Review + Slideshow: Racanelli's Cucina

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JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Jennifer Silverberg
My review of Racanelli's Cucina is now available online. Racanelli's Cucina is located at 6655 Delmar Boulevard (the former Market in the Loop building). You can check out the restaurant's menu and more at its website.

In this week's Back of the House slideshow, Jennifer Silverberg takes you inside Racanelli's Cucina and watches as owner John Racanelli makes a pizza.
John Racanelli, owner of the Racanelli Empire, says one of the secrets to his pizza is working it on the board. The more you work it, the more air you get out of the dough, creating fewer air bubbles when cooking. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
  • John Racanelli, owner of the Racanelli Empire, says one of the secrets to his pizza is working it on the board. The more you work it, the more air you get out of the dough, creating fewer air bubbles when cooking. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina.
John, a native New Yorker (the Bronx specifically), has been in St. Louis for just over 20 years. He's been making pizza since he was 12 years old in his parents' pizzeria in the Bronx. He named his restaurant Cucina as a sort of homage to his mother, whose recipes have made their way into John's kitchen, and many of which are used at the restaurant today. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
  • John, a native New Yorker (the Bronx specifically), has been in St. Louis for just over 20 years. He's been making pizza since he was 12 years old in his parents' pizzeria in the Bronx. He named his restaurant Cucina as a sort of homage to his mother, whose recipes have made their way into John's kitchen, and many of which are used at the restaurant today. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina.
John Racanelli, while busy running this restaurant and his six pizzerias, still manages to put in about 30 hours in this cucina. He says this is why everything is so consistent. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
  • John Racanelli, while busy running this restaurant and his six pizzerias, still manages to put in about 30 hours in this cucina. He says this is why everything is so consistent. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina.

A pepperoni pizza has a rustic appeal. The dough is made from scratch at the restaurant. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
The pepperoni pizza makes its way from the lower oven to the top oven for the final browning effect. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
The pizza in the top oven. The final cooking step. Yum. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
John showing off exactly how the bottom of a perfectly cooked pizza should look like. When he cuts it, it will make a delicate and fabulous crunching sound. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
Basil. John uses fresh ingredients. Here is no exception. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
The Margherita pizza. It is a rustic pizza made with roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
At the front of the restaurant, through a separate entrance, is Racanelli's Express, where you can still walk up to the counter and order a slice to go. Crystal Salone is shown here with a rather large pie. She guessed it was somewhere between 20 and 22 inches. Impressive. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
  • At the front of the restaurant, through a separate entrance, is Racanelli's Express, where you can still walk up to the counter and order a slice to go. Crystal Salone is shown here with a rather large pie. She guessed it was somewhere between 20 and 22 inches. Impressive. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina.
In the kitchen, chef Eric Below is "digging" for clams. The beginnings of the fantastically garlicky linguini with white clam sauce. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
The clams are sautéed in olive oil, garlic, parsley and white wine. Not shy with the garlic, the clams smell terrific. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
Chef Eric Below overseeing the kitchen happenings. While balancing the required multitasking of kitchen duties, he makes sure those clams are cooked perfectly. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
  • Chef Eric Below overseeing the kitchen happenings. While balancing the required multitasking of kitchen duties, he makes sure those clams are cooked perfectly. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina.
Again, Eric Below is sautéing the clams. Next comes the linguini, cooked al denté. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
The linguini with white clam sauce is shown here with the fettuccini Romana and Margherita pizza. The fettuccini is made with grilled chicken, prosciutto, spinach and cream sauce. The pizza is Racanelli's tribute to the original Italian pizza, made with Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina. - PHOTO: JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo: Jennifer Silverberg
  • The linguini with white clam sauce is shown here with the fettuccini Romana and Margherita pizza. The fettuccini is made with grilled chicken, prosciutto, spinach and cream sauce. The pizza is Racanelli's tribute to the original Italian pizza, made with Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. View more photos from inside Racanelli's Cucina.

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