Friday, October 19, 2007

Our Quest for the Perfect Italian Restaurant

My husband and I are on a quest and need the help of all fellow Minnesotans. We are searching for the perfect little Italian restaurant. He wants traditional southern Italian fare: garlic-y marinara sauce, thin crust pizza, etc.
Tonight we traveled to southern Minneapolis, on recommendation of another Italian, and ate at Fat Lorenzo's. On the surface it had all the qualities of a winner and we got all shivery and excited, but it was underwhelming at best. My ho hum 10" pizza cost $24!! And it was just veggies!! For that price we almost made off with the large can of tomato sauce used to prop up my pan.
We're not interested in the upscale joints. We used to LOVE Buon Giorno Italian deli in St. Paul until they moved to Lilydale and went all yuppie and Williams Sonoma on us. We've also tried Cossetta's, Campiello, D'Amicos and of course God Help Us Buca de Beppo. Cossetta's is the current front runner due only to the group of old Italian men constantly occupying the back table.
Any suggestions??


michaelg said...

My favorite Italian in town is Ristorante Luci in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul. The menus are pretty classic Italian (or Eyetalian as some would say in these parts). The homemade pasta is divine. Of course, only John will have the final say there. It is basically a dressed up hole in the wall with great service. Let me know if you try it. Maybe we can meet there.

Melinda June said...

Luci is great, but I think it's a bit overpriced and I've had both fantastic and awful experiences there, so I'm lukewarm overall.

I firmly believe you must stay in St. Paul for the real Italian food. My favourites were Yarusso Brothers up on Payne Ave and La Trattoria da Vinci on Sibley in downtown. If there is still a mafia in St. Paul, they eat at these places.

Cossetta's is also killer good, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pizza at Red's Savoy...Take 35E to 94 and get off on 7th St by the SA. Turn left. It looms ahead on the left. (Yarusso's is up behind there in the hood of East St. Paul.)

michaelg said...

Mindy is SO right about Red's Savoy pizza! It is only rivaled by Mama's Pizza on North Rice, where they also have a red hot host/owner named Tony.
(By the way, I believe Red's Savoy is the very same parking lot where Norm Coleman's dad was arrested for screwing some chick in his car a year or so ago. The whole family is a class act.)
My first cannoli was at Cossetta's. It was a revelation.