Copyright © J. Devoti Trattoria.  All rights reserved.

Formerly Five Bistro from 2006-2018, Chef Devoti has evolved his Farm-to-Table bistro to include a focus on Italian cuisine. J.Devoti Trattoria is a tribute to his Italian heritage as well as the The Hill neighborhood where his grandmother once lived. 

Read the press links below for more details on the change.


We have concentrated on the flavors of our region by using quality ingredients from neighboring farms. This has afforded us the opportunity to embrace whole animals with nose-to-tail cooking. Our mission is to bring our guests back to a time where you knew where your food came from as well as the farmers that worked so hard to raise sustainable and ethical products. Hopefully you will find our philosophy refreshing and enjoy eating and drinking the products we have sought out for you!

The menus change daily to reflect what is in season and available locally. We pride ourselves on everything we do in house:
Pasta, Butchering, Charcuterie, Condiments, Pickles, Bread and Desserts.

The Future of J. Devoti

​It’s time for a new adventure…my essay on my time at the shop, moving forward and a thank you to the FIVE, Newstead, J.Devoti Trattoria and most of all, to Bonnie and Joe.

Man! It’s weird to think that on June 6, 2006, we softly opened the doors for this adventure in The Grove. Like Frodo and Bilbo before him, we had an adventure, faced some dark lords (assholes) and met a load of people who throughout this adventure became key and amazing people in our party. I moved back to St. Louis from San Francisco, met a girl, opened a restaurant, had two babies…of everything that happened these two are the greatest beings on this planet have brought me the most pride along the way. They spent many nights, especially when young, being proudly shown off by their grandma (PaMa with the locals) after we moved to the new spot.

A new adventure awaits me in this life, it is time to hang up the knives (figuratively of course…anyone who knows a chef knows they have an unhealthy desire for knives and cookbooks) and it is time to trade them in for different sharp items…a table saw, lathe, block plane, oak, walnut and cherry. The days and hours of operating a restaurant have caught up with me. Cooking is my love and passion, but the late nights, to be matter of fact, are the absolute worst! Above all else, I want the weekends to hang with my kids.

I have courted a new lover in woodworking. A different, but unbelievably similar craft, with the same attention to detail, the ability to procure local product, and the chance to fulfill the desire to create for clientele that has come to expect a level of professionalism and beauty that I can create with my hands.

I moved away from St. Louis with the intention to learn and gather as much information on Farm to Table food as I could in the most amazing and cripplingly expensive city I could think of at the time…San Francisco. I had already lived in NYC and wanted to see what the other coast had to offer. I had researched and found the place I was heading, another product of St. Louis that was doing the best farm to table food in the country: Judy Rodges and ZuniCafe. This experience changed me, I loved every moment and wanted to bring this back to St. Louis. At the time there was nothing like this in STL. Chefs were of course doing farm to table, but not like this. I learned and absorbed everything The City had to offer, which was abundant. It was the catalyst to everything that was to come with my beliefs in food, treatment of animals and expectation of staff and professionalism that I have put at the core of what we
have done in the business. The restaurants have allowed me an unimaginable creative freedom like nothing I had ever experienced. I wrote menus everyday with chefs, collaborated with farmers directly, and cut out the big box bullshit places that sold yellow 5x5 tomatoes out of season. I bought mushrooms from gatherers who came to the back door with amazing local produce and even the herb gardener on The Hill who knew I would love to make a pesto with their basil or some thyme for a beef braise. I was able to explore charcuterie,
 breads, gardening, beekeeping, and keeping chickens, to name a few. I did everything I could to fuel my desire to learn and educate my staff. What was looked at by a few as obnoxious over committing was to me, a passion. I will say, the staff loved it…until it was a day to pick herbs and it was a proper sweaty August in STL! I loved every day in the shop, walking the gardens, making tomato salads out of our garden. I was also able to give my staff great freedoms in creating what they desired!

Most of all, the restaurants gave me life long friends, some heartbreak, we lost some good ones along the way and maybe a few people I didn’t see eye to eye with… We opened with three of us, Cory Shupe, who is running a hugely successful shop in Quincy, Ill., Summer Wright, who will always be known as one of the best pastry chefs to work in this town and myself. I have had the honor to cook with some amazing cooks; Bobi Roeper, Snickers, Nick Z., Scotty Libera and great serving staff Jessa Stone, Mike Veninga, Ian Craft, Jena, Alicia Lohmer, Lester(fucking Lester), Mary, Lauren and numerous others that I’m sure pissed me off as much as I pissed them off! However, we could all sit at the end of the day drink a beer, have a glass of wine and laugh our asses off. I was also lucky enough to work with Jacob Nord behind
the bar for the better part of 7 years, as well as Mark Mulitch, the best collaborating partner I’ve ever had with me on the line.

