There’s something disarming and charming about a dish that brags up its own effectiveness. The Flavor Explosion pizza at Mama’s Pizza talks a good game, and it delivers: sausage, pepperoni, bacon, banana peppers, and pineapple. The cumulative impact of all this exploding flavor, delivered atop a crispy thin crust covered with a generous melty roof...

This year again, the Italian Cultural Center, in partnership with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, is happy to bring the best of Italian cinema to the Twin Cities. 2019 will be a special edition celebrating the best movies of the past 10 years of the Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis / St. Paul (IFF). The 10 movies selected by our commi...

Alignment is key. Whether it’s about car wheels, shakras, or humor, it’s essential that elements designed to work together be arranged so that they complement and build upon individual virtues and needs, rather than clash in opposition. The humor in Minnesota Opera’s The Italian Straw Hat does not align with what I want as an audience person. My ed...

The return of Rikki Giambruno (above) to Minnesota has so far been a delicious homecoming. After spending most of his 20s building a culinary career in Brooklyn, he’s back in his home state with Hyacinth, a forward-thinking Italian restaurant in St. Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood. And he integrated his family and friends—old New York coworker Paul...

If you write about food for long enough, your eyes start to adjust and you can actually start seeing the scene clearly. What was once a small constellation of bright, newly formed, trendy restaurants fades to a more tolerable level and you can begin to see all the restaurants in the state that have quietly served their diners for years or even deca...

Cossetta Alimentari is much more than a St. Paul landmark and destination for all things from the Italian kitchen. Within its West Seventh headquarters is the equivalent of a block of shops in any Little Italy [mine was on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx]. A fine restaurant; a relaxed dining area, cafeteria style; pizzeria; Pasticceria with pastries and...

Need more pizza in your life? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top pizza sources in Saint Paul, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to meet your needs. 1. Mama's Pizza Topping the list is Mama's Pizza. Located at 961 Rice St. in North End, the Italian and traditional American spot, which offers p...

Red Rabbit, the new casual Italian restaurant on Grand Avenue, probably isn’t where you would go for your anniversary dinner. And owner Luke Shimp is fine with that. Shimp would rather the restaurant, which serves pizzas, pastas, a few entrees, an approachable but really good wine list and some darn good cocktails, be an everyday place wheregroups...

The year was 1998. Two years before Xcel Energy Center opened, an Italian restaurant hung up an awning near the St. Paul Hotel, and hoped it would last a couple years. Now, Pazzaluna is an icon of the downtown St. Paul dining scene. “It was a risk, leaving my job at the hotel to come here,” said Patti Summers, a St. Paul native who started her rest...

Looking to chow down on some Italian fare? A new restaurant has you covered. Called Red Rabbit, the new arrival is located at 788 Grand Ave. in St. Paul.  From owners Luke and Tracy Shimp, also of Red Cow, this place features brunch, lunch and dinner menus in a space that includes exposed brick, charred cedar planks and dimly lit fixtures for a coo...