Vangel’s restaurant and bar offers affordable, quality Italian cuisine

The following article appeared in the August 2022 issue of Magazine Saint Louisunder the title “Louie, Louie”.

Cue the Kingsmen and their 1963 rock hit: “Louie, Louie. Oh no. I have to go. Yes Yes Yes…” And you should go. In this case, at Vangel’s Restaurant & Bar, the new Italian restaurant in Warson Woods owned and operated by Louie Vangel, the 35-year-old grandson of Charlie Gitto Sr., owner of the legendary downtown Charlie Gitto, which closed at the beginning of last year. , a few months after his death. (Vangel, who ran the location for its last 11 years, says a water leak prompted the closure. “I felt my grandfather say, ‘It’s over. Forget it. Skip to something else,” Vangel says.) So he did, opening his own namesake restaurant in June of this year. “Even though the name is Vangel’s, to me it’s just our downtown restaurant, moved west. Everything we have built there, I hope to continue,” he says.

A refined menu presents all the favourites. “Most people know what they want before they even get here,” says Vangel. “Calamari, grilled ravioli, chicken parmesan, scampi, baked lasagna, pasta, and ‘Grandpa’s veal…'” Grandpa’s chair, a slightly rickety leather bar stool showing its age, sits in a corner of the bar, just like downtown. On the wall is a tribute photo showing Gitto Sr. on this stool, surrounded by friends and family. There’s the “Lasorda table”, a tribute to former LA Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who is credited with “keeping [the downtown] Gitto is on the map.

At Warson Woods, the decor is more casual and elegant than the vibe of downtown red-checkered tablecloths. Panels of etched glass (each with a V written in the center) separate the 100-seat dining room from the 40-seat bar, where drinks such as the Goldie, Group Chat and Man Crush are meant to spark conversation, as is the restaurant Name. “There are memories of Gitto,” Vangel says. “It’s our family, but we wanted it to be ‘authentically us’, so it’s Vangel’s Restaurant & Bar.”

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