So you watched the Godfather or Giada de Laurentis or saw a salumi in the window and just had to eat some pasta. In the US, you always have heaps of choices for Italian. It doesn’t have to be great but you always have a choice for Italian.
In St. Louis, the same choice apply but because of the Hill, one is blessed with a litany of choices in this little St. Louis neighbourhood. Heading into Cunetto’s is like walking into the past.
If you want upscale service, then this isn’t the place for you. If you want highly attentive service, then this isn’t the place for you. Coming into the restaurant, you should expect to be greeted rather brusquely and overall the bar is old and dated. It is easy to feel like the “common folk” on your visit. The bar service will probably be curt and short, nothing great. Cunetto’s isn’t really in the business of hamming it up for your business. You either want to eat or not. Note : Reservations are NOT accepted either.
If you want to feed a bunch of grown hungry men, some good Italian food at a reasonable price, then this is the place for you.
I am willing to accept many things for good food, including bad service if the food is spectacular. For a 10 person party, we ordered the following starters, with my comments
- Melanzane Fritti – Eggplant, julienned, breaded and deep fried. This comes with a good Marinara sauce and you can add your own chilis and roasted garlic into the sauce. Excellent!
- Gamberi Marinara Diavolo – Shrimp Sautéed in spicy Marinara Sauce. The sauce was ok, and the shrimp were average sized. This could have used some heat. Average.
- Calamari – Squid sautéed in Tomato and Onion or Butter, Lemon and Garlic . Team liked it a lot. Good.
- Calamari Fritti – Fried Squid. Generic squid rings fried with the marinara sauce. Average.
- Garlic Cheese Bread. The team loved this one, along with chilis, black pepper. Good.
After the starters along with fresh bread, tons of olive oil and chili’s, we started ordering entrees after our vino. What came out, bordered on ridiculous.
Each entree which ranged from 11 – 15$ came in a huge bowl. I ordered two entrees, to try the sampling.
- Pennine al Bolognese – Small Mostaccioli pasta served with thick Meat Sauce
- Linguini Tuto Mare – Linguini served with a delicate Seafood Broth style sauce with Clams, Crab Meat, Shrimp and Mushrooms
Both dishes were made super spicy upon my request, and the Linguini Tuto Mare was modified to have a Marinara sauce with tons of sauteed garlic and basil and chilis. It was one of the best seafood pastas I’ve ever eaten. The pasta was well done, the sauce had tons of seafood also. I could barely move after finishing 1/4 of one bowl.
It was definitely good the next day after!!
Coworkers ordered their own dairy filled dishes
- Petto di Pollo alla Dorfo (Boneless Breast of Chicken, stuffed with Prosciutto, rolled in Seasoned Bread Crumbs, then sautéed in Cardinale Sauce and topped with Prosciutto and Mushrooms) – Massive hit with heaping piles of pasta.
- Veal Saltimbocca, Chicken Parmigana, all came with heaping bowls of pasta.
Overall, if you’re in St. Louis on the weekday. Head over after 8pm for dinner. You won’t wait, you will get served and you will get a great bowl of pasta. Cunetto’s definitely makes my list for places to eat in St. Louis
5453 Magnolia Ave. St. Louis, MO 63139 | St. Louis – South City | 314-781-1135
Map | http://www.cunetto.com