Bar La Grassa
This ode to Italy isn’t your grandparent’s eye-talian eatery. With moody date-night lighting beaming from chandeliers, a steel pasta bar that provides the best seats in the house, and a broad range of shareable plates, Bar La Grassa is one of the great Italian restaurants in the Twin Cities with consistently good food and service. James Beard award-winning chef Isaac Becker (of 112 Eatery and Burch Steak & Pizza Bar) practices some restraint, resisting the urge to gussy up classics like carbonara, bucatini bathed in a rich Bolognese or red wine spaghetti with pine nuts.
Pastas come in half or full portions, affording you the ability to order a few to sample, which I highly encourage—I’m always drawn to the pillowy gnocchi with caramelized cauliflower and orange, and pappardelle with veal ragu. There’s also a range of antipasti, like arancini stuffed with duck confit and roasted beets with burrata, and a whole section dedicated to bruschetta—the soft egg and lobster bruschetta is legendary in the Twin Cities. You can easily have an affordable meal here, even the wine list has several reasonably priced Italian bottles, but you can also splurge on that New York strip or decadent shellfish platter and a bottle of Dom Perignon if the mood strikes you.
800 N Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55401