Tuesday, March 18, 2008

D'Amico and Sons

Greetings! The Greasy Skillet is coming to you from the Twin Cities. I struggle to write and travel because I lack the discipline, so be patient with me. Normally my ideas for The Greasy Skillet stew for a few days, and then I patiently hammer out the writing. Today’s blog is a bit more organic.

Last night I snapped and lost my cool. Some of you know that traveling with a 4-year-old isn’t always a joy, especially when it comes to dining. After my daughter fussed about her taco being too spicy, I threatened her with meals of lunchmeat sandwiches and carrots served within the confines of our hotel room for the rest of the vacation. In later blog entries I’ll write more about my daughter’s finicky eating habits.

However, today I’m pleased to say that my little come-to-Jesus meeting with my daughter reaped positive results today. Dining with her has been a joy today, especially this evening’s meal at D’Amico and Sons in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina.

Before I write about the meal, let me just say that in The Greasy Skillet I will generally write about positive dining experiences. There are numerous restaurants that I dislike, but I want my blog to emanate a positive energy. I’ll share my passions, and I’ll save my gripes for a time when I’ve had one too many drinks. Gradually, you’ll see where I’m coming from when it comes to food, but I want to share a little background on the criteria I use to evaluate a dining experience. I’m not a food snob. My favorite foods are simple affairs, but I do demand two things from a restaurant. First, I want to feel good about the dining experience. I should feel good paying my hard-earned money to eat a meal away from home, a place where the meals are usually very good. If I eat at a bad or average restaurant, I start computing how many quality meals I could prepare for the money I flopped down on so-so food. Second, I want the restaurant I’m dining at to be proud and passionate about their food. They should be providing more than a product. Later I’ll work out this criteria, and I’ll try to write a complete blog conveying it.

D’Amico and Sons met the above criteria. The restaurant is an informal Italian eatery where you order at the counter. However, ordering at the counter isn’t a chaotic, stressful experience like most places because the staff is calm, helpful, and passionate about the food. At the counter there’s a deli case displaying their various salads and sandwiches. I opted for one of their signature wood-fired pizzas, the Smoked Mozzarella Prosciutto and Pepperoncini pizza. My wife chose to have the penne pasta and Italian sausage, and my finicky daughter selected a “sauceless” pizza with only cheese. When our food was brought to the table, we were immediately satisfied with our choices. Now I’m not going to spend a lot of time describing the taste of everything because I’m feeling a bit rushed to post this. I’ll improve with experience. Let me just say that dining at this restaurant provided the perfect end to our perfect day. Good food has the power to provide the exclamation point to a fantastic day.

The restaurant also serves several unique and quality salads and sandwiches, making it a perfect lunch stop. If I ever return, I’m going to order the salad sampler that allows the customer to select any three salads to sample. While we dined a steady flow of traffic entered the restaurant to pickup carryout for home. The restaurant had a neighbor vibe of place where families come in on a regular basis. I’d love to return in the summer and pickup food for a family picnic in one of the Twin Cities fine parks. There are several D’Amico and Sons across the Twin Cities Metro and one in Naples, Florida. If you’re ever in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, I recommend making a stop at D’Amico and Sons.

Take care,

P.S. This was my first experience snapping photos of food in a restaurant. I felt a bit awkward, but I think I'll grow accustomed to it. Next time I'll try to get more pictures of the restaurant. I few good pictures of the menu board and deli case would have spiced up this review.

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