This authentic Italian eatery is all about the pasta, olive oil, garlic and family-friendly atmosphere. The most popular dish is the family-recipe Carbonara ala Valentini, from-scratch linguini with proscuitto and Romano cheese in a butter-cream sauce. Even breakfasts feature Italian flair with delicious choices like honey mascarpone-stuffed French toast topped with fruit compote and Italian pastries filled with eggs, potatoes, peppers and cheese. To sample a little bit of everything, plan to stop in for Sunday brunch in the summer.
Valentini’s is connected to the 1934 Valentini's supper club in the Iron Range. Though tasty handmade pasta is the best reason to visit, the diverse menu also offers steaks and seafood-stuffed walleye. The wine list is limited but solid, and entree prices are reasonable for the area (mostly $13 to $20). Changeable lunch specials might include walleye cakes and salad tossed with apples, cucumbers, grapes, croutons and tomatoes. Grab-and-go breads, desserts, family-size pastas and meals are also available.
For a romantic midday repast, arrange to pick up a picnic basket filled with sandwiches, salads, bars or cookies, and beverages for two ($25 plus a $20 basket deposit) and venture to the Leif Erikson Rose Garden next door.