Aug 26

Bar La Grassa

Bar La Grassa has earned itself quite a reputation around the Twin Cities.  The Italian restaurant has boasted several local and national “best” restaurant awards over the past couple of years.  And Chef Isaac Becker was named the 2011 James Beard Best Chef in the Midwest.  Awards like that are nothing to overlook.  The atmosphere at Bar La Grassa is exactly what you would hope and expect to find at an Italian restaurant in the warehouse district of Minneapolis.  It is hip, packed and loud (in a good way).

I always enjoy the feeling of an open kitchen with a bar that allows you to belly up and watch the masters at work.  I went to Bar La Grassa last weekend expecting to have quite a wait since I had not made a reservation, but I was pleasantly surprised to be offered immediate seating at the bar overlooking the kitchen.

When we sat down we were met with some marinated peppers and butter beans and wonderful focaccia that had a topping of salt and herbs.

After ordering some wine, it was time to explore the menu.  Bar La Grassa is known for it’s homemade fresh pastas among other things, and being the pasta lover that I am, I knew that I wanted to sample some fresh noodles.  However, that did not narrow down my decision much as the restaurant offers about 12 different fresh pasta selections.  We decided to start with the Crispy Insalata Saporoso Vinaigrette which was a lovely green salad with frisee, fennel, pine nuts and cheese.  It was an unique, fresh and light way to begin our meal.

I was lucky that my company also wanted to sample fresh pasta dishes.  That way I got to try 3 different pastas without feeling totally gluttonous.  I had read about the Mushroom and Taleggio Agnolotti, so that was the decision for me.  The rich flavor of the mushrooms was amazing, but I am glad that the plates come in half or whole orders because a little bit of this dish goes a long way.

My mother is unable to eat cheese, so the Crab Ravioli was perfect for her.  The Ravioli was paired with a rather simple cream sauce.

Finally, my husband needed some meat and so he sampled the Pappardelle with Veal Ragu.  The sheets of fresh pappardelle were perfectly delicate and light, but the veal ragu was sweet, somewhat one-note and left me wanting for something:  salt, spice, garlic, something.

We were too stuffed for dessert, but lucky for me, Bar La Grassa Satisfied My Sweet Tooth anyway.  The check was brought with some almond brittle with a hint of chili pepper for a surprisingly warm and lovely slow burn.

What is your favorite pasta dish and/or restaurant?

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2 Comments ( Reply )

  1. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Richie still has to go here, even though I’m not as convinced anymore…I love fresh pasta – it is such a treat! I’ve been meaning to make it at home, we have an attachment for the mixer but now I’m saying we better wait until after the wedding. 🙂


    • Mercedes
      Aug 26, 2011 @ 9:43 am

      I have always wanted to try to make fresh pasta also! If there is any day we could squeeze it in and do it together before you leave (:() I would love it!


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