Day 3 (6/26): Last summer we spent our free time with as many people as possible, checking off our Minnesota bucket list of things to do before moving to Virginia. For dinner one June evening, we met our friends Karly and Dustin at Broders’ Pasta Bar before heading out to see the extended version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the theater. You may recognize the place, actually – Guy Fieri featured the bistro on an episode of ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ not too long ago. The food we ate at Broders’ that night almost matched the quality of the wonderful company we shared and commanded another visit. Unfortunately we were unable to return before we moved away.
As we pieced together our Back in Minnesota Calendar of Events, we needed an evening with Alisha and Steve, a couple I’ve known for years via my career with Red Lobster and who have become close friends to both Bryce and I throughout our relationship. Though we had been back in the Twin Cities on a couple of occasions, our schedules never quite aligned with Alisha’s or Steve’s. Seeing them, therefore, became a priority for us. Once we had a date on the books, we tossed a few different restaurant ideas around until Bryce brilliantly suggested Broders’ in Minneapolis. Genius!
Broders’ serves seriously delicious, fresh-made pasta in an enchanting bistro setting and offers one of the best summer dining deals in Minneapolis. On Tuesdays through Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6:30, you can enjoy a plate of marinated olives, a sharable salad, two pasta dishes, and a half bottle of selected house wine for just $30. Believe me when I say it’s a steal, especially when you take into account the quality of Broders’ food. We practically devoured our creamy carbonara and spicy puttanesca and highly suggest trying both dishes. Alisha and Steve ordered from the Dinner Menu rather than the Summer Supper Menu and found their choices of lasagna al granchio and the daily risotto special to be equally as impressive. The chefs struck the right balance between seasoning and herbs with each sauce, cooked the pasta perfectly al dente, and produced a proper pasta-to-sauce ratio (or rice-to-sauce in Steve’s case). Even though the four of us wound up sufficiently stuffed, we opted for the added decadence of a flourless chocolate cake and ice cream stuffed profiteroles to top off our meals. Not surprisingly, the desserts lived up to the high standards set forth by dinner. Definitely check out Broders’ Pasta Bar if you get the chance, and if you don’t mind an early dinner, the Summer Supper Menu makes for a treat on the palate and your pocketbook.
As an added bonus to enjoying dinner early we were able to spend more time hanging out with Alisha and Steve. Broders’ Pasta Bar sits a few short blocks from Lake Harriet, one of the beautiful chain of lakes within Minneapolis. We drove up to the lake, parked our cars, and walked around, reminiscing about old times and sharing new stories with one another. We meandered over to the band shell where we caught a quick bit of a free band concert and wandered through the adjacent rose and zen gardens. Don’t worry, we stopped to smell the roses – literally. In the zen garden, the park and recreation board set up a neat little origami station with step-by-step instructions posted on, well, cement posts and recycled paper. Of the four of us, only Bryce successfully folded his square piece of paper to match the crane. The rest of our failed attempts created much laughter and fantastic new memories we added to those we made over dinner and took with us as we parted.