Best Italian Restaurant (Not Cheap)

Ricardo's Italian Café

For twenty years now, the husband-and-wife team of Mark and Michelle Adams has made Ricardo's Italian Café one of the city's most delightful dining destinations — the restaurant equivalent of the place where if everyone doesn't remember your name, they really are always glad you came. Mark handles the kitchen, Michelle the front of house, delivering a one-two punch of friendly service and spot-on renditions of the Italian and Italian-American fare so beloved in St. Louis: chicken and beef spiedini, beef cannelloni, strip steak modega, veal parmigiano and, of course, toasted ravioli. In truth, you can eat here without dropping a lot of coin — the lunch specials, in particular, offer terrific value — but once you're seated in one of the charming dining rooms, you will want to take your time, enjoy a glass of wine from the Italian-heavy list and savor several courses of hearty, comforting classics. This is the Adams' home away from home, and for a few hours, at least, it can be yours, too.

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