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Parella: New casual Italian format includes half-pound meatballs

Crudo: out, half pound meatballs: in.

Crudo: out, half pound meatballs: in.

Minneapolis, can we not have nice things? It seems like the bombardment of too many Italian restaurants focusing on crudo means they are already starting to fall like a house of cards.

One of our very favorites, Parella, recently lost Executive Chef Todd Macdonald (though he is remaining as silent partner). He went to work as executive chef of Red Cow, and he and Red Cow owner Luke Shimp have a project up their sleeves but are currently mum on details. We also been hearing that Il Foro has a more casual format change on the horizon, and only one crudo preparation remains on their menu. 

In a press release, Parella co-ower Michael Larson says that they have been "paying attention to what the neighborhood wants and how people eat in the bar area." He says that a good neighborhood Italian place needs to be "approachable and fun." 

The kind of fun approachability they're talking about: a giant 1/2 pound meatball, a hot Dago, and lots of pizza. A far cry from Macdonald's elegant regional Italian cooking— though they say they'll be continuing with that same menu in the dining room. Will they be able to pull off this "party up front, business in the back" format? Only time will tell. 

Meanwhile, they're also offering some new happy hour specials including $2 off food, a bottle of Prosecco for $16, and $2 off tap beers and cocktails, Mon-Fri 3-6 p.m., Mon-Sat 9-12 a.m., Sat 11:30 to 4 p.m. and all day Sunday. 

Parella

Calhoun Square

3001 Hennepin Ave., Mpls.

612-353-5444 

[email protected]