Pastries, Gangsters & Steel Toes

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Have you been to Cossetta’s lately?

For those of you not from the Twin Cities Metro area, let’s just say that this place is sort of an institution in St. Paul. Cossetta’s is an Italian Pizzeria & Market where food is served cafeteria-style and has been in business for decades. However, the place was recently closed for some time for a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion. I really didn’t have any expectations on how it would be changed, but the new space is incredible!

The reason we went?

My parents were in town. My mom hadn’t visited in at least three years and we never got to take her to Pardon My French to indulge in pastries. I went in search of a new place and one that work in conjunction with our plans for the weekend. Part of Cossetta’s renovation-expansion included the addition of Louis Ristorante & Bar {now on my must try list of restaurants!} and a Pasticceria. And let me tell you, this place is absolutely gorgeous. Not only did I blow my parents away with how big and grand this entire place was, but I was blown away myself.

The pastry case feels like it is a mile long!

The pastry case feels like it is a mile long!

Luckily, when we arrived, there were no other patrons {although that quickly changed}, so we were able to walk the length of the case and check out everything before making our selections. The plan was to settle in to have pastries and coffees before our Gangster Tour of St. Paul. {Highly recommended!} We may have gone a little overboard…

The ladies chose…

These two pastries are sort of Italian cousins. The one of the left is a Sfogliatelle which is a flaky pastry filled with a sweet ricotta filling. The one on the right is a Lobster Tail. The filling is more similar to that of French cream or custard.

The guys selected…

chocolate covered cannoli

Chocolate-Covered Cannoli

Run, don’t walk to get one of these right now! I didn’t know that cannoli could taste this good! {Then you will need to run back to burn the thing off. It’s huge!}

Then we had to get a couple of other items just to try:

PB & J & Nutella stuffed cream puff

Nutella Stuffed Cream Puff and PB & J Tarte {not sure if those are the official names, but just go with it}

I would say that they enjoyed it…

I Woudl say they enjoyed it.

Also in the display case were other Italian favorites, such as Biscotti & Gelato:

~

When every last crumb was eaten and our coffees were empty, we had some extra time. So we spent it wandering around the new market. This place is huge! There is such incredible selection – much, much more than before. The first thing we caught a whiff of was the freshly baked bread. But the cases of meats, cheeses, olives and rows and rows of Italian products would keep any foodie occupied and happy.

~

I promised my mom that we’d go back after the Gangster Tour to pick up some of the fresh foccacia that we didn’t think would keep well in the car. But after this fun and incredible historical tour…

Did you know that the Volstead Act (Prohibition) was signed in St. Paul, MN?

…We completely forgot all about going back to the Italian Market. Instead, we made a trek all the way across the cities to try some special samples of Steel Toe Brewery‘s Scotch and Barrel Aged sudsy beverages. On tap were the Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, the Lunker Barleywine, the Steel Toe Size 11 DIPA and the Dissent Imperial Stout. Steel Toe Brewery became one of our favorites in the Twin Cities after we were introduced to them on a Beer Trolley Tour. We wanted to make sure my dad had a chance to try their brews, too.

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As usual, the beer tasted, oh, so good! But because these particular batches were just limited editions, we couldn’t get a growler to go. Some people ask why you’d visit a brewery if you can get the beer on tap around town. This is exactly why – for the specialty stuff! {I may have won out on a Steel Toe sweatshirt, too, from Rob for carting everyone around town.} While we were there, there was some sort of Amazing (Bike) Race going on because serious bikers were stopping by, running in, getting a slip of paper signed and scurrying back out. They didn’t even stop for a beer! So sad.

While, I probably normally wouldn’t do all of these things in one day, we managed to fit it all in and take my parents out to dinner to Sul Lago. Everything just seemed to fall into place. And I think Cossetta’s Pasticceria just might become our new PMF.

What activities do you plan for out-of-town guests?

Let me know what’s fun in your neighborhood!

Cheers~
Carrie

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9 responses »

  1. That looks like a really fun weekend with your folks. Nice castle!

    There are tons of things to do in Portland. When out of town guests come to visit we take them to the best breweries, hiking, Washington Park and the rose garden…so many things, not enough time! 🙂

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