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Cibare Italian Kitchen at River City Casino

Many popular Italian restaurants in St. Louis have predominantly cooked using recipes by Italian immigrants from their home kitchens.  Italian restaurant food in St. Louis is associated with heavy creams, cheese-filled pastas and thick sauces, mainly because of the abundance and low cost of ingredients.  Some new Italian restaurants have arrived on the seen that have made not only some of the most fashionable food in St. Louis,  but also one of the healthiest.

This past week I was at the Grand Opening of River City Casino’s newest restaurant “Cibare Italian Kitchen”.  The restaurant has the luxury of the purchasing power of the casino and the ability to have access to some of the best and freshest ingredients.  Many of the chefs have worked in Las Vegas casinos over the years.  I have spoken with each of them in detail over the past week.  They all have displayed a real love of cooking and each wanting to share a personal story with me.

What I liked most about Cibare was the great tasting high quality food in an open and  friendly atmosphere, along with the beautiful Italian decor and ambiance.  The pricing is very affordable, and with the money you save you can enjoy a visit to the casino.  The restaurant is a nice place to take a break and have  a conversation while watching the pizza chefs  make  Neapolitan-style pizza.   After dinner enjoy some of the wonderful  Lavazza Italian coffee drinks they have to offer.

Everything is made fresh at the location, including the pasta, ricotta cheese, breads, gelato, pastries and more.  While you will find your traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs, there are also many signature dishes that you will only find at Cibare.

Some Signature Pasta Dishes Highly Recommended, half orders are available but full order is great for sharing.





Some Desserts Highly Recommended

Torta Della Nonna


Here is a link to the full menu

Here are some picture from the Grand Opening


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BOOK REVIEW by John Tucci: “La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind” by Beppe Severgnini

La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind by Beppe Severgnini
BOOK REVIEW by John Tucci

“Being Italian is a full-time job. We never forget who we are, and we have fun confusing anyone who is looking on.” So, starts the book La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind by Beppe Severgnini.

Beppe Severgnini is one of Italy’s best-known journalists. Among his many assignments, he is a columnist for Italy’s leading newspaper Corriere della Sera and a contributor to Time magazine, The Financial Times, The Economist, and The New York Times.

The Italians Mr. Severgnini refer to in this book are not the Italians you find on The Hill, but the genuine domestic articles you find all over today’s Euro Italy. In the book, Mr. Severgnini expounds even further, “Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, lemon trees, white wine, and raven-haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It’s alluring, but complicated. In Italia, you can go round and round in circles for years.”

Accordingly, this book may a wonderful way to pass the time between the meals and the naps while you are on board the Alitalia jet traversing over the Atlantic Ocean on your way to Italy.

Mr. Severgnini hopes to deliver a tour of the modern Italy that takes the reader behind the seductive face Italians put on for visitors—la bella figura—and highlights its maddening, paradoxical true self beneath the surface of la bella figura.

Mr. Severgnini organizes this book as a kind of geographical “tour,” of thirty places in 10 days with chapters about observations set in different locales such as Naples or another on the Italian countryside in Tuscany. Mr. Severgnini’s places are rather high-concept observations of highways, restaurants, churches, the beach and television.

At the end of the day, you again wonder how did the same culture that created Michelangelo also create Silvio Berlusconi, but Mr. Severgnini maddeningly come no closer to the solution of this perennial riddle.

Yet, for those of us composed Italian in DNA and/or spirit, as Robert Browning ably noted, “Open my heart and/You will see/Graved inside of it, ‘Italy’”

As such, books about our cuginos in Italia can warm our heart.


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Chill on the Hill 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk

Chill on the Hill 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk will be held on Saturday, November 19th 2016.
The price for the event is $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the race. There will be over $1,500 in gift cards to Hill Restaurants given away.

The race will start at:
St. Ambrose Church 3130 Wilson Ave
St. Louis MO 63110

Registration and Check In begins 7:30 am and the 5k Run starts at 8:30 am with the walk following at 8:40 am.

You can pick-up packets in advance on November 18th, 2016 from Noon – 7 pm at
Chris Pancake & Dining
5980 Southwest Ave
St. Louis Mo 63110

Click Here To Register Online Now


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Mayor from Cinisi, Sicily Visits the U.S.

Attn: Italian Americans in St. Louis from Cinisi, Sicily. The mayor of Cinisi recently visited a few cities in the United States. During this tour he made a call to the President of Italian American Heritage Corporation and the Federation of Italian American Organizations in St. Louis, Jay DiMaggio, whose family comes from Cinisi. During the conversation the mayor told him that during the trip he had discovered there was also a large population in St. Louis MO. He apologized for not knowing this before the trip, but wanted to acknowledge that he had heard of the good works of the people from Cinisi living in St. Louis.

