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Mar 26, 2008 01:20 AM

minnesota: best red sauce italian rests

i know about buca. any others??

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  1. This is a tricky one for me to answer. The places where I enjoy the pasta the most aren't necessarily the places that have the red sauce I like the most, and the places where I enjoy the sauce itself the most don't have the best overall pasta dishes.

    For example, my favorite pastas are from Broder's Pasta Bar. I like the whole package - the pasta, and saucing, etc. While the sauces are superior in quality to that of the other places I am about to name, the red sauces aren't the hearty, stick-to-your-ribs Italian gravy that has come to be comfort food for me. It's not the type of sauce I would want to eat a spoonful of, but it's perfect when paired with their pastas and other ingredients.

    The two places I get that sort of sauce are Luce and Cossetta's. Neither place has any dish that bests Broder's, but god I love the sauce. It's rich, thick, spiced right, and soul-satisfying. At both places, I enjoy the sauce best with the lasagna (although it is also good with the penne at Cossetta's). I enjoy mopping up the sauce with bread the most at those places.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pgokey

      Broder's isn't red sauce italian. It's gentrified. Red sauce places don't serve anything but red sauce on their pasta and they usually have hokey Eyetalian-American decorations. Buca is kind of a chain themed on that. A lot of the classic Red Sauce places are gone now. Totino's in NE for example. Yarusso's and Mama's certainly fit the bill. I would nominate Mama's as my favorite and most typical red sauce place. Although I would say that a lot of Mama's appeal comes from the atmosphere and somewhat from the food.

    2. I should say that Jakeeno's gets an honorable mention for sauce, too.

      1. This recent thread evolved into a discussion of red sauce restaurants. My picks are Dari-ette (summer only) or Little Oven in St. Paul, but I haven't been to Mama's yet.

        Here's soupkitten's glorious mama's report.


        2 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I just looked at the menu...sigh, yet another place I MUST try! It looks great.

          1. re: pgokey

            mnitchals--Calling Broder's 'gentrified' is errant as their recipes are regionally authentic; just as red sauce Italian is authentic only to southern Italy, Broder's offerings span the whole of regional Italian cooking styles. 'Gentrified' is inappropriately pejorative.