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“Fabulous”
Review of Piccolo

Piccolo
Ranked #182 of 1,843 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 43rd Street
Transit: Metro Transit Route 4
Reviewed December 9, 2013

My wife and I have eaten all the way from street food in developing countries to high end restaurants in France and Italy and our meal at Piccolo was comparable to the best. As other reviewers have said, this is a small restaurant that serves small portions. We were advised by our waiter (who was absolutely wonderful) to order three dishes each and then see how we felt. We ended up ordering a fourth each, but would have had too much to eat comfortably if we had gone with the tasting menu (5 dishes each). The chef has mastered the art of delivering a variety of flavors and textures from each dish in such a way as to truly light up your taste buds.

For those of you that have not had a chance to try out some of the better restaurants in the Twin Cities, there are some very very good choices. In our opinion, this is the best that we have encountered. The menu changes about every 6 weeks so we will definitely wait a couple of months and then return.

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2  Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 - 66 of 113 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

Because our offspring both live in the greater Twin Cities, my wife and I enjoy visiting Minneapolis as often as we can, and we like to splurge on great restaurants when we're there. Piccolo was the latest on a trip this past weekend, and it was, indeed, pretty great: inventive, seasonal, and delicious. It might seem weird that I will single out the chef's use of black walnuts from line up of ingredients that featured white shrimp, morcilla, maitake, suckling pig, gnocchi, compressed plums and ocean trout, but -- to much to explain here -- the connection of my taste buds and my psyche to black walnuts goes deep. To my surprise and delight, the menu featured a parsnip soup and a cider-poached apple dessert with those strong earthy nuts, in both cases giving the dishes an exotic twist without letting them overpower every other delicious thing that was going on.

In the spirit of constructive criticism to the restaurant, the only thing I would ding them for is that, despite us calling a day in advance to give them some warning, they seemed a little boggled by the fact that a couple of our group were attempting to eat vegan (if not purely so, then at least no-meat/minimal dairy/vegetable-grain centric). It is duly noted that the menus on their web site feature lots of meats, salumi, cheese and other dairy -- in other words, we did have fair notice of their style, and we forged ahead, and there's a part of me that says that it's just fine if they don't want to bend for me. But my experience with many other restaurants of this caliber is that, especially with some advance notice, the chefs will create some vegan options from the ingredients he/she has at hand -- and I was surprised that it didn't really happen at Piccolo. Though our attentive server seemed concerned and checked a couple times with the kitchen, the only option we were presented was to take the meat and dairy out of one of the set dishes. So the result was predictable: one of the de-meated courses (the suckling pig without the pig) fell flat, and that was a disappointment in an otherwise terrific meal. My hope is that they will figure this out -- we certainly will try them again.

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2  Thank Serendip2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

It has been over a year since our last visit to Piccolo and we were wondering if their incredibly high standards were still being met. They are! This is one of the top restaurants in the Twin Cities.

We all chose the tasting menu ($52 each) which allowed us to choose one dish from each of the 5 sections of the menu. It is a simple way for a group of four to try nearly everything on the menu, and you need to try as many of the dishes as you can. There isn't a clinker on the menu.

Piccolo means small, and if you prefer huge portions, you won't find them here. Give these exquisite small plates a chance, and you may find that taste is more important than quantity.

Service is shared and coordinated. There is an appropriate interval between courses (don't be in a hurry).

Wine prices tend to be high, but we found a very nice bottle of a red blend (Los Dos) for only $21.

The décor could use a bit of freshening, and the espresso was watery and not hot enough, but those complaints are tiny compared to the otherwise delightful experience.

The date of our visit was Sept. 25, 2013.

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1  Thank JandJ67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Our first 3 visits over the past few years at Piccolo were nothing short of spectacular! Incredibly creative offerings - amazing presentation by knowledgeable & expert servers in an intimate, quiet setting... But this past Friday evening, our 4th visit, left us wondering if one can truly ever repeat a spectacular meal and have the same amazing service. Here are the problems we encountered: the tables were "smashed" together. I am slim - but I could barely slide between two tables to get to the bench (I think I knocked something on the table beside me... sorry). And, then it was so incredibly noisy that we could not enjoy a conversation across the small table from one another. The server was very attentive - but we definitely felt "rushed" through our meal. There was little time to reflect on and enjoy what we'd just eaten before the next "course" was brought to the table. The servers seem to stumble on exactly what they were presenting to us ~ and with the noise in the restaurant we could not hear what was being told to us, anyway. Our server brought the food bill to us when we'd barely finished dessert and seemed a little irritated when we asked for coffee. The next day, as we reflected on our meal, my partner and I both admitted that we actually had ear pain from the noise & that we felt that the food was not as exciting as it had been on previous occasions, and that the servers were not enjoying themselves and seemed to just want the evening to be over. When we are paying $150 for a dinner for 2, I expect a quiet restaurant (intimate should mean quiet and tables a decent distance from one another), and that servers know what they are serving - - and to at least act as though they realize that they are being paid to provide a service. Perhaps they can put couples in one room away from larger inevitably noisy groups - and put some distance between tables. Is Piccolo relying on their reputation?

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Thank Rebecca P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

The space is intimate yet casual. The food is visually stunning, the combination of ingredients both bold and inventive, the flavors orgasmic. Service was very attentive and our server was extremely well-versed in the evening's offerings. Each small plate was a mini-masterpiece of style, substance, flavor and presentation. As a big fan of Doug Flicker's former restaurant Auriga, we came in with high expectations (especially after reading all the rave reviews of Piccolo). Piccolo exceeded our expectations on every level. As well-traveled foodies, we feel blessed to have such a world-class gem right in our back yard! Of all the great chef-driven joints in town, if you're only able to have one meal in Minneapolis, this is the place.

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Thank 20MoreCowbell15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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