Charlie Gittos vs. I Frattanini in St. Louis
Taking our son, a student at Wash U to dinner. Which is better if we are looking for a good, but casual meal not too far from WU campus in Clayton.
I wish I could be of more assistance, but Charlie Gitto's has two locations, neither of which is near Clayton or Wash U. The traditional place is on the Hill, the Italian neighborhood well south of either, and they have a newer outpost downtown in one of the casinos on the river. The other place is not coming up on Google or Chowhound searches.
For something good but casual in Clayton, my favorite is Oceano Bistro. Their menu emphasizes seafood, but they also have a really good pork chop and other options on their menu. Entree prices mostly range from the very high teens to the mid-$20s. Good starters and tasty desserts, attentive service, a bit of a buzz inside and some quieter seating on their streetside enclosed patio. See their website, which has a menu with prices. Bottom line is that it is nicer than most students would afford, but way more reasonable than some of the pricier places in Clayton or the Central West End, which is east of campus on the far side of Forest Park.
There is a stretch of restaurants just north of campus along Delmar in an area called the Loop, with a huge burger and music bar (Blueberry Hill), pizza (Pi), and a number of ethnic options, but he's probably been there. For very casual St. Louis pizza and sandwiches in Clayton, my favorite is Cafe Manhattan. If you have a car, don't miss going to Ted Drewe's for frozen custard -- that does get you to the south city where you could hit up places on the Hill (not right nearby) or The Pitted Olive (which is). If he was willing to dress up a bit, I have nothing but kudos for a very good restaurant in Clayton, The Crossing, which has been offering a four-course mix-em, match-em menu for $25 that is excellent (but which can get MUCH more expensive if you order from the other side).
I love the Pitted Olive, but it is not near Wash. U. by any stretch. I Fratellini (I assume that's the restaurant you are asking about) almost never gets mentioned on this board but I liked it when it first opened. It's been about six or seven years, though. Other good Clayton choices would include spots in The Loop, which is walking distance from campus: Riddles Penultimate (good local ingredients and top-notch wine list); Pi (excellent pizza and salads); a couple of decent Thai places; and some other places worth checking out. I'd search this board for Clayton and for The Loop. You might also check saucemagazine.com.
Oh, Il Fratellini, absolutely - especially if Mika (fabulous server, I'm probably butchering the spelling of her name). It's upscale without being stuffy, and the food is absolutely killer.
It's one of my favorite hidden treasures in St. Louis.
I Fratellini without question. I ate there two nights ago and it was outstanding. Lentil soup with sausage and the tagliatelle with prosciutto, mushrooms and a truly light cream sauce. Not heavy or cloying. The other entree's were great also. The Caprese salad incredible. The portions are good sized. Our server wasn't Mika, but she was great.