BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (CHEAP) - 2006
Broders' Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
A neighborhood trattoria that speaks the international language of pasta—fresh stuff handmade every day. (The menu warns against taking anything home to reheat; hand-cut egg fettuccini just doesn't revive nicely in the microwave.) Try any of chef Michael Rostance's traditional or original creations, like rustic spaghetti alla puttanesca with a hot anchovy kick from the southern end of Italy; tender risotto with porcini and sage from the northern end of the boot; or rigatoni with crab, sweet peas, tomatoes, and chiles from nowhere but here, now, and fresh. If you sit at the open kitchen's bar while the cooks sizzle garlic and toss linguine and twirl in golden peppers, scallops, and shrimp, it's not just dinner, but a show as well. The lines for a table can be long, but take heart: Service is brisk (though not rushed), and perhaps you can use the wait as an excuse to lounge on the patio with a nice (inexpensive) Chianti and a plate of olives. The sensible selection of Italian wines, available by the glass and half and whole bottles, prove that the good things in life are not always expensive.And on Mondays, if you're a kid dining with your parents, good food is free (until 6:30 p.m.). Once the pastas are cleared, simple, good desserts do nothing to detract from the sense of a world made plain and good. Perhaps, for you, a wide wedge of pear ginger torte?