Time was when it was Italian or nothing on the Hill when the hungries hit, but times change, and the cuisine of other nations that border on the Mediterranean Sea now are moving into the neighborhood and finding a fertile ground.
Modesto was first, looking westward over what the Romans called the Mare Nostrum and bringing Spanish tapas and entertainment to the area, and Guido’s offers some of the same.
But Anthonino’s, at 2225 Macklind Ave. (314-773-4455), looks the other way, blending Italian fare with that from Greece and combining cultures by offering such international choices as a pizza topped with gyro meat or sardines, or the Greek pizza, loaded with feta cheese, spinach and calamata olives. There are other pizza combinations, both Italian and Greek. The base is satisfactory. And to wander farther afield, there are such Middle Eastern items as hummus and falafel.
We’ve sampled several different items at Anthonino’s, a bright, sunny spot for lunches where service is good and a friendly proprietor checks carefully to make sure everything is proper.
Caponata, the chilled Sicilian appetizer of olives and eggplant, pepped up with pinon nuts and sometimes bolstered by tomatoes and zucchini, is prepared throughout the world in as many styles as turkey dressing. It all depends on how Mom made it. Anthonino’s uses fairly large chunks and excellent olive oil for the dressing, then serves it with Italian bread. Delicious, though the bread could be crustier. Hummus, though neither Italian nor Greek, also is first rate.
As noted, the gyro was excellent, and a big surprise was the meat ball sandwich, huge and tasty. Meat balls seem to be making a comeback across the country, as can be noted in several other entries on this site. The Anthonino’s variety is almost the size of a softball, nicely spiced, rather soft and certainly tender, served with an excellent tomato sauce. The meatballs were as good as any we’ve found.
2225 Macklind Ave.
Lunch & Dinner, Mon.-Sat.
Credit cards: All major
Wheelchair access: Difficult (high step at entrance)