Living in Apple Valley, MN is amazing. Although a lot of people don’t care for the “burbs” it fits me just fine. That said, Apple Valley is the city whore house for chain restaurants. There are a few good local restaurants, but for the most part the city is filled with about every major chain restaurant you can list.
For this reason, Pauline and I like to find “mom and pop” restaurants that are local. We went out last night for my birthday in search of a Sri Lankan restaurant called House of Curry that we had heard about in Rosemount. We arrived rather late only to find the restaurant wasn’t open on Monday’s. Oh Snap!
Since we were in Rosemount, we were going to head to our “usual” mexican restaurant Las Tortillas, but Pauline mentioned that there was an Italian restaurant we were near. It wasn’t a chain and it was my birthday, so wanting something different we decided to try Giuseppes Pasta AlfornoAs we entered the the small dark restaurant, you are sent down a narrow half walled aisle. At the end was a large party that was leaving, so it was awkward getting through the space. What I found interesting was how happy everyone was. As we worked our way through the maze of people, a man with cooking jacket comes out and hands the party a bag of fresh baked bread. The conversation between the staff and the leader of the large party seems maladroit as there is an obvious language barrier.
It takes a little while for the staff to realize we are not part of the large party, but we are seated in the corner and given menus. At this point, it is 30 minutes before the restaurant is suppose to close and the staff are not smiling, but seem to be going through the motions. We are started with some water and fresh bread and an infused herb and olive oil mixture that is obviously home made. The bread is amazing with a salty tangy top and when dipped in the oil, it is packed with great flavors.We don’t take long to decide on our order, but we were not given a wine list so I ask the waiter for it before we place our food orders. He still doesn’t seem pleased and almost rushes us to get in our wine order. Both of us order red wines and place our order. Pauline orders the Capellini Pomodoro while I go with Sausage Di Sicilia.
We are brought the wine and start a conversation about our day. Pauline was enjoying a Black Opal Shiraz I believe and I was enjoying the Cellar No 8 Zinfandel. My wine was the perfect temperature to show off this inexpensive Zin that had some pretty complex flavors. It wasn’t dry and had just enough of a sweetness to make it a perfect fit for me.
A short while later our food arrived. Mine was steaming hot which was torture as it smelled so marvelous. The baked dish had Ziti pasta smothered with a meaty merlot sauce. Included in the sauce was an amazing hot Italian sausage with five cheeses and a few meatballs to top the dish. Pauline didn’t choose a meat dish, but instead had a dish of Angel hair pasta tossed with sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, mushroom, artichoke hearts, and parsley in garlic olive oil, topped with feta cheese.
Both dishes proved to be way to large for us to finish even though both of us were very hungry. We were given a lot of time to eat our dish before the waiter arrived with two containers to take our left overs back home with. As he brought the bill, I told him we really enjoyed the meal and we would be back. He seemed surprised we had never eaten there before and when Pauline told him we had just found it while out hunting for a birthday meal for me, he told us in his broken english that he was going to give us dessert for my birthday.
A few seconds later he arrives with a small dish of cannoli with pistachio dipped ends and sitting in what I can only guess is a lavender or rose syrup. It was fantastic. We took care of the bill and headed out as they were cleaning up the place for the end of the day. The staff must have wished me a happy birthday a half a dozen times on my way out which really made the end of the day even that more special.
I would highly recommend this restaurant to others and give it high marks.