If you attend shows at the Ordway, Wild hockey games at the Xcel or any other downtown St.Paul events, take time to enjoy one of city’s finer dining experiences, Pazzaluna Urban Italian. This establishment is a favorite of my mother, Alice, so I was happy to bring her there for a belated holiday dinner. As always, we were thrilled with each item selected from the menu. On this particular night I paired the White Wine Sauce Scallop and Cucumber Soup (with clam juice and dill) with the Caesar salad (topped with shaved parmigiano-reggiano and anchovies) for a lightdinner. Mom went with the Three Meat Cannelloni, a great combo of beef, pork, veal, spinach and tomatoes topped with mozzarella and served in a red and white sauce.
Pazzaluna has a fun bar with Happy Hour features including $5 glasses of wine, $6 martinis and specially-priced appetizers for those in a hurry. Despite their great happy hour features, I still prefer the the restaurant. Pazzaluna’s full menu offers most anything you could imagine from a fine dining Italian establishment. Take time to discover the Authentic Antipasti Collection and don’t miss out on the second best crab cake in the Twin Cities (Oceanaire has the best). Some of my favorites include the Four Cheese Pizza; Gnocchi with Bacon, Leek and Spinach; the Sausage and Peppers pasta, and the Steelhead Trout. The sides are fun to share and the Dessert Platter is a must!
Where: 360 St. Peter Street, St. Paul, MN | Downtown St. Paul
When: Open for dinner nightly: Bar 4:00PM; Dining Room 5:00PM
What to Have: Antipasti Collection, Four Cheese Pizza, Gnocchi with Bacon
Atmosphere: Comfortable and laid back
Cost: Appetizers $5 to $14, Main course, $15 to $40
Bill’s Beverage of the Month
For this visit to Pazzaluna I was the designated driver so I enjoyed a glass of a Sangiovese-Merlot blend from Tuscany while mom chose Kahlua on the rocks. However, the restaurant has an extensivewine and beer menu which I’ve toured on prior visits. On one particularly memorable occasion (though slightly cloudy), several friends and I selected the entire Chianti section from the wine menu. Throughout our multi-course meal, our server poured each bottle starting with the least expensive to the most. Each bottle tasted increasingly better, leaving us eager to try more. The benefit to dining in a group is the ability to experience more of the menu if your company is willing to share. I highly recommend it!