Feb 282010
 

This is an update to the original review I wrote in March 2007.  Time for an update!

Cuisine: Italian
Restaurant Features: Bar, Live Music, Nightclub, Sunday Brunch, Student Discount
Location: Minneapolis, MN (Dinkytown)
Address: 327 14th Av. SE. Minneapolis, MN 55414 612.378.4849
Hours: Mon – Thu: 11:30 a-9p      Fri – Sat: 11:30 a- 11p       Sunday: 11a-9p
Links: Loring Pasta Bar Website * Loring Pasta Bar on FacebookGoogle Map

Atmosphere: The inside of the Loring Pasta Bar is not only super cool, but breath-taking and romantic as well. Located inside a beautifully renovated building in Dinkytown (formerly known as Gray’s Drug Store) , the Loring Pasta Bar is an amazing site to see.  Ceilings are 2-3 stories high, with an upper-eating area overlooking the court-yard style main dining room.  Large trees and beautiful plants line the perimeter (glass windows are often opened or removed during summer months to really give you the feeling of eating outdoors.).  They also have live music every night from 6-9pm, usually in the form of a jazz band.

Besides having additional tables for dining in the upper level, there is also this cute little romantic lounge.


Menu: Appetizers include Artichoke Ramekin, Ciabatta Bruschetta, Fried Calamari, Pan Fried Potstickers, and Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll.

Salad options are the House Salad, Caesar Salad, and Salade Sauvage.

Pastas on the menu seem to change frequently and may include Beef Shortribs Farfalle, Fettuccini Carbonara, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Roasted Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli, Linguini with Clam Sauce, Mushroom Penne, Cheese Tortellini Classico, Cheese Tortellini Nuovi, and Mac N Cheese.

Menu entrees also seem to change at least seasonally and may include items such as Seared Sea Scallops, South American Beef Tips, Grilled Salmon, New York Strip, Beef Tenderloin, Osso Buco (Braised Veal), Blackened Catfish, and Shrimp or Chicken Vegetable Stir-Fry.
Price guide: Appetizers $8-9 Salads $5-7  Pasta $13-17  Entrees $16-23

Student Discount of 30% with Valid Student I.D. (Excluded 6-9pm Fri & Sat)

Special Events:

  • Salsa Dancing every Friday and Saturday night 10pm $8/10  (18+)
  • Live Music from 6-9pm every day

Sunday Brunch Buffet: $10.95/Students $15.95/Adults

  • Items change weekly but always include a variety of breakfast items, lunch items, pastas, desserts and fresh fruits.

What we ordered: We started with an order of Bruschetta, a savory mix of  roasted red peppers, chopped golden tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella, topped with a balsamic sauce, all sitting on little toasts of ciabatta.  The four pieces didn’t go far but everyone enjoyed it.

I ordered the Cheese Tortellini Nuovi after much deliberation and asking the server for suggestions.  A pleasant choice!  The bowl-sized portion of tortellini was bathed in an enticing cream sauce, rich in flavor from a mix of spices.  The pasta was topped with sliced prosciutto and toasted pine nuts, a symphony of textures.  Oh Heavenly pasta!

One of my companions ordered the Spicy Tuna Roll, a large order of 9 pieces.  The roll had raw tuna, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayo, carrot and rice.  Served with a side of edamame ( wasabi and ginger too, of course!)

Another companion ordered the Roasted Chicken with Mozzarella Ravioli.  The raviolis are hand-made and tossed in a Napolitana sauce (concassed tomatoes, roasted garlic, basil, and extra virgin olive oil).  The bowl was topped with a serving of roasted chicken and freshly grated cheese.

We were celebrating a birthday that night and so one of my companions enjoyed this Chocolate Souffle with Vanilla Ice Cream.


Service: It was very busy on this Saturday night and parking can be scarce; options are metered parking or pay lots.  I ended up parking in a lot a few blocks away.  We had a reservation for a fairly large group and they were able to seat us all promptly.  Our server was really efficient at serving a large group.  Our visit extended over a couple of hours as we enjoyed our food and company, with food and drink served throughout the time.
Overall Impression: I enjoyed my visit to the Loring Pasta Bar just as much (if not more) than my first visit three years ago.  The atmosphere is really cool and they have a variety of pastas and entrees on the menu.  Seems like it would be a cool place to come for Salsa dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.
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  5 Responses to “Loring Pasta Bar ~ Minneapolis, MN”

  1. excellent food and the atmosphere is very unique.

  2. Don’t get me wrong…the food is pretty good, but the atmosphere is what sets this place apart!

  3. Good food, but why I go here is really for the atmosphere. It’s a great place for large groups and special occasions with really large fancy booths that surround the restaurant.

  4. This is such a romantic place and the food’s great too!

  5. Great photos – love the Loring Pasta Bar! The atmosphere really does make it fantastic. The tortellini sounds delish.

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