a host of other Italian pastas named for the celebrities who supped upon them.
But you don't have to be a celebrity or a politician to get the star treatment at Giovanni's. The restaurant has earned an AAA Four Diamond Award for 28 years running, and a 4-Star Mobil Travel Guide Award every year since 1983, in part due to the careful attention lavished upon each and every guest. Today, 43 years after its inception, Giovanni's son Frank runs the kitchen, blending its iconic sauces and forming the housemade crepes, but Giovanni still commands the show, supervising in the kitchen, greeting patrons tableside, and mining the pepper and salt from nearby mountains himself. For large groups, two banquet rooms are available, accommodating 20 to 100 guests with menus created to fit what is needed.