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“Not the "best" but really, really good!”

Biaggi's - Bloomington
Ranked #1 of 263 Restaurants in Bloomington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: General Electric Road
Description: Casual Italian restaurant offering an extensive selection of house-made and imported pastas, soups & salads, pizza, seafood, steaks and desserts. Large portions of affordably priced menu selections are prepared with the freshest ingredients available.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

We visited Biaggi's in Bloomington on our previous visit to the area 10 years ago - and I fondly remembered how great the lasagna was. I couldn't resist having it again this time, even though there were many lower carb, healthier choices on the menu. I wasn't dissappointed! Fortunately, they offer a 1/2 salad and 1/2 pasta option and my spinach salad was excellent as well. The atmosphere was relaxed, the service was very good, and all four in our party were pleased. It's not as innovative as some higher-end restaurants so I can't say it was the "best" meal I have ever had, but for price and quality, it was certainly really, really good.

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Thank APM48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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370 - 374 of 518 reviews

Reviewed July 12, 2013

This place came highly recommended by local friends and we left bummed out. It didn't live up to its service or food reputation.

Now I'm not really expecting a Rome, Milan, or Venetian experience from an Italian place in the middle of mid-America but I'd heard all sorts of raves on this place including several references from an Illinois State marketing professor the following day while working with a large corporate client in the region. As far as all of us were concerned - this was a disappointing meal and experience.

We stood for about 20 minutes after our 6:30 PM reservation until we were guided to the table. Surprising since we could see open tables and we were one of only two parties in the front of the house. It was busy. In fact, the noise level was almost inappropriately high.

Got to the table and we had a waiter with us shortly. Young fellow. Didn't seem to use to be extremely experienced. Nice. Hey, it's downstate Illinois, one of the capitals of nice. But he wasn't Italian-food knowledgeable, adept at capturing orders accurately, or completely. Not the "being a waiter is an honor and privilege" that I heard the next day.

We ordered an app, three mains, and two of us ordered glasses of wine. They leave bread, a fairly standard ciabatta and another sort of unusual bread for an Italian place. They also do this odd oil and parmesan concoction that evidently is a favorite with the locals. I found it unappealing with an oil I didn't think was up to the price points and some pre-(probably factory)-grated Parm. So far so unimpressive.

My wine arrived OK. The other didn't. When it came it was a sweet white (maybe a Rhine?) instead of the Pinot Grigio she'd ordered. I think the waiter didn't quite hear Pinot Grigio correctly so we reemphasized it. Strike two.

I found the menu confusing with a lot of pasta choices that were mostly baked rather than freshly prepared. This was opposed to the meat entrees what were grouped later in an odd layout that favored Midwest-like takes on the meat and pasta desires of the clientele (or ownership). But if you'd wanted something beyond a basic spaghetti with a meaty sauce or a full regalia of al forno dishes - this is not your place.

The mains arrived and I swear my penne sort-of-arriabiata (Sardi) had been preassembled, probably micro-thawed and popped in an oven. I'd never had anything like it before and I don't mean that in a positive way. And it was $14.50. OK. But at that price it should have been something interesting. A Ziti al Forno wasn't ziti at all but something penne-like and really bland. Sorry, but all the meals were representatively poor and departures from my guests prior experiences.

When our waiter was questioned about the changes he professed ignorance without revealing what I suspect wasn't a long history with the restaurant. I got apologies from my guests as we got the prompt service of the bill and we made our way away from the place.

Overall take? This is an Italian-sound-alike started by some anglo guys in the middle of the country and expanded at break-neck speed. They're shooting for becoming another Carrabas or Macaroni Grill or (gasp) Olive Garden.

They're succeeding.

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2  Thank skagittraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Italian. Reasonably priced, variety of offerings. Excellent service. Would return if we ever visit town again.

1  Thank CB84OH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

The Italian specialties were well-prepared, the servers are well-trained, and great desserts and a good cup of coffee. Who could ask for more? Even though the restaurant was extremely busy, the service was exceptional.

Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

I have been there a couple of times and I have never been real impressed with their entrees. I would recommend the salad and bread. Other than that there are better places in town to eat.

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1  Thank Illinibowhunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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