#8 - Broder's Pasta Bar - Minneapolis, MN

CD4L was down to 2--me & Krista--by Tuesday night.  Last week I had found Broder's Pasta Bar on the Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives website, and it looked like a fun place.  I also found out that it was the Cucina Italiana (deli) that was on Triple D, and not the pasta bar.  But I couldn't resist the idea of homemade pasta.  We met in the hotel lobby and the first car available was a limo, so off we went, rolling in style.

Broder's doesn't take reservations, but suggests that you call ahead.  So I did as we got into the car, and we were set.  We were seated at the bar, which I'd heard was the best place because you can see the chefs cooking in the kitchen.  In reality, all you can really see is their heads, but that's okay because we spent our time taking in the whole atmosphere of the place.  The one down side is that it was really warm inside.  I don't know if the AC was overloaded from the heat of the week, but it did cool down as the evening went on.  The light fixtures over the bar are actually made of colanders!  I tried to get a picture, but the lighting wasn't cooperating.  The restaurant only has seating for maybe 75 inside and it was packed. Our waitress was really good.  She knew her stuff and was able to explain everything in great detail and help us make our decisions. 

We had attended a wine education session on Monday at the conference, and to be honest we were both a little intimidated about ordering the "wrong" wine.  But our server helped us pick, and we were both happy with our selections.  I chose a pinot grigio, and Krista selected a rose. 

We both started with strawberry salad (insalata di stagione). 
arugula & mache with fresh strawberry, pine nuts, 
local sheep’s milk frico & strawberry vinaigrette
I'm  not the hugest fan of all the leafy greens, but  it was too boring to just get a Caesar salad.  The salad was good and light, and it probably sent my body into shock after days of no vegetables. 

Next, the entrees.  I ordered the homemade pasta with lobster, spinach and cream sauce. 
pasta with langostino lobster, tomatoes & hazelnut basil pesto
It was amazing.  There is absolutely no comparison between dry pasta and fresh, homemade pasta.  Even the "fresh" Buitoni pasta at the grocery store can't compare. The cream sauce was very flavorful and not too heavy, the lobster was cooked perfectly, and the parmesan cheese added the perfect flavor.   

Krista lives in Seattle and refuses to eat seafood in a landlocked state.  I felt the same way when I first moved to Stillwater, but changed my tune--somewhat.  Krista ordered the pasta with chunky tomatoes, garlic & olive oil with veggies
house made eggless pasta with tomatoes, olive oil & garlic served in the classic Umbrian style 
As we were waiting on our dinner we saw a server taking some desserts to another table.  They looked awesome.  We were full, but luckily the dinner portions aren't crazy, so we figured what the heck.  So we ordered the profiteroles to share
pastry shells filled with Sonny’s caramel nut ice cream 
topped with homemade chocolate sauce
What a great way to finish the meal. The cold ice cream against the warm profiterole and chocolate sauce was perfect. 

No question I'll go back if I ever make it back to Minneapolis.  Everything was fresh, so many of the items were homemade, and the server was great.  They even called a cab for us...just a regular car this time.