First Look: Il Palato in Clayton
Just over a year after opening his last project, the reimagined Del Pietro’s in Richmond Heights, restaurateur Michael Del Pietro has added another restaurant to his stable. Il Palato opened very quietly on Friday, March 8 at 222 S. Bemiston Ave., in Clayton.
“I really wanted to get back into Clayton,” said Del Pietro, who has been involved in several Clayton restaurant projects since the early 1990s, including Portabella and Luciano’s Trattoria.
The development of Il Palato took about 10 months, mostly under the radar of all but the most astute restaurant watchers. Del Pietro said he opted for an uber quiet debut (no official announcements or releases went out) in order to ensure that everything was in order and nothing was rushed.
The Il Palato menu is a bit of a departure from Del Pietro’s other restaurants. While spots like Sugo’s Spaghetteria and Del Pietro’s specialize in hearty dishes like lasagna, spaghetti pomodoro and veal marsala, Il Palato focuses on the lighter cuisine of southern Italy and the Mediterranean, including an array of seafood from pan-seared trout and scallops to mussels and whole roasted branzino.
The focused wine list includes a variety of robust Italian varietals by the glass. There’s also a separate bar menu that incorporates some appetizer options from the main menu, along with bar-friendly bites like flatbreads and arancini.
Area diners will remember the space as the long-time residence of Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar, which closed in late 2017. The space now boasts marble surfaces and neutral tones of whites and gray throughout and hints of dark wood. Natural light courtesy of the front wall of windows keeps the space from being old or austere. The main dining area accommodates 44 guests, while the separate bar area can seat approximately 24.
In the back of the house the original hood system is all that remains of the previous incarnation— the kitchen got a full renovation including all new equipment according to executive chef Timothy Adams.
Il Palato is open Monday through Saturday, 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., and Del Pietro said he expects to begin lunch service in the next two weeks. Here’s a look at what Il Palato is all about.
Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.
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