Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Al Vento
Al Vento is a romantic Southern Italian bistro with fine dining at affordable prices. The relaxed decor and elegance by candle light provide the perfect setting for friendly banter, family outings, or simply staring into the eyes of your lover with a fine Italian wine in hand. With notably some of the most knowledgeable and friendly staff in the Twin Cities, Al Vento is the perfect dining experience for you this evening. Specials offered daily!
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Italian, Seafood, Contemporary Italian
Hours of Operation:
Hours of Operation
Open Daily 11am-9pm
Lunch Menu: 11am-2pm
Happy Hour Menu: 2pm-6pm
Dinner Menu: 4pm-9pm
Happy Hour: 4pm-6pm
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Off-site catering is available upon request.
Public parking lot located behind the restaurant. Entrance on 50th Street E.
50th & Hiawatha LRT
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
To make a reservation for a party of 5 or more, please contact the restaurant directly at 612-724-3009.
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Whether celebrating a special occasion with family and friends or hosting a corporate outing, Al Vento can accommodate all your special event needs.
Al Vento Ratings and Reviews
Service was a bit rushed. Though I booked as a birthday celebration and cards were in the table, waiter failed to notice. Also brought our check without even checking to see if we wanted a dessert. Appetizers were ice cold. Manager said they were chilled, but ours were frozen. Manager said he would talk to chef, which was last we heard from him
Our reservation was for 11:30, and we were not aware that they were only serving brunch at that time on Sunday. We got a pizza with prosciutto and runny egg, but it was overcooked and oily. We also got the Bucatini pasta which was quite undercooked. I hope that the troubles with the food were caused by a poor brunch, and that all their food isn't that bad. The ambiance would have been better at night. It felt strangely dark at noon.
We dine out regularly with a large group. Fewer and fewer restaurant will accept reservations for larger groups. Al Vento not only accepts this sort of group but handles it well. They were helpful in assisting the people with special food needs. This is the old style Italian food of my childhood, and it does that we'll. No surprises, but well prepared and graciously served.
Loved the first half of our meal - had the tasting menu with the featured wine ... excellent appetizers and salad/soup course ... enjoying every minute of this charming neighborhood restaurant that we had heard so much about . Then the scallop entree arrived - something not quite right about the taste and my dining partner found it inedible ... inexplicably when we told our generally wonderful waiter about our food, he asked if we wanted it boxed up to go home !
We were given complementery house made limoncella which was outstanding ...
Dessert was a fairly gummy uninspired geleto...
So some things outstanding, others quite poor... we will be back but will likely choose our food more carefully...
And perhaps they need a different response to food that patrons find subpar...
First time visiting, the Open Table picture shows bright yellow and white decor. The restaurant is very dark green grey walls and light bulbs covered with brown sheer cloth hanging from the ceiling. Totally different than what we expected. Had the four course menu. The pear lettuce salad could use more spice. Soup was good and the main courses very good. Nice to get the half price bottle of wine. Service was excellent.
Our waiter was very kind. The food was hit or miss. Stuffed mushrooms were AMAZING, but the chicken was dry.
Our biggest complaint was that it took over an hour from the time we ordered to the time our meal arrived. We were starving!
Overall a very nice time but we probably won't go back. I would be all about it at half the price.
Have been to Al Vento many times over the years, but food seemed less interesting than I recall. Tasting menu rather lackluster. Also, when I signed up on Open Table it asked about occasion and I said Birthday, as this was to celebrate my daughter's birthday. I don't know why they asked, as no mention was made...no Happy Day, no little treat to acknowledge, etc. Luckily, I brought flowers for the table, so it was a little more festive. I wouldn't rush to return.
I couldn't believe how bad the service and the food was. We had to wait 20 minutes for our drinks to arrive. Then the cheese fondue came with black 2" cubes and an unlit, going cold cheese bowl. I ordered the clams and linguini. The meal came cold with starchy noodles - no sauce at all. I had to ask for some kind of cheese or something to give it taste. My husband's meat ball and spaghetti was eatable, but tasted old. Noodles mushy. I was extremely disappointed. Never again!!!!
One god note, the bus girl kept my water glass full and gave me clean silver for each course.
We've been to Al Vento for dinner several times but this was our first lunch visit. Business was slow as we arrived after 1:00 so We hope they can keep that as an option. We had the sausage pizza and meatball panini--both were excellent although the panini was a little weird with the whole meatball sitting in the middle of the panini triple crust. For an opener we had the tapenade bruschetta which was delicious. Sometimes when business is slow service is not crisp, but that was not the case with our visit. The food was served promptly and our server was knowledgeable and personable. We will definitely make it a regular stop.
I worked in fine dining for 20 years; as a Head-Captain, Head-water, Maitre d' , and Manager in
some of New York City's finest eateries, and yes, I'm spoiled. In the Twin-Cities Metro-plex of 4 million people, there are tons of restaurants, but only a few that get it right. This one gets it right!
