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Pasta-like Italy, not red sauce-MSP

Quince Aug 12, 2008 03:10 PM

I have a craving for a really great dish of fresh handmade pasta. Where should I go where I won't be disappointed? I'm looking for somewhere you walk out wondering how such deliciousness was created with just a few simple ingredients. I thought Broder's Pasta Bar didn't quite cut it...it was good, but I'm looking for pasta a notch above that.

Would D'amico Cucina be worth it? And would the waitstaff be angry at you for taking up space in their restaurant if all you wanted to eat was pasta?

How about some of the non-Italian fine dining restaurants that have a pasta dish or two on their menu? How's the pasta at La Belle Vie, Heidi's, Heartland, or 112 Eatery?

Is there a wonderful Italian restaurant with great pasta that I'm missing? I've only been to Broder's and Luci Ancora (also not quite good enough, alas).

  1. b
    Brad Ballinger Aug 12, 2008 03:19 PM

    For pasta made on location, Ristorante Luci has some decent stuff. Overall, I've found the place to be a little overrated, but their fresh pasta is good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Brad Ballinger
      keg Aug 14, 2008 07:49 PM

      The last time I had pasta at Luci it was sub par. It was a peach and prosciutto dish that just did not work on any level. Mushy pasta. Flavor of peach was bland. Big blanket of prosciutto (I think they might have proudly called it house cured) that was too thick to be tender.

    2. l
      LizzieB_MSP Aug 12, 2008 04:02 PM

      Does anyone know if Il Vesco Vino or La Grolla make their own pasta? I've never eaten pasta at the former or have been to the latter, but they may be possibilities.

      1. MSPD Aug 12, 2008 04:12 PM

        I wasn't even past your first paragraph and stringozzi with lamb sugo at 112 Eatery was already on my mind.

        I'll continue my ongoing praise for Osteria I Nonni. www.inonnirestaurant.com (new URL since last time I went to the restaurant site). Menu changes periodically so I can't rave about any specific item. I've never had a dud there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MSPD
          rp1760 Aug 13, 2008 10:11 AM

          Ditto. I Nonni is my favorite TC restaurant.

        2. a
          amgarrison Aug 12, 2008 10:01 PM

          Ristorante Luci was pretty solid when I went there. I Nonni is pretty much amazing, I'm a big fan.

          1. mtullius Aug 13, 2008 07:13 AM

            Ditto to the previous recs for Osteria I Nonni. It's the best Italian we've had in the Cities, hands down.

            1. b
              Brad Ballinger Aug 13, 2008 07:58 AM

              I"m glad to read the props for i Nonni. I love the place, but couldn't receommend it for pasta only because I've never ordered pasta there. Everything else has been wonderful, though.

              1. m
                minnesotajane Aug 13, 2008 01:37 PM

                I was just at D'Amico Cucina with a my hubby's family. His aunt ordered a salad for dinner and 2 different pastas for dinner. They were more than accomodating and I was kicking myself for not doing that as well for my dinner. The portions are small so a meal of 2 would be a very nice dinner. The lobster gnocchi is delish and I loved my black ink spaghetti with clams and calamari.

                3 Replies
                1. re: minnesotajane
                  faith Aug 13, 2008 09:36 PM

                  I just looked at the Osteria I Nonni menu and noticed some echoes of the
                  112 Eatery menu. Anyone know which is imitating which? Like a Lamb

                  1. re: faith
                    Somnifor Aug 14, 2008 11:31 PM

                    The chef at I Nonni is a fiftysomething butcher from Rome who's name escapes me right now. The people he is immitating don't work in the Twin Cities. Which is not to say that the 112 is copying him. Most likely it is a case of good cooking minds thinking alike.

                    1. re: Somnifor
                      keg Aug 25, 2008 07:27 AM

                      A side by side comparison of the scotaditto would be interesting. Are the bones charred? Is it whisked to the dining room quickly enough for the bones to be hot to the touch? Is the chop cooked medium?

                      The best meat I've ever eaten was baby goat chops scotaditto. The chops were cooked as a rack. The loin was rolled away from the bone, but left attached, and bay leaves were inserted, loin retied. Seasoned properly. Oh man.

                2. i
                  Islandtime Aug 14, 2008 11:45 AM

                  The Craftsman does a homemade pasta, I think daily.

                  Otherwise, I really like Al Vento in Minneapolis.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Islandtime
                    churchka Aug 14, 2008 01:28 PM

                    It is usually whole wheat. Some people aren't into that, but it is very good.

                    1. re: churchka
                      churchka Aug 14, 2008 08:23 PM

                      I had the Craftsman pasta special tonight, and it was very good. Whole wheat fettucini with pork confit, two types of mushrooms (lobster and another type), home made red sauce, a little creme freche, and shavings of parmesean.

                      Please excuse the spellings of three or four words in that paragraph.

                  2. q
                    Quince Aug 24, 2008 05:43 PM

                    Thank you for all of your suggestions. I decided to go to D'amico Cucina, and I agreed with the general sentiment on the board that it was very good but very spendy. In fact, with the extra downtown taxes and all that, I think it's the most I have ever paid eating out.
                    I'll have to try the pasta at I Nonni sometime to compare, when my bank account recovers. D'amico Cucina, as good as it was, didn't make the top of my list of pasta eaten anywhere in the US, but it did make it up there...maybe #3? The Spaghetti Nero was quite delicious, and the lobster gnocchi was very good. The gnocchi weren't as light as the best gnocchi are, but they were certainly satisfactory, and the amount of lobster in the dish was nice and generous, just what I was looking for in a lobster dish.

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