A new twist on Italian in Rosemount
Rosemount restaurant is third for Awada family in Dakota County
by Joseph Palmersheim
A new pasta restaurant in Rosemount is the third installment in what has become a culinary family affair in Dakota County.
Giuseppe’s Pasta Alforno opened near County Road 42 and Chippendale Avenue in Rosemount this past April, and so far, according to part owner Alex Awada, the reception has been “more than we’ve asked for, like five times.”
Alex, an Eagan resident, owns the restaurant with his brothers, Rafic, of Burnsville, and Adnan, also of Eagan.
Alex owns part of Giuseppe’s Restaurant on County Road 42 and County Road 11 in Burnsville, and moved over to the Rosemount location to work with his brothers. The three came to the United States from Lebanon more than a decade ago, and were aided in their latest endeavor by another brother, Stephano, who has owned Stephano’s Bistro in Burnsville for the past 22 years.
“(Stephano is) the godfather for everything,” Alex said. “He taught us to cook, how to make sauce, everything. We’ve learned from him that an owner has to be in the kitchen. It takes a director two years to finish a movie, and it takes us all day, from grocery shopping to prepping to cooking, to make a meal. You are our judge for two hours.”
While Giuseppe’s serves Italian-style food, Alex says that the menu is similar to what he and his brothers grew up eating in Lebanon, adding that many cultures make the same foods but give them different names.
“It is more like food than concept,” he said. “Every morning, we’d eat cheese pizza for breakfast with tea or coffee. Plus, we’d have all kinds of pasta for lunch. It would have different names, but the same ingredients (as other ethnic foods).”
Popular dishes at the restaurant include:
• Spaghetti Bolognese, which has a homemade bolognese sauce, and is oven baked with meatballs,
• Chicken Parmesan, also oven baked with a homemade marinara sauce, and
• Sausage di Sicilia, a ziti pasta in a meat Merlot sauce and baked with five cheeses.
Giuseppe’s also bakes its own bread and serves it with a homemade dipping sauce containing 29 different spices.
When asked what he hopes to see happen with the restaurant that he and his two younger brothers willed out of an empty former Subway location, he says that he is trying to give his children (each of the brothers has two boys) a good life. The brothers’ dream has even worked its way to the next generation, according to Alex.
“I have two boys, Abraham and Joseph (Giuseppe), who I named the restaurant after,” he said. “Abraham is nine now, but when he was 7 years old, he woke me up one night at four in the morning. I thought something had happened. I asked him if he was OK, and he said he was, and then asked, ‘Where is my restaurant? My brother has one and I do not have one named after me.’ He woke me up at four in the morning to tell me he wanted his own restaurant. I told him to go back to sleep and we’d talk about it in the morning.”
“No, no,” Alex replied, waving his hand. “I want him to get a good education.”
Giuseppe’s Pasta Alforno is located at 15090 Chippendale Ave. in Rosemount, and is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 4-9 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (651) 423-4455.
Joseph Palmersheim is a freelance writer.