Tony’s restaurant scheduled to open for dinner in Clayton on March 24

For decades, local diners have described Tony’s in superlative terms: the best restaurant in town, the top service, the most delicious food, always consistent, never disappoints

Alas, the acclaimed restaurant has been off the grid for almost an entire year, forced into exile by the pandemic and then remaining closed, one of few restaurants in town to do so. Now, however, Tony’s has announced plans to reopen at its new location in Clayton, 10 miles west.

Lunch service will commence on March 22 and dinner on March 24.

Read More: James Bommarito continues the Tony’s tradition in Clayton

Situated on Centene’s campus in Clayton, the restaurant is stunning in a subtly dramatic way. The entire space is awash in warm cherry wood: beams, columns, sliding slatted panels, and scores of acoustic tiles that are used throughout the space. Along one wall is a black leather banquette; on the opposite wall, quarter-round seats and oval tables beg for same-side schmoozing. A vibrant America Martin triptych enlivens the room. A heavily textured wall fabric seems to hum with anticipation.

And then the show begins.

Led by a table captain, three-person service teams tend to guests’ unanticipated needs. They might suggest the trio of veal or the filet of swordfish, but the top three sellers have a common thread: linguine with lobster and shrimp, scampi and lobster tail, and longtime Tony’s classic Lobster Albanello. Regulars will also recognize the Villeroy & Boch china, lead crystal, sterling flatware, and domed silver cloches, which still get polished daily. (Even the staff is pampered, with covered parking and direct entry, where freshly dry-cleaned uniforms await.)

Lunch (and also dinner after 5 p.m.) will be served upstairs in Anthony’s Bar, which is anchored by an energetic painting by the late artist LeRoy Neiman.

In the past, Tony’s hasn’t had a patio, but here the extravagance extends to a louvered roof and architectural drop-down walls. Yes, this spring, you’ll finally be able to experience the legendary opulence alfresco.

George Mahe

Mahe is St. Louis Magazine’s dining editor. Originally a finicky eater, he has owned or operated restaurants most of his life. He began reviewing them for SLM in 1991.

Read more by George Mahe

March 9, 2021

6:05 AM