We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Authentic” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Caffe Biaggio

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
Caffe Biaggio
2356 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55114-1853
651-917-7997
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #13 of 786 restaurants in Saint Paul
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Coffee Shop, Diner, Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Duluth, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Authentic”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

We ate dinner here, and were the only ones to eat on the patio. The indoor atmosphere seemed nice - a great place for a romantic dinner. The patio wasn't anything spectacular, and although they placed a fence at the edge to separate the busy street that goes by, it was still quite noisy at times. My husband is Italian, and it is hard to impress him with Italian food, but he was satisfied and thought it tasted pretty authentic. Depending on the dish, you don't get much food, so the price is pretty high for what you get. The service was good as well.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

31 reviews from our community

96% Recommend
    20
    10
    1
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis Mn
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Wow! Wow! Wow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

Our group of four chose Caffe Biaggio on the strength of several thoughtful Tripadvisor reviews, and we had a wonderful meal. We left wondering why the place isn't better known. This is one of the best neighborhood restaurants in the Twin Cities. It is on the new light rail line due to open in 2014, which should increase its visibility.

Although it is a neighborhood restaurant it is well worth a trip across the metro, and when you arrive, there is plenty of free parking close to the entrance. It might be different at noon; we were there in the evening.

The first impression upon entering is a neat, clean, well decorated, nicely laid out and welcoming space. Colorful fresh flowers adorn each table, and a couple of large plants are used as dividers between tables. White tablecloths are covered with white paper, and although the paper can be a nuisance if you catch it with your sleeve, it is far better than a bare table top. We were a little disappointed that the napkins were paper. They were good ones, and better than the limp dish towels some places are using, but pressed cloth napkins just feel better.

Service is friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. The meal was well paced. Silverware was replaced with each course, and water glasses topped up when needed.

Saving the best for last, the food is inventive northern Italian (all the menu items are on a one-page menu). We began with bruschetta, a trio of 3 types and each piece big enough to share. The bread was properly toasty and crunchy but not hard work. The salads were dressed with a very light olive oil and were just big enough to share but also manageable by one.

We had cannelloni filled with fresh vegetables, chicken, and cheeses baked in a sherry béchamel, veal saltimbocca, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with balsamic blackberry sauce, and espresso rubbed baby back ribs. Each of us was convinced that we had the best of the four dishes.

A few bottles of wine are under $30.

For dessert, the almond tortini was fantastic and outshone the more ordinary spumoni. The espresso came boiling hot, really unusual these days, but the demitasse cup looked lost on a full sized saucer and with a regular teaspoon.

The date of our visit was October 2, 2013.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great Italian Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

The atmosphere here is very comfortable and not stuffy at all. The food was all great! We had ciappino, ahi tuna and veal saltimbocca. All were very, very tasty as was the calamari and beet salads we had for appetizers. The wine list had nice selections at reasonable prices. We will definitely come here again on our visits to St Paul. Highly recommend.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Beauty Shared With Quiet Joy Among Good Company”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

This review is based on having eaten at Biaggio since the week it opened and having eaten the entire menu several times over. It is a perennial favorite for a number of reasons. The most important of these, from the readers' perspective, is the quality of the preparation: unremittingly careful and excellent over many years. Second is ambience. My partner and I go out to dinner every Friday night and after a week of working we look for a friendly and quiet place where we don't have to shout over the din of a big open space full of hard, reflective finishes. Biaggio is a comfortable size in addition to being quiet (but quietly joyful) and is adorned with contemporary art work that I always find interesting and engaging. The energetic hush of the place is typical of restaurants where the quality of the food holds everybody's attention and draws their minds into silent enjoyment. The third reason for its perennial favor is that it really is a traditional Italian neighborhood trattoria in that the proprietors assume that when you take a table you are there for the evening and will partake of good company as much as of good food. There is no hint of a need to turn over tables and that added bit of relaxation contributes to the relish of the place. In years of bringing out of town guests to the place there has never been so much as one disappointing dish.

On the appetizer menu, try the bruschetta. I've not had better anywhere, even with several trips to Italy annually over the past several years. The goat cheese torta with basil pesto and fig jam, served with crackly sesame studded crisp bread is also outstanding. The perennial tomato basil cream soup is always suprisingly delicious no matter how well I remember it. Salads are generous, even at the side salad level, and composed with great care. The pasta dishes are inventive and show off Italian regional specialities nicely. Last night, for example, we sampled a tomato-almond pesto from Scicilia with a bright charge of pepperoncino and just a hint of basil. Rather than produce the usual starchy and ponderous potato based gnocchi, these were constructed with ricotta and spinach instead of potato and were little spinachy green pillows on a bed beautiful fresh marinara. Vegetarians will find much to satisfy them among the primi, including a lovely vegetarian lasagna which can be had with either marinara or a white sauce. The secondi are always beautifully done. The writer is vegetarian but my guests testify to the proprietors' skill with meat and fish.

This is one of the places where I never fail to have dessert. (As an amateur chef I am always doing research!) The best is the tortoni which has been on the menu since the first week and never disappoints. It is a semi-frozen cream dessert with almonds, macaroons and amaretto. The recently added apple pecan cake with caramel sauce is just as carefully done. There is also a luscious white chocolate bread pudding with caramel sauce, a flourless chocolate cake, a lemon cake with gelato and a lemon cookie among other delights. The wine list is largely Italian, providing excellent pairings with the menu.

Speaking strictly personally, I am reluctant to share this excellent secret, but I realize that would violate the spirit of the Italian table: beauty shared among good company.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best Italian food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

We were looking for an Italian restaurant that was above average and found it! The spaghetti and meatballs are the best in the Twin Cities and the desserts are not your ordinary fare. It is a casual atmosphere with a full bar (the limoncello) was excellent! A plus was the linen tablecloths and fresh flowers.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Caffe Biaggio also viewed

 

Been to Caffe Biaggio? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Caffe Biaggio, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.