Restaurateur Tim Niver is a pragmatist who plays the long game, so when he decided to shutter Mucci’s Uptown space in January because of the pandemic, he turned his focus to the flagship space in St. Paul. Consider its current incarnation a welcome reboot—the part where Niver and executive chef/co-owner Chris Uhrich open a long-overdue patio and remind us where it all started.
Longtime chef de cuisine Kenzie Edinger left at the end of April, so it’s no surprise that Mucci’s St. Paul is sticking to what they do best—red-sauce revelations, stray Trattoria specialities, and fried Montanara pizza.
According to Uhrich, “We did a menu change recently. There’s more to come, but I’m particularly excited about the chilled shrimp with dill vinaigrette, the chèvre-and-ricotta-filled agnolotti with kale pesto, and the spaghettini nero—stuff I would want to eat on a patio.” Sure enough, that’s exactly what we ordered: a blast from Mucci’s past bursting with shrimp, mussels, mint, orange zest, chili oil, and cuttlefish-stained carbohydrates.
Unlike its short-lived sister restaurant in Minneapolis, this staple of St. Paul’s West End since 2016 is embraced by residential properties surrounding it. The newly opened patio is the piece no one knew was missing, offering seating for around 30 people and enough string lights to make you forget you paid to be here.
786 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, muccisitalian.com