Ben and I got up early this morning to drive north to the Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota, dontcha know) for my friend’s wedding this weekend. It’s our second time up here in less than a month!
The ride was pretty uneventful and broken up by a Zone Perfect Sweet & Salty Bar for breakfast (it was ok, maybe a little too salty,)
and the standard tunaCORN Fantasy Football Adopt a Highway sign sighting.
This sign never gets old! Who names their fantasy football team “tunaCORN”? Then adopts a portion of the highway? What’s the story behind all this ridiculousness? I hate that I will never know the answers to these questions!
We headed straight for one of our very favorite places in Minneapolis when we arrived – Lake Calhoun.
I used to run around this beaut at least 3-4 times a week when I lived in the city after college. It’s a perfect 3 miles around, and the view of downtown can’t be beat.
You can rent kayaks and paddle boats here in the summertime too, which is always usually a blast… I’ll never forget the time Ben took me paddle boating for my birthday one year. We ended up getting a bum boat and his chair back kept flying into a flat, horizontal position every 10 seconds/5-6 pedals.
He was SO mad, which made me laugh SO hard, which made him even MORE mad…then he stopped talking to me. :( It was my birthday though so he couldn’t stay mad for too long – muwahaha! ;)
On one of the nicest days we’ve experienced yet this Spring, Ben and I strolled around the lake along with what seemed like half the city. Nobody wanted to miss out on the warm sun and mild breeze.
Our walk went quick, and I was up for another go-around, but our grumbling stomachs won out and we headed to Cossetta’s in St. Paul for lunch instead!
Cossetta’s is THE place for fast-casual Italian in the Twin Cities.
It’s a pizzeria/market/hot bar and their food is mouthwateringly delicious. Very fresh and authentic (I would literally give my first born for their baklava recipe…) They just won Best Italian in the Twin Cities by Citypages!
You pick out, order and pay for your food on the first floor, then climb up a winding staircase to sit and enjoy your Italian goodness while listening to rat pack tunes and looking at old family photos (of someone’s family!)
Ben and I snagged a seat right by the window – underneath the dried garlic and chilis that hung all the way to the ceiling.
Love the ambiance here!
You really can’t go wrong with anything your order at Cossetta’s – lasagna, hot soup, sausage & peppers, pizza – but you REALLY can’t go wrong with their Mostaccioli con Ricotta.
Complete with garlic bread for $5.25. I LOVE THIS MEAL!
Perfectly cooked pasta is smothered in ricotta cheese sauce, then generously topped with Cossetta’s house Family Sauce.
I tried so hard to order a salad. I really did. “You’ll hate yourself tomorrow when you won’t be able to zip up your already too-small bridesmaid’s dress!” I tried to reason with myself. But it was no good. This pasta is TOO GOOD to resist! Creamy, cheesy, and that bright, fresh house sauce competes with anything we had in Italy!
Cossetta’s garlic bread is completely mind melting as well. It’s the kind that somehow gets buttery, salty and garlicky on both the top AND bottom, and is soft and crispy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. I ate half then wisely gave the rest to Ben.
Speaking of Ben, he ordered 2 slices of Pepperoni Pizza.
You quickly taste just how fresh the cheese is, and again – that sauce! It ranks just behind DiCarlos Pizza from Ohio/WV as best pizza I’ve had in the states!
Fine. I confess! I took back the second half of my garlic bread. It was too good to giveaway, I tell you!
Luckily I came to my senses and packaged up half of my pasta. Small victories, people. :)
Well we’re all checked into our hotel now. Since Ben’s a priority club member, we got upgraded to a room with a view of the Mississippi River.
Hello St. Paul!
Off to the wedding rehearsal, then rehearsal dinner tonight. TGIF!