On an overcast Tuesday afternoon, I had lunch at a new restaurant in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis called, Sparks. Sparks is owned by chef Johnathan Hunt, who also is connected to Al Vento near the Minnehaha Falls and and Rinata, located on Hennepin Ave in Uptown. Both of them are Italian restaurants, where Sparks is more Mediterranean styled. When you first get inside, you’ll notice that it seats about 30+ people, but has a very open and airy design, especially with the 2 roll-up doors on the South side of the building. Lots of sun and light fill the space, making it very inviting to guests. You kind of get a similar feeling like when you visit a chain or neighborhood coffee shop. It’s a space that you could easily spread out in and spend a good amount of time at. People will really enjoy coming here again and again.
Since this was my first time here, I didn’t have a favorite or a go-to menu item to choose off of the menu, so I took my time perusing the menu to see what tickled my fancy. The menu had a good number of options, including a vegan / gluten-free section. After taking some time to make my selection, I decided to try one of the pizzas, the prosciutto and egg. I seem to be trying eggs on things that I hadn’t done so in the past, like on a burger and now on a pizza, and I really like what it adds in taste. I enjoyed it and for a lunch, it was plenty filling for my appetite. The fresh arugula on top of the pizza was good as well. I’ve now had pizza on 3 different occasions with arugula as one of my toppings, and I definitely think that I’ll continue to do so in the future. The crust was done just right in their wood burning oven, which is really a centerpiece of the restaurant that you can’t miss when you enter Sparks.
Jonathan is running the open-air kitchen, and at lunchtime, he had one waitress taking care of the tables. She was very helpful and attentive in seeing if I had any questions about the menu and was satisfied with my meal, which I was. Be sure to check out this gem when you’re in the area of Penn Ave and 394 in Minneapolis.
DISCLAIMER: Joel Carlson’s company, Sociability, handles the social media duties for Al Vento.