Reminder: Voting continues through the end of the day Sunday! Cast your vote if you haven't already.
Gut Check asked you to nominate St. Louis' most underrated Italian restaurants, and you delivered. We've read your thoughts and narrowed the field to ten semifinalists. Vote after the jump now through the end of the day Sunday, July 22. The top three vote-getters will move onto the final round.
About a few of your nominations that didn't make the cut based on our entirely arbitrary reasoning: Trattoria Marcella (3600 Watson Road; 314-352-7706) isn't underrated. Period.
We gave Acero (7266 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-644-1790) some consideration, but we've awarded it "Best Italian Restaurant (Not Cheap)" in 2007, 2010 and 2011. Mad Tomato (8000 Carondelet Avenue, Clayton; 314-932-5733) is only one year old, and it has received a great deal of praise from this publication and others.
And now the semifinalists.
Da Baldo's Trattoria (3518 Hampton Avenue; 314-832-6660)
Anniebelle15: DaBaldos on Hampton. heavy on the atmosphere. complete with really old italian woman working the bar. Oh, and the food is awesome. I had Tortellini alla panna. a friend had the chicken pinot grigio. Seriously made with Italian Love. Go There.
Filomena's Italian Kitchen (9900 Manchester Road, Glendale; 314-961-9909)
Emily Barklage: I'm obsessed with Filomena's. Arancini. 'Nuff said.
Milesoftime: Filomena's Italian Kitchen. The aranchinis are amazing...and their hot roast beef sandwich is SOOOOOO good.
Gian-Tony's Ristorante (5356 Daggett Avenue; 314-772-4483)
The comments nominating Gian-Tony's were spare, but Gut Check has eaten here, and we agree: underrated.
Lombardo's Trattoria (201 South 20th Street; 314-621-0666)
Barry Bean: Lombardo's downtown. Easily better than or on a par with anything on the Hill, but in an unassuming location in the basement of the Union Station Drury. Outstanding service, out of this world food, and the best dirty martini in town. My personal favorite is the stuffed calamari appetizer.
Lorenzo's Trattoria (1933 Edwards Street; 314-773-2223)
Laura: [Lorenzo's is] "new Italian" and you won't find their bottled sauce or dressing in Schnucks. I think it's (maybe?) a little newer on the Hill so you just don't hear about it that often. It's not pasta drowned in red sauce, toasted ravioli, or provel-smothered pizzas. Their food is classic yet updated and inventive.... I mean come on, I ordered calf's liver on one visit (liver!) and it was the most succulent cut of meat I've eaten in years.
Lou Boccardi's (5424 Magnolia Avenue; 314-647-1151)
geoff: Lou Boccardi's on the Hill. Right across the street from Cunetto's, this place is in a little old house and has some of the best italian food I've ever had. Moderately priced, casual, and fantastic. Plus -- they are open on sundays!
Ricardo's Italian Cafe (1931 Park Avenue; 314-421-4833)
Thebirdofparadise82: in the 23 years they have been open, I've never found Italian food as good as what I can get there, and that includes the week I spent in Italy...On top of the food being excellent, they provide a very comfortable "family' atmosphere and I've met many new friends that started as complete strangers when I walked through the door. Ricardo's has been a part of my life for most of it, and I have driven 3+ hours just to have dinner there, because sometimes, it's worth it!
Rich & Charlie's (multiple locations)
Danielle Hohmeier: Rich n Charlies - Not on the hill.... But it is excellent. And unfussy. And it's good EVERY time. I've never worried the alfredo sauce would be weird or the red sauce would be too sweet. Excellent pastas, St. Louis-style pizza, toasted ravs... what's not to love?
Roberto's Trattoria (Lindbergh Boulevard & Baptist Church Road, south St. Louis County; 314-842-9998)
Dave: Inexplicably tucked into the Concord Plaza in South County, but well worth the trip. The food is excellent, especially the seafood dishes.
Almirodelhero: An outstanding restaurant. Simply amazing.
Trattoria Giuseppe (5442 Old State Road, Imperial; 636-942-2405)
VistorNoMore: It has tomato and cream sauces, not the mysterious red & white. Really enjoy the very reasonable lunch menu. And with dinner, I plan on having leftovers. So many Hill Italian places pretend to be steak houses with a few so so pasta dishes. At Trattoria Giuseppe, I can have a good steak or delicious pork chop -- yet the pasta is still the main dishes.
Voting is open until the end of the day Sunday, July 22.