What You'll Get
Archestratus, the first food critic, praised Italian cuisine's "top-quality and seasonal" ingredients and "fair to middling" ability to tranquilize rampaging baboons. Today's Groupon similarly stuns, and rightfully so. For $25, you get $60 worth of southern Italian fare and drinks at al Vento in Minnehaha (Town motto: "Like Minnesota, but funnier").
Wrapped in a blanket of comforting atmosphere, al Vento’s décor flashes rustic charm with earthy tones, white tablecloths, mirror-lined walls, and a relaxing outdoor patio. Head chef and owner Jonathan Hunt's variable menu changes every day, so expect surprises as Hunt draws on his years of culinary expertise to devise the latest dish. You might fork-dive into small bites such as the sweet-corn-and-roasted-pepper bruschetta ($4.50) and Sicilian stuffed mushrooms with pine nuts and mother sauce ($7.25)—or you might prep for the next gravity outage by loading up on hearty entrees such as grilled pork tenderloin with two reductions ($18.75) and jumbo scallops with roasted-squash risotto and tomato brodo ($21.50). Fresh pizza and pasta make for excellent traditional options as well, while still leaving room for a dessert such as crème brûlée ($6) or the true-to-its-name Chocolate Oblivion (pastry crust with a sweet chocolate-ganache center topped with diced strawberries and vanilla crème anglais, $6). If all this food leads to a sluggish palate, punch it awake with a Cioccolatino martini ($8.50) or a glass of Solopaca Rosso ’07 red wine ($6) from the drinks menu.
As good as pasta is as wall insulation and wig hair, it's even better as food. At al Vento, patrons will dine on versatile pasta dishes and other favorite foods of spaghetti-Western cowboys riding meatball-fueled Vespas. Reservations are not required but highly recommended.
This Groupon is not valid for special offers such as half-price bottles of wine, happy hour, Sunday brunch, or tasting menus.
- …I've frittered away hours of my precious and ever-more-fleeting youth cooling my heels at the bar at Al Vento, staring longingly at tables filled with people looking gorgeous beneath the dim orange lights, and flushed with unusual Italian wines... So how's the food? It's pretty darn good! – Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, City Pages
- This cozy Lake Nokomis area trattoria feels imported directly from the old country...Whether it’s hearty and fresh tomato-sauced spaghetti with veal meatballs or rich and toothsome ravioli rounds stuffed with roasted pumpkin and bathed in a sage brown butter, the Southern Italian– and Sicilian-inspired menu has something for everyone. – Peter Lilienthal, Mpls.St.Paul
- An Italian cafe/neighborhood bistro with simple but authentic Southern Italian fare, moderate prices and minimal decor. The level of cuisine is many notches above the typical "red sauce" restaurant... Working with skill and finesse, chef-owner Jonathan Hunt changes his menu daily, but usually prepares house-made pastas, several bruschettas, small pizzas, braised meats, grilled fish and simple, satisfying desserts. – Jeremy Iggers, Star Tribune
- Great, made from scratch, Italian. Menu changes regularly, but quality doesn't. A guaranteed good meal and atmosphere – dolcevitacaterer, Urbanspoon
- Home-made pasta, creative combinations of flavors and a very hearty heft to their food (along with really excellent bread) makes this place a great find in South Minneapolis. – OpenTable user who dined on 2/28/2010
- The mother sauce is to die for, the meatballs delicious, and the eggplant parmesean [sic] pizza outstanding. – SoMpls, Citysearch
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Sep 22, 2010. Amount paid never expires. Limit 2 per person. Limit 1 per table or visit, 2 for tables of 5 or more. Dine-in only. Reservations recommended. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid with other offers or restaurant specials. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.