Q • Napoli2’s Shrimp Limon is one of the best appetizers ever. The shrimp is wrapped in pancetta with a wonderful limoncello sauce. – Nancy Null, Defiance
A • Ande Pietoso’s parents opened Café Napoli in Clayton in 1989 and later added Bar Napoli. Ande and his younger brother, Kye, grew up in the kitchen, washing dishes, learning the ropes. When loyal clientele begged for a location farther west, the family opened Napoli2 in Town and Country to draw diners from West County. Pietoso says that since Highway 141 has extended north, even St. Charles is just 12 minutes away from Napoli2.
Second-generation restaurateurs face a challenge. “Don’t misunderstand,” Pietoso says. “I am so proud of the family business. But Napoli2 is its own place not ‘Napoli Too.’ I don’t always do things the way my dad would. Our menu is our twist on authentic Italian dishes.”
On the one hand, Napoli2 is known for hand-rolled pastas and puts out “trays and trays” of lasagna and cannelloni, especially during the holidays. Still, patrons order so many steaks, chops and veal dishes that the inside joke is that Napoli2 might well be an Italian steakhouse. Pietoso is smitten with chef Jon Berger’s meat sauces. “Our meats, they’re just so special.”
Shrimp Limon is the restaurant’s top seafood appetizer, the preparation Berger settled on after cycling through other more traditional shrimp appetizers. He wraps pancetta around jumbo shrimp, then glazes the crustaceans in a “syrupy but not sticky” sauce anchored by the Italian liqueur limoncello. Shrimp Limon, Pietoso says, is “a little sweet, a little spicy.”
1054 Town and Country Crossing, Town and Country