Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,
Let me first say how sorry I am for being away from my blogging for such a long time. Between, the holidays, company and travel and vacations there just has not been enough hours in the day to get it all done. But I do hope to be back at it more regularly.
Last Friday, Bob and I took a ride out to Minnetonka to check out Spasso for lunch. Friends had told me about it and the wine shop next door. Same owners, with a great concept. Spasso has a great wine shop, with wines from all over the world. And the best thing is that you can buy a bottle of wine in the wine store and take it next door to the restaurant and they will open it for no extra charge. A great savings and a wonderful idea.
I was happy to see that they do carry the wine that my cousins make in Ciro in the area of Calabria in Italy. It is there lowest end wine, but it was good to see it on the shelf and if you are looking for something not to expensive and want to try a red from the southern part of Italy, then the LiBrandi Ciro Rosso may be a bottle that you want to try. I am hoping that in the future they might carry some of their higher end wines, but availability is the problem.
After looking over the stock in the wine store and buying a few bottles Bob and I made our way over to the restaurant. Since it was Friday afternoon, they were fairly busy. Spasso is a large restaurant with hard floors and high ceilings so it was also pretty noisy. They have a great bar area and one of the things that caught my eye was a flight of 3 wines for $15.95, which is a good deal considering their extensive wine menu. But since we had a list to finish off the length of my arm we skipped the wine and ordered lunch and soft drinks.
In the back of the room is a beautiful wood-burning oven, which I am sure produces some beautiful pizzas, but since I am trying to loose a few, I skipped that too. Their lunch menu is mostly soups, salads, pasta and pizzas. The best value is their mix and match lunch for ten bucks and that is what I settled on. I enjoyed their Sausage and Bean Soup and the Chop Chop Salad which is one of their house specialties. The soup was robust and chunky with lots of sausage and beans and quite filling. I was expecting a half salad, but the portion was quite large and flavorful, lots of meat, cheese, olives and fresh, crisp salad greens. I wish that the dressing had a bit more zip to it, but all in all it was a great lunch and you can't beat the price.
If you are in the area, I would suggest that you first go and find yourself several bottles of wine, one to drink at the table the others to take back home and then go next door for a cozy little lunch and ask for a booth.
At the wine shop make sure and tell them that "Carmela sent you."
Buon appetito e Salute,