Eating Out: Arezzo Ristorante

As food lovers my husband and I are blessed to live in a neighborhood that is such a culinary hot spot. Sometimes that makes dinner plans a challenge. Where do you go when there are so many wonderful choices? If we want to partake in a bottle of vino, eat a reliably tasty meal and enjoy top of the line service we'll walk around the corner to Arezzo.

Arezzo is such an inconspicuous place that we didn't start eating here until we moved into the Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood. It's one of those restaurants that a friend of a friend tells you about and after you eat there you're left wondering why you hadn't been there before because it's so very good. I have fond memories of our first meals there, one of those was our first anniversary where we did a classic four course meal with all the bells and whistles in their outside dining area that took upwards of three hours. We didn't feel rushed or as if we were burdening the wait staff. Rather, I think the server enjoyed the dinner as much as we did. He even offered to drive us home afterwards! Whether we're celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a little weeknight magic, Arezzo does the trick.

You can't go wrong ordering anything off of their wine list and the wait staff are adept at the recommendation game.  They focus much of their list on the Chiantis from Tuscany, just 30 minutes away from the city of Arezzo, the restaurants namesake.  Once you get your liquids in order don't discard the wine list, it also displays the house specials.  You absolutely must review those each and every time for gems.  You'll have just-out-of-the-oven crispy and chewy rosemary flat bread to enjoy while you peruse your options.  Danger: They'll just keep refilling the basket if you want them too.

On our most recent visit my husband had the Pasta e Fieno ($18.95), a three-color tagliatelle pasta (tomato, spinach and egg) served with shrimp and zucchini in a rich cream sauce. The pasta is cooked to perfection and has real texture to it. Each bite is a little taste of Italiana. I selected the Linguine alla Puttanesca ($15.95) composed of linguine pasta tossed with garlic, capers and black calamata olives in a plum tomato sauce. Anchovies were not specifically called out on the menu, but are a classic part of this dish. Beware anchovy haters because these aren't minced, they're coarsely chopped fillets and add a sea salty note to the flavor. Both dishes were executed to absolute perfection. The decor, all tastefully artful frescoes and faux paint finishes, along with the classic Italian music selection adds to the enjoyment of the superb food. Go, go now!

Rating: Easy A

Arezzo Ristorante, 5057 France Avenue South, Minneapolis
(612) 285-7444


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