Local Italian Gem is a Must Visit Restaurant in St. Matthews

Charlie Schmidt

Bill Silvio Melillo’s Italian restaurant began construction on Fairfax Avenue right across the street of Trinity High School in October 2015. The location of the restaurant would seem to be an ideal place for Trinity students and teachers to eat, but, when I asked several classmates about the authentic Italian restaurant, they claimed they had never even heard of the restaurant. The hidden gem restaurant is a must visit if you are looking for a place to eat with a beautiful Italian atmosphere on the outside and homemade, delicious Italian cuisine on the inside.

When I visited, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful sixteen-foot-tall mural of the statue of David painted by David Shuster. The detailed mural acts as a billboard to attract people to his restaurant and welcome them into a taste of his Italian heritage. The mural is full of details depicting an Italian street view and Bill Melillo is even seen carrying a painting of the Mona Lisa.

When I sat down at my table, the fancy but cozy atmosphere made me feel right at home. I noticed Melillo walking around the restaurant greeting every person which most he knew personally and was having genuine conversations with them. When I interviewed Melillo days later, he told me, “When I opened the restaurant, I wanted the dining experience to feel like you are walking into your own home accompanied by delicious Italian cuisine.” Not much later, after sitting down, he approached my table and we caught up from the last time I had visited, almost like I had known him for years. Bill’s character, unmatched personality, and people skills make people feel welcomed and is one of the many reasons he is a successful business owner in St. Matthews.


Our table ordered filet medallions with asparagus, potatoes, and alfredo pasta. The medallions were perfectly seared and cooked medium rare with a mouth-

watering flavor. The alfredo pasta was not your generic store-bought dish: It seemed like a simple dish, but it had a fresh but cheesy taste to the alfredo by adding some cilantro on top. Overall, my dining experience was wonderful, but in truth, I recommend getting an authentic Italian dish when visiting the restaurant. Melillo told me, “The baked ziti and the pork chop are by far my favorite dishes and the sea food pasta and salmon are popular customer favorites.”

Days later I talked with Melillo and asked him about being a successful business owner, the hardships of running a business, and life advice. It’s clear that Melillo is a very wise man and has lived an accomplished life. He grew up in Louisville where he met his wife in elementary school. After his education, he got his parents’ permission and joined the army where he learned lessons and went through struggles that shaped him into the man he is today. Melillo is a big believer in the Lord and is a family man to all people that know him.

I asked Melillo about being a successful business owner in St. Matthews and some advice he could give to the world. His response was helpful: “Be persistent day in and out no matter the circumstances, pay attention to details, even the smallest ones, make people feel welcome, and most importantly, serve them good food.”

It’s sometimes easier said than done. Melillo also shared some struggles a business owner might face. “Employees … you have to take care of them like you are their parent, love them, and reward them when needed, cry with them when they need to cry, and be their second family.”

Trinity student Mark Sears has worked at Silvio’s for a little over two years now and is preparing for college by saving his money from work. When I asked Melillo about Sears, he started to get emotional. “I love the kid, he is a great kid, he does everything he is asked, and I have no doubt that he will be successful.” As you can see, Melillo’s employees mean a lot to him, and they have a huge impact on him not just as employees but also as family in a way.

Melillo finished the interview with a great bit of wisdom. “I have failed many times in life, but it hasn’t defined me it has only made me tougher, in life you have to prove people wrong or knock them down.”

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  • J

    Jacob DreisbachMar 29, 2024 at 8:14 pm

    Great piece of writing… Silvio’s is awesome!