◆Sad news for fans of fine Italian food. Longtime favorite Del Pietro’s House of Pasta will be closing its doors this month. Owner MARY ROSE DEL PIETRO, who opened the restaurant 35 years ago with her late husband, MICHAEL, says the time has come to retire and spend some time with her family. The final service will be Aug. 27, but the space won’t be vacant long. MATHEW UNGER, executive chef at the Missouri Athletic Club West, will be opening his new restaurant, Mathew’s Kitchen, at the location on Oct. 1.

◆Chef TODD KUSSMAN has shuttered his O’Fallon, Mo., eatery Oak Barrel Bistro, after only five months in business. Kussman made the announcement via Facebook last week, citing personal reasons for the closure. The last day of service was July 30. We wish him all the best.

◆ Chef LOU ROOK III is in the home stretch of a cookbook project. No title yet, but the book will feature some 80 recipes that span his career, including some Annie Gunn’s favorites. It should be available in October at Annie Gunn’s, as well as local bookstores and possibly Amazon.com. Rook says an Annie Gunn’s cookbook also is in the works.

◆ The seventh annual Downtown Restaurant Week will be happening Aug. 22 through Aug. 28. Twenty-six downtown eateries are participating by offering a three-course dinner menu for a fixed price of $25 per person. For info and a list of restaurants, go to downtownstl.org.

◆Loyola Academy is holding its first Chef’s Feast for a Knight on Sunday, Sept. 11. Local legend OZZIE SMITH will be serving as honorary chair and emcee for the evening. The event will feature local chefs extraordinaire JOSH GALLIANO of Monarch; LOU ROOK III of Annie Gunn’s; KEVIN NASHAN of Sidney Street Cafe; and ANTHONY DEVOTI of Five, all collaborating on what promises to be a spectacular four-course meal. Proceeds from the event will go to support Loyola’s mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Cost is $175 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 531-9091 or emailing development@loyolaacademy.com.

◆ Veritas Gateway To Food And Wine is going beyond the vine and will be debuting a new beer menu. The cafe and wine shop will now have more than a dozen beers by the bottle and two rotating taps to complement its selection of more than 2,000 bottles of wine. Beers will change seasonally and food pairings will be suggested based on the weekly menu selections. To kick off the new offerings, local beer aficionado CHRISTOPHER SHEA and chef/owner MATHIS STITT will be presenting a beer dinner, featuring a five-course tasting menu. For reservations and more info, call 636-530-9505 or email info@veritasgateway.com.

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