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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chianti Grill - Roseville, MN

Last night my girlfriend and I went to the Chianti Grill in Roseville around 7pm.  The wait for the dining room was estimated at 1 hour.  Luckily, my friend was waiting in the bar area at a table - and we found that we could order a meal from the regular menu at this table.  So no hour-long wait for us!

Our waitress was very attentive, and while she had to ask us several times if we were ready to order, she was patient and pleasant when we told her we needed more time.

I ordered the Cappellini ai Gamberetti - angel hair pasta with shrimp, basil, marinated tomatoes, garlic and olive oil.  My first reaction to the price was that it was on the expensive side.  Seems like most of their meals are around $15 or so, which is not what I expected.  But when the food came - it was an enormous amount.  You get a salad and bread as with most dinner meals at any restaurant.  But then the main dish - the cappellini - ends up being enough for two meals.   It had a light, fresh taste - I liked it quite a bit.  If you don't like a lot of garlic though - don't order this dish.  I took half of it home and just had it for supper.  And it tasted just as good as it did last night when it was first served!

I also imbibed a bit - I had a glass of white wine (Evolution,Sokol Blosser), followed by a Chocolate Covered Banana Martini (yum) and a nightcap of an iced Midnight Espresso coffee drink.  We were there for literally 3 hours - so I didn't really "over-do". 

Final assessment - food, drink and service were all great.  Price was a little high - but at least the quality was high.  And I did get two meals out of main dish.  So thumbs up on this visit.

Now for a bit of a different perspective.  Each year in June, on the last day of Back to The 50s (held at the state fairgrounds), we stop and have a drink on the patio at this restaurant.  It's a very nice patio area, and with great weather - it's a nice place to sit and watch the rest of the classic cars driving down Snelling as they leave the fairgrounds.  But for each of the 3 years we've stopped at Chiati Grill - we've been really disappointed in the service on the patio.  We usually have to hunt someone down, it takes forever to get what we ordered, and there have been times when we've felt like we were an imposition.  I don't know why the service out there is so bad - but it is.  Will we stop there again this year?  It's the only place where you can comfortably sit outside and watch the cars go by on Snelling - so either we suck it up and take a chance (again) on bad service, or we just head home.  We'll see!

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