Italian Restaurants in Mendota Heights

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Ristorante Luci creates Italian fare with a classica flair and serves it within a warm, intimate atmosphere. Like the color of a slovenly roommate's sweatpants, the menu changes with the seasons, as the ristorante works with as many Minnesota-based farmers as possible to stock its larder with fresh, flavorful ingredients. Prepare for piquant pasta with a curtain-raiser such as the sautéed green beans ($10), partnered with an organic chopped egg and a dabbling of truffle oil. The fusilli alla Luci ($11) mingles its corkscrew pasta with grilled chicken, broccoli, and a garnish of red-pepper flakes. For something meatier, try the dish that's synonymous with Italy—slow-braised New Zealand lamb shank ($16)—which melts in mouths before unleashing stores of tomato and rosemary flavor. Schemes to get one's Iowan cousin crowned King of Malaysia are best concocted over a capper of homemade desserts, coffees, and cappuccinos.

470 Cleveland Ave S
Saint Paul,
MN
US

More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half-century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.

1532 University Avenue West
Saint Paul,
MN
US

More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.

635 Snelling Ave S
Saint Paul,
MN
US

When Diane Mattaini opened Trattoria da Vinci, she wanted only one thing: for customers to experience authentic Italian cuisine in a beautiful place. Fifteen years later, Trattoria da Vinci is a giant among restaurants due to its utterly beautiful design, attention to detail and amazing authentic Italian food. Their lunch menu features familiar items like spaghetti and meatballs, but also ones that, to the American palette, may be more exotic. Items like Frittra Mista and Parmesan Walleye grace the lunch menu while the dinner menu includes Cioppino (seafood stew and toasted bread) and other choice such as Gamberoni Portofino and Ravioli Crimini. Trattoria da Vinci has a great dessert menu and their wine list is extensive with both Italian favorites from Tuscany and staff favorite Santa Ynez Valley’s Geworztraminer. An elegant, lovely choice for a night out, dress up or tone down, your choice, for Trattoria da Vinci.

400 Sibley St
Saint Paul,
MN
US

Over 15 years of serving the Macalester/Groveland neighborhood homemade Italian cuisine in a cozy, romantic bistro dining room. Traditional dishes like Primavera Alfredo, Seafood Cannelloni, Spaghetti & Meatballs. To five different Chicken dishes, Veal, Smoked Salmon pasta, stuffed Italian Steaks.

238 Snelling Ave S
Saint Paul,
MN
US

Cuisine Type: Home-cooked Italian food

Established: Before 1950

Reservations: Not necessary

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Number of Tables: 25?50

Parking: Parking lot

Most popular offering: Spaghetti/meatballs, known for our sauce

Kid-friendly: Yes

Alcohol: Full bar

Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Q&A with the Yarusso Family

What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?

Well, we are celebrating 80 years this year. [The] third generation is running [the restaurant] now. Freddy, who is one of the owners, his house as a child is where our parking lot is now. Our additional dining room that we had added a few years back is where his front yard was. He literally grew up here. We have always been able to maintain it as a family business, and consider ourselves very lucky to have the chance to keep the dream alive of a poor Italian man that worked his butt off.

In your own words, how would you describe your menu?

Our meatballs [and] sauce are made with the exact same recipes that our grandfather used when first opening up in 1933. We have also added some new items through the years, while still maintaining that Yarusso taste.

637 Payne Ave.
St. Paul,
MN
US