Bart and Roseanne Saracino along with Rose LaFata, Roseanne’s mother opened Bartolino’s Restaurant in 1969. Bart is from San Martino, Compo Bosso in Pensilis, a small farming town Southeast of Rome. Roseanne’s family is from Palermo. Bart Sr. came to America in 1954. He started out as a busboy at Parente’s Italian Village Restaurant where he gradually learned the language. Originally, he opened LaCino’s Restaurant with his father-in-law, Nick LaFata in 1961. Bart worked closely with his in-laws while Roseanne was at home raising their four sons – John, Bart, Mike and Chris. Nick became ill and passed away in 1969 and his wife Rose could no longer work at Lacino’s because of the painful memories. Bart Sr. looked for another location for a restaurant and he found that 2524 Hampton was available. He began Bartolino’s with Rose and Roseanne, soon to be followed by his sons. Today with two Bartolino’s locations and Chris’ Pancake and Dining, the family members still work together to promote their family traditions which are important to them.
Bartolino’s Osteria is located in the new Drury Inn and Suites at Forest Park, just two blocks north from the original Bartolino’s location on Hampton Avenue. Bartolino’s South opened in 1982 in South County at 5914 South Lindbergh. Chris’ Pancake and Dining opened in 1987 and is located at 5980 Southwest Avenue on the Hill. The founding chef was Rose LaFata. The latest addition was in 2016 when Chris’ Pancake opened Chris’ @ the Docket, a second location downtown in the St. Louis University Law School at 100 N Tucker Blvd.
The four restaurants have received recognition over the years from many charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Saint Louis Zoo, The St. Louis Effort for Aids and the Kiwanis Club. The Saracino family has participated in events such as A Taste of Italy, Zoofari and Dining Out For Life. They also hold an annual ravioli dinner and a golf tournament to benefit The Hampton-Midtown Kiwanis Club, which Bart Sr. has been a member of for 30 years.
The philosophy of Bartolino’s is customer satisfaction and enjoyment. Our chef’s motto is: Cook good food and give plenty. Basta! (Enough said). A guest can expect a warm and comfortable atmosphere, formal or casual, celebrating a special occasion or after a sporting event or theatre. Bartolino’s serves a variety of dishes from the traditional Veal Parmigiano and Lasagna to Crab Stuffed Tenderloin or Linguine with bountiful seafood. Our marinara sauce is a delightful combination of the freshest ingredients, firm tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil, with a touch of sweetness. It is a hearty sauce complimenting everything from our famous Toasted Ravioli to our special Veal Christopher served with eggplant. Our original recipe tomato sauce is outstanding served over pasta with meatballs or in the famous 3-way special, baked spaghetti, mostaccioli and ravioli. It is a very smooth sauce with a hint of spice and sweet. Both sauces and our salad dressing are available for purchase in local grocery stores, Italian specialty shops, in our restaurants and online.