the spot: Anthonino’s Taverna 2225 Macklind Ave St. Louis MO 63110
the eats: Toasted Raviolis, anything with meatballs, Cannoli
the bucks: $12-$20 depending on lunch or dinner
the full nelson: my go to spot for Toasted Raviolis in St. Louis and really anything Italian American
Thanks to a shout out on Twitter, I made my way to Anthonino’s Taverna when I was back in St. Louis a few weeks ago. Located in The Hill, a historic Italian American neighborhood of St. Louis, this place has all the authentic feels of OG St. Louis despite opening in 2003. Plus it’s been approved by the Mayor of Flavortown; Guy Fieri visited Anthonino’s on an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.
Ask anyone who grew up in St. Louis and they will tell you that Toasted Raviolis are the crown jewel of our food culture. Sure, there are smashed burgers joints that have been slapping spatulas to flat tops years before it became a bonafide food trend. And there is the case of the controversial pizza style that I’ll be digging into in an upcoming post. But for now I am concentrating on Toasted Raviolis, and Anthonino’s are glorious.
What makes them great is that they are simply done right. Each ravioli is hand made with a generous filling of beef along with Pecorino and Romano cheese, onion, garlic and spices. Each one was perfectly fried. And that red sauce that will make you scream “madone”. Look, I’m not Italian American but I’ve seen enough episodes of The Sopranos to talk the talk. At least a little.
That’s literally what my kid said as we passed a table. The meatballs are huge, moist and straight up divine. I’m pretty sure these are baked vs fried, regardless I knew what I had to order. Also Im currently researching baked meatball recipes too. Cuz baked meatballs>fried meatballs. Seriously.
This meatball sandwich could have single handedly put on my summer vacation weight. I’d like to say this sandwich is enough for two but technically three people could live off this sammich, the meatballs are that big. The fries? Yeah I ate them too but you don’t need ’em.
Being a Taverna I was strongly considering the Gyro but our waitress said that the spit was a bit too fresh. Like Al Pastor or Shawarma, Gyro needs some time to caramelize and since we came at an off hour, the spit hadn’t been cooking long enough. Major points for a restaurant whose staff will be that straight up with you.
Not that was I was exactly starving but since it was vacation, I had to get my sweet tooth on. The waitress, again looking out for us, did mention that the cannoli served is made with pastry shell made elsewhere. It’s a good heads up in case you want to avoid a soggy cannoli. Not the case with this one though. It was still one of the best cannolis I have ever had. That includes the Termini Bros in Redding Terminal in Philadelphia.
Anthonino’s Taverna is a total gem. That’s all I got left to say. Huge portions, great quality, and it’s a taste of classic St. Louis Italian. It’s among the finest Italian joints in St. Louis.