Tucked into Chesterfield’s Four Seasons Center is a culinary landmark: Talayna’s Italian Restaurant, the location where it has operated for 36 years of its 55-year history.
Talayna’s history is one its owners, Mehdi and Susan Rouhani, have continued through their commitment to quality, freshness and a diverse menu. For generations, that menu has won the affection of customers who turn to Talayna’s for its unique style of Italian, Mediterranean and Persian cuisines along with its star attraction – pizza.
“We’re known for our pizza and salad,” Mehdi explained. “If you haven’t been here you’ll want to try our pizza and salad with the house dressing. It’s incredible.”
All of the restaurant’s dressings are winners and all are made in house – from the Caesar to the vinaigrette and ranch to Talayna’s classic House Dressing made from the same recipe the restaurant has used since its opening. Susan describes the classic House Dressing as a creamy Italian dressing with a hint of anchovy to add a little spice. It’s a delightful blend that transforms a simple house salad into a gourmet treat.
Any of the menu’s salads make a favorable accompaniment for Talayna’s famous pizzas from which there are four styles to choose. All are custom made to order.
“We are one of the only places that has four styles of pizza, Mehdi said. “We have a thin, crisp St. Louis-style that uses a mix of provel and mozzarella cheeses; and a Chicago deep pan. We also have a hand-tossed New York-style that’s the best in the Midwest. And we have artisan-style pizzas that are hand tossed with herbs and made in an oval shape.”
The thin crust pizzas are classics, but at Talayna’s, it pays to expand your pizza horizons. Try the artisan or the New York-style, available as a 12-inch or 16-inch pie topped with mozzarella, a 20-inch, dubbed “The Manhattan,” or the 30-inch “Monster.” There’s also a gluten-free pizza – one of several gluten-free options on the Talayna’s menu.
While pizza and salads may get the lion’s share of the spotlight, don’t overlook the rest of the menu. Talayna’s has whatever you’re hungry for from small plate appetizers and pastas to full plate entrees, burgers and sandwiches.
All of its Italian, Mediterranean and Persian dishes are generously portioned and prepared without skimping on ingredients. A good example is the Jumbo Toasted Ravioli. Each is fully stuffed with tender beef, shaped into round pillows, lightly breaded and crisply fried. As Susan explained the ravioli is “generously filled with more meat so you can taste the beef, just not breading.”
Counted among the best-selling Mediterranean plates are the Braised Lamb Shanks. It takes three hours to prepare the lamb shanks which are seasoned with garlic, rosemary, thyme and a hint of cumin, then sauced before serving. They’re made fresh every day and every day they sell out.
“When they’re gone, they’re gone until the next day,” said Mehdi. “Everything we do is made fresh every day. Anytime you make things fresh you can taste the difference.”
That difference can be enjoyed while dining in the restaurant’s cozy, vintage-styled dining room accented with stained glass and Tiffany-style lamps, or in its two beautifully appointed banquet rooms, perfect for parties up to 60. For larger groups, off-site catering is available featuring the same recipes and quality service.
In the restaurant or at a catered event, Mehdi said, “It’s our years of experience and tradition you will taste.”
|Talayna’s Italian Restaurant |
68 Four Seasons Shopping Center • Chesterfield • (314) 469-6650 • www.talaynas.net
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday; closed on Sunday