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Rice to See You

August 31st, 2009 Issue dayid

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Sometimes, you just need a night off. From the intrigue of who's wearing what at table four. From sneering-waiter condescension and gastronomic trends (read: foam) of any kind.

Sounds like someone needs to discover the risotto at Broders' Pasta Bar.

The little ristorante has been stirring up the Italian rice specialty for 15 years and giving you multiple options to enjoy.

Sink in next to a cherubic statue and order a number 21 -- Il Risotto Con Pollo e Asparagi (chicken, lemon, and asparagus, $12.95) and enjoy it outside under a trellis softly alight with tiny orange bulbs. Or test drive the Risotto del Giorno -- a creamy, hearty, and full of flavor dish with eggplant, mushrooms, and goat cheese ($13.95).

Another option: Pop over to the super-casual Cucina Italiana across the street and hope that a risotto is featured that day for some tasty rice on the run. The truly brave might grab bag of Riso Carnaroli ($7.95) and whip up a batch at home.

The Broders (Molly and Tom) originally opened shop after a cooking sojourn in Bologna (uncoincidentally in the part of Italy where risotto hails from).

Their delicious food is matched with ultra-friendly service and a humble but astute wine list. It's all proof that you can have a night off.

Without skipping great food.

Broders' Pasta Bar, 5000 Penn Av. S., Mpls., 612-925-9202.

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