BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (BARGAIN) Minneapolis 2007 - Broders' Southside Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
The ongoing domestic culture wars have lately pitted virtuous know-nothings against those who are "foodier than thou"—you know the type: those people who prefer pig's trotters to meat loaf, pretty much on principle. There is one place that everyone in the Twin Cities seems to agree on, whether their idea of a good time involves the most esoteric foodie flight or the simplest peasant joy: Broders' Pasta Bar. The base of the bliss is the handmade, exquisitely fresh egg pasta that the Broders' noodle-masters master daily. The foodier than thou shudder with joy over chef Michael Rostance's daily specials: A recent day's treats included an antipasti of Puzzone cow's milk cheese served with fig preserves and grapes ($7.95) and a wild boar risotto with chestnuts, crimini mushrooms, and dark caramelized onions ($12.95). The humbler than thou revel in the best noodles and meat sauce in town—properly called tagliatelle Bolognese ($9.25)—distinguished by meat sauce cooked so tenderly and delicately the tongue reads it as sweet, albeit really just that sort of sweet that comes when a plain thing is done excellently. Finally, the cheaper than thou track Broders' $25-dinner-for-two-with-wine promotions, which are usually offered Sunday through Thursday after 8:00 in the dark, early-to-bed nights of winter, and before 6:00 in the stay-up-and-play bright nights of summer. It makes you wonder: If the average American could cook like chef Rostance, would the culture wars be over? Quick, someone cast that man in a cooking show—we have nothing to lose but our disagreements!