Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Il Vesco Vino

Visited on Sunday, August 1st


Erin's Review
I used to volunteer every Sunday night from 4-8, and to celebrate my first completely free Sunday, I wanted to go out to eat. Since pretty much the only thing I've been wanting lately is bland carbs, a fairly generic Italian place seemed like it would fit the bill. Il Vesco Vino was the chosen destination.

Since we were there on a weeknight, they had a $25 deal where you get a salad, entree and dessert which is exactly what I wanted. I got the bibb salad, which was delicious - fruit and blue cheese is my favorite type of salad, so I was set.


The stuffed shells is the real reason I chose this place for our dinner - what can I say, I just wanted some pasta and a lot of cheese :) I figured the spinach was just a nutritional bonus. They were pretty good, but not the best I've had. I could only finish about 1/3 of it, but that just meant I got to bring the leftovers for lunch which is my favorite part of going to places with huge portions :)



I chose the carrot cake for dessert, which was quite good. I loved the caramel drizzle especially. Of course, I was already full, but I still managed to eat most of it! Since I'm without alcohol for the next 5.5 months, I got myself a "fun drink" of a decaf latte to go with my dessert. Yipee.... :)



Not sure I would really rush back to Il Vesco Vino, but it was a fun night with good food.

Ben's Review
Last Sunday, Erin wanted to go out and she wanted to have Italian food, and for the time being, we eat what she wants to eat :) We looked over our list for a Italian places and came down to Al Vento and Il Vesco Vino. The menu at Al Vento looked a little smaller so we headed down West 7th by Xcel Energy Center to Il Vesco Vino.

When we walked in we found the host booth by the door, but no host. We poked around a bit and eventually someone came over to seat us ("Sorry, Cocktail is on TV!" was her excuse :) The place was COMPLETELY empty, there were more employees huddled around the TV than customers. Being a Sunday night in downtown Saint Paul I wasn't really expecting a big crowd, and we got great service, so I can't complain.


We were quickly served up some bread and olive oil (though no pepper at the table!) while we looked over the menus. On Sundays they have a deal for $25 that gets you an entree, a salad, and dessert which seemed like a pretty good deal. You can't have any entree; there is a select list of ones that are available with the special, but there are plenty to choose from. I went with the linguine bolognese for my entree, with a caprese salad (I'd actually been craving this for awhile, even though I dislike tomatoes), I also got a glass of wine.



The caprese salad was HUGE! I was expecting a single "stack" of tomato slice, mozzarella, and basil, but instead I got five four, it was absurd. Between the delicious bread (two baskets) and the five four pieces of cheese, I was full enough to call it a night, but I wasn't throwing in the towel just yet. The bolognese was excellent, it was another recommendation from Erin, as I was having trouble deciding what to order. I should have stopped eating sooner than I did so I could have had more leftovers for lunch, but it just tasted too good.



For my dessert I got the turtle semifreddo, which I thought was good, but not worth the $8 you would normally have to spend to get it. Overall, a great (and filling) meal.


Also, I want to mention that every Monday night during the summer, Il Vesco Vino teams up with Stogies on Grand to have a cigar and drink special on the patio. $15 gets you a cigar paired with a drink from the bar. I want to hit this up before August is over, we have to get our smoking done in the summer months in Minnesota!
  • Service: Great service, it helped that there was nobody else there :)
  • Food: My pasta was great, and I loved the humongous salad.
  • Drinks: They've got a huge mirrored bar behind the bartender that is FULLY stocked.
  • Ambiance: We ate in the bar area, but there is also a separate dining room. I liked the bar ambiance, it was casual but still felt like a nice dinner. I think the dining room might be a bit too stuffy for my taste. They've also got a patio, but it was raining that night.
  • Price: We ended up paying a little more because of the $25 deal, I probably wouldn't have gotten a salad or dessert otherwise. The prices are certainly reasonable though.
  • Convenience: Parking on a Sunday night is no problem, but it's kind of hit or miss on West 7th normally (in my experience).
Il Vesco Vino
242 West 7th St.
St. Paul