The Mediterranean Casa Don Alfonso in the Ritz-Carlton will open in March
The eagerly awaited opening of the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Don Alfonso’s houseis now one step closer with the publication of menu items and highlights. The new concept by Italian restaurateur Mario Iaccarino is located in the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton at 100 Carondelet Plaza and is due to open next month.
Casa Don Alfonso is Mario Iaccarino’s first company in the USA, as his two Michelin-starred Don Alfonso live on the Sorrentine Peninsula of southern Italy in 1890. Many of the menu items as well as the ambience aim to offer customers a similar experience as at Iaccarino’s at home and in childhood.
“We really took the time to select certain high-quality ingredients,” said Alen Tanovic, General Manager of Casa Don Alfonso. “What I mean by that is the contact with the old, traditional, authentic Mediterranean. This Napolitana style experience in Sorrento with a touch of modernity. ”
The chef of Casa Don Alfonso, Sergio Chierego, will put together the authentic menu for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner and offer desserts, cocktails and an espresso bar.
The lunch and dinner menu is largely based on traditional Mediterranean dishes, each telling a story of the Iaccarino family and Italian heritage. “The entire philosophy brought to us by the Iaccarino family is based on the Mediterranean diet,” said Tanovic.
Highlights include a tuna tartare with a rich and wild-caught yellowtail tuna, lasagna napolitana that takes 48 hours to make and uses traditional green peas, a rack of lamb with lambchops from Colorado, and The Rediscovery of the Chicken Cacciatora recipe by Marios Grandfather whose recipe was accidentally discovered in an old armoir.
“We really took our time at Casa Don Alfonso to compare the right regions with the best ingredients,” said Tanovic.
Handmade pasta also evokes the Iaccarino family history, such as fresh tagliatelle and ziti. There is also a choice of eight different Neapolitan pizzas, including cherry tomatoes and burrata or a Calabrian nduja.
In addition to lunch and dinner, the breakfast and brunch offer many traditional dishes like tramezzino (Italian tea sandwiches) and classics like brioche french toast.
The cocktail menu and the espresso café are also handmade and tailored to Italy. The 163 is a cocktail made from prosecco, limoncello and homemade rosemary syrup. It is named after the famous route in southern Italy that stretches from Naples to Sorrento.
“It’s really a project where nothing has been rushed,” said Tanovic. “The best ingredients, organic and simple, with authentic Mediterranean cuisine.”
Although Casa Don Alfonso does not have an exact opening date, it is slated to open in the spring, with security being the top priority. “We are excited to open our doors to our neighbors in Clayton and St. Louis and to reassure them that things will get better,” said Tanovic. “[We hope to] Give the St. Louis region another dimension of Italian and Mediterranean offerings. “