a selection of dishes and drinks from napoli bros. pizza and pasta photo by lauren healey

First Look: Napoli Bros. Pizza and Pasta at The District in Chesterfield

Rapidly growing entertainment complex The District in Chesterfield has a new spot to grab a bite. Napoli Bros. Pizza and Pasta opened in early June at 17081 N. Outer 40 Road, Suite 205, next door to 4 Hands at The District and the forthcoming location of Narwhal’s Crafted.

This is the fifth restaurant from the Napoli Group, owned by the Pietoso family, which also has restaurants in Clayton, Town & Country and two in St. Charles. A sixth spot is slated to open in Kirkwood later this year.

About half of the menu features Italian classics that can be found at the other Napoli restaurants, including the tagliatelli Bolognese, Napoli house salad, meatballs and calamari fritti, along with the bread pudding and tiramisu. The rest of the menu was conceptualized by executive chef and general manager Anthony Gitto, who spent his formative years working various jobs in his family’s restaurants. “I grew up in the family restaurant business; it’s what I know and love and am passionate about,” he said.

Gitto’s influence on the menu can be found in the New Haven-style pizzas – baked in a coal-fired 600-degree oven for a lovely charred crust – the arugula salad, and the grilled Caesar salad, as well as the shrimp appetizer, spaghetti pomodoro, Rosso shrimp pasta, the lasagna and the vodka al Forno.

Bar manager Izzy Kitterman spearheads the beverage program, which features a robust selection of nearly 50 wines, many of which are Italian varietals, that Gitto had a heavy hand in curating. If beer is more your thing, they’ve got plenty of that too and from local makers, including a 4 Hands beer made just for them called the Pitiful Pilsner (Pietoso means “pitiful” in Italian), plus Civil Life Brewing Co.’s Brown Ale, Rockwell Beer Co.’s Now Streaming, Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.’s Schnickelfritz, and Brick River Cider Co.’s Homestead Peach. There are about half a dozen specialty cocktails with offerings such as the Bro Code, a smoky riff on an Old-Fashioned, and the mildly spicy Mamma Mia, which features Una Vida Blanco tequila, Cointreau, peach and lime juices, along with hot honey. Plus, there’s always something new to try thanks to the ever-changing spritz of the month.

Finishing touches are yet to come on the 4,600-square-foot space with seating for roughly 116 guests inside. The wall with the neon “Napoli Bros.” sign will likely be covered in lush greenery, while the big blank wall opposite the sign will be hand-painted with a mural akin to the murals at Napoli III and Napoli Sea. The patio, which has about 60 seats, will soon feel even more welcoming once plants are situated around its 1,400 square feet.

If the Napoli Group of restaurants has taught us anything in the past four decades, it’s that they’re here to stay. “The Pietoso family is very hands-on, and I appreciate that,” Gitto said. “They work just as hard as the employees and are very passionate about what they do. They clearly know what they’re doing.”

Napoli Bros. Pizza and Pasta is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.