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Apr 11, 2007 09:01 PM

Il Vesco Vino vs. Willie's Wine Bar (Twin Cities)

We are looking at trying a new place and both of these are places that have been on our list to check out for a while. I briefly scanned a couple reviews on these places and they were a little mixed. Anybody else have anything to add? Has anyone been to both -- if so, which one would you pick?

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  1. We've been to both in the last month and liked both. Even though I liked the atmosphere better in Il Vesco Vino, we felt so rushed by our waitress to get our order in and be done that we probably wouldn't go back. Maybe if you're in a group they wouldn't do that as they know you'll spend some serious $$. I guess I just feel that if you're goint to drop $100 for dinner for two you should be able to take your time and at least feel like you can be there over an hour. We thought the food was good but didn't blow us out of the water either. In the summer they're adding a new patio where they'll have a brick oven for pizzas so maybe that atmosphere would be more relaxed as far as being able to enjoy a leisurely meal.
    We did have a great time at Willie's and had some great food. There was live jazz which really added a nice touch. I had heard they had different size "plates" for entrees but that must have changed as they only had one size for entrees. We loved our food and they do have a great wine list. I'm sure we'll go back. There were alot of groups there who seemed to be having a great time splitting pizzas and appetizers and such.
    I would be interested to hear if other people had the same experience at Il Vesco Vino as we did. Janice

    1 Reply
    1. re: janiceh

      I haven't been to either, but my daughter loved Willie's. She liked it so much she called me long distance to recommend it to us the next time we are in Minneapolis. She liked the laid back atmosphere (her words) of Willie's compared to Il Vesco Vino. In her opinion the food was as good at Willie's.

    2. The food at Willie's is quite good and reasonably priced. I have not been to IVV but my wife, who really knows food, thought the food was mediocre. I suspect the wine list at IVV is much better, though, if it is anything like the iNonni list.

      1. I don't know what constitutes new to you, but another new place that might be worth trying would be Toast. It looks a little disinviting from the outside - not the hippest location, but the reviews are all rave. It's on 4th Ave North near the Rock Island lofts. You get to it from 1st Street.

        3 Replies
          1. re: AnneInMpls

            I was at IVV last night. It stands out for me for a few factors.

            1 - great short list of wines - by the 500 or 750 ml carafe. (500 is 2 glasses)
            2 - FAB long list by the bottle
            3 - great bartenders
            4 - nice crowd - but not jam packed.
            5 - near my house!

            I haven't eaten there in a few months after some ok meals there. But friends ate there last night and said that the food had vastly improved since their last attempt. The menu has been redone and it had made a big difference.

            I haven't been to Willies yet. & I can't wait to try Toast!

            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Not sure where to put this, but I went to Toast for the first time last night. Loved the butternut squash soup- it actually tasted like squash,(no tons of cream etc) and it was GOOD! Very good salad with roasted beets and luscious goat cheese, and
              a caramelized onion-taleggion delicious pizza that flashed me back to something
              similar had at Auriga years ago. Finally got it about how a cracker crust pizza can
              be great. Strawberry shortcake was so-so, not enough fruit, scone/biscuit too rich.
              Fun out-of-the-way location , very friendly server, nice arty decor, I will be back!