1300 Nicollet Ave Ste 5003, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5540344.970876 -93.278285
Neighborhoods: Central, Loring Park
Get cozy with friends and family and enjoy an Italian feast at this loved-by-locals restaurant. – In Short
Homesick for your mother's Italian cooking? Grab your appetite and head to this restaurant, where the friendly wait staff will serve up portions of Colosseum-esque proportions, like spaghetti and meatballs loaded with savory tomato sauce and lots of pungent garlic. Dishes center on Southern Italian immigrant fare, and are meant to be shared family-style with a large goblet of wine-to enhance the taste, of course. The ornate décor with walls covered in vintage photos evokes a warm homey feel that welcomes customers to dine among the other families and loyal customers. Buon Appetito!
With pass-around plates and big bottles of wine, it's like sharing a meal with Hollywood's version of a big Italian family. – The Scene
From the Italian language tapes in the bathroom to the 3-liter bottles of Chianti on every table, the vibe here is Italian-American kitsch, on overdrive. The boisterous, sprawling dining rooms attempt to recall the old Italian supper clubs of the '0s and '0s, where extended families passed evenings full of hearty food and good fun. With servers hollering, kitchen doors swinging, and Sinatra on the stereo, the resulting din sounds like a high-school cafeteria.
"La cucina povera", the high carb, red-sauced "cooking of the poor" brought over to the United States by southern Italian immigrant families around the turn of the last century, is what's on the menu. Platters are piled impossibly high with slabs of eggplant parmigiana, baseball-sized meatballs balance on a mountain of spaghetti. A classic version of chicken Marsala--tender chicken breast surrounded by giant mushrooms in a rich Marsala wine sauce--stands out as a great choice among all these predictable offerings. If you've managed to save room for dessert, try a giant bowl of strawberries with lemon gelato, or a helping of tiramisú.
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