Back in June after visiting our son and his family in Omaha, we came back through St. Louis where we stopped for a couple of days to visit Laurie’s family. Her sister Bonnie and Bonnie’s husband Bill always have a couple of new dining options slated for us when were in town…
This is Anthonino’s Taverna on St. Louis’s Italian Hill section of town. Anthonino’s is an Italian restaurant with a bit of a Greek flair. As you can see it’s popular with lines forming early in the dinner hour…
The Hill’s roots are intertwined with St. Louis history. Baseball superstars Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola both grew up here. The Hill is also famous for its fine Italian cuisine. The area still maintains a traditional collection of authentic Italian bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants and mom-and-pop trattorias. Everything is colorful here – even the fire hydrants are painted red, white and green. For more information about the Hill neighborhood just go to http://www.thehillstlouis.com/.
Anthonino’s Taverna isn’t a large place but it offers and warm and friendly dining experience. This restaurant opened in 2003. The owners are brothers Anthony and Rosario Scarato. The restaurant was built in 1939 and it generally served as a local bar until the Scarato’s bought the building. The bar, hardwood floors and tin ceiling are all original and appear well preserved today.
Our waiter brought this nice garlic laden olive oil to the table. It was great ‘dipping’ oil. The bread was OK but we prefer the traditional crusty Italian loaves.
When dining with Bonnie and Bill, we always end up trying a couple different appetizers. We started out with a St. Louis special…the Toasted Ravioli. ($9.00) These ravioli are handmade in Anthonino’s. They’re filled with ground beef, ricotta and pecorino Romano cheeses. This appetizer was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show on the Food TV Network. They were very good and they were complimented by some terrific marinara sauce…
FYI…Toasted ravioli, or breaded deep-fried ravioli, is an appetizer that was created and popularized on The Hill in St. Louis. It is possible that it originated in a different form in Sicily, where fried ravioli containing a sweet filling is a traditional Christmas time dish.
Our second appetizer was the Baked Goat Cheese. ($9.00) A nice portion of goat cheese is baked with the house marinara and it’s served with fried pita chips. The combination of the goat cheese with the marinara sauce was very nice indeed.
Greek style appetizers on the menu at Anthonino’s include Saganaki ($8.00), Spanakopita ($7.00), Yogurt Tzatziki ($5.00) and Horiatiki, a Greek Salad. ($6.00)
Salads came with most of our meals. The top photo is of the House Salad…$4.00 when bought separately. I ordered the Caesar Salad with my dinner…$5.00 when purchased separately.
The ingredients in the salads were very fresh and the salad dressings were far better than average. I could even taste a little anchovy in my Caesar Salad. The croutons were very large but they were softer than usual and they offered a lot of extra flavor to the salad.
This was Bonnie’s Shrimp Scampi. ($16.00) Eight large broiled shrimp tossed in breadcrumbs and then covered in a lemon butter sauce. It was a very attractive dish and the accompanying green beans looked great too! It was an excellent entrée…
Bill ordered the Surf 'N Turf. ($24.00) This consisted of an 8 oz. charbroiled filet of sirloin, accompanied by 3 large crab claws. It was served over polenta swimming in a rich consommé. Bill was a happy camper indeed!
Laurie ordered the Pasta with Sautéed Shrimp. ($12.00) She added peas, artichoke hearts and Alfredo sauce for $2.00 extra. Fresh grated parmesan cheese added that something extra that kicked this entrée up another notch. It was a very enjoyable and satisfying platter of pasta…something that’s hard to find in East Tennessee.
As usual I went for a really ‘healthy’ entrée! This is the Steak Mudiga. ($24.00) An 8 oz. breaded sirloin filet was charbroiled, (cooked medium rare as ordered), then topped with Volpi prosciutto, melted cheese and then finished in a white wine sauce. This was a decadent dish…but it was also very good!
Bill and I overdid it when we were asked if we wanted any dessert. We decided to split this Greek dessert. I can’t remember its name but these fried dough balls were soaked in honey and nuts. It was way too rich and over the top for either of us…
Service was better than average and the food ranged from very good to excellent. This was a fun place for dinner and we had a chance to enjoy some quality Italian cuisine! Anthonino’s Taverna is located in St. Louis Missouri’s Italian Hill neighborhood at 2225 Macklind Avenue. Phone: 314-773-4455. Website: www.anthoninos.com.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a fine Italian dinner!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave