An Italian Expansion
The Cossetta family has been known in St. Paul nearly as long as St. Paul has been Minnesota’s capital. Michael Cossetta, a native of Calabria, Italy, opened the family’s original food market back in 1911. Since then, Cossetta’s has moved a few blocks away to a more heavily trafficked West Seventh location, selling pizza and pastas, plus house-made sauces and sausages. Today, four generations and a recent $15-million remodel later, the Cossettas have added a more upscale dining room, called Louis, on top of the original casual cafeteria and Italian market (literally—it’s on the third floor, with a lovely rooftop patio). Louis, with its dark wood, table service, and full bar, offers diners a more upscale experience. There’s a bit of overlap with the menu downstairs—both offer lasagna, with two different preparations—but the focus here is on more elegant fare, such as beef carpaccio, veal chops, and arugula salads with shaved baby artichokes. The cioppino could be considered Louis’s flagship dish. The aromatic seafood stew tastes authentic and is large enough to feed two. But it’ll set you back $39. If you’re on a tighter budget, the rigatoni in garlic cream sauce is delicious, flecked with guanciale, Italian sausage, and porcini mushrooms. The only downside: its richness might rule out more than a bite or two of the house-made pistachio gelato.
211 W. Seventh St., St. Paul