This trip down memory lane wouldn’t be complete without talking about Kara Hine. She is to date the most tolerant human I’ve ever met (not including Bonnie) and best friend a person could ask for. She kept me on task, kept the paperwork moving, and dealt with me after my mom retired for the 3rd (maybe 4th) and final time. Her goofy, handsome, partner whom has unexpectedly become family as well. Stephen, Ole Steve, Sensei, Mr.Whine, who dealt with us drinking beer and bitching about how Thursdays for some fucking reason are a hard reset for the staff in the restaurant & table 30 is a cursed table that only assholes sit at. The crazy shit like the ghost that lives in the hallway by the bathrooms… These people made it a joy to come to the shop every shift and helped me make my job fun! So thank you to all of you for working with me day in and day out!

We had numerous wine vendors that have come through the restaurant, some leaving better memories than others but I am thankful for them putting their trust in us for the amazing amount of wine dinners we co-hosted together. I’m thankful for you all putting your dinners in our hands when you had a vendor in town and you needed a lovely place to entertain them. Linda McGovern, Dana and Brad Atwell, Sara Schumacher, John Gazzoli, Happe and most of all a legend in the business Billy…Bill Pohlemus, Billy, Battery Hands Bill, Coach whatever you knew him by, you knew him as a generous, kind man with a laugh that would rumble a room. He opened a door in my life 25 years ago while I worked at Houlihans at the St. Louis Galleria as a host and server when I was 17-18 and trying to save for a trip to Europe. He came back into my life one day while Brian Jacobsmeyer was doing a sales call for us with for the old Garco wine company. From that meeting at the bar, the three of us formed the GrapeCrush hockey team where we competed on Monday nights and drank beer religiously and listened to rock and roll. It was my outlet from the restaurant. The hockey team was born at the shop, creating friendships that will last me forever. Brian & Bunse who I see weekly to discuss work, life, love, and test the days focaccia, JJ, Duff, Hulsey, Wilson, the thunder and the lightning as it was and always will be known. He was there when I got the call I was going to be a dad after a game and I had to split and couldn’t finish the bucket, I’ll never forget that moment…My point is that this restaurant has given me a life full of friendships, happiness and creativity that I maybe would have found somewhere else, but I am glad to have shared it with so many wonderful people.

From the very beginning in The Grove, my parents Bonnie and Joe were there, for me and for you and for the staff. What started as “we will help for a year” turned into 12+ years of them working day in and day out at the restaurant, doing more than asked, and they STILL help out and haven’t been in to “work” for years… They were going to do what they wanted whether asked or not, they could and still do out work any of the ’restaurant people’ that I know. If you know them, through the restaurant or their church groups they are involved in you, know this about them. Quite literally making the restaurant a home for everyone that passed through the doors, employee, client or vendor. My mom would make cakes for everyone’s birthday, holiday or life event, there was always time for everyone to gather to wish a happy birthday, say thank you for service to the team or just to laugh and sing a ridiculous version of ‘Happy Birthday’ which on more than one occasion became a stirring rendition of our National Anthem or the Canadian one, depending on if it was hockey season or how much beer had been consumed. My parents did everything for the restaurant and in those years of ‘Best Restaurant’, ‘Best Service’, ‘Top anything’ or ‘Best Chef’, Bonnie and Joe were there, making sure the checklists were done, the dining room was set and the staff, albeit shanked from a night of fun, didn’t look like a bunch of ragamuffins and the expectation of top service was met and exceeded. If you came and they were there they made you feel like you were dining in their home and their son was cooking for you. They were the glue through service, their generosity financially (fucking restaurants) and general willingness to help anyone and everyone (rides home for the dishwasher, cakes for the birthdays, opening their home to all the workers that we had who didn’t have family in town or family period for the holidays).

The care, love, work and…opinions that my parents put into what we did day in and day out for 16 years was more than I could have asked, they helped me grow, mature and maintain a level of pride in my work that I could never write enough words to tell them how thankful I am. So most of all in this, thank you to my mom and dad for everything they have helped me to achieve.

So long story short if you made it this far, I’m almost there, I swear…thank you. Thank you for trusting us with your graduation, anniversaries, birthdays, work parties and most of all your hunger. I know the menu was limiting for some of you, especially recently when I took to the line solo the last 6 months, but I have loved almost every second of it. I have no regrets and a heart full of love for being able to do what I’ve wanted for all these years. You, the client, is what I did it for and I am forever grateful for the people that have come through our doors…too many to name, but thank you very much for trusting me.
Thank you to all the critics around town who for years gave us amazing reviews and a lot of kind words, including us in top lists, best chef, best service and most importantly and most proud of Best Restaurant!

The details…March 31st will be our final dinner service, at this point we will have 2 wine dinners rounding out our time at the shop. This Friday, the 17th with John Gazzoli and March 25th with Dana Atwell. I will be using the space for catering for the time being, we still have events scheduled out, so don’t be shy about asking if I can do it. I would love to. I will also do the occasional pizza night or burger party pop-up. My passion for cooking is burning strong. I will be making tables, cabinets, credenzas, rolling pins cutting boards and loads of other items, if that is of interest to you. I would love to hear from you!

The hours for the restaurant will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday dinner service beginning at 5.

If you do have catering or woodworking inquires please email us at
I’ll also keep everyone abreast of what’s happening on the Facebook and the Instagram

Thank you all for years of support, love and food,