Historians believe the Roman Empire officially fell when Emperor Romulus Augustulus forgot to bring wine, pasta, or an army when battling invading Germanic tribes. Today's Groupon ensures that history will not repeat itself unless it's for dramatic emphasis: for $30, you get $60 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at Osteria I Nonni in Lilydale, located just 25 minutes southeast of Minneapolis.
Osteria I Nonni serves Roman-inspired cuisine that changes seasonally and is made from scratch by the restaurant's acclaimed chefs—even the meat butchering and ham curing is done in-house, though thankfully not tableside. Recent menu offerings include antipasti plates such as vongole, steamed clams with a potato puree ($11), and tonno crudo, an Italian variation on the Japanese delicacy sashimi ($10).
First courses, or primi piatti, include gnocchi with pancetta and small porcini ($13/$17), as well as risotto with calamari, shrimp, and peperonata ($13/$17), perfect for tossing at newlywed birds. The secondi piatti selection features meaty mouthfuls such as lombatello, a grilled hanger steak with turriga ($26), and capesante, grilled rare scallops awash in scallions ($28).
The food is only half the charm of Osteria I Nonni. The other 75% is its evocative ambience, complete with chandeliers warmly lighting the dining room like summer stars on a Mediterranean night. The remaining third is its extensive wine collection: Osteria I Nonni's wine list contains more than 400 rare and regional wines straight from the grape mines of Italy.
Osteria I Nonni has been featured in Minnesota Monthly magazine. More than 170 OpenTable reviewers give Osteria I Nonni an average of 4.5 stars, and 17 Yelpers give it an average of 4.5 stars. Citysearchers give it an average of 3.5 stars.
*Everything was top notch. – OpenTable reviewer who dined on 02/14/11
- Likely the best Italian experience we have had in the Twin Cities time and again. – Paul S., Yelp, 11/10/10
981 Sibley Memorial Hwy.
Lilydale, Minnesota 55118Get Directions