For the full story on they mayor’s visit see:

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Celebrate Italian Mass at St. Ambrose, November 6th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Italian Mass is celebrated on the first Sunday of the month at 11am

As the pastor of St. Ambrose Church, I would like to welcome you to our parish church, school and community.  Founded over one hundred years ago, our Italian immigrant church is located in the city of St. Louis, Mo.  St. Ambrose Church is a vibrant faith community that includes a variety of ministries and social groups.  There is something here for everyone!   We are blessed to be located in the heart of the Italian “Hill” neighborhood.

Yours in Christ, Msgr. Vince Bommarito


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St. Ambrose Chess Team – Submitted by John Tucci

After a very successful Chess Season last year, where the then 5th and 6th grade members of the St. Ambrose Chess Team were grade division champions in the CYC Chess Championship Tournament, the Chess Team is now its third year at St. Ambrose.  This year’s team consists of approximately 15 players from grades 3 through 8, and is again coached and captained by John Tucci and his son, Vincent Tucci.  The CYC Chess Season consists of three qualifying meets and the Final Championship Tournament. Last year’s chess awards, plaques and the Championship Trophy, are on display in the office at St. Ambrose School.  A banner recognizing the 2016 Championship Team will soon hang in the gym at St. Ambrose School. The St. Ambrose Chess Team strives to demonstrate the academic prowess and healthy, fair play competitive spirit of St. Ambrose on the Hill Catholic School.


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Italian Food & Folklore

An Interview With Lisa Voegel: Author of Food & Folkore
By: Angelina DiMaggio


Lisa Voegel’s DNA is only 4% Italian, but it’s a strong 4%. She grew up in an Italian American neighborhood in Connecticut, went to a catholic school, and had Italian American friends. She grew up loving Italy, and tries to travel there once a year. She says,  “Every time I go anywhere other than Italy for vacation, that’s a mistake.”

So, when the recession hit, and she found herself laid off with some extra time on her hands, she took advantage of her new found freedom and planned the trip of a lifetime! She studied Italian for a month, packed her bags and set off for Florence, Italy.

On day two of her trip, she and a group of friends decided to take a road trip to Montepulciano. It was there she happened upon her first festival, Il Bravìo delle Botti, a celebration before the harvest in which athletes from 8 districts gather in a competition of wine barrel rolling.

Voegel was in the back alley of a neighborhood when she heard the festival drums. Everyone came outside! Italian grandmothers hurried around excitedly cooking and preparing food. Then, the strenuous uphill race began. It was unlike anything she’d ever seen. The celebration that followed brought tears to her eyes, and with that she was hooked! 

Lisa says there are 3 corner stones to Italian festivals: “Good food, dedicated families, and great entertainment, that’s everything!” Traveling to Italian festivals can bring you deeper; make you feel like a part of the community, the neighborhood. They’re a great way to get a sense of the culture, and the town.

She began to plan more festival trips and then decided to start a blog ( In 2012 Voegel had the idea to write a reference book. It took a year of research, but soon Food and Folklore: A Year of Italian Festivals was born. It is a current guide of over 450 festivals focusing on traditional food and folklore, and organized by month. The book even has an index for food-specific festivals, making it easy for any traveler to find an experience an authentic Italian celebration, just like Lisa!

Lisa will be doing an online book signing. If you are interested in buying a signed copy e-mail your information to Signed books are 1 for $11 or 3 for $22 and include tax and shipping.

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Move pick Free for Amazon Prime Customers: A Holy Venetian Family

Welcome to Veneto to discover that Italian comedy is still very much alive and flourishing! Gualtiero Cecchin (Neri Marcorè), the son of an entrepreneur, must find a new way to make money after squandering his huge family fortune. With an idea and a good dose of recklessness, Gualtiero must find a way to fund his new business while navigating the shady world of the Neapolitan mob.


