pastaria deli & wine photo by adam rothbarth

First Look: Pastaria Deli & Wine in Clayton

One of the biggest early surprises the pandemic brought was the closure of Sardella, the Clayton Italian eatery we declared the Best New Restaurant of 2016. Co-owner Gerard Craft and company found that with restricted indoor dining, there was no way to keep the restaurant running the way they wanted to, so they looked for new options for the space. Craft had long dreamed of doing a sandwich concept, and this felt like the moment for it, so he assembled a team and made some moves.  

Starting over the summer as a small carryout extension of neighbor Pastaria, Pastaria Deli & Wine has blossomed into a full-blown restaurant and market, complete with a rotating menu of about eight sandwiches, fresh sides and salads, baked goods and a list of over 100 wines. But it doesn’t stop there - Pastaria Deli & Wine offers all kinds of goods, from dried pasta and canned pasta sauce to imported chocolates, oils and sodas. Customers can buy fresh bread from Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery, juice from Beets & Bones, tea from Big Heart Tea, salume from Salume Beddu and numerous other locally produced products. “This is a one-stop shop where you can get food for the week, wine, provisions and more,” said general manager Lauren DuBro.  

Wines, which range from Italian and French classics to cool California naturals, are purposefully chosen by beverage director Matt Bone. In all, the restaurant aims to keep around 125. “We wanted a place where every wine had a story to it,” Craft said. Customers can try their luck choosing something from the shelf or enjoy a curated pack, like the “Pizza Party Pack,” which contains two red wines, or the “Wine We Love Right Now,” which currently has a white, a red and an orange.  

The sandwich program takes its cues from the small sandwich shops of Rome and Florence, Craft explained, which focus on simple sandwiches with high-quality ingredients. The salami sandwich features Salume Beddu soppressata and capocollo, while the roasted turkey features Double Star Farms turkey breast with Calabrian chile mayo. The Volpi heritage prosciutto comes with cultured butter, lemon agrumato and house-made giardiniera. The Kris’s chicken salad, named for sous chef and verified sandwich king Kris Smith, sees roasted chicken dressed with aioli, pepperoncini, celery, chives, oregano and olives. The Moxey’s meatball sub, named after executive chef Brian Moxey, is a frequent guest on the list of weekly specials.

Though the restaurant recently opened for dine-in, it will scale back service to carryout only beginning Tuesday, Nov. 17, as per the St. Louis County guidelines announced this morning; the market will remain open for business, according to DuBro. Customers can order sandwiches, wines, provisions and more for carryout both at the counter and online

Check out the slideshow below for information about hours, food, wine and more.