Last Wednesday, me and a few friends went to dine at Sugo Restaurant in Duluth. I read some great reviews about this renowned Italian joint online, so I figured I had to give it a try – and it didn’t exactly hurt that they had a mouth-watering vegetarian menu. There are so many joints in the A that I’ve dined at and have left feeling disappointed. However, Sugo was not one of them. I was pleasantly surprised.

Everyone on the staff was polite, knowledgeable, and friendly. The owner even came to our table and immediately apologized for not having come to greet us earlier. He then proceeded to rattle off all their specials for the day. I have never encountered anyone who described food in such precise, almost intimate detail. His passion for food permeated his heightened frame, bushy mustache, and subtle northeastern accent. He made everything sound so succulent, so delicious, and so fresh that we were left salivating at the mere thought of ordering. I love it when restaurant employees exude a genuine passion for the product they will serve to you. I am infinitely more excited to dine when I encounter that. I myself am a novice foodie, so I also share a passion for delectable culinary items. That’s why I greatly appreciate that very same passion reciprocated by a wait staff at a restaurant. If you love what you serve, so will the customers. I truly believe that.

I always maintained that if I ever opened a restaurant, I would try to staff only the friendliest people. I would have an amazingly relaxed, friendly, and vibrant ambiance. I don’t know if it matters to most folks, but that kind of genuine hospitality resonates deeply with me. It isn’t always just the food that brings people back.

This is what I ordered (description from the restaurant’s website):

Stephanie’s Beggar’s PursesPurses of pasta stuffed with Robiola and Pecorino Romano Cheeses, tossed in a pesto cream sauce with dried apricots, sweet grape tomatoes, dried pears, and crispy asparagus

Beggar's Purses

Looks kind of sort of like this (above)

Are you friggin’ kidding me? How incredibly mouth-watering does that sound?


I was razor thin close to having a culinary climax right there at the table. My gastronomic mojo vehemently refused to allow me to order anything else. Needless to say, the food exceeded my preliminary expectations.

I will be returning there in the future. My experience was too damn good for me to do anything less.

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