Cuisine: Deli, Italian, Pizza, Pasta
Restaurant Features: Cafe-Style, On-Site Parking, Market
Location: St Paul, MN (Downtown)
Address: 211 Seventh St W St Paul, MN 55102 (651) 222-3476
Atmosphere: Cossetta’s is a cafe-style restaurant, with two main serving areas that work their way toward the middle: The Pizza/Dessert counter on the far right and the Sandwiches/Salads/Hot Entree counter to the far left near the Italian Market. Order what you would like at designated counter (some items such as the lasagna, mostacolli and pizza are premade, but other items such as salads, sandwiches, veal parmesgiana, etc are made to order), then pay for everything at one of the two cashiers in the middle. Beverages are purchased at the cashier.
Cossetta’s is a two-story restaurant, with a majority of the seating on the upper level. Since the middle of the restaurant is open the full two stories to accommodate the stairway, many of the tables in the upper level wrap around a railing overlooking the action below. There is also a dining room upstairs in the back that has several tables extremely close together. When it gets crowded it can be hard to maneuver in and out.
Not pictured is the Cossetta Market, which sells imported food products from Italy, as well as fresh deli items (salads, sausage, sauce,etc).
Menu: Cossettas has a selection of made-to-order garden salads, such as the famous Cossetta Salad, Italian Garden Salad, or Italian Gorgonzola. There are also a handful of pasta salads like the Antipasto Salad or the Tortellini with Prosciutto and Gorgonzola.
Cossettas also has several sandwiches. The Hero (choice of meat) and the Italian Hero are served cold with choice of fixings, while the following are all served hot: Cossetta Sandwich, Hot Peppers and Sausage, Veal Parmegiana, and Italian Meatball.
Entrees include Mostacolli with Ricotta, Chicken Marsala, Sausage and Peppers, Lasagna, Veal Parmesan, and Chicken Cacciatore. Every month there is also a Featured Special; February’s special is Manicotti Panna Marzano.
Pizza can be bought by the slice or you can order a whole pizza. There are always hot, fresh slices of Cheese, Pepperoni, and Sausage, as well as a Daily Special. One 16″ is divided into six slices.
Desserts include Spumoni, Gelato, Cannoli and Tiramisu.
*All beverages are canned or bottled.
Price guide: Salads $ 4-8 Sandwiches $ 7-8 Entrees $5-11 Pizza by Slice $3.50-4
What I ordered: I shared this gigantic piece of pizza with my companion. The slice was so big it hardly fit on the standard cardboard plate it came on! The pizza at Cossetta’s is New York Style, with a chewy, hand-tossed crust and just the right amount of sauce. The mozzarella that they use is fresh and plentiful, and there were also plenty of slices of pepperoni which made it kind of greasy. Cossetta’s pizza is my favorite local pizza thus far.
My companion and I also each got the veal parmegiana entree, which comes with mostacolli and garlic toast. I ordered mine with the sauce on the side to maintain the crispiness of the veal for as long as possible. The veal is sliced about 1/4″, making it tender yet crispy on the outside. The portion size was on the small side but worth every penny. The mostacolli was tossed lightly with ricotta and comes loaded with red sauce ( I added the sauce myself from the side they gave me and saved the rest for my veal). The mostacolli was firm and delicious with the sauce. The garlic toast was huge! It had a fair amount of garlic butter and was slightly salty but packed with flavor. It was also just the right amount of crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside- I especially loved it dipped in sauce.
Service: My visit was late on a Saturday afternoon, just 3 hours or so before a Wild Hockey game. We were fortunate enough to get to Cossetta’s before it started to get packed, which meant a prime spot in the Cossetta’s Parking Lot (for customers only, no event parking!) and reasonable food lines. Within a half hour or so after we arrived, it really started to fill up in the restaurant and the lines were getting long. As far as the actual service itself, the cafe-style servers were friendly and accommodating. I have eaten at Cossetta’s countless times and everything is consistently good.
Overall Impression: Delicious Italian food served reasonably fast and at affordable prices. Great place to have a giant slice of NY Style pizza (my favorite in fact ;) Can be very busy on weekend evenings and prior to events at the Xcel Energy Center. Free parking in own lot.