St. Paul >Il Vesco Vino
579 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN | Directions 5510244.946715 -93.124627
Neighborhoods: Summit - University
Excellent food, New Location, Service needs work. – It should be noted that this restaurant is now downtown on W 7th so if you're looking for the ambiance of the location on Selby, you may be disappointed. Maybe I'm being a bit too nostalgic but I loved the old location in the big Victorian house but I'm sure there were good business reasons to move.
Anyway, we walked in and were brought to a large dining area that was far too brightly lit for 7:30 in the evening with an odd configuration of tables and no windows so we asked to be moved to something a bit less "church basement" and they were very nice to accomodate us.
The food was terrific - I think maybe better than at the old location (which I've visited about 7 times). The service was mostly good but there were two things that stood out - first, after our entrees were brought out by the bus boy, the waitress never stopped back to see if we needed anything else to drink or if everything came out ok. I literally waited 5 minutes then went and asked the person at the front if she could just get us some wine to go with the meal. About 3 minutes later, our waitress stopped and asked what she could help us with. The second problem was an over eager busser who really kept trying to take plates before we were finished. One person actually had his fork in his hand and his mouth full with food on his plate and had to quickly swallow to say - "I'm not finished yet".
So here's my take - Excellent Italian Food, Average location/decor, Service needs to tighten up. Probably better than many places downtown.
bad food – beautiful patio, nice music. great summer night. The entree took 45 minutes and was awful. the blend of seasonings just didn't work. size of entree wasn't worth half the price. stick to the beverages and enjoy the atmosphere.
Fantastic Food, Great Service, Will make this a regular dining spot – I went to Il Vesco Vino with my wife and parents. Going anywhere to eat with my parents is a tricky prospect. My Dad is adventurous, but avoids seafood. My mom sticks to what she knows. Everyone came away pleased. We shared several antipasti- the chef selection of cheeses, salami, vegetables, and olives was a great way to start. The olives were delicious and buttery, the green beans and asparagus were fresh, and the cheese spicy. We also ordered the grilled sausage which was fantastic- a good amount of spice and a wonderful texture. The veal, pork and beef meatballs were okay- good texture, but did not match the quality of flavor of the other two dishes. For main courses my wife and father each order a pasta dish- house made ravioli with chicken and beef, and house made tortellini with shrimp and mascarpone. Both dishes were generous in size without being overwhelming, and were delicious. I ordered the scallops and chickpeas. The scallops were seared well and well seasoned. My mom had the shrimps stuffed with crab and ricotta wrapped in pancetta on cous-cous. The shrimp were large and tasty. It was difficult to taste the crab, but this dish was excellent. The atmosphere was wonderful, quiet dining on the second floor. Service was prompt and attentive all night. Our food was delivered quickly,, yet with proper time for conversation between courses. It reminded me of the excellent service I had at the restaurants in Italy. The wine selection is extensive- the grappa tasting on the desert menu caught my eye, but I will have to wait to partake until next time. This was a very enjoyable evening out and I will return- there are many other dishes I am eager to try.
wonderful pasta!! – This past week on a cold and rainy fall night me and my wife ventured to Il Vescovino for a quick bite to eat and a glass of wine. I have hear a lot about this restaurant (all good) but never gone. the atmosphere was very cozy and welcoming; also was the service. We shared a couple antipasti (arincini and quick roasted beef) which were very good and also two pastas (sausage orechietti and gnocchi) some of the best I've had in the city. Thanks for making a cold and rainy night into a warm and wonderful one. bravo Il Vescovino
italian italian italian!!! – Il VescoVino offers all the things essential to the best Italian Restuarants in ITALY. The best ingredients, simply and thoughtfully prepared, like many of the great restaurants I have been to in Italy. antipasti was very authentic and many to choose from the pasta cooked perfect with a good variety. Our table was quite large which allowed us to try most of the entrees and features for the evening all excelent and tasty. They were very accomadating to our large party and the service was impecable. We all will be back. BRAVO!
Not the Old Vintage – We had prompt service and were shown the table upon entry. I asked the server what is good and for suggestions. She rattled off 8 or so great ideals. My date and I each had the fish special and it was very good. Our knowable server also suggested a tasty wine. Everything about our meal, wine and service was great.
We wished to have a nice, quite and romantic evening. Our online reservations at open table at lead us to a poor table right next to the Bar and fireplace. I recall The Vintage, the previous restaurant located in this building and the nice upstairs dinning room they had. As the night progressed, more and more people filed in and next to the bar. With a $75 dinner tab, I would hope for a classier atmosphere and not a sports bar. For Coffee and Desert, We left for Caffe Lattee so we can hear each other talk.
Mixed performance – My husband and I visited this restaurant using a gift certificate. Our dinner started out well -- our salads were delicious, and we had Arancini (rice ball) that was crispy and creamy at the same time. My husband enjoyed his dinner, but I did not. Specifically, I ordered clam liguini. Although the flavors were fine, a number of the clamshells had shattered, causing me to continuously pick out shards of shell from each bite of food. Furthermore, a number of clams were clearly undercooked, as they had not opened. Although I was willing to overlook the shells, serving undercooked seafood is really not acceptable, and when I pointed this out to the waitress, she did not seem concerned. We also had some sort of ricotta flan for dessert, which I also was not impressed by; it had the consistency of scrambled eggs. While I can't deny that the flavors of this restaurant were very good, I personally find them too hit-and-miss to justify spending money there when a number of more consistent restaurants (Carmellos, Ristorante Luci) are so close by and comparable (or cheaper!) in price.
Needs Improvement – We went to Il Vesco Vino on a Friday night. We had the bruschetta, linguine with clams, stuffed shells, and rigatoni. The food is very salty and overpriced. Avoid the bruschetta at all costs. It didn't come with cheese or tomatos. Instead, it came with salty tapenade, bland white stuff, and salty basil pesto. The stuffed shells and rigatoni were bombarded with so much salt you could only taste the texture of the noodle. The linguine with clams was decent. The waitstaff seemed as if they were in a hurry, but they were friendly. I don't plan on returning to the resteraunt unless it is for a glass of wine.
great food, nice bricks – chef buffalo has once again shown his true talent and it is apparent in every dish i have ever tasted there. the recent pioneer press review and city pages are completely untrue and exaggerated! i think the reviewers took a wrong turn and wound up at buca or ciatti's. i have really enjoyed the atmosphere at vesco vino, it can get super busy but the kitchen still keeps up fine and the dining room is always so cozy and comfortable. the wine program is very unique but not intimidating. i look forward to dining there in the future and to see what other delicious dishes mr. buffalo will bring to the table!
On again Off again . . . but always on for me! – Recently Il Vesco Vino was reviewed in both the City Pages and the Pioneer Press. While the CP loved the Italian doughnuts, PP's were still raw in the middle. While CP hated their linguine with clams, PP said the dish was the best example in the city. CP complained that the gnocchi with veal arrived as one giant gnocch and the sauce tasted like glue, but when I ate it, I was reminded of an amazing meal I had in Padova, Italy because it was so delicious. PP claimed the salt cod was merely salty and crunchy, but when I was there, the fish was tenderly mixed with kalamata olives and capers, rolled into a ball, coated with a perfect, crunchy layer of deep fried goodness, and sitting in a bowl of red sauce with sage that complemented it wonderfully- not in the least salty. While each time I've been there, all the food has been very good, it seems that sometimes they miss the mark. I just hope that keeps happening only to other people.
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