VENUE DETAILS

Trattoria da Vinci

Price:

$$

Cuisine Type:

European, Italian

Serves:

Lunch, Dinner

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Rating: No Star No Star No Star No Star

REVIEW

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the makeover at the Trattoria da Vinci (formerly Cafe da Vinci) in downtown St. Paul ought to leave the folks at Pazzaluna feeling quite tickled. The new owner of Trattoria da Vinci hired chef Antonio Volpicelli, formerly from Pazzaluna, installed an antipasta table just like the one at the chic downtown St. Paul trattoria and then added some of Pazzaluna's signature dishes, such as the frittura mista, an appetizer of deep-fried seafoods.

There are still some big differences between the two restaurants. While Pazzaluna has a very sophisticated postmodern look, the decor at Trattoria da Vinci is more traditionally romantic -- a candlelit tribute to Leonardo da Vinci, with exposed brick, faux marble columns, alabaster fountains and statuary, and reproductions of some of the Italian master's most famous paintings.

The menu is still a bit less sophisticated than at Pazzaluna, and the service less polished. But Trattoria da Vinci has one attraction that Pazzaluna lacks: It features live jazz in the dining room Wednesday through Saturday evenings. It can be a bit loud at times, but I have seen some top-notch talent, including Lucia Newell and Debbie Duncan.

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