St. Paul >D'amico & Sons
The D'Amicos bring alta cucina down to earth in affordable salads, sandwiches, pizzas and pastas..
Brothers Richard and Larry D'Amico won raves from food critics around the country with their namesake D'Amico Cucina. But it wasn't until they opened informal deli-cafes that most Twin Citians learned what the fuss was about. Everything is fresh, colorful and generously seasoned with herbs and garlic. Smoky hints hide in the roasted turkey sandwich and the grilled vegetables with couscous. The restaurant bakes its own focaccia and crusty breads and pastries.
Casual Italian. Ever wondered what it would be like to dine inside Restoration Hardware? Wonder no more. Don't get me wrong--I like it, but found it a bit odd and caught myself looking for price tags and mule chests. We went early on Saturday night. The ceaser salad, chicken parmasean and mushroom pasta were garden-variety--about what I'd make at home for myself, but I would do better if I were cooking for company. Our meals came with seven fat slices of bread--1 with the salads, 2 more with the entree, and 1 on the kid's plate. Seven. Who eats that much bread? The chianti was thin. Very nice staff. Kid-friendly--and kids eat free on Sundays. Itwas busy but not overly crowded. Overall, D'Amico's has a casual approach to both food and atmosphere--no substitute for a full-throttle Italian dining experience.
Charming in its own way. My remarks about the D'Amico in Edina apply to this take-out branch as well. I can't say that this is world-class Italian, but it is carefully prepared and the concept is unique. I think one cannot compare it to regular Italian restaurants: it is classy fast food.
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