Wednesday, December 23, 2009
2009 Best of: Pasta
For some odd reason Minneapolis seems to have an impeccable pasta scene. I'm not sure what factors contribute to that but there is not shortage of really good, fresh pasta, both traditional and inventive.
The Winner: Broders' Tagliarini di Locanda de Lupo
It's typically pretty easy to hand this distinction off to them, but this year they had some very stiff competition. They've been doing there thing for years and it really shows. Their pasta has always been spot on in my numerous visits over the years. They make killer fresh pasta and adorn it with only the utmost care, and incredible and lavish ingredients. The tagliarini isn't always on the menu, but I'll always want to eat there when it is. An incredibly luxurious combination of prosciutto de parma, truffle pesto and cream is the back bone of this killer presentation and the sauce simply smothers the fresh pasta. It's truly an incredible dish that needs to be tasted, not read about.
Runner Up: Trattoria Tosca's fettuccini
Newcomer Tosca kills it in the pasta department, too. This Linden Hills gift serves a very limited and very seasonal menu, but when what you serve is so good, there really is no reason to complicate. The fettuccinni is rich beyond compare. A combination of rich and nutty grana padano, salty and robust fischer bacon and three, yes three egg yolks make a perfect silken sauce. A sprinkle of fresh herbs and some nice carmel notes from a bit of roasted cauliflower and you've got a really solid dish.
Runner Up #2: Bar La Grassa's Orecchiette with Braised Rabbit
Becker's newest offering is no slouch in the pasta department either, offering an array of inspiring new spins and traditional takes on old pasta favorites. If I'm at a pasta joint and there is rabbit or boar on the menu I am usually sold and Becker's menu was no different the little orecchiette had an amazing texture and held little cupfuls of delicious and delicate braised rabbit, herbs and tomato. This was a truly rustic and comforting dish that is not to be missed, either.
It was a great year for pasta!