Does St. Louis need another Charlie Gitto's? At this midweek lunch hour, the evidence suggests that it does. The four-month-old Chesterfield iteration of the Hill institution, which already has satellites downtown and at Harrah's Casino, is packed. On a computer at the host's stand, the hostess and two managers arrange patrons, servers and dining tables as if plotting naval exercises off the Korean peninsula. Through a maze of business suits and family reunions, ladies who lunch and solo diners reading Christmas Kindles, bow-tied busers adroitly maneuver, trays with soups and salads balanced on the flats of their palms.Is it worth the fuss? Visit the RFT restaurant page late tomorrow afternoon or check back here Wednesday morning to see what I think.
I nod at the hostess but don't bother to ask for a table. Instead I head straight for a seat at the bar, order a beer and some toasted ravioli ("the original," the menu proclaims beside a stylized logo denoting it as a specialty) and ponder what all the fuss is about.