A longstanding farm-to-table restaurant recently retooled its concept on The Hill. J. Devoti Trattoria debuted on April 4 in place of Five Bistro, cooking up modern farm-to-table Italian.
As reported by Feast last month, chef-owner Anthony Devoti named the restaurant and its continuing market counterpart, J. Devoti Grocery, after his great grandfather Joseph Devoti – an Italian immigrant who opened a grocery on The Hill in 1906.
“We’ve done Five Bistro for 12 years and I’d been wanting to do something different but still maintain the same beliefs that we had at Five,” Devoti says. “It’s a little bit of our family history mixed in with the same farm-to-table experience we were offering before in a beautiful atmosphere.”
Devoti worked with longtime friend Aaron Bunse to develop the feel for the revamped dining room, which features a fresh coat of paint and a collection of framed photographs. The spread includes old family photos of Devoti’s great grandfather as well as images of New York, San Francisco and St. Louis – all places where Anthony has lived and worked. His wife also contributed her own pictures of Italy for the walls.
“It’s become a little more personal here. We put our name on the window, and we’re representing our family and places I’ve lived and grown as far as being a cook goes,” Devoti says. “And I just love that you can come here on a date, on a business meeting or bring the whole family.”
The main dining room seats around 50 guests, while the grocery area has a table for private parties with up to 20 seats. The next phase of the restaurant’s development is a garden area outside on the patio, where Devoti plans on planting flowers and vegetables.
From the menu, guests can still get a few favorites from Five Bistro such as a house burger with ground beef, lamb and pork, Ludwig Creamery sangamon, 24-hour pork belly, a fried chicken egg, greens and pickles. According to Devoti, the kitchen will also still offer sous chef Mark Mulitsch’s thoughtfully prepared local cheese and charcuterie plates.
Like Five, J. Devoti Trattoria’s dinner menu will change regularly based on the availability of fresh, locally curated ingredients. A sourdough wheat pizza base, for instance, comes with toppings such as Baetje Farms goat cheese, olives, nettles and chili flake. Housemade ravioli comes stuffed with local cheese topped with garnishes such as JT Gelineau pea shoots and Missouri pecans.
Behind the bar, Jacob Nord curates a seasonal cocktail list and a beverage menu that focuses on supporting local producers. Six draft beers are available alongside a list of smaller production wines.
“You can get a high-quality meal here and dine on food that’s produced locally in our region. 125 miles away from the city is the farthest that we go. You can feel proud about supporting local farms and breweries and these guys who are working every day to make a living,” Devoti says. “And the folks who used to come before don’t have to be worried about their favorite charcuterie plate not being there. You can have a taste of that and something new.”
Starting in May, the restaurant will also feature family-style dinners the first Sunday of each month until Thanksgiving. The four-course meal features pasta, an entree, a veggie and a salad for groups from 4 to 8pm. During that time, guests can pick out a retail bottle of wine from the on-premise shop with no corkage fee.
J. Devoti Trattoria is currently open for dinner Wednesday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9pm as well as Friday through Saturday from 5:30 to 10pm. From 4 to 5:30pm on these days, pizza by the slice, small plates, cheese and charcuterie are available to order at the bar.
J. Devoti Trattoria, 5100 Daggett Ave., The Hill, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.773.5553, jdevoti.com