Broders is located in a quiet neighborhood in south Minneapolis. On the corner of 50th St and Penn Ave though, you’ll notice a crowd either enjoying a glass of wine on a charming patio or patiently waiting for a table in one of the more popular eateries in town. You’re almost guaranteed a wait at Broders; its indicative of the popularity but also because the space isn’t very large. The walls are a stucco-style faux and the pendant lights are made from inverted colanders. There is a u-shaped pasta bar that sits in the center of this restaurant and gives you a first hand look at the kitchen hard at work. We recommend that you grab a glass of wine and check out the outdoor patio during summer months (they don’t serve the full menu outside.) Just a word of caution for larger parties – the restaurant isn’t very large and it might be a little cramped (we were 5, sitting at a table for 4 and certainly felt so.) Oh, if you’re looking for takeout or want to shop for Italian ingredients check out the Broders Cucina Italiana across the street.
5000 Penn Ave S
Recommendation: Very Good. A great option for reasonably priced Italian food in casual and comfortable surroundings.
Broders philosophy is quite simple – fresh made pasta cooked to perfection with simple ingredients. We started our meal with a couple of appetizers – Salsicce Con Finocchio E Cipolla (mild Italian sausage with fennel and onions) and Roasted Garlic (served with flat bread and tomatoes.) The sausage was mild and sweet. The other app was like a bruschetta, accompanied by roasted garlic – not bad overall, but we felt that the garlic could have used a few more minutes roasting and could have been sweeter. Most of the entrees were good but the two that stood out were the Gnocchi Con Manzo E Tartufo (Gnocchi with Beef and Mushrooms in a Cream Sauce) and the Fettuccine Con Aragosta (Pasta with Lobster, Lemon, and Herbs.) We’re picky about our Gnocchi (thank you Arrezzo) and have been disappointed too often by mediocre preparations. But not at Broders. This Gnocchi was appetizing and the accompanying beef very tender. The cream sauce was a little heavy, but we’re not complaining. The Lobster dish (technically Langostines) was also cream based, but lightly sauced and not heavy. The Spaghetti Con Polpette di Calabrese (Spaghetti with Meatballs) is also a good choice, but we felt that the meatballs could have used more seasoning. What really resonated with us was the consistency of the pasta preparations – don’t discount what perfectly cooked “al dente” pasta can do for an Italian dish.
$$. Entrees under $15. Parking is available at the lot in front of the restaurant. There is also ample street parking. We recommend you call ahead and put your name on the list because Broders doesn’t take reservations on the weekend. The kitchen closes at 9.30 on weekdays and 10pm on weekends.