Trendiest Table in Town; Bar La Grassa

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Warehouse District, Minneapolis

Bar La Grassa

Crab Ravioli at Bar La Grassa

A choice of dry pasta or fresh pasta. What’s the difference you ask? The wait staff at Bar La Grassa, the best Italian restaurant in Minneapolis can tell you.

“Dried is made with semolina flour, water and salt with a firmer texture. It’s perfect for vegans and dishes with thick sauce like spaghetti. And Fresh pasta contains eggs and is more tender. It goes perfect with lighter sauces” said our server over the din and clamor of a busy Wednesday evening.

Bar La Grassa was a last minute recommendation and given that I was escorting 10 hungry people (two of them my clients) several blocks from the hotel, I had to get it right.

We ordered the lot and shared everything starting with their famous Soft Eggs and Lobster Bruschetta. At $18, it’s a steep price to pay for an appetizer but given that many at the table are used to dining in NYC, they didn’t balk. It was worth every penny.

This is not your run-of-the-mill Buca di beppo or Olive Garden. There are several Italian words on the menu you’ll not recognize or find paired together in other restaurants. For example, the first treat came bundled with the bread basket: a small dish of lima beans, Manchego cheese and pickled vegetables. Scratch the EVOO and balsamic vinegrette, this is tastier and different.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting, like a rustic trattoria and located inside a brick-and-beam warehouse space in a neighborhood called The North Loop.

Owner and Chef Isaac Becker has won the ‘Best Chef in the Midwest’ by the James Beard Foundation three years in a row. Popular foodies and TV personality sightings happen all the time.