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Old 10-31-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Well, after they (mob) bombed all the places in the old river key, I guess KC never really recovered haha.

Good 3 minute video on what happened in/to the River Quay


"Organized Crime on the River Quay" - Sneak Preview - YouTube
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
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There's a real dearth of good Italian in Kansas City, and for the life of me I'm not sure why.

I've been wanting/planning on going to Lidia's since we moved here because I love her but I'm always surprised at how middling the Yelp reviews are ...
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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Because KC is more Irish/German and Mexican influenced. Is there any reason it should be mostly Italian? But it is interesting there are far more Asian restaurants in KC than Italian. There's actually more Mexican and Asian restaurants in KC than BBQ.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
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KC doesnt really have a Little Italy. We have a lot of good Italian restaurants but calling that area Little Italy is probably giving it too much credit.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:06 PM
 
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Just to double down and maybe provide a little context, everybody here is more or less steering you straight.

There is no Little Italy in KC. There were never a lot of Italians here, though there was and to a lesser degreee now is a pretty tight knit Sicilian community. The North End, now called Columbus Park, was once quite a bit like the Hill in St Louis, with the exception of the fact that most of StL Italian community was Milanese or Lombardian. KC was significantly more mobbed up, in part because it was basically the Las Vegas of the pre-war era, then was the outpost for Las Vegas control throughout the 70s.

Most of the Italian families in KC now live North of the River, in the suburbs and exurbs.

The Garozzos are actually from St Louis, the Hill, in fact. The restaurant is good and fun, but not great. It is every bit equal to the best food you'd get on the Hill though, which is pretty unexciting.

The best upscale Italian food in KC is probably Jasper's at 103rd and State Line, which has great atmosphere, but is in a totally bland part of town. The best downscale Italian is probably Cupini's, though I don't know if they do dinner. I'm pretty sure Pandolfi's does dinners now, and if their lunch sandwiches are any indication, I'd bet it's good. The other option is The Boot in Westport, which has a great atmosphere in a very fun neighborhood to walk around and get a cocktail in after dark.

For Little Italy neighborhoods, the Hill is unmatched in KC. It's like if someone asked me where's the coolest Mexican neighborhood in StL with the best authentic Mexican food, I'd probably say Kansas City.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:54 PM
 
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KC has more representation of every region of Mexico than STL does of Italy. STL eats are mostly Americanized with their own little cool twist, where as KC Mexican has its own KC cheese Mex as well as every region of Mexico, SW/TexMex, CaliMex and KCK reps Guatemala well too.

KC doesn't have as much real Italian as E Coast but there are a few counter places like Corollos in City market and Bella Napoli in Bside that use imported cold cuts - capicolo, prosciutto, mortadella etc. That's getting harder to find in any city. Pizza Bella in Xroads is actually certified by some Naples organization.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:22 PM
 
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Is Roma Bakery still around (classic bread loaves), Gaetano's (I used to get ballplayers' autographs from there), and Vitale's (sp) which I think was by the old Sears building Truman Rd & Cleveland?

I had lots of Italian kids who played little league baseball with me at the NE Athletic Fields and Blue Valley Park. Many of them lived in the NE neighborhood of KC
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:41 AM
 
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KC has (still) a huge mafia influence and 50 years ago there were areas you could consider "Little Italy". Simply not the case these days, as mentioned, everything has been heavily diversified.

The Hill in STL on the other hand, can't even compare it to anything in Kansas City. Yogi Berra and Joe Gargiola grew up there and it still has heavy Sicilian influences, you'll find a lot of history when visiting the area and they still run with the Italian theme in the local neighborhood shops.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc chris View Post

The Hill in STL on the other hand, can't even compare it to anything in Kansas City. Yogi Berra and Joe Gargiola grew up there and it still has heavy Sicilian influences,

It was always my understaning that The Hill was never a heavily Sicilian neighborhood. Most of St Louis' historic Italian population is northern Italian, Milan and Lombady, specifically.

KC Italians are almost exclusively Sicilian.

And I always forget about Bella Napoli/Cucina di Mamma in Brookside, which is one of the few places in either city where you might actually here Italian (not just recycled "fauxpranos" catchphrases) being spoken.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,204,220 times
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^I was curious so I looked into this a bit, and while you're right that it was never a predominantly Sicilian enclave, there were certainly a large enough number to garner a place in the history of the neighborhood:

Quote:
During the 1890's, Lombards (Northern Italians) arrived in a constant stream. Many worked in the clay products plants and, because they had to live close to their work, the Fairmont section built up rapidly. By 1900, Sicilians discovered The Hill. Although the Lombards outnumbered Sicilians three to one, two languages were in the mines and factories. This inaugurated a generation of bitter ethnic quarreling.
THEHILLSTL.COM - History
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