On a brisk December night, my soon-to-be world famous daughter Kristin and I set out in search of a great restaurantwhen we stumbled upon Bar La Grassa, a restaurant with impressive reviews and an equally impressive menu. It is located in the North Loop area of Minneapolis which is quickly becoming the hot spot for fun dining experiences and will soon be the home of the MN Twins. The restaurant is located at 800 North Washington Avenue near Cuzzy’s, Be’Wiched Deli, The Loop, JD Hoyt’s and Black Sheep Pizza. There is a great variety of foodie options, depending on your mood, and on-street parking is available with the option of valet for and $3.00.
Bar La Grassa opened roughly two months ago in the former home of Babalu. We were surprised that the restaurant was packed at 6 p.m. on a Monday evening. With no reservation in hand we were cheerfully greeted and offered seats at the pasta bar, allowing us to view every menu item as it travelled from the Chef’s to some lucky diner’s table. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable, offering advice and opinion on the most popular items. We started with an order of Soft Eggs and Lobster Bruschetta, and Marinated Pork Shoulder Bruschetta. The menu features nine different Bruschetta’s, each of which I am committed to trying. We followed with the Grilled Prawns, Fusilli Col Buco with Pork Sausage and the Braised Kale with Ricotta Salata. All pasta’s are available dry or fresh and most are offered in small or large plate serving sizes. I recommend checking out the menu online in advance and if possible, visit with a group of four or more so you can eat family style.
Where: 800 North Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN | Minneapolis North Loop
When: Monday – Thursday, 5p.m. to Midnight; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
What to Have: Lobster Bruschetta, Grilled Prawns, Braised Kale with Ricotta Salata
Atmosphere: Trendy but comfortable
Cost: Appetizers $6 to $15, Main course, $6 to $45
Bill’s Beverage of the Month
The wine menu at Bar la Grassa is extensive and includes several fine selections that are reasonably priced, both by the glass and by the bottle. I enjoyed a glass of the Malbec from Argentina, which was very dark, flavorful and smooth. Ask your server to help you choose a glass that will complement your meal.