5001 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5541744.912408 -93.222737
Sun 10am-2pm, 4:30pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Nokomis, Keewaydin
You will leave feeling important – If you want to be treated special this is the place to be. The staff makes sure you feel welcome and that your time at Al Vento is to be remembered. Reservations should be made unless you are willing to have a drink at the bar. If you are on a first date this place is perfect. It has a romantic atmosphere and will impress anyone who steps inside. You can tell the resturaunt has the personal touch of the owners heart. The prices for what you experience are nothing. Al Vento offers a date night on Tuesdays that is well worth checking out. Al Vento offers wine dinners every so often that will impress you and teach you a great deal of how food and wine go together. Everything on the menu is excellent. I recommend starting with the sample of four bruschetta. My recommendation for a pasta dish would be the Bucatini dish. (Bucatini is a hollow spaghetti noodle) For an entree I would recommend the grilled rosemary pork tenderloin. If you are in the mood for a pizza they are overwhelming with flavor - try the Neapolitan. If you want to be impressed or impress someone special take them to Al Vento.
Don't Even Bother – This so-called Southern Italian-crap cuisine makes me sick literally. If you ever experience food poisonin?, you know that youll never go back to eating at the same place again. After having a bottle of overpriced wine, you would think all that alcohol would destroy all the germs in that food! Right after I get home from the restaurant the headache came on, followed by series of excretions that left me drained for 4 days. I know for fact that it was from either the sampler bruschetta or ceasar since these are the only things I ate that day besides my cereal I had for breakfast which I have been eating for last 3 years and never made me sick. I have been here before in the past, but never was impressed by the entrees so this time I thought to play it save and get simple dishes thought wrong!!
Great unique Italian! – I had some pasta dish with duck and chicken ragu and goat cheese that made me want to eat myself into a coma. Even their table bread was above average. Very good fresh food and a wonderful waitstaff! I will go back to sample their ever changing menu.
good until the entrees arrived... – The meal started out well- although we were seated at a dirty table. This doesn't bother me at all if the host acknowledges it and comes by to wipe it off. There were large chunks of food left on the table, but she just set our menus on top of the food bits. We started with the crab cakes and caesar salad, and both were very good. We ordered the scallop and steak entrees, and were both disappointed. The scallops were cold- really cold, when they arrived, and were covered with an odd relish. The risotto underneath was warm and good, but it didn't really save the dish. The steak was tasteless. It was warm, but the mashed potatoes were lumpy and unremarkable. We were surprised that both entrees were so bad. We might try this place again, but stick with a pizza entree.
Great food, very fresh pasta, wonderful flavors – We were very impressed with all aspects of our experience. To put it simply, the quality of the food started with the "basics" done properly, which are too often overlooked. The freshness and quality of the pasta was remarkable, as was the cesar salad. From that base, the combination of flavors also worked very well, across the board. We started with the truffled pecorino packets - very tasty (while the plate was drowing a bit in the brown butter, as long as you don't swish the food through the butter it is great). The cesar was just the right combination of flavors on perfectly fresh romaine. The sauces, meat and cheese all worked very well for our entrees. For dessert, we had the creme brulee trio. My wife loves creme brulee, I do not. So, when we order it, it is usually a compromise for me. Not this time - their "twist" was to serve three small portions, one each of pistachio, espresso, and orange liqueur - and the first time I really enjoyed creme brulee. Also, as we dined on an off night (Sunday) and early (5:30), we did not experience any issues with noise and overcrowding that others have reported (but hey, what do you expect with a good restaurant?).
Best Restaurant in S. Minnie – We have frequented this location often when it was Marimar. Sad to see them close the doors but when Al Vento opened we were very happy to have a neighborhood restaurant again. We started going there from the get go and with a few blips have watched it evolve to what it is now. Consistently great. Servers are attentive and genuinely friendly. Rarely does my water glass go empty. And when I sent my Pork Tenderloin back for being Med well instead of the med-rare I ordered - I had a new one within 1-2 minutes. If you are not happy with what you ordered - speak up. They will graciously try to fix it. Everything is made in house, from the Foccacia to the pasta which I've never received short of al dente. Try the stuffed mushrooms to start, Fish special is always good, and who can go wrong with Spaghetti and Veal Meatballs?
Get a reservation – This is a true Southern Italian restaurant, of which we have very few in Minneapolis. There are a lot of Tuscan (Northern) style places, but nothing like this that I've found other than in other cities.
The olive bruschetta is outstanding, along with all of the other entrees I have had there. I've been to Al Vento 4 times, and have had outstanding food each time, always ordering something different. This is a great romantic spot for a date. Price is very reasonable.
Perfect Anniversary Dinner!! – My husband and I went to al Vento for our anniversary dinner last Saturday night and absolutely loved it. This was our first time there and we will definitely go back. The only 'con' was that it was super loud in the main dining room, but we were fine at our intimate table. We had an appetizer (crab cakes), salads (caesar & mixed green), entrees (cod with spinach risotto and rigatoni with butternut squash marscapone) and dessert (creme brule trio) and all were delicious!! The Chocolatini was yummy and there's a full service bar. Service was spectacular!! Prices were great too - I believe the entrees were all under $20. This is in the top five of our favorite restaurants!! Enjoy!!!
Waited over an hour, with reservatons! – We planned a nice birthday dinner for six and made reservations in advance. When we arrived the place was packed. People were standing everywhere waiting. Diners seated at their tables had to contend with others basically standing over them. We waited over an hour for a table to clear. It seemed the manager couldn't handle the situation. When we were finally seated, the service and food was good, but I won't be returning!!
Great Local Italian Restaurant – My wife and I were looking for a local (not a franchise) Italian restaurant for my son's wedding rehearsal celebration. We had 40 guests and the church was in Plymouth. We had checked out Giorgio's (another good local independent Italian restaurant), but it was too small for our party. Then I read a review of Al Vento. We made reservations to check it out. Just as the review said, the food, ambiance and price were outstanding. We contacted Keith, the manager, who helped us make all the arrangements, and even set up our own custom menu. The evening was exceptional...The service, by Samantha and Brian, was impeccable. Without exception, everyone at the rehearsal dinner raved about the food (ie: "the BEST pork tenderloin I have ever tasted"), the drinks and the service. The 20-mile drive from Plymouth to Al Vento was worth every gas-penny. Al Vento has become one of the local restaurants on our "short list." As an amateur gourmand - trust me - you'll like it!
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