As a lifelong Midwesterner, my ears have heard far too many instances of “EYE”-talian when it comes to salad dressing, restaurants, or cars.
In fact, for those of us who grew up eating spaghetti salad with WishBone Italian Dressing, tomatoes, and black olives from a can, it’s time we discard the past and embrace some of the top Italian gems here in the Twin Cities.
452 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55102 • (651) 221-1061 • www.lagrollastpaul.com
With special Fritture, Carpacci, Pasta Fresca, Homemade Mozzarelle (including Burrata), and a generous wine list — there are not-to-be missed opportunities to experience Chef Antonio Tettamanzi’s neighborhood cuisine.
2451 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405 • (612) 374-8998 • www.rinataresaturant.com
Experience a four-course dinner with your new or long-time sweetheart for data night at Rinata any Sunday night to regroup and recharge before the week begins. Highlights include Eggplant Involtini, Baked Bulgarian Feta, Bucatini with housemade pancetta, or Steak Rollatini.
Nonna Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano
4168 West Broadway Avenue, Robbinsdale, MN 55422 • (763) 537-3700 • www.nonnarosaswinebar.com
From Chef Francesco and Tina Suglia, this neighborhood spot is in the middle of Robbinsdale’s historic business district. Serving classic dishes like Lasagne, Eggplant Parmigiana, and Spaghetti Carbonara, you too can experience the wonders of an Italian grandma’s love through food.
2221 West 50th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55419 • (612) 925-0330 • www.terzompls.com
Beautiful, unusual, and fresh — the trio that Terzo offers. Nestled in the corner of a small Italian village that includes Broder’s Pasta Bar, Broder’s Cucina Italiana, and Terzo plus its Porchetteria, the casual observer might miss the bounty that is produced here.
The Butcher Block
308 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414 • (612) 455-1080 • www.thebutcherblockrestaurant.com
The simplicity of its name tells you everything. From Pork and Ricotta Meatballs and Grilled Octopus to Lamb Scottadito and Chicken Marsala, Executive Chef Filippo Caffari brings a cozy neighborhood Trattoria to Northeast Minneapolis.
Monello (at the Hotel Ivy)
1115 2nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403 • (612) 353-6207 • www.monellompls.com
During your weekend staycation, prepare to Invigorate your food imagination with Tuna with strawberry and cucumber, Burnt Wheat Campanile, or Poached King Crab with jasmine tea, asparagus, yogurt and black sesame — all without stepping foot outside the beautiful Ivy Hotel.
Yarusso-Bros Italian Restaurant
635 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55130 • (651) 776-4848 • www.yarussos.com
Skip the fancy and go for the gusto of homemade Italian favorites for the entire family where a Dago can arrive with fries, spaghetti, cheese sticks, garlic toast, soup or salad or where Two Meatballs are on the list of must-haves for lunch.
831 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402 • (612) 333-7000 • www.zelomn.com
A downtown institution that never disappoints in fresh and local Italian cuisine for lunch or dinner. Simply, but expertly, prepared pasta, vegetables, pizzas, and salads hardly describe the vast menu that is delivered with sophisticated and friendly service.
Giuseppe’s Italian Ristorante
1435 Silver Lake Road, New Brighton, MN 55112 • (651) 631-2744 • www.giuseppesnewbrighton.com
Another family-minded dining spot that has almost every dish you imagine on an Italian menu — spaghetti, gnocchi, tortellini, rigatoni, manicotti, ravioli, ziti and the list goes on. Unusual items from its kitchen include Liver and Onions, Pepper and Egg Sandwich, and an Italian Doughnut.
2356 University Avenue, West Saint Paul, MN 55114 • (651) 917-7997 • www.caffebiaggio.com
The simple streamlined exterior of Caffe Biaggio celebrates dishes from across Italy. You can choose such delights as their Goat cheese Torta, Arancine (fried risotto balls), Grilled Romaine Heart, Cioppino, Mama’s Meatballs, or Basil Ricotta Gnocchi.