Buzzetta’s Italian Cafe will open in Chesterfield in June

Mother-and-son duo Lia and Tony Buzzetta will open Buzzetta’s Italian Cafe at 120 Chesterfield Valley Drive in Chesterfield in June. The restaurant will serve a dinner-only menu inspired by the fresh ingredients and traditional cuisine of southern Italy.

Buzzetta’s will open in the building that previously housed Filippo’s Italian Kitchen & Bar, which closed in 2021. Both restaurants are part of the broader Manno family of restaurants, which also includes Paul Manno’s RestaurantJohn Mineo’s Italian RestaurantIl Bel Lago and Sapore Italian Cafe. The latter is also operated by other members of the Buzzetta family. 

Sicilian-born Lia will be the executive chef at Buzzetta’s Italian Cafe, while Tony will oversee restaurant operations. The Buzzetta family’s long history in the St. Louis restaurant industry stretches back to 1974, when Benedetto’s (named after Lia’s husband and Tony’s father) opened in Des Peres’ Colonnade Center. The family later relocated Benedetto’s to Frontenac and also operated Limoncello Italian Cafe in Clayton. More recently, the Buzzettas were affiliated with Benedetto’s on Main in Wildwood, where Tony was manager and Lia was executive chef, but they are no longer associated with the restaurant. 

Since taking over the former Filippo’s space, the Buzzettas have embarked on an expansion that will give their new restaurant the capacity to seat around 140 to 150 diners in total. That will include a private dining room for up to 30 guests, in addition to a large main dining room. 

Buzzetta’s Italian Cafe will be open for dinner service from Tuesday to Saturday, with a menu featuring both traditional and modern takes on pasta, chicken and veal, as well as a selection of seafood dishes. “We are excited about cooking our favorite pasta and cooking our favorite veal dishes, and we’re going to have specials like swordfish, salmon and sea bass,” said Tony Buzzetta. A bar will offer cocktails, beer and wine, though details still need to be fleshed out. 

Lia Buzzetta said she is looking forward to a new adventure after 50 years in the kitchen, but her devotion to the practices that underpin southern Italian cooking will remain constant. “We cook everything fresh, with fresh herbs, olive oils and vegetables,” she said. “People over there go shopping for groceries every day; they cook their own meals every day … That’s the way we are brought up.”

Buzzetta’s Italian Cafe is targeted for a launch date in early June. Tony said he hopes guests will “enjoy the food, enjoy the atmosphere and service and enjoy everything that we will give” at the new restaurant.