'nduja pizza at casa don alfonso photo by meera nagarajan

3 new restaurants in St. Louis to try this month

Casa Don Alfonso
Walk into Casa Don Alfonso and you’ll know you’re in for something special. The restaurant’s original location, Don Alfonso 1890, is a two Michelin-starred restaurant in southern Italy’s Campania region, and the menu here is traditional Neapolitan cuisine. The baked tiny gnocchi see pillowy potato dumplings in a simple tomato sauce, topped with cheese and served in an adorable copper pot. The pizzas are not to be missed; the margherita was excellent with bubbling fior di latte cheese and a burnished crust from the wood-fire oven. While many items, like the grandma’s ziti with anchovies and cherry tomatoes, are humble dishes with classic flavors, others like the marinated red snapper veils with thin slices of snapper dotted with orange, mint yogurt and pink pepper showcase specialty ingredients. The sfogliatella dessert, made with delicate layers of phyllo dough and piped with cinnamon pastry cream, shows off great pastry skills.
100 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, 314.719.1496, casadonalfonsostlouis.com

Root Food + Wine
Root Food + Wine is set in a cottage in quaint downtown Augusta. But don’t let the hominess fool you – the dining experience at this upscale farm-to-table restaurant is as fine-tuned as any you’d expect to find in the big city. The duck pastrami starter presented bite-sized pieces of smoky duck breast plated with coins of pickled beet and dollops of grainy dill mustard and horseradish froth. The gnocchi with curried Buttonwood Farms chicken, snap peas and the tiniest baby carrots imparted all the freshness of spring, as did the intensely flavorful spring vegetable soup served with an anise-laced, pho-inspired vegetable consommé. The cocktail program, developed by bartender Dylan O’Hara, features twists on classic drinks like the Fizzbarb, a rhubarb-flavored take on a Ramos Gin Fizz, while the succinct wine list contains bottles from the nearby Noboleis Vineyards as well as selections from New World, Old World and even New Zealand wineries.
5525 Walnut St., Augusta, 636.544.1009, rootfoodandwine.com

C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar
Next time you’re hungry at the Galleria, skip the food court and head to C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar on the second level just outside Nordstrom. In Oliver’s sweet salad, fresh greens, creamy goat cheese, tomato, onion and candied walnuts are served with a maple vinaigrette. We enjoyed the caprese sandwich, comprising fresh mozzarella, tomato and pesto on a toasty ciabatta bun, as well as the Oli salami sandwich with salami and Swiss cheese and an optional side of Dijon mustard. The savory-sweet Oli’s breakfast tart was another winner with flaky crust enveloping pear, bacon, brie and pistachio topped with a generous drizzle of honey.
1155 Saint Louis Galleria Parkway, Richmond Heights, 314.239.3156, Facebook: C. Oliver Coffee + Flower Bar