It was December 27th….a mere two days after Christmas when I decided to do something perilous…after a month of stuffing my face with turkey, duck, ham, and all the trimmings, for some reason I decided it was a good idea to go to The Hill Italian buffet in Springfield, MO. and continue with my seasonal binging. I was not disappointed, but my slacks were.
I walked into The Hill to meet the famous restaurateur, Chef Kim. He is a talented and friendly gentleman who launched other such restaurants in Springfield, MO. including ReRico Grill, an Argentinian Steakhouse.
After taking in the elegant atmosphere for a few moments, we sat down and talked about family and work. He has three children with his wife of 14 years, and he has family here in Springfield, MO. who help him out at his eateries. It wasn’t long before we got down to business.
A Little About The Hill Italian Restaurant in Springfield, MO.
Chef Kim opened The Hill Italian Buffet in 2017. It’s based off of St. Louis’ infamous foodie neighborhood which goes by the same name and hosts a plethora of bars, lounges, restaurants, and more. In all honesty, I’ve never experienced The Hill in St. Louis, but after visiting Springfield’s own all-you-can-eat Italian buffet, I am sensing a road trip in the near future.
All of the Italian
A passionate, hardworking man, Chef Kim went to culinary school in Argentina, S. Korea and finally Drury. He has been preparing food and dreaming up recipes for 20 years, and you can taste the experience in his various dishes. While he is used to working 90 hours a week, he confessed now he is only working a mere 75. Not only does he cook better than me, but now I feel downright lazy. Thanks,
He is also a family man and incorporates many of his relatives into his successful endeavors. His sister, Sandra, helps him at The Hill, his wife bakes the desserts, his cousin does the accounting and so on. His establishments are family and locally owned. Throw in two decades of experience and it really doesn’t get any better than that.
A Taste of The Hill Italian Restaurant
Chef Kim started out by putting some of the local favorites on my plate. This included his special butternut squash casserole, homemade beef ravioli, fresh bruschetta, hand-breaded fish fillet, chicken parmigiana, house-pickled beats complete with bread with homemade pesto dipping sauce and balsamic dipping sauce. If he would’ve stopped here, I would’ve been elated and satisfied….but this is a buffet, so the meal did NOT stop here!
While I noshed on some of the buffet’s specialties, he then surprised me with one of his signature seafood dishes: seafood cioppino pasta. To be honest, I was a little nervous to try this dish – while I love seafood, I am a bit hesitant to indulge in mussels, clams
A few years back, I visited my sister and her family in Seattle and had some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever had the honor of tasting. Nevertheless, Chef Kim brought it out and I was pleasantly surprised!
The soup was exquisite and fragrant, the mussels and clams were tender and the spaghetti was perfectly cooked. I even mentioned to him how the shellfish reminded me of Washington State by the pier. He said playfully that he sources his seafood from the Seattle Seafood Company. Go figure.
It was fantastic, and fortunately for me, it wasn’t over yet – you can’t have a meal without a little dessert!
To my delight, Chef Kim spoiled me again with freshly made crème brûlée cake, a banana caramel crepe, a cannoli, and tiramisu. This is where my pants started screaming at me…but I wasn’t listening. Oh no, I continued to stuff my face.
One of the things I liked most about my gastronomical adventure at The Hill Italian Buffett was the romantic ambiance like that of a high-end bistro coupled with freshly made all-you-can-eat Italian food. And at $10.59 for lunch Monday through Friday, you really can’t beat the value.
Special Note: For working professionals, this place is fantastic for a quick bite or a lovely wine-and-dine supper with a client.
Which, by the way, they have $3 wines on Wednesdays… I will be hosting some schmooze events here in the very near future.
The things I loved about The Hill Italian Buffet included the following:
1. The fresh ingredients and high turnover used to make homemade Italian delicacies,
2. The ambiance of a high-end restaurant,
3. The VALUE and price of an all-you-can-eat buffet,
4. The private venue room which holds up to 30 people,
5. The fact that it is locally owned and operated,
6. The Hill’s convenient location for either a quick lunch or an intimate dinner,
7. Last, but not least, $3 wine by the glass on Wednesdays (how did I not know about this before?!).
I highly recommend experiencing this place for yourself. As someone who is not a fan of buffets, I was pleasantly surprised and will be back again. I am sensing a few events here in the future – stay tuned to find out when!