St. Paul >Restaurants >
Italian >Cafe Biaggio
2356 University Ave, St Paul, MN | Directions 5511444.963130 -93.197283
Neighborhoods: St. Anthony Park, South St. Anthony
Inconsistent food, dreadful service – Came here last night for the third time in as many months. No more. Liked the food the first time, service was okay. Both were ordinary the second time and the third, we didn't get to sample anything, not even water. Arrived to a half empty place and were seated. And seated. Clusters of staff chatted at the bar, others hovering here, there, everywhere but at our table. Fifteen minutes and not a peep from anyone. A simple explainer, like "we're busy, be right with you" would have sufficed...except they weren't busy.
The three of us got up, retrieved our coats and walked out. Like the large (St Joseph?) statue we passed, the staff at the bar watched us exit without a word.
Utterly bizarre behavior in a place we wanted to like. Curiously, a waitress at the next place we went, Muffeleta (fantastic!) had worked in Biaggio and was not surprised to hear about our service experience. There is nothing worse than inconsistency in a restaurant. This one's off our list.
Best original food with great flavor profiles – I was disappointed to read someones very negative review of this place. I've not had a single bite that was bad at this restaurant and that goes a long way with me. Each dish has its own set of flavors that work together with simple Italian basics.
My favorite is the grilled calamari, which I would compare to Greek grilled octopus, as it is done on a flame grill and gets charred beautifully. Another favorite of mine is the Cafe Biaggio lunch menu, for only $9 you get a fabulous sandwich with your choice of salad or soup. Or you can order heavier fare with the main lunch entres or go the other way and have a fantastic salad. Other appetizers that are great include a goat cheese torte and bruchetta that is very tasty.
The ambiance is quite romantic but the crowd tends to be a much older crowd than I'm used to (I'm not even 30 yet), the hostess stand even has reading glasses for those who can't read the quite normal sized font on the menus. I'm happy to pull up at the small bar they have and have a solo meal and the staff is more than happy to accommodate my preference to do this rather than sit at a table.
I think Cafe Biaggio is a fabulous find and have enjoyed each meal I've had there.
Food - Not Bad, Service - Not Good – Visited this establishment for lunch. Good thing we got there early, it filled up quite quickly after we arrived. Our group had a couple of sandwiches and pasta. Both liked their sandwiches, I liked my pasta. Service was inconsistent. The table next to us sat down after us and got waited on and served their food first. Not sure what was up with that. Lunch prices were reasonable and food was good, but service was not the best. Don't get me started on the temp in the place - TOO HOT!!!!!!
The Worst Place to Eat in St. Paul – This is and was the worst place I have ever gone to. The restaurant displayed poor taste in art, service and food. I was sat in a corner table with my family and two young children surrounded by pictures of breasts. The pictures were hung and eye level and I had to explain to my three old why the woman wasn't wearing a shirt. The food is grossly over priced for the quality of food you receive. My dish came out room temperature with the oil and grease from the sauce separating on the bottom of my bowl. The service was terrible. The place was not busy and yet my server couldn't find the time to help us. The host was dressed in ripped jeans and purple Hanes t-shirt and sat with her back to the door so she didn't see our party when we arrived, a server told her we needed to be sat. The owner of the restaurant was also working that night and I have to say I was appalled at the way he spoke to the employees and the way he greeted guest. I was shocked to find out he was the manager and owner and was embarrassed for him. As I sat there trying to finish my meal as quickly as possible I noticed other guest were not happy with their food and/or their server and even saw a women send back her dish, she had ordered the same dish as me. As stated before the restaurant displayed poor taste in art, food and service and the manager needs a crash course in customer service. DO NOT GO HERE!
very romatic – uncrowded, relaxed atmosphere. the menu is unique in it's classifying of 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th course offerings, but as our waiter pointed out, there is no rule that says you have to have one of each, or not . The portions are generous. we shared one appetiser (the stuffed mushroom - delicious!) and then each had an entree & it was plenty. I had the swordfish. I love swordfish & can honestly say this was the best I've ever had. My date had the risotti & ribs & they too were awesome - unique flavorful, the pasta was perfectly al dente.
For drinks we had the Merlot & an Italian beer. Both were superb.
My only regret is that we didn't have time for dessert, as I am sure they are very good.
Our waiter was very professional - helpful, to-the point, attentive yet not all over us. I thought this place was fabulous. I will be back!
Don't do it! – Very disappointing and way too expensive.
The Grilled calamari (which was really pushed by our waiter) was cold and non-discript, save for the burnt flavor. Don't get me wrong, I'm a burnt popcorn and toast lover. But this dish was, well...not tastey, and though I like 'rubbery' in it's place, this was not good-rubbery. It was boring-rubbery/irritating rubbery. Anyway, that wasn't the disappointing part. I ordered the Shrimp Scampi (at $22 ala carte) and was disappointed to receive SIX medium sized (ie U24ish) grilled shrimp with mushrooms (in scampi?) in a nondiscript sauce.
But that wasn't the disappointing part. Two of the three shrimp that I actually bit into (I stopped after 3) were Bad...rotten... even the waiter agreed that they smelled bad. They did take the dish off our bill, which was nice. I must say, the two salads we tried were good and the bread pudding was very good. But still, the prices were way too high for the inconsistancy and the couple of dishes that were out and out yucky.
I would not suggest it to people like.
One of my favorites – I've been to Biaggio numerous times for dinner, and the food is consistently very good. The stuffed mushroom appetizer is excellent. The servers will split their large salads for two people if you want.
The paintings on the walls are inspiring. The servers are good, but occasionally can be a bit
Um-Um Good – Loved, Loved, Loved this place! I had the tomato basil soup to start, it was out of this world! In general I am not much of a tomato soup fan, but my girlfriend recommended it, and frankly it was the best soup I have ever had. Our whole meal was wonderful. This will be a place that I visit regularly! Highly recommended!!!
One of St. Paul's Best-Kept Secrets.... – For people who enjoy Italian cooking without depending on a gallon of red sauce, this is your restaurant. A large variety of menu items as well with everything prepared well. Service was extremely quick and friendly.
A former warehouse space gets transformed into a cool bistro--with a touch of Italy. – In Short
The slim room features many nooks, small tables and paintings of mythical women hanging on exposed brick walls. Artsy folks and bourgeois bohemian baby boomers make for a colorful, laid-back crowd. This northern Italian menu turns an ordinary dinner into an event. To start, there's bruschetta with a trio of robust tomatoes and a white bean salad. Lasagna Neapolitan has layers of chunky sauce and sausages. Balsamic-marinated sirloin steak has chard and wild mushrooms.
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