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“The Best Are Better At The Basics”
Review of al Vento

al Vento
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Ranked #94 of 1,816 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 50th Street
Transit: 50th & Hiawatha LRT
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“The Best Are Better At The Basics”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

The best are better at the basics than the rest of us. That is an understanding that I've long held with athletes and also applies to restaurants. If a restaurant gives due attention to their basics, the result will be apparent. For our anniversary we ate at Al Vento where I ordered pork tenderloin with polenta. My previous experience of polenta really was as a utility, as a commodity, as: Meh. At Al Vento, the polenta became the headliner of the meal. It is extraordinary! The menu should bill it as polenta and pork tenderloin rather than the other way around. My wife had spaghetti and meat balls because she says the meatballs are the best she has ever had. Again, when a place takes care of the basics, the result will be apparent.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    123
    75
    19
    9
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great wine and atmosphere”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

I recently went to Al Vento for a girls dinner out and the atmosphere is great and the wine fantastic! They have a wonderful selection of wines and we were there on a night that the certain bottle of red we ordered was 1/2 price. We sat on their new patio and while it's loud, it is a neat place to sit. Our server was friendly, helpful and on top of it.

I have been there a few times and the one thing I will say, their food is FULL of flavors to the point that it's too much. Many of the items have tons of garlic and you will find that you will tasted garlic until the next day. Also, there seems to be a very high sodium content in many of the dishes, enough so that it's worth commenting on. I understand when you eat out that you indulge and enjoy yourself, but wow. Every time I go I feel like I can taste it until the next day.

Something to be aware of!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank aquabluemom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Lovely neighborhood restaurant”
Reviewed September 21, 2013

My husband and I stopped in for dinner and were delighted to learn that wine was half price on selected bottles between 4:30 and 6:00. There is a nice selection of Italian wines as well as other countries. We tried two of the bruschetta choices-- $2 off during happy hour -- brussel sprouts with honey goat cheese and Burrata and sweet corn--so amazing! Such great combinations of flavors! For my main course I chose the Pappardelle with braised duck leg ragu and Stickney Hills goat cheese. It was awesome and a huge portion. My husband had the Bucatini all'amatriciana with pancetta tomato and chili flake. He likes spicy dishes but said that this one was really firey! We wanted to try the Saffron risotto with scallops, crimini mushroom, heirloom tomato and sweet corn but will save that for another time. I'm sure it will be as delicious as both of our entrees.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PeggyR697
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Glad it is in my neighborhood!”
Reviewed September 14, 2013

Al Vento has been a great place to go to over and over since it opened years ago. I have taken advantage of their Tuesday night date night multiple times (4 courses for $20 per person), as well as their half price drinks before 6pm. I have been there on romantic dinners, as well as with the entire family (small children included) and on business and have never been disappointed. Their mussels are tasty and their Caesar salad incredibly garlicky (which I love). Their pasta with duck leg ragu, the amatriciana and their linguine with seafood are all great. I recommend leaving some room for dessert. The ice-cream is homemade and its taste is rich and defined. Their creme brûlée is also worth ordering. Service is attentive and knowledgeable. I am glad Al Vento is in my neighborhood!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Monica R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux City, Iowa
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great Food”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Was taken to restaurant by my son and wife. They had just moved to Minneapolis and this was our reward for helping unpack the Uhaul. I would definitely unload the truck again if a meal at this place was the payment. The food was outstanding and the waiter was very helpful. Great menu and the wine hit the spot. Would recommend this reataurant.

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

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