ST. LOUIS, MO, December 21, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ — For the last 36 + years Charlie Gitto Jr has been feeding the masses and all the while, creating a legendary family dynasty. He is by far one of the most recognizable names and faces in St. Louis. His restaurant, Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill is a mainstay in the area and a favorite for customers coming from near and far.
In a recent St. Louis Magazine, he spoke a little bit about his life and how his career first began. As a young boy Charlie spent his afternoons after school helping out at the very place he now owns. His task was to foil-wrap the potatoes, while his father served as the restaurant maitre d’. By the time he was 25, he knew he was destined to own his place.
According to Charlie, in those early years he had his share of challenges. Double-digit inflation, a major snowstorm in ’82 and outdated equipment made things tough. He also had to overcome several other obstacles but each and every one only made him more determined than ever to succeed. Failure was not an option for him.
Over the years, the restaurant has evolved in many different ways. There have been major renovations due to the need for expansion, first to the kitchen, then with an addition of three rooms divided by pocket doors. A few years ago the entire interior was remodeled.
A tomato garden used to sit where there is now an extended section of the building. Back in those days, the customers could hand-pick their own tomatoes and watch table-side while their salads were prepared. Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill still serves the same exceptional Italian Chopped Salad with their remarkable house made dressing that’s remained a favorite throughout the years.
Customer’s tastes and habits have also changed throughout the years. It wasn’t unusual for lunch goers to order an alcoholic beverage or two like a signature Gibtini or a Manhattan. That trend lasted through the late 80’s until it was replaced by a new generation of tea drinkers.
An on-site bakery makes it convenient to bake their ancient grain and signature Italian bread, fresh hand-made pastas, desserts, and pizza dough. That’s where they also prepare their old-world recipe sauces and condiments that are sold in their other restaurants. The heavenly desserts like their decadent tiramisu, and their delicious chocolate, red velvet, Italian cream cakes and Italian cookies are all still homemade.
Wine has become such a popular commodity these days that the wine list at Charlie Gitto’s has grown a great deal. Customers are dining out more these days and embracing wine as a beverage to complement their foods. The only wines they used to sell were Blue Nun, Lambrusco, Lancers, Matues and a few Chiantis. Now they offer an extensive list of Italian and California selections with mix of other varietals, to satisfy today’s more sophisticated customer.
By popular demand and the tremendous success with his renowned fine Italian dining restaurant on The Hill, Charlie launched a second location at Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights in 2004. His latest venture was to he introduce his well-known Italian fare to his hometown of Chesterfield.
From the beginning it’s always been more than just a career or business to Charlie. He’s proud to say that it’s a family labor of love. Two of his four children already help run the company. His son, Anthony, and daughter, Suzanne, are both in management positions. Their mother is also involved helping with decorating and making sure things are running smoothly at all three locations.
One day Charlie plans to turn the business over to his kids so they can continue to carry on the family brand he’s worked so hard to create, but it won’t be anytime soon. Charlie still has things he wants to accomplish!
Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill at 5226 Shaw Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110 – Phone: (314) 772-8898 – Hours: Sun 4 pm-10 pm, Mon-Thu 5 pm-10 pm, Fri-Sat 5 pm-11 pm
Charlie Gitto’s from The Hill at 15525 Olive, Chesterfield, MO – Phone: (636) 536-2199 – Lunch and dinner daily
Charlie Gittos at Hollywood Casino at 777 Casino Center Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043 – Phone: (314) 770-7663 – Mon-Thur 4:30 pm to 10 pm – Fri-Sat 4:30 pm to 11 pm – Sun 4:30 pm-9 pm
Recent article about Charlie Gitto’s in STLRestaurant.News
Charlie Gitto’s is a popular St. Louis based fine dining Italian restaurant offering three locations across the St. Louis metro area. Award-winning cuisines, wine list, service and their renowned Toasted Ravioli.