Ian Froeb's STL 100

Post-Dispatch file photo



Tony's said goodbye last year to its leader, Vince Bommarito Sr., who died in April at age 88. Bommarito turned a family spaghetti restaurant into the paragon of fine dining in St. Louis, a cocoon of privilege where your meal unfolds with tableside theatrics and military precision. Indeed, Tony's has outlasted the style of dining it mastered, and how it will move forward after Bommarito's death (and the departure in 2018 of his son Vince Jr. as executive chef) is one of the big questions looming over St. Louis dining. My most recent dinner was as elegant as ever. I made sure to order my favorite dishes: linguine with clams and pancetta followed by the showstopping beef tenderloin with foie gras in a port-wine demi-glace. My server asked if I wanted a glass of Barolo to pair with my beef tenderloin mere seconds before I was about to request exactly that.

Hours: Dinner Tuesday-Saturday (closed Sunday-Monday)

Last year's ranking: No. 14

Opened: 1946

Many St. Louis-area restaurants are closed or limiting their dining options during the coronavirus pandemic.