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Exploring ‘Iconic Restaurants Of St. Louis’ With Ann Lemons Pollack

Flickr / Paul Sableman
Charlie Gitto's is among the iconic restaurants profiled by Ann Lemons Pollack in her new book.

St. Louis has a fondness for the tried and true. Never mind the buzzy new gelato shop, we won’t give up our Ted Drewes. And why go anywhere else for your Italian than the spot that Joe DiMaggio gave his seal of approval, Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill?

Ann Lemons Pollack's new book "Lost Restaurants of St. Louis" takes local readers on a nostalgic trip down culinary lane.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio
Ann Lemons Pollack has written about St. Louis eateries for more than three decades.

Writer Ann Lemons Pollack has these St. Louis restaurants covered — and many more. Her new book, “Iconic Restaurants of St. Louis,” tells the story of 41 places that stood the test of time.

From long-shuttered standbys like Delmonico Diner and Rizzo’s Top of the Tower to more recent closures (Schneithorst’s, Goody Goody Diner) and places still going strong after more than a century (the Piccadilly at Manhattan), it offers a sense of what made each restaurant a destination and brings to life the people behind it.

“There’s a line that I use sometimes: ‘If kitchens are the heart of a home, restaurants are the heart of a city,’” she said Monday on St. Louis on the Air.

Previously a registered nurse, Pollack is the widow of longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch restaurant critic Joe Pollack (who also reviewed restaurants for St. Louis Public Radio). They co-wrote three guidebooks to St. Louis food. On her own, Pollack also authored a previous book, “Lost Restaurants of St. Louis,” and she writes a monthly column for St. Louis Magazine.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Sarah Fenske served as host of St. Louis on the Air from July 2019 until June 2022. Before that, she spent twenty years in newspapers, working as a reporter, columnist and editor in Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles and St. Louis.

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