Web Rove of the Week: Iron Stef's Italy via St. Louis

Hi Roving Fans! I'm back for another guest post. Jealous that Julie gets to travel to Italy, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Italian delights right here in St. Louis. 

This city has some strong Italian roots. The first place you will here about when you start to research Italian food in St. Louis is not a particular restaurant, but an entire Italian neighborhood, The Hill. With it's Italian flag-painted fire hydrants, The Hill is familiar to most St. Louisans as the place to go for small family Italian eateries, bakeries and grocery store. Whether you live here or are visiting, consider taking a tour! I know it's now on my list of staycation activities!

Milo's is a bar, restaurant and Bocce Garden. Bocce is a game (sport?) in which 2 teams try to roll their balls closest to one small ball on a dirt court. Power up with a salsiccia and some beer and get tossing!

Pizza, 3 ways!

Photo from TheGoodPie.com
The Good Pie is Neapolitan-style pizza; hand-tossed crust cooked in a super-hot wood pizza oven. I LOVE this pizza. And this place. Besides the delicious pizza, The Good Pie has a great beer list with craft beers that will pair well with your meal and a relaxed, fun atmosphere. The Caesar salad is phenomenal... get the extra anchovies!

Pi became famous when Barak Obama said it was his favorite pizza. The controversy? Well, Obama is from Chicago and Pi is Chicago-style pizza... giving Cubs fans yet another reason to be jealous of St. Louis :). Our Prez has great taste, though. Pi's deep dish pizzas are fantastic... I could eat the crispy-tender crust all day. Pi is located on the Delmar Loop, a fun entertainment district with shops, music venues, bars, and more. Pi also has a roving pizza truck. Find out where they are each day by following them on Twitter.

This is where I get controversial. St. Louis-Style Pizza is essentially a thin crust pizza, topped with a sweet sauce and Provel cheese, cut into squares. Why controversial? Provel is... well... an acquired taste. It's gooey, okay? It's a processed cheese developed just for thin-crust pizzas because it melts fast and isn't stringy, making for a clean, non-chin burning bite. My friend Andrew Veety wrote a very interesting research post on this processed regional favorite, if you want to learn more (I know you do!). Non-natives usually dislike Provel. I hated the stuff growing up, but now I enjoy the occasional St. Louis-style pizza for nostalgia's sake. My favorite is Faraci's in Ferguson, where I grew up. Only do take-out there. Pirrone's Pizza, also in North County, is also a favorite.

Acero is an Italian restaurant in the Maplewood (right next to the Schlafly beer Bottleworks!). It's a nice, somewhat upscale, but comfortable, little restaurant with a good wine selection and great food. Whatever you do, get the egg yolk raviolo, a large ravioli that has a whole, deliciously runny and rich egg yolk inside! My friend Kelly and I loved this so much we recreated at home.  

Stellina is known for their home-made pasta and their fresh, local ingredients. They also have great sandwiches. 

Photo by Corey Woodruff (www.coreywoodruff.com)

Also known as "Cute Meat Guys", Mark Sanfilippo & Ben Poremba make some of the finest sausages and cured meats in the country. Mark originally did charcuterie at one of Mario Batali's restaurants, then moved back to St. Louis and started making sausage and selling it on his own. It was so popular at the local farmer's markets that they were able to open this shop. Check out this Food Blog Mafia post about Salume Beddu, and go get yourself some amazing meats. They also serve lunch!

Okay. I'm feeling better now. I mean, I still wish Julie could let me crawl into her carry-on... but I have options for getting my Italian fix here at home. Arrivederci!


Steve Bailey said...

Alright!! I am now officially really hungry!

Jenn's Travelogue Blog said...

The Good Pie looks worth a 4 hour drive over there to me!

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