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Request: Sicilian Chicken at Favazza's On the Hill

The Sicilian Chicken, which is marinated, lightly breaded, charbroiled, topped with virgin olive oil, garlic, and fresh lemon, is photographed at Favazza's On the Hill restaurant on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Favazza's is located at 5201 Southwest Ave. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Q • Favazza’s Sicilian Chicken is the best chicken dish that I have eaten in years! It is light and yet very flavorful. — Skip Salzenstein, Kirkwood

A • Sicilian Chicken. Sicilian Steak. Sicilian Salmon. Fowl, beef and fish, Favazza On the Hill’s signature dishes all get a final drizzle of a distinctive garlicy, lemony sauce. Co-owner John Favazza says, “We call it sauce, but it’s really a vinaigrette.”

Favazza’s customers don’t seem to mind the misnomer; they love the stuff. “Sicilian sauce is definitive of Italian food,” says chef Mark Favazza, son of John’s brother and co-owner Tony Favazza. “So simple, so appealing, so versatile.” John agrees: “I took some home the other night and tossed it with fresh green beans and some potatoes. So good!” Then he grins, “Mark puts it on his breakfast cereal. Just kidding.”

Comedians, these Favazzas — except when it comes to understanding the restaurant’s almost 40 years of success. “We’re traditional — traditional and popular,” John emphasizes. The menu mostly stays the same; variety shows up in daily specials.

John says that he and his siblings grew up on Sicilian Beef but that Sicilian Chicken is the restaurant’s most popular dish for banquets and catering orders as well as in the restaurant, where it’s served at dinner and at lunch in a smaller serving — though you’ll have to order it off-the-menu for lunch except on Thursdays, when it’s the daily lunch special. “It’s not even on the menu, and it’s still the best-seller,” Mark says.

Year-round but especially during the summer, Favazza’s most-coveted tables are on its large open-air covered patio inspired by Tony’s travels to Italy. Except on extra-hot St. Louis days, it’s comfortable and at night, John says, “The patio just glows. People love hanging out on the patio.”

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.

To request a recipe • Would you like to request a recipe from a restaurant that is still open in the St. Louis area? Send your request along with your full name and the city you live in to reciperequest@ post-dispatch.com.

Amy Bertrand 314-340-8284

@abertrand on Twitter

abertrand@post-dispatch.com