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“Great service, food, with a view” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Va Bene Caffe

Va Bene Caffe
Ranked #4 of 252 Restaurants in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Kids, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Scenic view, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Family owned and operated, fresh Italian. Not your nonna's trattoria. Pastas, salads,pizzas, staek,fish, fresh baked desserts and gelato. Full bar, fantastic wine list and specialty cocktails. Perched over looking Lake Superior with the best view of the lift bridge and harbor.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
73 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great service, food, with a view”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013 via mobile

We ate there around 5:30 Wednesday and were very pleased. We didn't have reservations but we were able to get a table in the enclosed porch with a view of Lake Superior. The waiter, Steve was very knowledgeable about the wines and describing the dishes. The wine was 1/2 off a bottle that nite. Steve was very pleasant and attentive as a server. We ordered the Alfredo and fettuccini Carbonara. The carbonara was a bit tastier due to the bacon and peas. Definitely would order that again. Food was served hot. You get just the pasta and some complimentary bread with some balsamic and oil to dip it in. For $12-$14 pasta plates, it would be nice if it would come with a small salad. Overall I would highly recommend it. In and out in 45 minutes

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MaryAnn1290
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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534 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    343
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    42
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    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis,MN
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good food. Awful service!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

Came in at 3 pm.
They told us we would have to be finished in an hour and a half before reservations started
We would have been glad to be done but waited 40 mi utes for our food to arrive
Waitress disappeared. Had to ask for her to get the check
Great view of lake. Food good
But service awful. Check even came with wrong items on it
Disappointing

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank trudles1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great potential undermined by slow service / timing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

This is the 3rd time we've dined at Va Bene, with our most recent visit on 18 June for dinner. My wife ordered the Mahi Mahi, which came out piping hot and she enjoyed very much. I ordered the Preferito Della Casa (# 16) and was quite disappointed. First off, the food came out lukewarm. Tasty, but lukewarm. Second, the chicken is pre-cooked and was very dry. We would have ordered dessert, but our waiter was rarely around and we also had to ask for our check, after a 20 minute wait after being finished with our dinner. We went back inside to order some gelato to go and saw at least 6 plates waiting in the window to be taken to customers. With one such order, the food was up at least 5 minutes (I timed it).

I'd recommend the management of this place seriously considers adding more staff. The previous time we visited last fall for a Sunday brunch, only 2 people were working at 11 AM. One visit with short staffing is an accident; two visits is a trend. It is odd because the employees are all very pleasant, but even if they added just one extra person for the evening service, the likelihood of the waitstaff having to take the orders, clean the tables, make the drinks, bring out the food, etc., would be reduced.

Such great potential with this place. We LOVE the location and the views of Lake Superior, The food is, for the most part tasty. The staff is always nice. However, the consistent (from repeated visits) examples of short staffed crews undermines this place. We shouldn't be paying for food which comes out lukewarm and then have to wait for proper service.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank riphensh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee
Level Contributor
268 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Delicioso”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2013

great place, small so make a reservation. pastas are terrific. if it is warm enough, sit on their outdoor deck overlooking the great lake Gitchie Gumee. service was very good. $20 corkage if you BYO.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MN
Level Contributor
140 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Food, service and setting all excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

We were staying overnight in Duluth and read such good reviews that we decided to try Va Bene. We were seated in the back room/glassed in porch type area with outstanding views of Lake Superior. The wine list is ample and there is also a house wine. Our "piccolo" (small version) salads were normal size dinner salads and were very good. They make their own focaccia which is outstanding, especially dipped in olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegarette. We ordered the two fish dishes, also outstanding. Our meal was completed with gelato.

There is parking in the front. We would recommend asking for a table in the back so you can enjoy the lake views. We did make a reservation on a Monday night which was wise since most of the tables were continually occupied.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MnDaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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