I invited an Italian-American friend, also a "foodie", and he was VERY pleased. The service was attentive, personable, and with no hovering. The wait staff, some of whom have worked there 10 years, were educated in the wine offerings and pairings, and described in perfect detail every dish I asked about. Honest assessments and no "catch-phrases" normally hurled by the kitchen staff.
The best way to successfully sell truly "handcrafted" food is to feed it to the staff before hand. Union Square Cafe in NYC where I worked four years is the first and only restaurant I've worked with who do this. I suspect the Il Vento staff have tasted every dish possible. With a 10-year tradition of making their own pasta, I made a main course of three appetizers. Hand-cut fries with an Aioli mayo were seasoned with parmigiana and herbs, and the roasted cauliflower with pistachios and golden raisons was remarkably good . Coupled with a simple spaghetti and an unimpeded pomodoro sauce was just perfect.
I rarely give five stars because rarely is it a perfect experience. The only misstep was the back-waiter removing all the cutlery after the appetizer, and not replacing it. But both waiters were only 10 feet away and noticed the faux pas straight away.
Good waiters, don't leave good jobs, and many had worked there for 8 to 10 years. Make no mistake, it is a neighborhood restaurant, that, depending on who is there, is either an upscale dining experience without too much fuss, or is an "aspiring to something greater" restaurant where your children can appreciate the difference between real Italian food and Olive Garden.
First time at this restaurant. Was pleasantly surprised by the cozy environment which was what we were looking for. We chose to do the order from the tasting menu and it was excellent. We advised the waiter that we needed to leave at a certain time and they did a pretty good job of meeting that request. We would definitely go back.
A true gem. Felt like I was back in Italy. Clean, modern decor. No Frank Sinatra, music was more updated like the decor. Very nice wine list. Pizza was delicious. Crust was perfect. Waiter very helpful. This will be a regular stop for us on the way to or from the airport which is five minutes away.
Visited AL Vento during Restaurant Week. My wife and I live in the neighborhood and ate there on a Thursday afternoon. Lunch on the enclosed patio with the temp in the 60s was great. Servers were attentive and the food was tasty. I had the ravioli option; my wife had the fennel sausage pannini. Portions for the ravioli were disappointing, not so for the pannini.
All in all, not a bad experience. The restaurant is within walking dustance
It was a great evening out with friends! The place was decorated for the holiday. The waiter was so attentive. Thank you. Only complaint was the restaurant week menu online was with butternut squash ravioli; which is why I was excited about the menu but they had a mushroom ravioli instead.
Restaurant Week gave us the opportunity to dine at Al Vento, a spot I'd long wanted to visit in the neighborhood where we lived 25 years ago. The ambiance in the front room was cozy and inviting; the patio looked like it would be great in warmer weather. The back room seemed sterile and noisy. Food was standard American-Italian, moderately priced, without being spectacular; served promptly and warm. Service was otherwise adequate. Bread basket with oil may have been the best part. Good dinner along with a sentimental journey. Would definitely return.
Was hoping the on-line menu was accurate, as I looked forward to having the ravioli with squash; instead, I opted for the mushroom ravioli, which was slathered with some kind of tasteless cream sauce. Open Table allows us to mention a special occasion, but nothing special was done to recognize our anniversary, short of a mention from the man who greeted us, who questioned whether our special occasion was really the 16th. 'Thought they might give us a dessert on the house or offer a glass of house wine, as a gesture. Nada. The bread & olive oil are nice snacks, while waiting for the delicious stuffed mushrooms with "Mother" sauce, but they could improve on their menu offerings, so those who opt for a carb-free dinner, can enjoy coming there. I was told they make their own pasta, but the taste was buried in the cream sauce. If you're using tasty mushrooms & spices, why not let the customer taste them + the fresh pasta? This was the 1st time since my hip surgery that we had gone out for dinner, and had hoped it would be awesome, but it was disappointing. They were short-staffed too. Al Vento is mislabeled "elegant," since no one gets dressed up for this neighborhood restaurant.
We had a lovely evening overall thanks to our excellent waiter. The food, however, was a disappointment. Heavily breaded calamari,bitter salads, under-seasoned maltagliati with pork shoulder, no pasta served with the chicken piccatta.
Butternut squash ravioli was HEAVEN on a plate. We wondered if the usual chef was not on duty on a Sunday night -- dined on a Saturday last time around, and had a wonderful meal. If we return it will be on a weekend!
We enjoy dinner at Al Vento whenever we are in Minneapolis. This visit, we tried two different craft cocktails and enjoyed them both; unsure if you had them two years ago when we were there last. Our only suggestion is to please put salt in the water before coming the pasta. It’s not the same when you have to add salt after cooking.
My wife and I tried out their new Sunday brunch. Not as great as the discontinued brunch buffet AL Vento used to offer. My frittata, while tasty, was quite small for the money. Be aware that ALL Bloody Marys and Mimosas are bottomless. You can't order just one.
My wife loved the Zepele (Italian doughnut). You could have a Zepele and coffee and it would be a meal in itself.
We'll be back, just not as often as we used to.
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