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Dario Brings Globally-Influenced Italian to Minneapolis

An accomplished chef and bartender partner to become two first-time restaurateurs at Dario, an Italian restaurant with diverse influences and flavors, and a fresh pasta program.

Joe Rolle and Stephen Rowe

Chef Joe Rolle and bartender Stephen Rowe have teamed up to become first-time restaurateurs at Dario in Minneapolis. Photo: Dallas Currie

What do you get when you combine an up-and-coming chef and a star bartender from a burgeoning craft cocktail scene? The answer is Dario, an ambitious new restaurant in Minneapolis from first-time restaurateurs Joe Rolle (the chef) and Stephen Rowe (the bartender). 

The attractively designed restaurant recently opened in the city’s North Loop neighborhood with a menu of Italian dishes that take exciting detours to other culinary cultures, with subtle Asian, French, and North American flavors and ingredients. Rolle and Rowe both started their careers at Minneapolis’s Dakota Jazz Club, then went on to work in kitchens and bars at other popular establishments. Together, they have united to create a sophisticated experience that’s earning raves online and on social media in its first two weeks of operation.

Doppio Ravioli is a double-sided stuffed pasta with ricotta on one side and caramelized sunchokes on the other, served with honey, hazelnuts and rosemary
Doppio Ravioli, a double-sided stuffed pasta with ricotta on one side and caramelized sunchokes on the other, served with honey, hazelnuts and rosemary at Dario in Minneapolis. Photo: Isabel Subtil

The menu is made up of five sections: raw bar items; vegetable dishes; pastas; fish and meat; and desserts. The beverage program offers an impressive mix of classic cocktails, house-designed drinks with and without alcohol, local beers, and mostly Old World wines, with an emphasis on Italian. Rolle has teamed up with Rachel Cornelius McLeod of Cornelius Pasta to design an in-house program for fresh noodles that he transforms into dishes such as spaghetti alla chitarra limone and goat cheese anolini with lamb ragu and mint. 

While Rolle was known for inventive pasta dishes in his work prior to Dario, he’s aiming to impress here, with short rib agnolotti in a red wine jus with bacon and gorgonzola, and piccino pacchero verde, a spinach pasta with a Bolognese sauce and 24-month parmesan fonduta. His fish and meat section takes a more globalist approach, with char siu pork belly, brick chicken, sauteed trout, and NY strip steak covering a lot of ground. 

Minneapolis’ vibrant dining scene clearly has a promising new addition in Dario. Check out more photos below.

spaghetti
Spaghetti alla chitarra limone at Dario in Minneapolis. Photo: Isabel Subtil
grilled turnips
Grilled turnips from Dario in Minneapolis. Photo: Isabel Subtil
Dining room at Dario
The dining room at Dario in Minneapolis. Photo: Wing Ho

Dario, 323 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, MN, 55401, 612.641.2560, @dariompls on Instagram, dariorestaurant.com 

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