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Vito’s in the Valley offers an extensive menu of family meals — pizzas, pastas, appetizer and charcuterie trays — but while St. Louis County closed indoor dining from mid-November until early January, one dish especially buoyed the Chesterfield restaurant.
Lasagna, owner Jessica LaFata says, was the MVP of those weeks “because everybody loved eating it at home, and it was perfect for the holidays.”
The dish is popular with dine-in guests at Vito’s, she says, “but for some reason, there’s just something more about being at home and enjoying lasagna.”
LaFata and her husband, Giovanni, had wanted to introduce family meals before the pandemic but weren’t sure how to launch the idea.
“Then when COVID came and really took over, it was like, ‘OK, we’ve got to get this going,’” she says.
Even then, she says, “it didn’t actually get rolled out until so many people kept asking (for it).”
As indoor dining has reopened and expanded, demand for Vito’s family meals has not waned. It can be more convenient for some customers, LaFata says, while others might not yet be ready to dine inside.
Family meals, curbside pickup, to-go cocktails, build-your-own pizza kits: The LaFatas see a post-pandemic future for all of the pivots of the past year.
“I would have definitely preferred to come about them in a different way,” she says. “However, all of it’s here to stay, and all of it (has been) wonderful growth for our business.”