Broders' Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55419-1035
I don't think it would be a stretch to say that Broders' is one of the top, if not the best Italian restaurant in the Twin Cities. It is my personal favorite. So maybe this review will be filled with bias, but if it convinces people to visit, I don't think they will be angry with me.
The family owned Broders' Pasta Bar is located on the corner of 50th and Penn only a few blocks away from Lake Harriet. The restaurant has a small parking lot out front. Don't count on pakring there, but no worries, there is plently of non-metered street parking. A little walking never hurt anyone. Their deli (Broders' Cucina Italiana) is right across the street on the other side of 50th and offers a great variety of fresh pasta, bread, desserts, and other deli items. The bread and pasta are made fresh at the deli and used at the restaurant.
A little side note: Can I go on a little rant here? Fresh pasta vs. dried pasta. Maybe I shouldn't even make a comparison because the two are totally different. And yes, my cupboards are stocked with dried pasta. It will do and it stores for a long time, but if I was not so lazy I would make/drive to Broders' to get fresh pasta and never use the dry stuff. If you've had both look me in the eye and tell me there's no difference. YOU CAN'T DO IT! Damnit. I'm hungry.
The seating area is small, but warm and inviting. And not like the warm and inviting your realtor talks about (this is code for small as shit!). The average table fits about 2-4 although they allow for bigger parties. There is a bar in the middle and an open kitchen so you can see all the chefs making your food (I like these kinds of things). They have daily specials and a menu that changes for seasonal and new items.
Fresh Bread $FREE
Focaccia, Fulton Flatbread, and Pane Villaggio bread fresh and warm. If you haven't noticed I like bread. Served with olive oil and pepper for dipping. I also recommend asking for a little balsamic vinegar to add to the oil (thanks Chris!). Good stuff.
Caesar Salad $5.95 (side portion)
Crispy lettuce, fresh parmesan, great dressing. For those who do not enjoy salad (Mr. Bottenfield) try this one anyways. Anchovies are $1.00 extra, but worth it!
Rigatoni alla Meridoionale $15.95
Fresh rigatoni pasta (the big tube ones) served al dente with beef tenderloin tips, sundried tomatoes and asparagus. Perfect portion size. Hearty sauce (not runny <--that's a gross word to use when describing food, sorry.), tender beef, and asparagus. The presentation is beautiful, lots of color with the sundried tomatoes, beef, and green asparagus. The beef terderloin melts in your mouth. It's almost like a stew where all the flavors have been cooking together for hours and everything is tender and wonderful.
Linguine Con Trota y Tartufi $13.50
Fresh tomato and egg linguine with Star Prairie Trout, crimini mushrooms and truffle cream. What about this doesn't sound good?? Local trout that I had to do a little more research on since it was so good...
What I learned About - Star Prairie Trout
Star Prairie Trout comes from a farm (http://www.starprairietrout.com/) in Star Prairie, Wisconsin (Okay, the word 'prairie' never looked right to me and now it really doesn't). Established in 1856, Star Prairie uses 100% pure natural flowing (versus pumped) spring water for it's fish farm. The farm also include a Class A hatchery.
Everything about this dish was wonderful. The sauce is what got me the most. The pasta wasn't drowning in sauce and because of the freshness of the pasta and the consistency of the sauce it stayed on every piece in the dish. Not too watery, not too heavy. The truffle gave the sauce depth and just the right amount richness. Each small piece of fish was like a mini filet. It held together well, but was flakey and never chewy. Michael Rostance, you're my new hero!
Yeah, it's good. I would eat anything on their dessert menu. All made fresh at the deli. You can also get any of the desserts at the deli to bring home.
# of People: 2
Reservations: No. They take call aheads (you can call and get your name on the waiting list up to an hour before you arrive) but no reservations. When you are put on the list this does not mean you will be seated right away when you get there!!! It's a good idea to call ahead, but be prepared to wait a few minutes especially if you go on a weekend.
Day/Time of Visit: Friday, October 10th 6:00pm
Will I be back: Um, I don't think you have to ask. If and when you visit you'll probably see me there.
YAYs!: Fresh and authentic, family owned (love that), knowledgeable and friendly staff, great ambiance, everything on the menu is amazing, good wine selection.
Nays: Does not take reservations (which I could care less about).
Notes: Go to the deli and make some Broders' at home! Also, Sun-Thurs go for the "After Eight" deal. Check out the details on the website.