Dining November 24, 2015
15 Italian Restaurants In Missouri That’ll Make Your Taste Buds Explode
We are entering the week of turkey dinners, and as yummy as those big Thanksgiving meals may be, we might become “turkeyed out” before week’s end. Italian cuisine is a nice way to change things up and re-excite your taste palate. Here are a few great Italian spots in Missouri that are sure to please.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Florentina's Ristorante Italiano, Branson
Florentina’s offers true family dining options with their family platters, menu items served family-style, with portions for groups of 4-6. Authentic brick oven pizzas, soups, salads, pastas, steaks and seafood are all made from original recipes by Chef Ron Kalenuik. Start out with freshly baked mini-loaves of bread served with Italian-spice flavored olive oil.
Some of the favorites include the chicken or veal Marsala, Salmon Trattoria, and the Linguini Vongole which pairs linguini, clams, garlic and Parmesan topped with a lemon white wine cream sauce. For dessert, try Florentina’s Italian Wedding Cake, Spumoni Ice Cream, Crème Brulee, Tiramisu or the amazing Cheesecake Messaluna, an authentic Italian dessert made from cheesecake filled dessert raviolis.
Location: 2690 Green Mountain Drive
Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday: 11 am-8:30 pm, and Friday & Saturday: 11 am-9:00 pm
2. Bambino’s Café, Springfield
Bambinos Cafe in Springfield has been voted Best Italian Food, Best Place For Date-Night Dinner and Best Restaurant by Missouri State University’s newspaper, The Standard. The original location on Delmar is tucked back in the Phelps Grove neighborhood and can be a bit of a challenge to find, but well worth the trouble. 417 Magazine rated them the Best Hidden Restaurant for their laid back atmosphere with reasonable prices and delicious food. Signature dishes include the Turkey and Swiss Panini, Portabello Ravioli, and the Diana, a delicious take on Fettuccini alfredo, made with shrimp, mushrooms and broccoli.
Location: 1141 E Delmar Street (another location at 2810-D E Battlefield)
Hours of Operation: Dine In & Carryout--Monday-Saturday 11am to 10pm, and Sunday: Noon to 9pm; Catering Hours--Monday-Sunday 11am to 9pm
3. Vincenzo’s, Ferguson
Vincenzo’s opened in 2003 and offers delicious, freshly made Italian food in a friendly, casual setting. From appetizers to full dinners, the best chicken, seafood, beef and veal, as well a variety of delicious pastas are available every day. Top it all off with one of their wine selections. Located in the heart of historic downtown Ferguson, with owner Mike Lonero a proud, active member of the Ferguson community, where he and his family run several other businesses.
Location: 242 S. Florissant Road
Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Thursday 11:00 am-9:00 pm, Friday 11:00 am-10:00 pm, Saturday 4:00 pm-10:00 pm, Sunday 4:00 pm-9:00 pm
4. Guido’s, St. Louis
Located in the Heart of “The Hill”, a place famous for great Italian food, Guido’s Pizzeria and Tapas offers a huge menu not only full of classic Italian fare but also traditional Spanish Entrees and Tapas, delivering a “Taste of Spain in the Middle of Italy” Some the best of their made-to-order dishes include Guido’s Homemade Lasagna, and their amazing Seafood Ravioli made with shrimp, scallops and lobster prepared in a balsamic vinaigrette with tomatoes, spinach and Feta cheese. [authors note: my personal favorite place for Italian]
Location: 5046 Shaw Avenue
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 11am – 11pm, Friday & Saturday 11am – Midnight, Sunday 11am – 11pm
5. Bella Napoli, Kansas City
Bella Napoli is known for their delicious, fresh, and extremely satisfying Italian food. Pasta that melts in your mouth. Tomato sauce that is light and flavorful. Some of their signature dishes include the Melanzane Alla Parmigiana, Tagliatella Alla Bolognese, and the Puttanesca, made with Olives, capers, anchovies, pepper flakes, and tomato. Bella Napoli is also a deli, coffee shop and grocery.
