From his perch on the top rung of the St. Louis dining scene, Giovanni Gabriele takes a moment to remember his climb and when his dream of opening a restaurant in America became reality. “It was April 16, 1973,” says Gabriele, the 66-year-old owner of Giovanni’s on the Hill. “My wife, Fina, was there. Our two boys were there, and Carmelo, the oldest who was 7, was helping as a busboy. It was a good opening, very exciting.” Friendly, attentive service, a warm atmosphere, and ...

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