Monday, October 13, 2008

Arezzo Ristorante – Edina, MN

So Gerd and I have been complaining about the lack of quality Italian food in the twin cities. We’ve only tried a couple of places (Vescio’s is not to our liking – I’ll just say that), but have not been impressed. We decided to try Arezzo, since A) it’s close to home, and B) it looks like a classy joint, so the food might be equally classy.

We checked the menu ahead of time. The food isn’t outlandishly expensive, but it’s more expensive than Fazoli’s (or even Olive Garden – gasp!). We have seen people sitting outside enjoying the food and when we’ve walked past, the food has looked very appetizing. We had to try it.

We arrived and saw these two nerdy people on what appeared to be a first date, looking awkward and uncomfortable – this has nothing to do with the story. It’s just a funny side note. We got seated outside, as requested and were delighted to get waited on by Troy. A quiet, mousy fellow, who was extremely knowledgeable in the dishes and the wines served at Arezzo. He was honestly very good. We were seated near another section being served by a woman with really awesome curly hair (I think her name was Sarah?), but I still think we ended up with the right waiter. He suggested a couple of things and helped us decide on our dinners (since we changed our minds like 13 times).

Gerd got the Gnocchi Quattro Formaggi (four cheese gnocchi) with red sauce and white sauce and a salad. Troy said that was the way to go – it’s like having two dishes. I got the corn chowder (special for that evening) and the Costigliola Di Maiale Ripiena (pork loin chop stuffed with apples, ham and pecans).

The salad was fairly standard, although not iceberg lettuce. The fancy kind with unpronounceable names and good dressing. No complaints here. The Gnocchi was really tasty and having two different sauces was a great idea. The combination of the two kept the whole dish interesting even as you neared the end. Really good. The corn chowder I initially thought was too watery, but after the first bite, I knew it was perfect. Just the right amount of corn so as not to be corn casserole, but little tiny flecks of red bell pepper to add some zip to the whole thing. I would eat this again for sure. The Costigliola was amazing. The meat was perfectly cooked and was very juicy and tender. The other flavors mixed very well together and the provolone cream sauce was the perfect sauce for this dish.

Top 5 things about Arezzo Ristorante
1. Corn chowder – I know it sounds corny ha ha ha, but it is
2. Gnocchi was exquisite
3. Troy was a great waiter
4. Very nice atmosphere, inside and out
5. Costigliola Di Maiale Ripiena

Bottom 5 things
1. The names were very difficult to pronounce
2. Troy’s hair was nice, but the girl with the awesome hair was helping another section
3. Conversation was really loud at a nearby table
4. Some trashy trollops came into the bar as we were leaving and annoyed me
5. No unlimited portions – I could have eaten all night

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