“What brings home to you when you’re somewhere else?” Something we like to ask to anyone we speak to. Almost anyone you would ask that question to will respond with something sensory and among those, nearly all will be reminded of home by a scent coming from the kitchen.
We’re not Italian. Not even close. But like any red-blooded Americans, we had a lot of Italian cooking growing up. Whether it was a gourmet red sauce with shreds of basil or the watery tomato sauce overtop of undercooked spaghetti, we loved it. It was hearty, it was comforting, it was home.
That’s how we feel stepping in La Grolla. The sensory feeling of the sounds of a busy kitchen to the smell of roasted garlic are there right away. You’re welcomed with a smile and seated promptly. With an inviting ambiance of low wattage lighting and wooden chairs, you’ll want to look the menu over closely and then request a wine to pair with your dish from the sommelier.
With seafood and pasta that’s as fresh as you can get in Minnesota, we like to go with a dish that has them both in abundance. Such as the Cartoccio, linguine pasta tossed with sauteed shrimp, calamari, scallops, Mediterranean mussels, clams, garlic, fresh tomato, basil and oregano. After it’s tossed in the pan, it gets wrapped in parchment paper and then is baked until it’s piping hot and ready to serve. It’s also a favorite among the regulars.
The homey atmosphere has us coming here on special occasions, or when we want to impress a friend’s parents, or simply want some really outstanding wine and pasta.
There really isn’t a better way to describe this place than that’s inviting. So go on ahead and invite yourself over because there’s nothing wrong with feeling at home here, even if you’re not Italian.