First Look: STL Toasted at City Foundry in St. Louis
With its diverse roster of restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, City Foundry STL (3730 Foundry Way) is fast becoming one of St. Louis’ hottest dining destinations. Now STL Toasted, which opened on June 1, is serving up a St. Louis staple – with a twist – at the food hall.
After building up to its launch with a series of pop-ups, STL Toasted is now installed at City Foundry and serving up a variety of savory, sweet and sometimes surprising takes on the toasted ravioli. The most traditional is the Italian beef – a classic toasted ravioli with ground beef, onion, herbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Next up is the three-cheese T-rav, a ricotta, mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano affair that makes for a natural partner to the classic beef and marinara pairing.
From there, the menu delves into less familiar T-rav territory with a trio of flavors that seem to draw inspiration from classic sports bar appetizers. Co-owner Matthew Fuller said that was part of the intent. “I didn't want to go too far out of what St. Louis knows,” he said. “I was thinking, what are people eating? Here [in St. Louis] we have a bunch of tailgating and parties, you have people over and barbecue. There's a lot of buffalo chicken dip. I wanted to stay true to that. I wanted people to know what they're eating and think, 'I want that inside of a ravioli.'”
The Buffalo chicken ravioli packs shredded chicken breast, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, mozzarella, cheddar and green onions into a flavorsome parcel, with a Buffalo blue cheese sauce for dipping. The spinach-artichoke is exactly as it sounds, with mozzarella and cream cheese for good measure, while the loaded potato T-rav is filled with bacon, cheddar, sour cream, chives and mashed potatoes. Each savory order comes with four ravioli. You can choose two flavors or have four of the same kind, and your order will be served with the sauces recommended for each flavor (e.g. marinara for the original beef, blue cheese for the Buffalo chicken).
You can also stop by STL Toasted simply to grab a quick dessert, and you’ll find a choice of two sweet ravioli in wait. The lemon-blackberry gooey butter cake ravioli combines two St. Louis standards to good effect, with the lemon worked into the dough and a blackberry sauce drizzled on top. The apple pie ravioli is apple pie like your mom almost certainly didn’t make, but it works. The dessert ravioli are larger in size and each order includes one ravioli.
Fuller said he’s been bowled over by STL Toasted’s first two weeks in business. “It's been crazy,” he said. “St. Louis has shown us a lot of support, and we couldn't be more grateful for it. It's been an amazing community of people showing up and people coming back, which is cool. We had people already coming back and bringing friends and telling people about it. It's just been really humbling.”
For both Fuller and co-owner Brittany Abernathy, this is their first venture into the restaurant business, but launching a restaurant devoted to the toasted ravioli is an idea Fuller says has been percolating since 2014. A car accident a little over two years ago, along with the pandemic shutdown, was the catalyst for him to turn his toasted ravioli dream into reality. “I was a musician at the time, so all my music gigs went away,” Fuller said. “I couldn't drive, I was in real estate and couldn't do that. I had to figure out something to do and food was something that was really therapeutic to me.”
A series of pop-ups followed, but by that time Fuller and Abernathy were already on the radar of City Foundry. “It just all skyrocketed really quick,” Fuller said. The menu and recipes came together with minimal friction. “We had to move so fast that there really wasn't time for trial and error. I don't know how we did it, but we executed it right away.”
Fuller said that to his surprise, the original beef-and-marinara ravioli has been the best seller in STL Toasted’s early days. “I thought people would want more of the other flavors, but it seems to be that people still love the classic,” he said.
Abernathy estimated that since opening, STL Toasted has been dishing up around 6,000 ravioli per week. Fuller and Abernathy prepare the dough, then fill and seal the ravioli from scratch every day. The dough is made with using Antimo Caputo Double Zero flour, imported from Italy and purchased from DiGregorio’s Market on the Hill. Fillings are usually prepared and refrigerated the night before, while the marinara sauce simmers for up to 12 hours. “The marinara is nice and thick,” Fuller said. “There are a lot of people come up and say ‘I could drink this.’”
Fuller said one of his goals was to make sure the ravioli are as full as possible, that there’s no skimping on fillings. “We really do try to make sure there’s not an air pocket, that they’re stuffed,” Fuller said. That said, Abernathy said the best way to enjoy STL Toasted’s ravioli is as a snack or even alongside an order from one of City Foundry’s other food spots. “A lot of people come here thinking that it's going to be a full meal, and it's not,” Abernathy said. “We wanted to be in this kind of space so that people could try more than one thing – they could come here, sample some ravioli, go and get a meal somewhere else or share.”
The potential for sharing and collaboration with other restaurants at City Foundry is something that clearly energizes Fuller and Abernathy, and they say they’re already looking at partnering with chef Alex Henry’s Sureste. “He’s got amazing pulled pork, we’d love to do some of that in a rav,” Abernathy said. “And then we’ve also talked about maybe doing a Mexican dessert rav.”
STL Toasted is open Tuesday through Sunday and currently operating on temporary hours until they’re able to hire additional staff. They’re currently open from noon until the food hall at City Foundry closes (7 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Follow STL Toasted on Instagram for updates.
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