MSP - Dinner for 6 Sat night
I'd definitely go to Al Vento - great food, warm and cozy atmosphere, and a reasonable noise level so you can talk. Plus there's enough variety on the menu that you can have a huge three-course meal or just pizza with a glass of wine.
Note: I haven't been to Town Talk - I'm not into burgers and fries (or red meat and milkshakes), and I hate extra noisy places - so factor that into my recommendation.
Does Town Talk take reservations? If not it's going to be a long wait behind the counter on Saturday night waiting for a table for 6. That said, I'd go to TT if you want a fun yet loud meal, Al Vento if you want a quieter, more sophisticated meal.
Also, we went to Town Talk last week and late on a Tuesday night parking was hard to be found. If several people are driving separately and not that familiar with the area it might be stressful.
Town Talk Diner. Unless I'm in the mood for al Vento, then al Vento.
You realize these places have absolutely nothing in common besides being restaurants in Minneapolis?
TTD is loud, cramped, urban, has something for every taste and budget. As mentioned, bonus points if a Guiness milkshake turns you on. The festive choice.
al Vento is straight Italian, neighborhoody, more serene and straightforward. The choice for relaxing and conversing.
Yep, I do realize they're very different restaurants. We're just a group of 6 looking to have dinner somewhere, not too picky where we go. Since both places are on my "to go" list, I thought I'd see what folks thought.
Looks like TTD because I love Guinness and love milkshakes...