Cossetta outdoor patio (so far)

Took a stroll through the skyways all the way across downtown to the Xcel and ultimately Cossetta, that West Seventh Italian food institution undergoing seemingly endless expansion.

Last summer, it was reported that a separate fine-dining restaurant, Louis, would open with spectacular rooftop views of the Cathedral of St. Paul by August. Well that isn’t done yet, but plans are still in place to finish it this winter or early next spring, I believe (an employee was filling us in about this but I was not paying close attention).

Not stunning, but could be fun on a Saturday night watching people stumble in and out of McGovern’s.

However, some of the second-floor outdoor seating is indeed finished, and it’s pretty cool. Nothing too fancy, but a patio wraps around the West Seventh and Chestnut Street side of the upstairs dining area. Heat vents are installed, so I’m wondering how long the restaurant will keep the seating open as the weather cools. The day we went was about 65 degrees, balmy, so they weren’t really necessary. On West Seventh, the rumbling truck traffic is almost unbearably loud, so we moved down along Chestnut, where the auditory experience isn’t much better because the restaurant pipes in blaring kitschy pizza-pie tunes all along the patio.

Those black overhanging contraptions are outdoor heating vents.

The second-floor eating space, which I thought adequately large in Cossetta’s previous rendition, is now massively expanded to cafeteria-sized proportions. Downstairs, the food lines are longer and more numerous, but no less confusing. If you’re a first timer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with choices and make a rash decision (wait I wanted that!).

Food was great as usual, gorgonzola salad had tasty ingredients covered in homemade blue cheese. Pasta was masterfully cooked. I’m looking forward to see what Louis can offer, hopefully a great wine list and maybe a late night happy hour, or am I asking to much?

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