RedRossa Italian Grille now open in Bloomington

Red Rossa is attached to the Best Western on the south side of MOA

Red Rossa is attached to the Best Western on the south side of MOA

RedRossa Italian Grille, the newest venture from WR Restaurants, which owns fifteen restaurants throughout the Midwest, is the company's first Minnesota location.

RedRossa highlights affordable Italian & American Cuisine, featuring "the finest ingredients, prepared in the tradition of old-world Italy, in a comfortable and festive atmosphere." The Hot Dish attended a media dinner at the new restaurant to try a few of their offerings. Here's a look at what we found:


Chef Carl Littlejohn was the opening chef at Ike's downtown, and also helped open that restaurant's airport location. He's now the executive chef at RedRossa. His enthusiasm for the restaurant was clear as he led us on a tour of the kitchen.

The crown jewel of the kitchen is the wood stove, which reaches 800 degrees and fires up tasty pizzas in just a few minutes.

Our lunch started with the wild mushroom truffle arancini, a crisp risotto bauble containing wild mushrooms, fontina cheese, and truffle oil, served on a dollop of roasted tomato ragout. Those who aren't fans of mushrooms can still enjoy this appetizer. The mushroom flavor is barely detectable, and for a fried dish, it wasn't too heavy or greasy.

The bruschetta (toasted rustic bread, fresh Mozzarella, basil marinated tomatoes, shaved Parmesan and a balsamic reduction) was fresh and crisp, with a pleasant peppery bite from the few Arugula leaves served on the side, and a touch of sweetness from the drizzle of balsamic.


Our favorite dish was this spicy chicken and shrimp Romano, which mixes generous curls of sumptuous shrimp and tender, moist chunks of chicken breast with penne pasta, wild mushrooms, and crisp slivers of scallion in a spicy Romano cream sauce, with sun dried tomatoes adding a smattering of color.

The Gorgonzola chicken gnocchi is a very heavy dish, suitable for only the hungriest of hippos. Gnocchi is always dense with carbs, and RedRossa goes even further by breading and frying theirs. The Gorgonzola cream sauce is rich and generous, making this dish a calorie bomb worthy of an ultramarathoner.

The desserts we tried were quite good, especially the caramel sea salt panna cotta, and the chocolate cake with cappuccino ice cream.

RedRossa is open for lunch, happy hour (3-6 daily), and dinner. Through July 31st, $1 from every lunch or dinner entree will be donated to the North Minneapolis tornado recovery fund.

RedRossa Italian Grille of Bloomingtong 1901 Killebrew Dr., Bloomington 952.814.2910 RedRossa's website

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