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Aug 30, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop: Del Pietro’s House of Pasta to close after 35-year run

July 22nd 02:07pm, 2011

072111_DelPietrosMary Rose Del Pietro and her late husband, Michael Del Pietro Sr., opened the doors to Del Pietro’s House of Pasta on Sept. 13, 1976. During the course of the ensuing 35 years, the original eight-table restaurant saw three expansions and served as a gathering place for many a graduation, wedding, anniversary and other celebrations, not to mention training ground for the couple’s four children – Angela, Michael, Marc and Lea, all of whom have made careers in the restaurant biz.

Since the passing of her husband some 25 years ago, the Del Pietro matriarch has run the restaurant at 5625 Hampton Ave., by herself. (She sold her other restaurant, Michael’s, some 17 years ago.) Now she’s ready to retire, and with her retirement comes the end of Del Pietro’s, which will close permanently after dinner service on Saturday, August 27.

Doors won’t stay locked for long, however. Mathew Ungar, executive chef at the Missouri Athletic Club West in Town and Country, has leased the space, with plans to open his own restaurant. Mathew’s Kitchen will open October 1 with a menu focused on “comfort food with a twist.”

In the meantime, The Scoop spoke with Mary Rose Del Pietro, who shared memories of the Italian eatery as well as her plans for the future.

Why are you retiring?
I’ve been working in restaurants since I was 11 years old and started working at Rossino’s. I will be 68 years old the day after I retire. It’s my 68th birthday present to myself. And I have 10 grandchildren. I want to be with them.

What is your fondest memory of Del Pietro’s?
There are so many! People who came in on day one still come in. They even invite me to their kids’ weddings. I’ve made so many friendships.

What will you miss most once the restaurant closes?
I will miss all of my customers. It’s like being at a party every night.

What has been the most popular dish of all time on the menu?
There are actually eight entrées that have been on the menu for 35 years, including the chicken “burko”, linguini tutto mare and the lasagna. My lasagna is fabulous; it’s filled with a lot of pork and beef, ricotta and three other cheeses – and it’s a good-sized portion.

What are your plans for retirement?
I think that I will go schmooze at my kids’ restaurants.

By Ligaya Figueras

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2 Responses to “The Scoop: Del Pietro’s House of Pasta to close after 35-year run”

  1. Barbara Gladieux Niebruegge Says:
    July 25th, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Dear Mrs. Del Pietro — I am certain that all members of my family, as well as good friends, have seen you at the restaurant for most of the 35 years. We have celebrated many special days and holidays at your wonderful establishment and have enjoyed every terrific meal. On behalf of all of us, I thank you for being a standard of fine dining in “the neighborhood.” You will be missed. I know you will enjoy every moment of your well-deserved retirement. Godspeed!!!! :-)

  2. Phil & Carolyn Cryer Says:
    July 27th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Mary Rose,
    We are going to miss you and your wonderful staff! Your restaurant has been like a refuge for anyone wanting a delicious meal and good company. Our daughter. Rebecca and her husband Herb’s baby shower in May was memorable with good food and fun for all. Thanks for opening early for that special event. We will miss you as much as the good food and hope to see you at one of your children’s restaurants. My brother and sister in law from Nebraska talk about the great meal they enjoyed at your restaurant. You’ve had a great run and deserve a well deserved reprieve from work after all these years. We wish you good health and happiness.

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