Mario and Nina Pelagalli use recipes passed down from family members from Rome and Naples as the blueprints for Casa Nostra Pizzeria & Ristorante's Italian cuisine. As the owners revealed to Sun Thisweek, Nina's mother creates the restaurant's sauces from scratch to ensure they carry on the family tradition of culinary excellence. Her concoctions blanket the 25 pastas on Casa Nostra's dinner menu, which also includes pizzas, paninis, and veal and chicken entrees. Having recently taken over a neighboring bar, the Pelagallis' restaurant now accommodates even more guests with roomier dining quarters and an expanded liquor stock. Evening entertainment includes Frank Sinatra tributes that pay homage to the crooner's singing ability and talent for intermittently firing blue lasers from his eyes.
A modern take on the classic movie-going experience, ShowPlace Icon Theatre takes the legwork out of dinner and a movie by pairing comfortable sophisticated theaters with upscale, on-location dining, and advanced reserved seating. With digital cinema projectors capable of displaying 35 trillion colors and premium digital surround-sound systems, each stadium-seated auditorium is equipped to showcase buzz-worthy films exactly as the director, assistant director, second-assistant director, and second second-assistant director intended. Patrons to the theater pick their viewing spots ahead of time, eliminating the usual frenzied, darkened search for ideal seating and guaranteeing guests find seats together.
Chorizo, chihuahua cheese, lemongrass, and bamboo shoots are equally at home in Señor Wong’s kitchen, where the executive chef fills the menu with Asian Mexican fusion plates. Tacos topped with barbacoa or smoky black beans join entrees such as szechwan steak stir-fry served with jasmine rice. Señor Wong also pairs more traditional bar bites, such as what the Star Tribune thinks “might be the best sweet potato fries in town,” with 18 draft craft beers from breweries such as Surly Brewing Co. and Summit Brewing Company. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available. Weekly special events such as trivia and karaoke further foster the laid-back pub vibe, as patrons can sample sakes or sing lullabies to the Paloma En Fuego cocktail, which mixes Hornitos Reposado tequila, serrano pepper, grapefruit soda, hopped grapefruit bitters, limeade, and smoked salt rim. Friday and Saturday nights also feature live music from various local musicians.
Focusing on fare sourced locally from family farms, the WA Frost menu features dishes dictated by the growing calendar and micromanaging harvest gods. For the nonce, you can sample small-plate selections such as homemade rutabaga gnocchi tossed with Brussels-sprout petals, Parmesan, sage, pancetta, and truffle syrup ($8.50), and marinated diver sea scallops bedded in a grapefruit, apple, and radicchio salad with verjus vinaigrette ($9.50). Grilled sustainable Wisconsin rainbow trout ($21), monkfish chioppino ($25), and Norwegian grilled salmon with black trumpet mushrooms and cabbage ($24) all star in WA Frost's featured dinner entrees, with assists from collard greens and smoked ham hock, vegetable mélange, or Yukon Gold potato puree ($6 each). Follow up the feast with a sophisticated sweet ending like the organic carrot cake ($6.75) mounted with chevre-cream-cheese mousse. WA Frost also boasts an impressive wine list with a strong representation of Bordeaux, California cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay, as well as a wide range of vintage and non-vintage champagnes and sparkling wines.
At Dive Bar & Grill, the rules are simple: the party goes late, flip-flops are permissible, and cowboy hats are always welcome. The sports bar and dance club fires up a group party each night with thumping DJ sets, group events, and VIP bottle service. Take a break from the action to scarf down sizzling bar treats from the kitchen, including tater-tot nachos, crinkle-cut fries, and burgers stuffed with fillings from mushroom and swiss to jalapeño bacon. The kitchen also serves breakfast dishes all day, and tosses wings in a choice of eight sauces, one for each nostril on Mount Rushmore.