Looking to do some shopping for gourmet goodies in St. Louis? The largest cutlery company in the city, Bertarelli Cutlery, Inc. (1927 Marconi Ave., 314/664-4005, Mon.-Fri. 7:30am-4:30pm, Sat. 8am-4pm) provides dozens of area restaurants with expertly sharpened knives. Many at-home cooks love Bertarelli for the inexpensive, high-quality sharpening services available in its quaint store on the Hill. Here, you’ll also find an excellent selection of commercial-grade kitchen accessories: Stockpots, aluminum sauté pans, shatter-resistant ceramic serving bowls and antibacterial cutting boards make this friendly place a great stop for the hobbyist chef. Bertarelli is also an authorized dealer of Wüsthof knives and carries a multitude of blade sizes at some of the lowest prices in the city.
Visitors to the Hill will find a number of old-world Italian grocers, all within a four-block radius of this historic Italian neighborhood’s nucleus at Shaw and Marconi.At Extra Virgin, an Olive Ovation (8829 Ladue Rd., Ladue, 636/727-6464, Mon.-Sat. 10am-6pm), the olive reigns supreme. Visitors can sample from the shop’s international selection of more than 40 olive oils at a special tasting bar, and the shelves are brimming with jars of cured olives, tapenades, olive-oil-themed cookbooks—basically, if you’re looking for anything olive-related, you’re likely to find it here. Olive Ovation is the pet project of a retired clinical pathologist, who is well aware of the humble fruit’s outstanding health benefits. She also brings the dedicated precision of lab work to her newfound passion—meaning that, in addition to a host of great gourmet products, Olive Ovation offers a wealth of knowledge.
Visitors to the Hill will find a number of old-world Italian grocers, all within a four-block radius of this historic Italian neighborhood’s nucleus at Shaw and Marconi. If you only have time to visit one, make sure it’s John Viviano & Sons Grocer (5139 Shaw Ave., 314/771-4645, Mon.-Sat. 8am-5pm). Established in 1949, this beloved neighborhood shop offers imported cheeses and spices alongside terrific homemade sauces, pastas, and olive salads. Nostalgic locals associate Viviano’s with the earthy-sweet smell of bulk spices filling the air. Just look for a green awning and follow your nose.
Where can you find a gnocchi board, a spaetzle maker, a tart tamper, a left-handed chef’s knife? Where can you find a tagine, a chinois, and the spices to use with them? Where can you find the cookbooks to inspire your gourmet urges? And where, oh where, can you find a “Knork”—that’s right, the spork’s cousin, the knife-fork hybrid—where, that is, but Kitchen Conservatory (8021 Clayton Rd., Clayton, 314/862-2665, Mon.-Sat. 9:30am-5:30pm, Sun. noon-5pm)? Beloved for its daily cooking classes and culinary expertise, this wonderful shop is the sort of place dreamy gourmands should enter at their own risk (lest they leave a few hundred dollars lighter). From old-school canning supplies to Le Creuset cookware, not only do the folks at Kitchen Conservatory carry it, but they can teach you how to use it.
From a splurge-worthy bottle perfect for gracious hosts to an affordable, easy-drinking varietal just right for a picnic, The Wine & Cheese Place (7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314/727-8788, Mon.-Sat. 9am-7pm) has exactly what you seek. Rows and rows of bottles from around the world fill this wine shop, and it all might be too overwhelming to navigate if the staff members weren’t so friendly and knowledgeable. And as the store’s name indicates, the wine is just the half of it! With cheeses ranging from the familiar to the peculiar, you’ll be sure to purchase one that suits your palate and your wine selection—especially since sampling is encouraged here. Plus, the shop offers other snacks and beer as well, making it a most delicious one-stop shop. There are three other locations.
Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon St. Louis.