Favorite cheap lunches part 5: Grilled tomato mozzarella and pesto panini at Risotto


by Jeremy Iggers | June 8, 2009 • That classic American lunch combo, the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup makes a surprise appearance on the lunch menu at Risotto, the new Italian trattoria on Lake Street just east of Lyndale.

Iggers Digest is the blog of Jeremy Iggers, the TC Media Alliance’s executive director. Jeremy is also the creator of TCFoodies, a local food networking site.

Luckily, it’s a lot more sophisticated than the usual Velveeta and Campbell’s version. Chef-owner Gabriele Lo Pinto (formerly of Arezzo in Edina) uses a rustic Tuscan bread, fresh mozzarella and pesto, in his grilled panini, and accompanies it with your choice of either spring greens or a light and savory minestra of tomato flavored with basil. At $6, it’s really quite the deal. Other panini options range from portobello with sun-dried tomato, spinach and asiago ($5) to a grilled chicken breast, red pepper and Fontina ($8). Four pastas are also offered on the lunch menu ($10-$15). Alternately, you can make assemble a pretty good lunch by combining an antipasto – such as the vongole guazzetto (small veraci clams in a lively San Marzano tomato sauce with toasted garlic bread ($6), and the mixed greens salad with almonds, apples and raisins ($5). I’d like to go back for an evening visit to sample the namesake risotto dishes ($13-$19), offered on the dinner menu only – if you get there before I do, please add a comment or post a review on this blog. Risotto Italian Restaurant, 610 W. Lake St., 612-823-4338.

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