Location: 6229 Brookside Blvd
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 11am - 9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am - 10pm, closed on Sunday
6. Garozzo's Ristorante, Kansas City
Zagat-rated as one of the top Italian restaurants in the country, Gazarro’s opened in April 1989. The Garozzo family runs this popular and award-winning restaurant offering moderately priced fine dining in a family atmosphere. Their signature dish, Chicken Spiedini, was originally created here, and is now often imitated around town (but never duplicated!) Chicken Spiedini is a marinated chicken breast rolled in Italian bread crumbs, skewered & grilled.
Location: 526 Harrison Street (also in Lee’s Summit, Overland Park and Olathe)
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 11:00 am-10:00 pm, Friday 11:00 am-11:00 pm, Saturday 4:00 pm-11:00 pm, Sunday 4:00 pm-9:00 pm
7. Gilardi's Ristorante, Springfield
Gilardi’s Ristorante not only continues a long tradition of bringing authentic Italian cuisine to Springfield, they also feature the highest-quality ingredients, grown and obtained locally. Homemade ricotta noodles, changing ravioli specials, and an exquisite wine selection are just some of the reasons to stop in. The restaurant has been in business for the better part of two decades providing delicious food, great service, and a relaxing atmosphere, priding themselves on their relationships with local farmers, business owners, arts patrons, city government, and higher education. Purchased in 2013 by long-time employee, James Martin, who continues on with this tradition of community sustainability.
Location: 820 E Walnut Street
Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday 5:00 pm-10:00 pm
Sunday and lunchtime available for scheduled parties
8. Avanzare Italian Dining, Springfield
Avanzare’s fine dining experience takes a modern, but delicious stand on Italian cuisine. The restaurant is owned and operated by five-star chef Tony Garcia, and offers an elegant atmosphere for your dining pleasure since its opening in 2002. Fresh, high quality food including delicious choices such as the Carre’ D’Agnello Alla Fungi, a grilled rack of lamb topped with sautéed mixed mushrooms in a sherry wine reduction sauce and served with mashed potatoes and spinach. Or try a pasta dish such as the Pasta Alla Tony, house pasta tossed with grilled chicken, portabella mushrooms, basil, and marinara, served with a Brandy tomato cream sauce.
Location: 1908 S Glenstone Avenue
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 11:00 am-3:00 pm & 5:00 pm-10:00 pm, Friday 11:00 am-3:00 pm & 5:00 pm-11:00 pm, Saturday 5:00 pm-11:00 pm, Sunday 5:00 pm-9:00 pm
9. Anthonino’s Taverna, St. Louis, MO
Anthonino’s has gotten many accolades from the press including being voted "Best Italian Restaurant" in RFT's "The Best of St. Louis" in 2011 and 2015, as well as “Best Toasted Ravioli” for the past four years by the same publication, as well as “Best Pizza on the Hill.” The Hill is a largely Italian-American neighborhood, and Anthonino’s proves it belongs there with a relaxed, family friendly atmosphere and delicious food. Besides delicious pasta dishes like the Tutti Mare, made with clams, squid, shrimp and crab claws with choice of sauce, they also offer pizza and burgers.
Location: 2225 Macklind Avenue
Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday 11:00 am-10:00 pm
10. Lil’ Rizzo’s, Osage Beach
Lil’ Rizzos has two locations at Lake of the Ozarks and provide a unique Italian atmosphere with generous portions and a wide variety of menu items. Fresh, quality ingredients are used to bring you delicious Italian fare such as Chicken Modiga, chicken or veal parmesan, or delicious lasagna. In addition, several types of pizza are available as well as sandwiches, salads, wings and a kid’s menu with items like Gummy Bear Pizza and Chicken Strips and Fries.
