Best Italian in the Twin Cites is in White Bear Lake!
This is a Hidden Gem! I have frequent this place since it first open. Darren and the staff are great. The food and service is always on key. I go here a lot since I live near by. Hopefully they don't get to big that they move to Mpls.Just to compare the food to "real" Italian food. I was in Italy for business traveling all over and once I got back home. I had to go to Acqua right away to compare the food since my taste buds were still fresh from Italy. I will say that their food is right on compared to Italy. I have tried most of everything on the menu and trust me everything is great. This place is so popular now that reservations are a must. There is some space at the bar on a first come-first serve basis. I recommend the Ragu alla Bolgnese or the Ossobuco di Porco. Obviously, if you blog on chowhound, you know what good Italian food is and not the Olive Garden...haaa. This place is fine-dining (without the snooty attitude) but a chef-driven feel since the place is small. The prices are right. Check it out!
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Living in the NE burbs, this place is a godsend. Quiet, unassuming place putting out some seriously great food.
I think it is right there with BLG, honestly. And the vibe is small and cozy (right on White Bear Lake) as opposed to the giant and raucous vibe at BLG.