H1: The Story of Madrina: A Tale of Friendship, Wine, and Italian Cuisine
H3: A Delicious Aroma and a 30-Year Journey
Jessica Rogen’s Scallops Radiate an Irresistible Garlic Scent
Madrina, located at 101 West Lockwood Avenue in Webster Groves, has been a long time in the making. Co-owner Frank Romano has been in the restaurant industry for over 30 years, starting when he was just a high school student in need of a job. His godmother, Sister Helen Negri, who was also the CEO of Marygrove, introduced him to Mark Cusumano, the owner of Kemoll’s. Romano’s job at Kemoll’s included polishing wine glasses, which eventually led to his introduction to wine through a wine rep named Stanley Browne.
H3: A Friendship and a New Restaurant
Romano and Browne became friends and eventually decided to open their own Italian restaurant in Webster Groves. The name, Madrina, which means “godmother” in Italian, is a nod to Sister Negri. The restaurant will open on November 24 in the former location of CJ Muggs. Browne, along with his wife Arlene Maminta Browne, who own Robust Bistro and Wine Bar, and Laura Burns, who co-owns the Parkmoor Drive-in with Romano, have created a timeless and classic mid-century atmosphere in the restaurant.
H3: A Chic and Intimate Space
The design of Madrina, created by Helen Lee of Tao + Lee Associates and Laura Burns of designlab, inc. and Girls Will Be, features dark and moody gray wood paneled walls with pops of red throughout. The dining area is lined with sumptuous booths and large windows that bring in natural light. The horseshoe-shaped bar is the liveliest area of the restaurant, while the adjacent dining spaces offer a quieter atmosphere. The private events space, which can hold up to 50 guests, also has its own bar.
H3: Upscale Casual Dining
Despite its elegant appearance, Madrina is not intended to be a fine dining establishment. Romano and Browne describe it as “upscale casual,” where customers can stop in for a glass of wine and an appetizer during the bar’s weekday apertivo. However, they also want to offer the option for customers to splurge on a full meal. The restaurant aims to be a neighborhood spot with a wider reach.