Location: 929 Premium Outlets Drive, Osage Beach (also 2196 Horseshoe Bend Pkwy, Lake Ozark)
Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday 11 AM-9 PM
Friday-Saturday 11 AM-9 PM
11. Sapore Italian Café, Kirkwood
Family owned and operated since 2009, Sapore prides themselves in providing authentic, creative Italian cuisine made from fresh ingredients often grown locally. Classic Italian dishes personalized with a unique touch include menu items like Lobster Ravioli, Calamari Fritti, and the Polpette di Casa, made with homemade Sicilian meatballs in spicy San Marzano tomato sauce
topped with melted mozzarella.
Location: 451 S. Kirkwood Road
Hours of Operation: Lunch-- Monday-Friday 11:30-2:00pm
Dinner-- Monday-Saturday 5pm, closed on Sunday
12. Roberto’s Trattoria, St. Louis
Another St. Louis gourmet Italian restaurant, Roberto's is tucked away in the Concord Plaza shopping center on Lindbergh, and is one of the best in St. Louis for traditional old country, Italian cuisine. While most St. Louis Italian eateries are found on “the Hill”, Roberto prides itself with bringing Italian to South and West County residents. Elegant atmosphere, exceptional food, excellent service and reasonable prices are what you will find, along with traditional old country Italian menu options. Seafood is delivered fresh daily, and pasta, steaks, veal and chicken, along with other fresh ingredients are combined to create a variety of dishes created by Chef Roberto Zanti and his staff.
Location: 145 Concord Plaza
Hours of Operation: Lunch—Tuesday-Friday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Dinner—Tuesday-Saturday 4:30 PM - 10:00 PM
13. I Fratellini, Clayton, St. Louis
I Fratellini was named Sauce Magazine Readers’ Choice Favorite. A menu incorporating both rustic and refined Italian fare, and created by Ny Vongsaly and Zoe Robinson, combines simple, classic ingredients in dishes ranging from subtle to sophisticated. The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, with exposed brick, warm wood and natural light during the day, and a darker, more romantic or relaxing atmosphere in the evenings.
Location: 7624 Wydown Blvd
Hours of Operation: Lunch—Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner-- Monday-Thursday 5:00pm-9:00pm, Friday-Saturday 5:00pm-10:00pm, closed on Sundays
14. Cascone’s Italian Restaurant, Kansas City
Chef Victor Cascone brings fine Italian food with hearty portions in a welcoming atmosphere. Try the Spedini Michelangelo, Chicken Spedini made with fresh crushed tomato sauce and fresh spinach over mosticiolli with Romano cheese. An extensive wine list allows for the perfect accompaniment to your meal, along with delicious salads and soups.
Location: 3737 N Oak Trafficway (also location in Overland Park, KS)
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 11:00am-9:00pm, Friday-Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm-9:00pm
15. Bruno’s Restaurant, Springfield
Bruno’s provides an authentic Sicilian dining experience with homemade Italian cuisine and exotic wines from around the world including Bruno's wine from his own vineyard in Sicily! Located in vibrant downtown Springfield, in a beautifully restored 1905 historic building, Bruno’s creates the feel of old Italy from the moment you step inside. Fresh Italian ingredients are combined to create truly authentic Italian entrees, seafood specials and the best Italian pizza in Springfield. Tasty appetizers, fresh Sicilian inspired salads, and amazing, freshly prepared desserts round out your meal. Signature dishes include Scaloppine Di Maiale Al Marsala and Grilled Zucchini Chicken Tenders.
Location: 416 South Avenue
Hours of Operation: Monday-Thursday 11:00 am-10:00 pm, Friday-Saturday 11:00 am-11:00 pm
Other Italian restaurants you might want to try are Di Trapani’s Italian Bistro in Dixon, V’s Italiano Ristorante in Independence, Kemoll’s Italian Restaurant on Top of the Met in St. Louis, and Jasper’s Restaurant in Kansas City.
What is your favorite place to get Italian food? What is your favorite dish? Share in the comments below….