A Holy Venetian Family
Neri Marcorè, Vittorio Boscolo, Anna Dalton
1 hour, 21 minutes

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$20,000.00 Awarded to Visual Artists:

Three artists will be selected

The Santo Foundation is pleased to announce Lisa Melandri as Distinguished Juror for the 2016 Individual Artist Awards. Lisa Melandri is Executive Director of The Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis. Three artists will be selected to each receive $5000.00. Five additional awards of $1000.00 each will also be awarded.
Funds are to be used at the artist’s discretion with no follow up material required. Graduate School candidates are eligible as well as emerging, mid-career and mature artists. All mediums are welcome. This is an International call and all artists are welcome to apply regardless of country, state or residency status. Artists may submit online only through Call for (CaFÉ). Please submit (minimum and maximum) 6 jpegs of original work and a current resume. No artist statements. All mediums of visual art are eligible including audio, video and performance. Limit video segments to 3 minutes. Please do not submit other materials. There is a nominal application fee of $40.00 US. Call for Entry dates: August 25, 2016 through October 31st 2016.

Selected Artists will be announced in December 2016. Please note if you have questions regarding technical aspects of please contact their help desk. Please do not contact the juror. If you have questions that do not involve call-for-entry technical issues contact information can be found on the Santo Foundation website.
Lisa Melandri is the Executive Director of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. At CAM, Melandri is charged with the leadership, administration, and management of the region’s premier contemporary, non-collecting institution. Since Joining CAM in 2012, Melandri has reshaped the exhibition program and launched such initiatives as: Street Views, a monumental exterior façade exhibition series; Audible Interruptions, a guest-curated sound art series which activates the interstitial spaces of the Museum; and a landscape design project for CAM’s internal courtyard, on view in the summer months. Melandri’s curatorial projects at CAM include Ron Gorchov: Serapis, Brenna Youngblood: Loss Prevention, Toyin Odutola: Untold Stories, and two Street Views projections: Jennifer Steinkamp: Orbit and Marco Brambilla: Materialization/De-Materialization.
Prior to joining CAM, Melandri served as the Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, where, during her eleven-year tenure, the museum grew significantly in scope and size. While at SMMoA, she curated a number of notable exhibitions, featuring such artists as Mickalene Thomas, Marco Brambilla, Alberto Burri, William Pope.L, Philip Guston, Al Taylor, and Beatrice Wood. Melandri received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in Art History from the Williams College Graduate Program.

Gary Passanise
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Reflections – By: Michael J. Cross

As I wander through the Saint Louis enclave known as The Italian Hill, I think about the numerous generations of Italian immigrants who have walked these streets before me. I think about those who first came to Saint Louis more than a century ago—those who settled north of downtown near Saint Joseph Shrine on Biddle Street. I recall my mother who came over with her family and settled in a tiny one room home on Marconi. She didn’t make the journey by boat like so many others from previous generations. Rather, she and her family came by plane for they were part of the last wave of Italian immigrants.

I’m strolling along Marconi Street in a pensive mood today. The façade of Saint Ambrose Church is directly in view. I haven’t been inside in years. Why not take a peak in. As I enter, I see Msgr. Bommarito arranging the altar for a wedding. It’s Saturday. The smell of incense and candles fill the sanctuary. I light a candle in memory of my nonno and nonna. As I step outside, my senses are bombarded with the smell of salami coming from Amighetti’s. My friend Giuseppe works there so I stop inside. Giuseppe’s parents were born in Sicily. My mom was born in Venezia Giulia. We come from cultures worlds apart in Italy, but in St. Louis we are best friends or amici di cuore as we say in Italian. He can speak Sicilian. I can speak Triestine. I catch him on his lunch break and we talk for about a half hour. He tells me he’s going to make pizza for his girlfriend tonight. That reminds me, I need to prepare something for this evening. I head down to DiGregorio’s Market, the primary reason I came to The Hill in the first place. There’s a sweet elderly lady at the cash register. I greet her in Italian, “Buongiorno Signoria, come stai?” Her face lights up. She’s been here ever since I can remember. I can’t imagine the market without her. I buy some fresh mozzarella cheese for an insalata caprese that I’ve decided to make for some friends tonight. I need something light and simple. It’s a humid day. Polenta is definitely not an option. On my way out, I pick up a free copy of Il Pensiero, St. Louis’ only Italian-American newspaper. Heading back to my car, I realize I that parked right next to Gelato di Riso. I try and resist the urge but I just have to try one scoop of their stracciatella. It’s delicious.

This is The Italian Hill. My Italian Hill. Our Italian Hill. Each of us has our own experiences of this quaint and cozy neighborhood. Some of us grew up here. Some of us immigrated here. Many of us come here regularly to shop, to eat, and to meet friends and relatives. I hope that through Saint Louis’ new Italian-American magazine Ciao St. Louis we can make The Hill a more inclusive community for all Italians and Italian-Americans, young and old, immigrants of yesteryear as well as recent arrivals.

chruch-book statue


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