The week of birthday dinners started Sunday night when Colleen surprised me with a 5PM reservation at Bar La Grassa in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune’s 2009 Restaurant of the Year. I had read some of the reviews and was excited to check it out.
We found street parking directly across from their building at 800 North Washington Avenue. They also had valet parking available for $3, but with the meters not enforced on a Sunday, we just took an open spot.
The restaurant didn’t open until five and a fairly large crowd was waiting outside the locked doors. We were seated almost right away, though, and had a great table near the wine rack. The room has a lot of atmosphere, including a giant picture of Johnny Cash. How can you go wrong with that?
Our server was very friendly and informative. He helped us pick almost everything we ordered:
- Antipasti – Apple and Prosciutto with Gorgonzola Parmesan Dressing ($6)
- Bruschetta – Olivada and Goat Cheese ($7)
- Fresh Pasta – Fettucine Alfredo ($6) & Gnocchi with Cauliflower and Orange ($8)
- Secondi – Chicken ($18)
- Dessert – Butter Salted Caramel Crespelle ($6), Carrot Cake ($8)
- Cocktail – Poway Sunset ($9.50)
Being a picky eater, I wasn’t too sure about the antipasti or the bruschetta, but both were incredible. I’ve never seen apples sliced so thin and I’m a huge fan of prosciutto, so that is a dish I could eat every day. The fettucine was the best I’ve had outside of the original Alfredo’s, which is saying a lot. The Star Tribune story said the desserts were a weakness, but the caramel crespelle was a perfect end to a great meal.
The room was packed the entire time we were there, but the noise was never too bad. They do occasionally play music, but it was very much in the background. Bar La Grassa is a fun place to people watch, too, with a lot of diversity in the clientele.
Highly RecommendedOriginally published by DK on January 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm