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Big Changes at Cosetta's

Cosetta’s is undergoing a $10 million dollar renovation. Some of the new things to look forward to are a pastry kitchen, fresh baked focaccia and bread, a rosticceria for roasted meats, espresso bar and a wine shop. Very ambitious, but exciting if they can pull it off. I’d love to see more Italian pastries in Minnesota- something on par with the wonderful pastries at the Modern or Mike’s in Boston, like a good classic cannoli, la sfogliatella and boconnotto.


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  1. sounds like they might be overestimating both their appeal and ability.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zfwp

      I agree. I never did see the appeal there. It would great if they raise their culinary standards during this change - we'll have to wait and see!

    2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I love Cossetta's just the way it is. This scares me!

      1. While spendy, its a smart move. The place is hammered on Xcel event nights (2-4/week) and steady throughout the week. Add the regional and metro rail systems that are being installed in St. Paul, the downtown area will see (a much needed) increase in local and visiting consumers. While W. 7th and Cosettas is a mile away from Union Depot, the W. 7th businesses will see an increase as well. Personally, I'm looking forward to an upgraded Cosettas.

        1. Add me to the 'not broke, don't fix it' category...or the "I'll believe it when I see it" category.

          How about a bigger/more user friendly parking lot?

          3 Replies
          1. re: BigE

            No kidding about the parking. The article makes it sound like the expansion will eat up the parking on the west side of the building. The owner says something about having plenty of parking space in an adjacent lot. I beg to differ.

            I'd like to see them start using real dishes instead of plastic for dining in.

            1. re: ShinyCake

              I was assuming (never smart) they were going expand into the smaller south lot where their main parking is currently and use the large west lot for future parking.

              As I see it, It's the only viable option (full corner exposure, parking, etc). If they expanded west they would have issues with the alley that runs between the current main lot and the apartment building across the alley.

              1. re: NugarifiK

                "The current building would be remodeled and additional space would be built on the Cossetta parking lot on the corner of W. 7th Street and Chestnut."

                We were thinking of the same parking lot, but I got my directions confused because that city block is on a diagonal. That corner IS south. Sorry about that!

          2. Love their fresh italian sausage. Little expensive, but totally worth it.

            And they have the best looking girls working the counter. Added bonus. For me, at least.

            1. I used to shop at the market all the time but it's been pretty much worthless for the last several years - everything is really horribly overpriced. You used to be able to get great candies, and cheap oil, bread and cheese and now it's all insane. Same thing happened with Buon Giorno. Are there any affordable Italian groceries left in the Twin Cities?

              7 Replies
              1. re: misterpatrick

                Agreed with misterpatrick on Cossetta's, but disagree on Buon Giorno.

                I stopped shopping at Cossetta's years ago also, when parking became a serious hassle and I realized that many of their products were overpriced for the quality. To me, Cossetta's is more on the side of "Italian-American".

                Buon Giorno, on the other hand, I think provides quality Italian products at a reasonable price. Sure, some of their stuff is very expensive. But not all of it. Their sausage is excellent and very reasonably priced - that goes for all their meats. Parking is a snap. For sandwiches, IMO, they are in the top 10 sandwich joints in the Twin Cities.

                The last time I got a sandwich at Cossetta's (again, about 3 years ago), the guy making my sandwich argued with me because I wanted a different cheese on my sandwich than what it came with. At first he said he couldn't switch it. I can't remember the specifics, but it was an easy swap - I think I wanted provolone instead of mozz. Something like that. The guy argued with me. Finally I told him I'd pay extra for it, and he finally did it. Last time I went. To me, Cossetta's is a "tourist trap" that does well in serving the suburb and greater MN crowd that goes to games at the X, but that's about it.

                As for other good local Italian delis, try Delmonico's in the NE. Small, but super nice guys and very reasonably priced.

                1. re: foreverhungry

                  apparently the cossetta's deal hit a snag. cossetta's was trying to get $388,000 in tax increment financing from the city part of the deal was that cossetta's would be required to provide a "living wage" for 75% of their employees. cossetta's balked at the number, they think they should have the financing without such restrictions....

                  1. re: zfwp

                    They want free money from the city but don't want to follow the rules for that money? Disgusting! I won't be spending MY money there any more. Instead, I'll shop at Delmonico's, Broder's, Buon Giorno Deli, Brianno's, or Morelli's Market.

                    First task: find which of these has the best pecorino romano cheese. Any tips?

                    1. re: zfwp

                      Wow, this only adds to my disdain for Cossetta's. Now, not only are they selling average Italian food on paper plates for high prices, but they want taxpayers money on top of it.

                      1. re: galewskj

                        It's not terribly unusual for a business to get some public money to help it expand. The theory is that the money will get paid back in the long run because the business will make more money, which means they'll pay more taxes.

                        Where I have a significant problem, however, is that they don't want to pay their waitstaff a living wage. In addition to the obvious - people should be able to earn a living wage at work, especially when my tax dollars are supplementing that place's profits - paying the wait staff a sub-par wage will make them angry, and it's never a great situation when angry people are handling your food.

                        1. re: shadowfax

                          I read they got the exemption. I haven't followed this at all, because I find it comical this place is even in business.

                          1. re: semanticantics

                            I thought the exemption was a done deal, too, having read that the City Council approved the exemption.

                            Count me as another ex-Cossetta's customer. It's shameful that Dave Cossetta would even try to pull those strings. And that those on the City Council should go to the trouble of making such a rule (not a bad one, IMHO) and then throw it under the proverbial bus when it's "inconvenient" to a city favorite. But I expect that from politicians. I expected more from the Cossettas.