Q • Lorenzo’s Trattoria makes the best breadsticks I’ve ever had. — Lyna Colombo, St. Louis
A • Name someone who grew up in, lives in and owns not one but two businesses in the same neighborhood. That’s Larry Fuse, chef-owner of the Hill’s Lorenzo’s Trattoria and Gelato Di Riso.
Lorenzo’s is known for traditional Northern Italian fare, hearty dishes with robust flavors, risotto, gnocchi, even traditional Italian calf’s liver. “We sell a ton of liver,” Fuse says. Nearly everything is made in house, including small touches like grinding peppercorns, not just for flourish over a salad but for the kitchen.
For the quintessential Lorenzo’s food experience, Fuse suggests starting with the spoonable polenta appetizer and a house salad, a mélange of greens with crispy Volpi prosciutto, roasted pistachios, asiago and balsamic vinaigrette. “It’s not your typical St. Louis Italian salad,” Fuse says. “People come here just for the salad.” For the main course? Osso buco, Fuse’s personal favorite, or veal risotto, a rich plate of slow-roasted veal, dried chanterelle and tomato.
After dinner, many customers stroll two blocks to Fuse’s gelato shop where traditional and innovative flavors are both the norm. “The Hill needed a gelato place,” Fuse says of the combination retail-wholesale operation. “It’s more fun than anything, especially in the summer.”
Lorenzo’s complimentary breadsticks are handmade seven days a week just before the restaurant opens for dinner. They’re crisp and golden — and tall and dramatic.
“Breadsticks are our centerpieces,” Fuse says. The inspiration came from childhood meals at landmark Al’s Restaurant where “sticks and cheese” left their mark on a young Fuse, already preparing for his life’s work as a chef and restaurant owner at home on the Hill.
1933 Edwards Street
Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.
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